The Ides Of October: Japan’s nuclear reprocessing “dream” is the world’s nightmare

The Rokkasho Nuclear Fuel Cycle PR Center can explain to you why nuclear spent fuel is so hand to have.

The IAEA considers 8kg is enough to make a nuclear weapon. In other words, if the 1% not accounted for (at Rokkasho Spent Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing Plant) was actually stolen, it would be enough material to produce the equivalent of 10 nuclear weapons in a year.

And justice after all? Prosecutor Review Board Say “Charge TEPCO Execs with criminal negligence”

TEPCO executives might possibly be prosecuted for criminal negligence resulting in death and injury over the 3/11 triple nuclear meltdown in Fukushima. But will justice prevail? The odds are as good as there never being another nuclear accident in Japan. Ahem.

However, if the Tokyo Prosecutorial Board again rules that prosecution of the TEPCO executives is warranted then a team of lawyers will be chosen to play the role of the prosecutors and the accused will be charged. An independent government investigatory board concluded in 2013 that the nuclear accident could have been prevented and that TEPCO management was criminally negligent.

Ninkyodo, dude! Even The Yakuza Are Speaking English Now

Ninkyodo

Maybe the detective was right, because while the Yamaguchi-gumi may not have substantially expanded their operations, they are certainly trying to expand their appeal internationally. Recently, they debuted their own English version of the website, NINKYOUDOU (任侠道). Ninkyodo is the supposed to be the philosophy of the yakuza, an ethical code and way of life which places importance on helping the weak and self-sacrifice. The old-school yakuza, while still being essentially criminals, but mostly professional gamblers or street merchants–also maintained a code of honor which forbid theft, robbery, sexual assault, fraud and dealing in drugs. (Of course, racketeering, extortion, and other money-making ventures were not off-limits. Even a noble semi-samurai has to earn a living, right.)

Yakuza Movie Icon Takakura Ken Talks To JSRC About Yakuza Movies. EXCLUSIVE!

昭和残侠伝 破れ傘(プレビュー)

But I think that the reason the general public identified with the roles I played, was that they were struck by my stance as a man who unrelentingly stands up to absurd injustices. It wasn’t just that I was just going off to a sword fight, but that my character was willing to sacrifice himself in order to protect the people important to him. JSRC: Mr. Takakura, you have been called the Clint Eastwood of Japan, what do you think of that?
Ken Takakura: It’s what someone else thinks, so I have no thoughts on the matter. 

Happy New Year Of The Horse 2014 (馬年) Come ride with us!

Happy Year Of The Horse! 
Just get on and let the horse go where it goes.

Japan Subculture Research Center has taken a long sabbatical since December of 2013. We meant to get things off with a bang this January but our editor in chief and assistant editor were both out of commission. So we’re taking the opportunity today to relaunch the website and wish you all a happy Chinese new year. The Chinese new year and once upon a time, the Japanese new year as well, followed the lunar calendar, so today’s new moon (Friday) means we can all say goodbye to the (water) snake year and say hello to the (wooden) horse year!

Underwear designer by day, Underworld yakuza boss by night: The Quiet Don

Underwear designer by day, yakuza by night. The Quiet Don

Nitta Tatsuo’s Shizukanaru Don (静かなるドン), translated into English as The Quiet Don, began publication in November 1988 in the men’s manga magazine Shukan Manga Sunday (Weekly Manga Sunday) and ran until the January 2013 issue when it concluded with a 50 page chapter. Lingerie designer by day, yakuza by night. It’s the ultimate double-life.

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

Exposure_150 (2)

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.”

DJ Police, Save Me Mama Fraud, Big Data: The Words of 2013 Japan

DJ Police

母さん助けて詐欺 — Kāsan tasukete sagi. “Mom, I need help!” frauds are the latest version of scams to target mainly elderly Japanese people. The perpetrator calls the victim claiming to be her child, asking for an urgent transfer of funds to pay for a traffic accident or other emergency.

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 [...]

Tokyo Vice: Interview with Jake Adelstein

The thing about the worst of the yakuza—and they’re not all evil—is that you can’t worry only about your own physical safety. There’s a chance that your friends or loved ones will be brutalized in your place. It’s certainly happened in Japan before, to other journalists. Even if you’re not terrorized physically, they can still ruin your life. Goto-gumi is a great intelligence-gathering organization, and extortion and blackmail are powerful tools to discredit someone or make them shut up—even Japan’s National Police Agency noted the group’s ability to use the media to silence their enemies. In the Goto-gumi’s case, they actually own a private detective agency. That’s not uncommon for organized crime groups in Japan, as is noted in the book. There are many yakuza groups that excel in collecting damaging information on cops and writers who get in their way. This summer in a police raid, the Aichi Police Department found the car registrations of several of their detectives in the offices of the yakuza. In other words, the yakuza know where the detectives live, and probably much more. That’s what makes them formidable entities—because if you cross them, they’ll expose your quirks, fetishes, weaknesses, indiscretions, and mistakes to the world. Failing that, they’ll find someone you care about and ruin their life.