Friday, September 3, 2010

News Blast: Kan Vs. Ozawa, Japan's Tea Party, Walkman Runs, Panda Twins, And More

Japan takes Little League world series championship. Via.

►The U.S. and Japan again missed their deadline to resolve the Futenma airbase debate. AFP blames Japan's politics and WSJ calls it good news for advocates of the base. The two countries, however, did release a report regarding construction of a new base, calling for a more environmentally friendly option

►Meanwhile, Nebraska Governor Dave Heinema is building better relations with Japan for his state.

►The battle for Japan's sixth prime minister in four years has officially begun, this time within one party. WaPo has an extensive article on the showdown between between the current PM Naoto Kan and DPJ power broker Ichiro Ozawa, noting that the "Kan-Ozawa contest serves as a reminder of Japan's search for a decisive leader." A vast majority of Japanese voters would like to see Kan reelected, and he was visibly moved at the DPJ rally of support. Observing Japan's Tobias Harris wrote about the unlikelihood of an Ozawa upset in Foreign Policy (he also discussed election issues and the "intellectual paralysis" plaguing Japan's economic policy with CNBC Asia). Ozawa says the two candidates will be as tight as Obama and Clinton regardless of the election outcome.

Jetwit discusses the rise of Japan's brand of Tea Party, as reported in The New York Times.

Asahi reports Japan's Defense Ministry may create a military force modeled after the U.S. Marine Corps "to strengthen the defense of remote islands in southwestern Japan amid the rapid modernization of China's military."

►Japan's Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada tells a China nuclear envoy that tensions from March's South Korean warship sinking are too high to continue the Six Party Talks with North Korea. WSJ carried an in depth interview with Okada on this topic and more.

Japan approved further sanctions against Iran, "including an asset freeze on 88 entities, 15 banks and 24 individuals."

►A new Brazilian film concerns the unspoken history of Japanese immigrants in Brazil. (Background: in the chaos following World War II The Japanese divided into two groups: one accepted Japan's defeat and one didn't. Confusion swelled into a brutal rampage among the Japanese, fueled by the repressive Brazilian government, who had set up concentration camps as tensions between Japan and Brazil intensified during the 30s.)

The Atlantic's James Fallows returns to his old Tokyo neighborhood and finds "an inward-looking country that has lost its ambition." Among many keen observations of Japan in the 80s and now, Fallows writes: "If you know China mainly through stories of its economic successes, you’re surprised on a visit that it’s still so poor. If you know Japan mainly through stories of its failures, which are real, you’re surprised that it’s become so rich. "

►Robert Ingersoll, who was the first ambassador to Japan from the business world (and served as Japan Society chairman in the late 70s and early 80s), passed away at 96. Japan Society remembers his contributions.

►Japan wants to help foreigners living in the country to learn Japanese.

Reuters breaks down Japan's latest $10.8bn solution for economic recovery.

►Twitter Japan is raking in the yen the old fashioned way: ad sales.

Yomiuri reports the Japanese government is setting up a new ministry to nurture culture industries, such as anime and fashion.

Japan experienced its hottest summer since 1898. Not surprisingly "cool products" were hot sells.

►In Japan, the Sony Walkman outsells the iPod for the first time.

Huffington Post shares some images from Japan's classic guide to American Ive League 60s style, that is back in print and for the first time in English translation.

Japan took the Little League world series championship, ending the U.S.'s five year reign.

►Labor Day Weekend sees U.S. and Japanese all-star baseball teams face-off in a three-game friendship series.

AFP profiles Japan's internationally renowned taiko troupe: "For decades Kodo's members have lived communally in the mountains of Sado, leading an austere and almost monastic life where trainees steel themselves with daily 10 kilometre (six mile) runs and hours of gruelling drum practice."

►In California's tough real estate market, LAist asks: is moving Pasadena's only Frank Lloyd Wright home to Japan the answer?

►Video: The Telegraph has the first look at baby panda twins born in a Japanese zoo in mid August.


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