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Right-wingers vow to block 'The Cove' in Japan

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Japan rebels launch new opposition party
Apr 10, 2010 by AFP

Japan's former finance minister Kaoru Yosano and four other political veterans on Saturday launched a new party ahead of July polls as their conservative opposition camp struggles to regain power. Former trade minister Takeo Hiranuma assumed head of the party, named "Stand up Japan" and consisting of former members of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which lost its half-century grip on power in last year's lower house election. (AFP)

Man takes flight attendant hostage at Narita airport during deportation
Apr 9, 2010 by AP

A Nigerian man has been charged after he allegedly took a flight attendant hostage aboard an airplane preparing to depart Narita airport, near Tokyo, when he was to be deported in January, according to an indictment document. The 46-year-old man allegedly grabbed the flight attendant around the neck on the plane Jan. 27, poked her with a key and demanded his release, the document says. The man was immediately overpowered by an immigration officer and was arrested, the police said. (AP)

DPJ wavers on maiden names law
Apr 10, 2010 by Japan Times

Unlike former conservative Liberal Democratic Party governments, the ruling Democratic Party of Japan has long backed a plan to allow a husband and wife to keep their respective surnames. But the ruling bloc - the DPJ, Social Democratic Party and Kokumin Shinto (People's New Party) - still remains sharply divided on the issue. Advocates of the proposed plan are growing impatient because they see the window of opportunity getting smaller. (Japan Times)

China executes three Japanese drug smugglers
Apr 9, 2010 by AFP

China executed three convicted Japanese drug smugglers on Friday, just days after another Japanese citizen was put to death for the same offence -- prompting concerns in Tokyo that ties could suffer. The trio were executed in the northeastern province of Liaoning, Xinhua news agency reported, citing an announcement from China's supreme court. The Japanese foreign ministry confirmed it had been notified by the Chinese side. On Tuesday, China executed 65-year-old Mitsunobu Akano -- the first Japanese citizen to be put to death in the country since diplomatic ties were re-established in 1972. (AFP)

Right-wingers vow to block 'The Cove' in Japan
Apr 10, 2010 by AP

Dozens of right-wing activists protested Friday outside the office of a Japanese distributor of the Oscar-winning "The Cove," demanding that the gory portrayal of dolphin hunting in Japan not be shown in the country. "The Cove" won this year's best documentary Oscar with its depiction of dolphin hunts in Taiji, a small fishing village in western Japan. The protesters Friday accused the distributor of betraying Japanese national pride by supporting the film, which they see as insulting to traditional village culture of which dolphin hunting is part. (AP)

iPad may be 'Black Ship' that shakes up Japan's book industry
Apr 9, 2010 by BusinessWeek

Apple Inc.'s iPad may force Japan's $21 billion book market to reshape pricing in the industry by historic proportions, publishing officials and analysts said. Communications minister Kazuhiro Haraguchi and the Electronic Book Publishers Association of Japan this week compared Apple's device to the "Black Ships" that led the country to open trade with the U.S. 157 years ago. Unlike most Western markets, Japanese publishers set retail prices and prevent discounting, allowing more than 450 companies to coexist. (BusinessWeek)

By J.S. on Apr 14, 2010



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