Yet another quake for northern Japan

M7.1 quake hits Hokkaido, 14 injured
A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.1 rocked eastern areas of Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost main island, early Monday, injuring at least 14 people.
The quake also jolted a wide area of Japan ranging from the Tohoku to Kanto regions…

Marie Antoinette is Japan’s favorite queen

Japan's true queen
TOKYO, JAPAN: This handout picture released from Shochiku shows Japanese actress Mao Daichi, wearing a richly-embroidered dress, performing as French tragic Queen Marie Antoinette at a Tokyo theater. Japan’s love of Marie Antoinette is notable compared to other countries. Japanese audiences are attracted to her dramatic and tragic life.

Japan Uses Submarine Incident To Whip Up Anti-Chinese Nationalism

Japan Uses Submarine Incident To Whip Up Anti-Chinese Nationalism.
‘In the early hours of November 10, a Chinese submarine was detected intruding into Japanese territorial waters off the Okinawa islands, some 1,600 kilometers southwest from Tokyo. The incident rapidly escalated into a full-blown diplomatic row as the entire Japanese political establishment stirred up fear and suspicion with alarmist statements about the Chinese military threat on Japan’s doorstep. An examination of the events reveals that the alarm was largely fabricated….
Chinese sub

Japan’s Economic Recovery May Be Ended by Yen’s Gain

The yen rose as high as 102.01 against the dollar last week, its strongest since January 2000. The yen below 105 to the dollar will further reduce profits of exporters, Hiroshi Okuda, head of the Japan Business Federation, said on Nov. 22.
Japan’s 18-month expansion is already faltering. The economy grew 0.1 percent last quarter, the slowest pace in more than a year….”The economy isn’t going to have anything to rely on for growth,” Shirota said in an interview on Nov. 24. “Should the yen stabilize at this level, the currency will be a negative factor for exports.”

Japanese Netcasts Create Ballball Games for One

Netcasts throw ball clubs a curveball
….Rakuten Golden Eagles plan to offer live Internet coverage of games at its Miyagi Stadium in Sendai. It will provide users with multi-angle footage they can choose from, while also making available stats on players involved. Netcasts covering games until they finish also offer an alternative to TV coverage, which frequently ends while play is still in progress… In Japan, there are lots of ideas that have to be tried out, like letting visitors choose to watch only the player they want to see instead of the entire game …

Drunk Driving instructor

Instructor arrested for driving drunk on wrong side of highway
FUJIEDA, Shizuoka — A driving school instructor was arrested on Monday for driving under the influence of alcohol in the wrong direction on a national highway and triggering a traffic accident involving three other vehicle….

{Taro: Unlike other countries, Japanese driving instructors are ex-cops and are thought of as “officials of the court”.}

Sony ‘claiming’ Playstation shortages

Sony Playstation shortage predicted
PSPs hard to find

THE PORTABLE PLAYSTATION from Sony appears to be so rare and sought after that finding machines is turning into a quest, according to a report.
Sony, while scoring massive points on the PR/hype front for the PSP, seems to have lost out on the distribution front with huge shortages predicted.
Japan’s ITMedia news service reports that Sony has already told major retailers about the number of systems that they will be getting in time for launch and many are complaining that they will not have any. …

Japan has a “School Lunch Law”

School Lunch Law
School lunches teach kids to eat right
….the School Lunch Law was implemented 50 years ago, meals schools provided for students have diversified to a surprising degree as part of an effort on the part of educators to make children think more about what and how they eat….

Digital broadcasting is being shoved down Japanese consumers’ throuts

Digital broadcasting catching on quickly
….the nation will mark its first anniversary on Dec. 1 as an increasing number of customers tune in to the new service and digital TV set sales continue to be brisk.
But some hurdles must be cleared before 2011, when the current analog format TV broadcasting will be replaced….

Screaming squeaker leads Japan’s charge at world junior meet

Ai Fukuhara
Table Tennis: ‘Ai-chan’ leads Japan’s charge at world junior meet
Ai Fukuhara, who finished in the last 16 at the Athens Olympics, helped Japan advance past the preliminary round of the women’s team competition Sunday on the opening day of the table tennis world junior championships.