Random Japan


The 70-year-old president of the metalworking company that built the roof of the Fukuoka Dome was found murdered in a container in his firm’s stockyard.

Police across the country are stymied by the growing number of incidents involving sewing needles found in food products. Reports have come in from Kitakyushu (cabbage), Kochi (bread), and Ibaraki (dorayaki).

The National Consumer Affairs Center of Japan says that it has seen a two-fold rise in the number of scams involving unlisted stocks during the past year.

The Central Disaster Management Council said that rising sea levels caused by global warming might lead to an additional 7,600 deaths in Tokyo in the event of a tsunami caused by a strong typhoon.

A scientist at the Tokyo-based Institute for Industrial Science has developed a unit of measurement called the water footprint, or WF, which takes into account how much H2O is used to produce everyday items like beer, cellphones and bicycles. The International Organization for Standardization is said to have “begun to work on the establishment of international standards for WF calculations.”

Sentence of the Week: “Ten countries, including eight in Africa, do not have embassies in Japan and have their embassies in China take charge of diplomatic operations involving Japan, a trend that likely reflects China’s increasing, and Japan’s dwindling, global presence, an upper house committee meeting revealed Thursday.” (via Kyodo)



Minimum number of travelers expected to head overseas during Golden Week, the first time in three years that the number will top half a million, according to JTB


Number of visitors to Tokyo Disney Resort in 2008, the second highest total ever


Percent of female high school students in Japan who own two cellphones, according to The Washington Post


The JNTO reported that the number of Chinese tourists visiting Japan skyrocketed 93.2 percent in February compared to a year earlier.

Over the same period, the number of overseas Japanese travelers dropped 5.1 percent.

Overall, the number of foreign tourists visiting Japan increased 63 percent during the past year.

Part of that surge can be accounted for by South Korean sightseers who flocked to Akita Prefecture, which was the setting for the popular Korean TV show Iris.

The justice ministry said it’s considering a plan to allow foreign nurses and dentists who have graduated from Japanese medical schools to, um, actually work in Japan.

The Fair Trade Commission raided ten branch offices of pharmaceutical giant Johnson and Johnson over concerns that the US company “exerted pressure on retailers not to advertise prices of its disposable contact lenses.”

Let’s Have A Party  

With The Disgruntled  

Maybe He Belongs

In Arizona  

The Joy Of Riding  

The Bigger Joy Of Arrest

Ramen inventor’s son soups up healthier legacy


More than a half-century after his father invented instant noodles to feed Japan’s war-ravaged masses, Koki Ando says it is time to change the high-calorie, salt-laden fast food into healthier fare for the fastidious.

Recently, Ando chaired a World Instant Noodles Summit that brought manufacturers together to focus on the food’s future: less salt to lure health-conscious customers, better environmental standards and a bigger push for corporate responsibility by donating noodles to disaster victims.

“Evolution is very important” for the noodle industry, the chief executive of Japan’s Nissin Foods Holdings said at the end of the two-day meeting of representatives of nearly 50 companies in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Glaring lack of political leadership



Two key issues in recent days exposed Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama’s painful lack of leadership.

One topic concerned an unpopular decision on highway tolls and the other was his handling of the Futenma issue.

On Thursday morning, Hatoyama indicated his government would reconsider a plan for new expressway tolls.


    • RiaD on April 24, 2010 at 15:14

    formation of a new party sounds like a good thing… especially one that declares “We want to part ways with a political style that depends on money.”

    but maybe this will just split the parties to no good end?

    regarding ramen…

    i once read somewhere that you can tell the state of an economy by the “ramen index”

    by looking to see how well ramen noodles are selling you can tell if people are becoming more affluent (less sales) or that the economy is tanking (more sales)

    in the recent world economy maybe we should all be investing in ramen stock?

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