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In Japan, healthy minds rejuvenate in healthy forests

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Oct 09In Japan, healthy minds rejuvenate in healthy forests (Globe & Mail)
Many of us have been forest bathing before, we just didn't know it. Forest bathing is translated from the Japanese shinrin-yoku, which has been defined as "taking in the forest atmosphere." While the good, old-fashioned term "walk in the woods" still applies in North America, shinrin-yoku has slowly made its way into the vernacular in Japan since a government agency coined it in 1982. More recently, Japanese scientists have started quantifying the impact forest bathing, and its more clinical-sounding cousin, forest therapy (shinrin-ryoho), can have on humans.

Oct 09Lolicon lechers pinched for procuring pricey pubescent prostitute (Tokyo Reporter)
Three men were arrested last month in Ishikawa Prefecture for employing the sexual services of an extremely resourceful middle school girl on her summer break, reports Shukan Jitsuwa (Oct. 14). Ishikawa prefectural police from the Kanazawa City station fingered 58-year-old school teacher Hideo Higashi and company employees Koji Ishizaka, 39, and Hiromi Nakamura, 38, on September 21 for violating prostitution and pornography statutes following various encounters with a 13-year-old girl at hotels in the prefecture during July and August. Higashi, a teacher at Higashi Asakawa Elementary School, met the student at Kanazawa City hotels on July 30 and August 11, charging him 40,000 per visit. Ishizaka and Nakamura utilized her services at Kanazawa City and Shirayama City hotels on the same day, July 25.
Oct 09Japanese prosecutors to indict Argentine man over molesting woman (AP)
Japanese prosecutors plan to indict an Argentine man possibly early next week on suspicion of molesting a woman in Japan in January, even though he returned to Argentina after they earlier dropped the case, investigative sources said Saturday. The prosecutors intend to serve the 62-year-old man with the indictment through the Foreign Ministry and other channels, but even if the document is delivered successfully, they will not be able to hold him criminally responsible unless he takes part in trial proceedings in Japan, according to the sources.
Oct 09JAL flight attendant arrested on drug possession charge (Mainichi)
A Japan Airlines (JAL) flight attendant has been arrested for allegedly buying illegal drugs from her boyfriend, it has been learned. Mari Suganami, 43, a JAL cabin attendant from Tokyo's Shibuya Ward, stands accused of violating the Stimulants Control Law for purchasing stimulant drugs from her boyfriend, Takatoshi Mochizuki, 45, from Tokyo's Toshima Ward. "I've been using drugs over the past several months because I was insecure about my company's future, and out of curiosity," Suganami was quoted as telling investigators.
Oct 08Tourist info booths to open at Haneda stations (Japan Times)
With the opening of an international terminal at Tokyo's Haneda airport later this month, railways are planning to set up information centers for foreign visitors in their new train stations with access to the facility. Keihin Electric Express Railway Co., or the Keikyu Line, said Wednesday it will open a tourist information booth staffed by concierges skilled in English, Chinese and Korean at its station starting Oct. 21.
Oct 08Man in Peru gets eight years for '01 killing in Japan (Japan Times)
The Superior Court of Lima sentenced a Peruvian man to eight years in prison Wednesday for the 2001 slaying of a Japanese man in Gunma Prefecture. It is the first time the country's judicial authorities have punished a Peruvian citizen at the request of the Japanese government. Peru and Japan do not have an extradition treaty. Ricardo Moises Diaz Sanchez, 43, stabbed to death Tadao Kimura, 69, at a park in Ota, Gunma Prefecture, on Oct. 14, 2001, according to the court.
Oct 07Osaka police take down Japan's largest gambling den, arrest 10 (Mainichi)
Police have arrested a total of 10 men and women on suspicion of illegal gambling at what is believed to be the nation's largest underground casino here. At around 2 p.m. on Oct. 6, police arrested the 10 -- bookmakers and customers -- on suspicion of violating the professional motorboat racing law and other gambling regulations after they traded unauthorized betting tickets at the gambling house in Osaka's Nishinari Ward.
Oct 07Annual death stats show wanking to be dangerous self-abuse (Tokyo Reporter)
Weekly Playboy (Oct. 18) reports that a rather disturbing piece of news began circulating around the Web from mid-September. Posted on an unnamed site was an article that read: "A high school boy was found dead in his room, bare from the waist down. According to an examination performed on his body at Miyagi Prefectural Hospital, earlier that day he had masturbated several dozen times. The cause of death was determined to be over secretion of sex hormones." But a spokesman for the government department that oversees hospitals in the prefecture denied the story.
Oct 07Yakuza face Hyogo zone bans (Japan Times)
The Hyogo Prefectural Assembly approved an ordinance Wednesday to ban gangster leaders from setting up offices or buying homes in neighborhoods and near schools. Numerous mob bosses under the umbrella of the Kobe-based Yamaguchi-gumi, the nation's largest underworld syndicate, have set up in the city because they are ordered to pay daily visits to its headquarters. According to police, gangster leaders currently own around 30 second houses in Kobe.
Oct 07Two Japanese and an American win Nobel Prize in Chemistry(examiner.com)
Two Japanese, Prof. Ei-ichi Negishi and Prof. Akira Suzuki, and one American, Prof. Richard F. Heck, have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the development of "palladium-catalyzed cross couplings in organic synthesis." In a press release, the Royal Swedish Academy of Science and the Nobel Foundation stated of palladium-catalyzed cross coupling. The news was cause for pride within Japan, leading to immediate television reports, newspaper special editions, and comments of praise to the winners from Prime Minister Naoto Kan on down. Japanese news reports stated that the awards are the 17th and 18th Nobel prizes for Japanese citizens, and the 6th and 7th specifically in chemistry.
Oct 07H.K. court jails 3 for Ginza jewelry heist (AP)
A Hong Kong court Wednesday sentenced three men to prison for their roles in a heist in which more than US$2 million worth of watches were stolen from a store in Tokyo's Ginza shopping district in January. Chan Kong-yiu, 53, Choi So-man, 50, and Chow Kwong-tung, 54, were each sentenced to 34 months in prison by the District Court for "conspiring to steal" 163 brand-name watches from the Tenshodo store in Ginza. Chan, who also pleaded guilty to "handling" four stolen watches from the Ikkodo Watch store in Nagano Prefecture in October 2009, was given another 16-month prison term, half of which is to be served concurrently with the Ginza theft prison term.
Oct 07Tokyo Sky Tree to be illuminated for 3 hrs next Wed. (AP)
The Tokyo Sky Tree tower, the tallest building in Japan which is under construction in central Tokyo, will be illuminated for about three hours on the night of Oct. 13, the first and the only light-up event before its scheduled completion in the spring of 2012. The light up of the new communications tower in Tokyo's Sumida Ward, which is 478 meters high as of Saturday, will be held from around 6:30 p.m. The event is designed to test the performance of 50 light-emitting diode bulbs to be installed at the ground, 160-meter and 335-meter levels of the tower. The bulbs are made by Panasonic Electric Works Co.
Oct 07Entertainer Tashiro indicted over cocaine (AP)
Prosecutors indicted entertainer Masashi Tashiro on Wednesday on charges of violating the narcotics control law. Tashiro, 54, who rose to fame in the 1980s as a member of doo-wop group The Chanels, was allegedly in possession of about 0.87 gram of cocaine in Yokohama in the early hours of Sept. 16, according to the indictment. He was arrested after patrol officers found him with the cocaine in a Yokohama port parking lot. It was his third arrest in connection with illegal drugs.
Oct 06Wives of missing Japanese climbers arrive in Nepal (AP)
The wives of two Japanese climbers who are among four missing on a mountain in central Nepal arrived in Kathmandu on Tuesday, along with the chairman of Japan Professional Guides Association. In an interview in Kathmandu on Tuesday evening, the association's chairman Michihiro Kadoya said the wives of Toshio Yamamoto, 36, and Daisuke Honda, 32, have been briefed about the search for their husbands amid difficult conditions on the mountain. The two, along with the wife of missing climber Osamu Tanabe, 49, who is also in Kathmandu, will decide whether to resume the ground search or abandon it.
Oct 05Lindsay Hawker's family rebuff alleged killer's letter (BBC)
The family of a British teacher found buried in a sand-filled bath in Japan has said there is no point in her alleged killer contacting them. Their statement follows reports that Tatsuya Ichihashi, who is accused of killing Lindsay Ann Hawker, has written to them apologising for her death. The 22-year-old, from Brandon, near Coventry, was found at his Tokyo flat in March 2007. Her family said they are confident in the Japanese justice system.
Oct 05High school boy stabbed to death on Kobe street, girlfriend flees to safety(Mainichi)
A male high school student who was talking with a girl was stabbed to death on a street here on Oct. 4, while the girl fled and was unharmed. Police received an emergency call at around 10:50 p.m. from the girl, who told them a man she didn't recognize had attacked the male student. The boy had wounds from a sharp instrument and was taken to the hospital, but was pronounced dead at around 12:25 a.m. on Oct. 5.
Oct 05Their feet may be stars in Japan (New York Times)
Every season, for more than a decade, their numbers have grown. And we are not talking about new designers, but the photographers who stand for hours outside the Paris show sites just to take pictures of the arriving editors and models. Some editors have discovered they are becoming famous in Asia because of such publications, or at least their feet are, since many photographers only take pictures of their shoes.
Oct 05Revised love hotel regulations to pinch prostitution and underage porn (Tokyo Reporter)
From January of next year, a revision to the section of the nationwide Law Regulating Adult Entertainment Businesses that pertains to love hotels will come into force, and, as Shukan Asahi Geino (Oct. 7) reports, the industry will be in for a shake up. The weekly tabloid explains that the revisions are intended to remove prostitution and underage porn shoots from hotel premises. "There are two types of love hotels," explains journalist Akihira Otani. "Those operating under the approval of the Adult Entertainment Law and those operating as lodging entities under the conventional lodging law, just as with any hotel or ryokan you may see. "Giso (camouflaged) love hotels operate under the conventional lodging law yet provide adult-oriented gear, such as dildos," he continues. "In both cases, one can go straight to a room without being seen. This is believed to be a contributing factor to crimes for which this revision is designed to counter."
Oct 05Love in Japan part 2: 10 ways Japanese women mystify men (cnngo.com)
Two weeks after we discovered 20 ways Japanese men mystify women, a survey by Goo, discovered by Japan Style, says that "A woman's mind, like the winter wind, changes often," baffling men. While Japanese women were concerned about men going on group blind dates even after they're spoken for, the guys are disturbed by the apparently irresistible reflex women have developed of group-shouting "Cute!" at every opportunity. Other Japanese-isms, in a list that could arguably be replicated worldwide, is the ubiquity of the practice of eyebrow shaving (amongst other areas) and the current fad for fortunetelling.
Oct 05Crane tumbles onto care home (Japan Times)
A crane that fell over Monday at a condominium site and struck an adjacent nursing home in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo, amazingly injured no one, police said. The Pearl Daikanyama care home has about 170 residents and workers, but none was injured when the machine came tumbling down, the police said. The only casualties from the crash were some shattered windows.
Oct 05Court approves actor Oshio's release on 10 mil. yen bail (AP)
The Tokyo High Court on Monday approved the release of Manabu Oshio, a 32-year-old actor convicted over the drug-related death of a bar hostess, on bail of 10 million yen, dismissing a lower court decision to reject his request for bail. Oshio was released from jail for the first time in about 10 months after his lawyers immediately paid the bail in cash. On Sept. 17, the Tokyo District Court sentenced him to 30 months in prison for giving the woman the synthetic drug MDMA and failing to act properly when the woman became gravely ill. She died later.
Oct 05Decade-long wait takes toll on asylum seeker (Japan Times)
Most foreigners in Japan know the horror of waiting for a residency permit or visa. A few hours in the queue at the Shinagawa immigration office can feel like a lifetime. But for Iranian national Jamal Saberi, "waiting a lifetime" has become more than just a figure of speech. For nearly 10 years he has been pleading with the Japanese authorities to grant him asylum or refugee status.
Oct 04Angry local residents want gang evicted from Tokyo ward (Mainichi)
Local residents have set up an anti-gang group after a front company for the Kodo-kai, the organization governing Japan's largest organized crime syndicate, the Yamaguchi-gumi, moved into a building in Tokyo's Taito Ward. Some 350 residents gathered at a gymnasium in Taito Ward on Oct. 3, protesting against the occupancy of the nearby building by the Komatsu-gumi, a yakuza clan believed to be an advance mission dispatched ahead of the Nagoya-based Kodo-kai's expansion into Tokyo.
Oct 04Mother arrested for killing 2 children (AP)
A 32-year-old woman was arrested Monday on suspicion of killing her two children at their home in the city of Hiroshima, police said. Kyoko Takaishi is suspected of strangling the two children -- Riko, 4, and Arata, 1 -- using a towel early Monday morning, according to the investigation. She was quoted as telling investigators, "I became exhausted with parental care and lost my confidence (in being a parent)."
Oct 04Rural Japanese island's titillating treasures don't come cheap (Tokyo Reporter)
In No. Seven of 10 tidbits termed "the truth behind the rumors of the sex business," Spa! (Oct. 5) takes a slow boat to a rural island where something fishy is definitely going on. The weekly tabloid calls it "Island W," notes it is about 7 kilometers in diameter, and adds it is situated within the confines of a national park. The island is accessed by a small ferry, at a one-way fare of 150 yen. Its main attraction are an estimated 200 prostitutes who openly work out of snack clubs. "To get there, you take a train about two hours from a certain big city, and then it's about 20 minutes by taxi from the station to the boat landing," says a local taxi driver. "Japanese women are working on the island, but they're not so young...These days, most of the women are Thai."
Oct 04Chiba man stole over 2,000 articles of women's underwear(Japan Probe)
Police in city of Matsudo in Chiba prefecture carefully laid out over 2,000 articles of underwear and footwear seized from the apartment of a man who was caught in the act of stealing panties. The man confessed that he has stolen the clothing from both laundry lines and stores. Apparently he liked to wear it.
Oct 03High school student arrested over arson, murder (AP)
A 15-year-old high school student was arrested Saturday on suspicion of arson and murder after the body of a woman was found in the burned-out site of an apartment in Ikeda, Osaka Prefecture. The first-year student who lived on the second floor of the two-story building was arrested after he told police officials at the scene of the fire that he had started the blaze to retaliate against his parents, the local police said.
Oct 03Princess Masako makes first official public appearance since January(Mainichi)
Crown Princess Masako made her first public appearance outside the palace in about eight months during a cultural event held in Tokyo on Oct. 1. As the Crown Princess arrived at the National Theater in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward together with her husband, Crown Prince Naruhito, she greeted other members of the audience with smiles.
Oct 03Japan arrest two senior prosecutors over tampering (AFP)
Two senior Japanese prosecutors have been arrested on suspicion of covering up alleged evidence-tampering, in a case that has sparked widespread outrage in the law-abiding country. Hiromichi Otsubo, 57, and Motoaki Saga, 49, were arrested late Friday in connection with their alleged covering up of data tampering by their colleague and top prosecutor Tsunehiko Maeda, 43. In a country where state prosecutors enjoy much prestige and boast a conviction rate of more than 99 percent -- a ratio that has drawn concern from civil rights activists -- the case has set off alarm bells.
Oct 02Tokyo film fest to feature 4 world premieres in competition, honor Bruce Lee (Tokyo Reporter)
The 23rd Tokyo International Film Festival will feature four world premieres in competition and pay tribute to martial arts film Bruce Lee with a special series to mark the 70th year of his birth. Fest chairman Tatsumi "Tom" Yoda said at a press luncheon on Thursday that this year will be a pivotal one for the event. "Our mission is to gather films that can convey the power of film," said Yoda at the conference, held at the Roppongi Hills complex in Tokyo's Minato Ward. "This is the jumping stage that will launch us into the future. The high-quality films at this event will be what drives us forward." Kicking off the event on October 23 is "The Social Network," the story of Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of the immensely popular social-working site Facebook. TIFF's week-long run will feature roughly 200 films at theaters in the Roppongi entertainment district and other areas. The closer will be Ben Affleck's "The Town," a bank-heist film set in Boston.

By JS on Oct 14, 2010

tag : Japanese Social News



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