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President of hostess empire busted in Yokohama

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Jan 22President of hostess empire busted in Yokohama
The president of major kyabakura club empire Prince Corporation has been arrested for licensing violations, reports the Yomiuri Shimbun (Jan. 16). President Ryuhi Hayashi (62) of the Kanagawa Prefecture-based firm was taken into custody on Saturday for operating a girl's bar in Yokohama without a proper license under the nationwide Law Regulating Adult Entertainment Businesses. (Tokyo Reporter)
Jan 22Ambivalence as Akihabara pedestrian zone reopens
The return Sunday of the pedestrian-only zone in Tokyo's Akihabara electronics and entertainment district is being watched with a mixture of positive expectation and anxiety. The "pedestrian heaven," as it is called, was suspended following a fatal attack there in June 2008. Before the incident, cars had been blocked from the area starting at noon Sundays and national holidays since 1973. Merchants hope the reopening could bring in more money, but nearby residents are concerned it will also bring back various problems, such as rampant litter and street performances getting out of control. (Japan Times)
Jan 21'K-pop' girl idols striking gold in Japan
Thanks to the Internet and an already established fascination with South Korea's boy bands, young Japanese girls and women are shifting in droves to the latest pop idol sensation - the country's girl groups. Rio Nagasaki, a 15-year-old junior high school student, is among a growing number of fans smitten by South Korean pop music - "K-pop" - performed by artists in her own age group. (Japan Times)
Jan 21Okamoto's plot new album release before summer
After being courted by record labels while still in high school in Tokyo, inking a deal with Sony subsidiary Ariola Japan was an easy decision for Okamoto's. "We signed with Ariola because we thought their logo looked cool," says vocalist Sho Okamoto. While an emblem's design is unlikely to sway more seasoned players, the members of the garage-rock quartet, who are now 19 and 20 years old, seem to have made the right choice. (Japan Times)
Jan 21Waka Inoue-looking H-cup hooker hustling in Yoshiwara
Early birds arriving at clubs within Tokyo's various fuzoku districts appear to nowadays be getting the worm - or more correctly, their worm pulled - and for a lot less, reports Shukan Asahi Geino (Jan. 20). Customers entering the soapland Bunny Club Shy in the Yoshiwara brothel quarter between 7:00 and 8:00 a.m. are entitled to 40 minutes of action for a mere 9,500 yen. The tabloid reports that a line forms 20 minutes before opening. Gals in their 30s and 40s are available, but the article seems particularly intrigued by a lookalike for busty gravure idol Waka Inoue. (Tokyo Reporter)
Jan 217-year-old boy seriously injured in Oita hit-and-run
A man was arrested in connection with a hit-and-run incident which left a 7-year-old boy seriously injured in Hita, Oita Prefecture, on Thursday. Police said a 25-year-old company employee turned himself in and has admitted hitting the child and fleeing the scene. According to police, the incident took place at around 7 a.m. as the boy was walking to school. (Japan Today )
Jan 21Sting enters Taiji fray, urges talks to end cull
Sting wants to help save dolphins still being brutally slaughtered in Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture, but says the best way is by starting a debate, not by forcing foreign opinion. The British rock star met backstage at a Tokyo concert hall Wednesday with Ric O'Barry, the star of Academy Award-winning documentary "The Cove," which depicts Taiji's dolphin slaughter. The two have been friends since the Sundance Film Festival two years ago, where "The Cove" had its first major showing. (Japan Times)
Jan 20K-pop groups hamstrung by contracts
The revolt against their management agency by three members of the popular K-pop girl group KARA laid bare once again the vulnerability of idol groups tied by what have been known as "slave-like contracts" to their agencies, analysts and industry officials said. The latest dispute also underscores the lack of guidelines governing contracts in the Korean showbiz industry although the government has unveiled a series of steps to improve what they called unfair contracts. Some insiders saw it as a tug-of-war the estranged members initiated to amend contract terms to get a bigger portion of the agency's profit with the band's popularity soaring in Japan. (Korea Times)
Jan 20Tongan king meets with emperor, empress at palace
Tongan king George Tupou V had lunch with Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Thursday, the Imperial Household Agency said. The king of the South Pacific island state is in Tokyo to express his gratitude for Japan's assistance to the country, according to the agency. (AP)
Jan 20Number of 'It's me' fraud cases surged 45% to 4,418 in 2010
The number of so-called "It's me" fraud cases recorded by the National Police Agency surged 44.5 percent in 2010 from a year earlier to 4,418, with victims swindled out of a total of 7.92 billion yen, the agency said Thursday. In the "It's me" fraud, criminals target mainly elderly people and swindle them out of cash cards or money by pretending to be relatives, bank officials or policemen. Total bank-transfer swindles, including "It's me" fraud cases, fell 9.6 percent to 6,637 cases with fraud losses amounting to 10.09 billion yen, the agency said. (AP)
Jan 20Intellectually handicapped man induced confession
In what appears to be another serious ethical breach by investigative authorities, a prosecutor apparently induced an intellectually handicapped man to confess to setting fire to a residential building in Osaka, judicial sources said Thursday. A 30-minute DVD recording was made covering part of the prosecutor's interrogation of the 29-year-old man, as the arson case was supposed to be tried in a lay judge court, the sources said. (AP)
Jan 20Churlish cherry boys' circle jerk exploits good-natured gal's generosity
"After I got my first personal computer I was having fun surfing the net, and one day I came across a home page titled 'Take My Male Virginity...please.' I was fascinated by the poor fellow's hard-up situation and decided to meet up with the page's webmaster, a Mr. T." Thus begins an episode from the October issue of women's soft porn mag Ai no Taiken Special Deluxe, as introduced on a regularly featured page of Shukan Bunshun (Sep. 16). Taking pity on T's predicament, she humanely decided to assist in his defloration. (Tokyo Reporter)
Jan 20Japan: Some like it raw
Before I went to Japan, I never imagined myself eating live shell fish, raw oysters and octopus. I have visited so many Asian countries, but somehow never worked Japan into my travel plans. I suppose it is a country that Pakistanis associate with durable cars, electronic wonders, and little else. If we stretch our minds a bit, stereotypical Japanese kimonos or fans might be added to the list. Recently, I was fortunate enough to visit Japan and live for several weeks in the midst of its unique mix of ultramodernity and ancient ways, including the most complicated hi tech toilets I've ever encountered. (tribune.com.pk)
Jan 20Fire brigades thrive with young blood
Fire brigades in mountainous regions of Nagano Prefecture are thriving with plenty of younger members, who see the groups as places to connect with people, even as other brigades in the nation are faced with aging members and declining numbers. The 209-member fire brigade in Minami-Minowamura in the prefecture diligently trains and goes on patrol every day. (Yomiuri)
Jan 19Man stabbed to death; another injured in Nagoya street brawl
One man was killed and another injured in Nagoya early Wednesday morning, following what an eyewitness described as a street brawl, police said. Police said they received an emergency call at around 12:40 a.m. in which the caller said four or five men were fighting with what looked like replica wooden swords in the street in Naka Ward. When police arrived at the scene, they found one man lying unconscious and bleeding and another man bleeding from the head. (Japan Today )
Jan 19Anonymity key in 'Tiger Mask' fad
Hundreds of people, young and old, including some claiming to be homeless, have been making donations to disadvantaged children across the nation for the past few weeks, having apparently discovered the significance of charity with the help of long-forgotten cartoon heroes. The fad, now dubbed "the Tiger Mask Phenomenon," also reveals that there are many individuals who want to help others in need, but Japanese society lacks a functioning mechanism to help them make donations. (Japan Times)
Jan 19Paying respect to the Japanese toilet god
One of the mildly disconcerting surprises awaiting the foreign visitor to Japan is the sheer abundance and creativity of its toilet facilities, public and otherwise. Elsewhere in the world, going into a public restroom could mean unwitting encounters with dirt, filth and danger. At the very least it may imply an interminable wait followed by, for women anyway, fighting for a spot in front of the mirror. (Japan Times)
Jan 19Embassy staffer nailed for stealing
The Foreign Ministry announced Tuesday that a local Japanese employee at the embassy in Colombia embezzled about \1.55 million from commission fees for issuing and renewing passports. The case was brought to the ministry's attention after the Board of Audit pointed out in September that the number of passports issued and the commission revenue didn't match. (Japan Times)
Jan 19Top court backs TV stations over streaming
The Supreme Court on Tuesday overturned lower court rulings and sided with major broadcasters that a Tokyo company is violating copyright laws by streaming Japanese TV programs for people abroad. According to a lower court ruling, the company, Nagano Shoten, has transferred TV programs to clients' personal computers via the Internet, using transmission devices provided by the customers. The devices are connected to the firm's antennas and the Internet. (Japan Times)
Jan 19Gov't sets up special team to tackle issue of social isolation
A special government team aimed at preventing further social isolation of individuals was launched Tuesday, with Prime Minister Naoto Kan saying this initiative is "a national project." The initiative is modeled on the European Union's social inclusion policy. With the team, Kan is hoping to stem the increasing number of people in Japan at risk of poverty and social exclusion. (AP)
Jan 19Renovated American Club reopens
After three years of renovation work, the Tokyo American Club reopened Tuesday at its permanent site in Azabudai, Minato Ward, boasting more floor space, ballroom capacity and parking. During the renovations, the club was moved in January 2008 to a temporary structure in Takanawa, also in Minato Ward. (Japan Times)
Jan 18Flipped x-ray causes surgeon to open hole on wrong side of man's skull
A surgeon at a hospital here opened a hole on the wrong side of a patient's skull after flipping an x-ray, the hospital revealed on Jan. 18. The incident occurred in October of last year. On the evening of Oct. 7, a male patient in his 80s with a collection of blood trapped mainly within the right part of his skull was taken to Nagoya's Higashi Municipal Hospital from another hospital. Because of the urgency of the man's case, x-rays and CT scans taken at the previous hospital were used. (Mainichi)
Jan 18Edo Castle stones found in Sagami Bay
Four large stones believed to have been quarried on Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture more than 400 years ago for the reconstruction and expansion of Edo Castle have been found in Sagami Bay. According to documents, about 3,000 ships carried stones quarried on Izu Peninsula to Edo for the reconstruction project. The four recently discovered stones are highly likely to have fallen off a ship on the way to Edo (modern-day Tokyo) or washed out to sea when they were piled up on the coast. (Yomiuri)
Jan 17Computer glitch halts bullet trains in Japan
A computer glitch halted Japan's bullet train lines early Monday in northern and central regions, the operator said, with cancellations and delays affecting more than 50,000 passengers. The system trouble that shut down the company's computer disrupted the Tohoku, Josetsu, Akita, Yamagata and Nagano Shinkansen bullettrain lines -- five high-speed rail systems covering the northern and central regions. At least three trains were temporarily stranded between stations with passengers on board, public broadcaster NHK reported. (Inquirer )
Jan 17Japan's erotic onsen offerings losing steam but still rise to occasion
Winter's chill may be in full swing up and down Japan, but a visit to one of nation's many onsen (hot spring) resorts is often a simple way to lessen its bite. Naturally, weekly sleaze rag Shukan Jitsuwa (Jan. 20) felt it necessary to offer its readership a six-page guide to getting a little below-the-belt action in the vicinity of a selection of popular destinations. We start in Hokkaido. Nationwide, the emergence of companions has rendered the use of simple barmaids (shakufu) for prostitution to be very rare, says a journalist who covers the onsen biz. The Jozakei Onsen area, located just west of Sapporo, is probably the only one remaining where you can find gals who will pour sake and later pull your pipe. (Tokyo Reporter)
Jan 17Parents plea for end to parental abductions in Japan
Parents torn apart from their children protested in Tokyo on Sunday, calling on the Japanese government to sign an international treaty that would reunite them with their sons and daughters. "Stop parental child abduction," the parents cried. "Sign the Hague Convention." The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Abduction is a multilateral treaty that dates to 1983. It often comes into play when parents divorce, and one parent takes the child back to his or her home country, keeping the child away from the other parent who may have partial or full custody. The treaty effectively forces signatory nations to recognize that custody. (CNN)
Jan 17Ex-yakuza held in vehicular attack in Ibaraki
A disavowed yakuza was arrested Sunday in the death of a man who was killed when a truck rammed the campaign office of an Ibaraki Prefectural Assembly candidate during the election in December. Keiichi Shitara, 43, of Ishioka, Ibaraki Prefecture, was arrested on suspicion of property destruction and theft after police searched a property belonging to his gang and other locations. Shitara denied he was involved in the incident, the police said. (Japan Times )
Jan 17Bruise-like marks found on body of dead 3-year-old girl
Police in Tokyo's Ota Ward received an emergency call on Sunday at around 10 a.m. from the mother of a 3-year-old girl who said that her daughter had stopped breathing. The child, whom police have identified as Megumi Inoue, was taken to hospital after suffering a cardiopulmonary arrest and was later pronounced dead. Megumi's mother was visiting her parents in Kagawa for a few days and the child had been under the care of the mother's boyfriend. (Japan Today )
Jan 17Samurai archers tug at the strings of Japan's heart
Japan's Dosun Festival archery contest is a pleasant Sunday outing for residents of the Miura peninsula. They load kids into strollers, pack bento lunches and make the long hike down a wooded trail to Araihama Beach to watch as athletes dressed as samurai ride armored horses at top speed along a black-sand beach to fire arrows at squares of brittle wood. Held every spring in a coastal village south of Tokyo, the contest at first resembles a sort of Japanese Renaissance Faire, with archers wearing anachronistic hardware: 13th-century costumes of silk robes, animal-pelt skirts, cloth shoes and ribbon-tied hats. The arrows have wooden turnip-shaped heads instead of sharp points. (Washington Post)
Jan 17Lawyer-less lawsuits increasing / Fees, access to information encouraging litigants to go it alone
Despite significant growth in the number of lawyers in recent years, the number of litigants who choose to represent themselves in civil lawsuits has also been rising steadily. According to Supreme Court statistics, 73 percent of civil lawsuits were undertaken without legal representation last year--up 14 percentage points from 2000. This contrasts with the growth of about 80 percent in the number of lawyers over the same period, as a result of reforms to the judiciary system. (Yomiuri)
Jan 16Wildlife protection group receives 300 boxes of acorns for hungry bears
A wildlife protection group here has received some 300 boxes of acorns from across the country as part of its efforts to prevent starving bears from coming down to residential areas. The Japan Bear and Forest Society's Gunma Prefecture branch in Takasaki has so far received about 3.5 metric tons of acorns which it will spread across mountains in the region in a bid to provide more food to bears when they come out of hibernation in the spring. (Mainichi)
Jan 16Popular TV dog 'Kai-kun' now barking out orders as police station 'chief'
"Kai-kun," a white dog popular for his appearance as the father of a human family in a TV commercial series for a mobile phone operator, has served as the "one-day chief" of a police station here. To mark "110 Day" -- representing the emergency number 110 to police -- an event was held at Saitama Prefectural Police's Higashi-Iruma Police Station on Jan. 10, calling on the public to use the emergency service properly. (Mainichi)
Jan 16Woman avenges BF's infidelity tit for tat
"My boyfriend's unable to wean himself from cheating on me. One day I angrily confronted him over having slept with my friend R, and he blithely replied, 'You've never once cheated on me? Why don't you try it then?' I couldn't believe he'd say something like that!" Thus begins another raunchy tale from women's soft porn mag Ai no Taiken Special Deluxe (Dec.), as introduced in Shukan Bunshun (Jan. 20). "So at R's invitation," she continues, "the two of us went out drinking and met up with a pair of guys. She and her guy walked off to somewhere, leaving me alone with a fellow I'll call K." (Tokyo Reporter)
Jan 16Osaka: mecca for foodies, and more
A visit to Osaka is all about enjoyment, entertainment and indulgence - particularly in the fine fare to be found everywhere around its historic sites and along the buzzing neon streets of Japan's food-fueled second city. And so it was that a class of 8-year-olds arrived, on what would surely be their most exciting school trip ever, at the Instant Ramen Museum in the city's Ikeda district. (Japan Times)

By JS on Jan 27, 2011

tag : Japanese Society



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