Japan’s Female Police Commissioner worked with racist & sexist newspaper?

NOTE: This article has been corrected after a reader pointed out that the Eriko Yamatani corner was written by a Zaitokukai  former executive and associate Shigeo Masuki and not Ms. Yamatani herself. Recently appointed head of Japan’s Public Safety Commission, Eriko Yamatani 山谷えり子, who oversees all of Japan’s police forces, may be inappropriate to deal with Japan’s domestic violence issues—among other things. She... Read More

AKB48: A Microcosm Of Dark Corporate Japan. Sexual exploitation of child labor is sooo cute. (Book review)

One of the first things you’ll notice about the Japanese – men AND women – is the apparent lack of awareness regarding issues like gender and racial discrimination, worker exploitation, social injustice and other stuff that have western observers of our culture taking one look and scratching their heads. That stuff about a member of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly yelling out harassment remarks to a female politician while the... Read More

Ninkyodo, dude! Even The Yakuza Are Speaking English Now

You may remember this this year, Japan’s largest organized crime group, the Yamaguchi-gumi, launched its own website in Japan. But as I wrote in the article on April 1st for VICE News, if you were hoping to see guys covered in tattoos, epic gun battles, bloody sword fights, and fingers being chopped off — as one might— it wasn’t so exciting. And it was in Japanese only. There were other minor problems with the initial effort. Learn... Read More

TEPCO makes $4.3 Billion in 2013 despite meltdown. Crime doesn’t pay, criminal negligence does

TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company) announced a profit of ¥43.2 billion ($4.3 billion) for the 2013 fiscal year. It is the first time the company moved into the black since an earthquake and tsunami crippled the reactors, leading to a nuclear meltdown in March of 2011. Despite a drop in electricity sales due to higher than usual winter temperatures, overall sales increased 11 percent from the previous fiscal year due to a rate increase and fuel... Read More

Japan’s Designated Secrets Law: All you ever wanted to know but should be afraid to ask. (LOL)

On December 7th, the ruling bloc of the Japanese government passed into law a Secrecy bill which many feel threatens freedom of the speech and the freedom of the press. For those who are interested in finding more about Japan’s Designated Secrets Law, here are source materials that you may find useful.  These are material distributed to the foreign press by the Cabinet Office last week before the bill became law. The Abe cabinet promised to... Read More

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

December 5th, Tokyo We’re late, We’re late for a very important date We have no time for reasoned debate We’re late, We’re late…   The Japanese government came very close to passing the ominous new Designated Secrets Bill today, when the Upper House Committee cut off debate around 4pm and forced a vote. The law punishes journalists and whistleblowers who divulge government secrets with up to ten years in prison, and up to five years for... Read More

ABEGNOMICS: The Most Magical And Mysterious Economic Policy In The World!

Japan is populated by magical creatures. There are the leprechauns that stole millions from Olympus, Lehman Brothers Japan–then a billion dollars from AIJ and MRI and then vanished. There are also the alchemist gnomes like Abe and Horie that manage to make money out of thin air (or hot air). Follow the rainbow, kids! A pot of platinum yen coins is waiting for you.   We’ll admit it. We  just don’t understand Prime Minister Shinzo... Read More

Why Abe & Adult Diapers Make Shorting Japanese Yen A Sweet-Smelling Deal! (Op-Ed)

As many of you know, the lower hours elections were held in Japan today and the LDP and New Komeito Alliance scored a clear victory. It means the likely return of Shinzo Abe aka Mr. Bond, Japan Bond, to his starring role as prime minister of the country. Financial blogger and twitterdachi, Finansakrobat has a piece on the economic repercussions worth reading (while at your desk or in the bathroom.)  Reprinted with his kind permission. DECEMBER... Read More

“The name is Bond. Japan Bond.” Abe returns as Agent .007 in “Yenwrecker”

I was reading an article today about how the return of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, now head of the LDP, as the new Prime Minister, could be absolutely devastating in terms of the value of Japanese bonds. Yes, I was actually reading a finance article. Not that I claim to fully understand it but then again, it’s not completely over my head either. Here’s the first two paragraphs:   Bond Risk at Month High on Specter of Abe Spending:... Read More