Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Japan's response to its ageing crisis
An ageing population, coupled with a declining birth rate, is an unprecedented challenge for Japanese policymakers. The issues created by this situation can be readily identified in the administration of Japan's pension system. It is widely recognised that record management for Japanese pensions has been, moderately speaking, incomplete, and more strictly speaking, defective. On the occasion of the introduction of the basic pension identification number, the Social Insurance Agency identified some 250 million numbers out of 300 million and consolidated them into 100 million basic pension identification numbers. As a consequence, 50 million pension numbers still remain to be identified.
Ministry unveils strategy to boost 'Cool Japan'
The government has drawn up a list of strategies aimed at boosting Japan's pop culture industry, thereby making Japan and its contemporary culture more competitive internationally. Japan's pop culture--namely its anime, games, food and fashion--is believed to have great potential for improving Japan's image and making its products more competitive in Asia, Europe and North America, where it is popular and being promoted under the name "Cool Japan."
New party set to be launched this week
Former Finance Minister Kaoru Yosano, who is set to leave the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party after severely criticizing the party leadership, and former trade minister Takeo Hiranuma confirmed Monday evening their plans to launch a new party by the end of the week.
Sumo: Fans hope 15-year-old Japanese prodigy can rise to the top
A 15-year-old boy, who has joined the Takadagawa sumo stable, has drawn attention as a possible future star. Despite his young age, Ryoya Tatsu, who is 193 centimeters tall and weighs 145 kilograms, is almost equal in size to Yokozuna Hakuho, who is 192 centimeters tall and 152 kilograms. Tatsu was among the newcomers who were introduced to the audience during the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament held in Osaka in March. The spring tournament, which coincides with the school graduation season, is also dubbed the "job placement tournament."
Japanese carriers to end mobile phone locks?
Japan's regulators decided to end restrictions on mobile phone users switching operators or changing the SIM card in their phones. The communications ministry and the country's four major carriers reached the agreement and will set up new guidelines for the plan, Jiji Press reported. At the moment, Japan's major mobile networks sell handsets that accept only their respective SIM cards only, and cannot work with handsets bought from other carriers. In other words, they sell network-locked devices.