International Court orders Japan to stop part of its whaling program; Japan wails in protest

Photo: Guillaume Bression / Trois8 / Tokyo-Prod, Wada prt in Minamiboso, Japan

Now that the International Court of Justice has told Japan that in cannot hunt whales as it does now, there is a new concern that the Japanese government will find different ways to prove its whaling is actually for scientific study purposes. And in fact, one worries that as the Japanese government strives to prove they’re correct, the meat taken from the slaughtered whales may just be thrown away without being put on the market, or vanish into darkness (and go into the black market)

Mt.Gox: The Bitcoin Exchange Eruption Timeline

Mt.Gox claimed to be one of the oldest and most reliable Bitcoin exchanges. It didn't quite live up to its PR. It went bankrupt on February 28th.

How did Mt.Gox, once the largest #Bitcoin exchange fall apart and why couldn’t it be saved. (To the best of my knowledge) Magic Trading Cards & Magic Money

The bad aftertaste of Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox’s collapse

Mt.Gox claimed to be one of the oldest and most reliable Bitcoin exchanges. It didn't quite live up to its PR. It went bankrupt on February 28th.

“Essentially,” said the former employee, “Mt. Gox was a dysfunctional organization. Nobody was doing accounting reconciliation and there was an exploitable fault in the transaction system that allowed people to get paid twice—or in other words, withdraw more or less the same amount of Bitcoins two times. Think of it this way—if Bitcoins were like frozen hamburger patties being served at a diner with a touchscreen menu, someone figured out that by tapping the screen twice you could get two hamburgers for the price of one. One day someone at the diner went to the freezer and realized that they were completely out of hamburgers—and they’d only served half the customers they thought they had.”

Stalking in Japan: Another needless death

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(This was originally posted on February 18th, 2014. A day later, a woman in Gunma Prefecture was most probably shot to death by her stalker)  February 21st, 2014 . Updated again on February 22nd, 2014.  Stalking in Japan is a serious problem and the laws can’t seem to catch up with it. On the 19th [...]

Japan Passes Draconian Secrecy Bill Into Law: Journalists, Whistleblowers are now “terrorists”

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Of course, every country has a fundamental right to protect its citizens’
interests and there is an obvious need for some issues relating to national
security to be secret. However, it is the vague definition in the new bill
of what actually constitutes a state secret which potentially gives
officials carte blanche to block the release of information on a vast range
of subjects. In essence, anything which makes a journalist in Japan
even more uncomfortable with exposing wrongdoing, wherever it may exist, is
a worrying development when transparency and openness should be the way
forward.”

Japan’s Secrecy Bill: Designed by Kafka & Inspired by Hitler?!!

Whistleblowers and journalist face up to ten years in jail for exposing anything the Japanese government declares "a special secret." And what is a "special secret"--that is also secret.

Legal experts note that even asking pointed questions about a state secret, whether you know or don’t know it’s a secret, could be treated as “instigating leaks” and the result in an arrest and a possible jail term up to five years. Of course, the trial would be complicated since the judge would not be allowed to know what secret the accused was suspected of trying to obtain.

Japan: Even The Secrecy Bill Briefing Is Secret; Abe-gumi Pushes Ominous Secrecy Bill Towards Law

Thousands of Japanese citizens have been protesting the Secrecy Bill since last week. The response of the ruling party's Shigeru Ishiba was to label them as "terrorists."  (photo by Alissa Toyosaki)

Japan’s Ruling Coalition Government Seeks to Pass Controversial Bill As Fast As Possible While Opposition At Home and Abroad Grows and Support For Abe Government Wanes. Japan’s Secrecy Law, Designed by Kafka and inspired by Hitler.

Book Review: Tokyo Underworld–a classic on the dark side of Japan

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There are very few gaijin (foreigners) who know what happens on the dark side of the rising sun like Robert Whiting. Whiting is an American author and journalist living in Japan, one of the rare ones who has written great books published in both English and Japanese language after he first set foot in Japan [...]

Japanese rockers sing the truth about post-meltdown Fukushima. Is anyone listening?

Tepco employees facing Fukushima citizens questions

“We’re living in a material world. A radioactive material world, ” jokes the lead singer. “This isn’t the future we hoped for.” They released their second mini-album “Living in a Radioactive Material World” this year. The title song has the punch of early Clash, the vocals on the acoustic song, “アスノメ (the eye of tomorrow) are smoky, poignant and reminiscent of Marianne Faithful–if she had been a protest singer. The live recording of 打ち砕いて (Knock it down) has in the background the enthusiastic cheers from the Fukushima local high school kids, who find their despair voiced in the lyrics of the band.

Kigu/奇遇: Synchronicity & The Police Beat. An unpublished chapter of TOKYO VICE

Tokyo Vice

奇遇 (Kigu) an unpublished chapter of Tokyo Vice: An American On The Police Beat in Japan Today (October 14th) marks the 3rd anniversary of the publication of my first book. It also marks the fourth anniversary of former Yamaguchi-gumi mob boss, Goto Tadamasa’s expulsion from the Yamaguchi-gumi. Two important days in my short life.  There [...]