JIN-419 -- Rigging in the Digging

Bid-rigging or 'dango' apparently takes places in the majority of public works projects in Japan. However, in an exclusive interview with Dr. Hiroshi Ohashi, Associate Professor of Economics at Tokyo University, we learned that as a result of the activities of the Japan Fair Trade Commission, and declining government budgets, the days of bid-rigging are numbered. Read Now

JIN-418 -- Suicide In Japan

What went through Farm Minister Matsoka's mind as he hung himself in his own living room at the start of the month? Why are Japanese suicide rates rising rapidly? This week's 'JIN' considers the issue with reference to recent social trends and French sociologist Emile Durkheim Read Now


JIN-417 -- Japan: A View From The Academy

This week's 'JIN', J@pan Inc Newsletter takes the form of a review of a lecture given by Dr. Phil Deans of Temple University, Japan. Deans offered fresh insights on such puzzles as Sino-Japanese relations and why Japanese women have stopped having babies Read Now

JIN-416 -- Chirac's Foreign Affairs

Secret bank accounts, illicit affairs, slush funds, love children, sumo, manga and Franco-Japanese relations.
All featuring in this week's Japan Inc Newsletter Read Now

JIN-415 -- Spas, Supermarkets and Spam

Thoughts and observations about onsens, supermarkets and meat in a can inspired by a trip to the ostensibly uninspirational suburb of Tamasakai form the content of this week's Japan Inc Newsletter Read Now

JIN-414 -- The Defense of the Indefensible

This week's newsletter makes uses of some recent research findings to consider Japan's place in the arms race in Asia. As Japan acquires more and more arms, relaxes its laws on arms exports and debates changing its constitution, should Japan take greater care of the diplomatic language it uses? Read Now

JIN-413 -- Viva la status quo!

The senryu is a satirical verse form popular in Japan today. It shares with haiku a construction of three lines of 5-7-5 syllables, but does not require a season word, for it lampoons daily life rather than comments on nature. Below, for their insights into Japanese thinking, I offer translations of contributions selected by Kujin Nishiki for the Asahi Shimbun's senryu column...

JIN-412 -- Mobile Savior or Satan?

One morning on a packed train from port to capital a 'salaryman' whipped out his mobile phone. 'So-and-so passed away,' he said to the other party. 'The wake will be at so-and-so funeral parlor, with the service at so-and-so
temple the next day.' He proceeded to inform others of the man's passing. I was mortified. A public space seemed inappropriate for such a...

JIN-411 -- Fibers Finger Gropers

The other evening I squeezed into a train homeward-bound from Tokyo. Pressed against the door like a butterfly pinned to the leaf of a specimen book I could only watch the nightscape scrolling past the window. Not until I overheard a guy tell his girl, 'We're on the women-only car' did I sense something strange. I looked around. Sure enough he and I were the only men, my having followed him like a lemming. My being the last on board, few riders...

JIN-410 -- The Teflon Governor

Shintaro Ishihara, who recently won a third term as Tokyo Governor, is not one to hold his tongue. In his years as governor he has spooked foreigners with a warning to beware rioting 'third country nationals' (code for Koreans) in the aftermath of a natural disaster in Tokyo; raised Francophone hackles with the comment French is not...


Subscribe to RSS - J@pan Inc Newsletter