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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

8 things you might not know about Jamaica / Japan praises relationship with Jamaica / Japanese ladies reveal the top five date ideas to avoid

8 things you might not know about Jamaica

by Oliver Hill - CNN

Unless you've been stuck in a mine shaft or visiting a distant planet for the past few decades, chances are you've heard of Bob Marley and Usain Bolt and can identify both as the most famous sons of Jamaican soil.

Beyond reggae and track icons, however, there are many fascinating things less widely known about "Jamrock" that make this island of just 3 million people stand out. Here are eight things to know for starters:

1) James Bond's birthplace

Ian Fleming conjured up and penned the thrilling international spy novels known the world over by their larger-than-life, women- and evildoer-conquering protagonist, James Bond, in Oracabessa, a sleepy village in the parish of St. Mary on Jamaica's north coast. Fleming named his rustic property Goldeneye after a World War II operation in which he'd taken part as an intelligence officer. An avid birder, Fleming took 007's name from the American author of "Birds of the West Indies."

The first James Bond film, "Dr. No," was filmed in Jamaica, where the villain's lair, actually a bauxite storage facility owned by Noranda, is hard to miss in Discovery Bay.
And later in the film, Ursula Andress walked out of the surf and into movie history at one of Jamaica's most spectacular beaches, Laughing Waters, located just west of Ocho Rios, where cool river water cascades directly into the warm Caribbean sea.
After Fleming's death, his Goldeneye property was sold to Island Records founder Chris Blackwell, who has transformed it into Jamaica's most exclusive boutique hotel and villa resort.

2) Roots of banana trade and Caribbean tourism

Jamaica gave birth to the global banana trade and Caribbean tourism. In the late 1800s, steamships began plying routes between the Northeast United States and the parishes of St. Thomas, Portland and St. Mary in northeast Jamaica.
When these steamships began carrying passengers seeking relief from the New England winter on the southbound journey, Caribbean tourism was born.

Steamship captain Lorenzo Dow Baker was a pioneer in the banana trade and served as president of the Boston Fruit Company, which later became United Fruit Company through a merger and more recently became Chiquita Brands International.
The banana industry waned in Jamaica in the face of crop disease and larger, more competitive plantations established in Central America. Today the island's largest banana grower is Jamaica Producers, a locally held company that targets domestic and international markets with a range of agricultural products.


3) Delicious coffee

Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee is among the most prized, and expensive, in the world, fetching upwards of U.S.$30 a pound.
High elevation cloud forests make for an ideal long growing season and slow maturation period for coffee berries, ultimately yielding beans with a strong, full-bodied flavor void of the bitterness typical of coffee grown in other regions.
Japanese coffee connoisseurs are the leading buyers of Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee, which is a registered international trademark like Champagne, and regulated by Jamaica's Coffee Industry Board.
One of the best ways to learn about and taste Jamaica's coffee is with a farm or factory tour. The Twyman family's Old Tavern Estate is an excellent option, offering visitors a trip back in time to the days of small-scale cottage industry production.
The Sharp family operates the neighboring Clifton Mount coffee farm with a slightly larger scale, more industrialized business.
Mavis Bank Coffee Factory also offers tours. The buzzing factory buys its beans from thousands of farmers and is the largest industrial coffee processing and roasting operation in the Blue Mountains that opens its doors to visitors.

4) Few Rastafarians

While locked hair might be the most famous "do" associated with the island, Jamaican adherents to the Rastafarian movement make up less than 2% of the population, actually just 1.1%, according to the CIA World Factbook.
The iconic natural hairstyles associated with Rastafarians are anything but the norm on the island, where instead, chemically treated straightened hair, extensions, weaves and wigs are the norm for women, and most men rock short-cropped coifs.

5) A refuge for exiled Jews and religious diversity

Jamaica became a refuge for exiled Jews fleeing the Spanish Inquisition. The Spanish crown, which ruled the island between 1492 and 1655, took a more relaxed stance on religious freedom, or at least a "don't ask, don't tell" approach.
Kingston's active synagogue attests to the island's small, yet prominent, Jewish community today.
Today Jamaica has more churches per capita than any other country. The Anglican Church played a significant role during the slave period in maintaining order on the island and quelling discontent, while the Baptist Church, on the other hand, fueled slave uprisings ultimately leading to emancipation in 1834.
It would be difficult to find a religion not represented in Jamaica, and where a church structure doesn't exist, Jamaicans are inclined to erect a tent for pop-up service.
Pentecostals, Moravians, Catholics, Methodists, Seventh Day Adventists, Revivalists, Muslims, Hindus, Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses are all well represented, among numerous other faiths and denominations.


6)  Marijuana is illegal in Jamaica

Despite the ubiquitous posters of Bob Marley and Peter Tosh with burning joints dangling from their mouths, marijuana is still illegal in Jamaica.
But its legal status is slowly evolving. This year legislation was introduced to decriminalize marijuana use and develop a regulated medical and recreational marijuana industry following similar U.S. initiatives in Colorado and Washington State.
The movement to decriminalize has been led in the political sphere by Minister of Justice Mark Golding, who announced in June that people carrying up to 2 ounces of pot will only be hit with a small fine, rather than be charged, and the infraction wouldn't result in a police record.
Jamaicans with police records attributable to marijuana use charges will have their names cleared, enabling them to seek formal employment and travel visas.


7) Jamaica is more than sun and sand

The original name Xaymaca, bestowed by its original Taino inhabitants, means "land of wood and water," fitting for a mountainous island endowed with several distinct climatic zones, from arid near-desert conditions complete with sand dunes along the south coast to tropical rain forest in the northeast to high elevation alpine areas where nighttime temperatures fall below freezing in the Blue and John Crow Mountains.
This climatic diversity and abundant fresh water from subterranean springs and rivers crisscrossing every parish, affords the relatively small island excellent conditions for growing a wide range of crops.
A hike up to Blue Mountain Peak is a great way to take a break from the beach and get a bit of a workout.
On a clear day, the summit affords spectacular views of Kingston and the coastline of several parishes meeting the Caribbean sea to the East, North and South. The Blue Mountains also provide bird watchers an opportunity to spot many of the island's 280 species, 30 of which are endemic.

8) Jamaican food is reason enough to visit the island

While the country may be known for its jerk seasoning, which features local agricultural products like pimento (allspice) and hot Scotch bonnet peppers, Jamaican cuisine has much more to offer and the island's lively foodie culture may be the best representation of its national motto, "Out of Many, One People."
The influence of Indian cuisine is hard to miss, and curried goat, shrimp, lobster or vegetables are staples.
Of course the seafood is hard to beat, with escovitch snapper borrowing elements from Spanish cuisine, while the accompaniment of fried bammy, made from cassava root, couldn't be more local, as it was a staple starch for the original Taino inhabitants.
The abundant fresh produce and quality of the ingredients on the island make it a natural manufacturing center for entrepreneurs concocting a wide array of sauces and preserves for the local market and export. Pickapeppa may be the most widely known condiment produced in Jamaica, but other more recent products on the scene, from Walkerswood to Belcour Preserves, are every bit as good.
To get a taste of Jamaica's best flavors, stop by Belcour in Maryland district in the Blue Mountains to sample mouthwatering chutneys, pepper sauces and preserves and walk among citrus orchards, orchid gardens and the apiary, or spend a few nights on the town in Kingston to sample the island's best restaurants.
Jakes boutique resort in Treasure Beach holds regular farm-to-table dinners that are lively affairs featuring a rotating cast of guest chefs.



Hai! - Japan praises relationship with Jamaica

BY DONNA HUSSEY-WHYTE - Jamaica Observer

Twenty-five years after opening its embassy in Kingston and providing more than US$500 million in loans, US$16 million in grants, and just under US$88 million in technical co-operation, technology powerhouse Japan says that it is pleased with the relationship it shares with Jamaica.

"Jamaica and Japan have a good relationship," declared Takano Takeshi, director general of the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA), while addressing a group of Caribbean journalists in Tokyo.
"We have two pillars of assistance for Jamaica which are environmental disaster risk management and social inequality correction. These, of course, are based on bilateral dialogue between the two governments, and so it is our policy to first define which areas are priority under the partner country government policy," he explained, noting that the assistance programme allows Japan to lend its technical expertise for various projects, and facilitates the training of Jamaican professionals.

Where disaster prevention is concerned, he said that Japan will shortly unveil a grant programme aimed at improving Jamaica's emergency communication system.
"Based on the request from the Jamaican Government we will have one study in the first half of the 2015 calendar year, to see what we could contribute. For example, nationwide digital radio communication systems and also early warning and alarm systems so that the relevant authorities, and eventually the citizens themselves, could have all this crucial information regarding disaster risk and disasters which are approaching in a more rapid, efficient and stable manner," Takeshi explained.
"We know that Jamaica has already installed this kind of communication system and the [Jamaican] Government has decided to improve the system. And, for that purpose, we wish to contribute to the Government's policy with our grant aid assistance," he emphasised.

The JICA director general further said that, under phase two of the new programme that will be rolled out in the second half of 2015, a Japanese expert will be dispatched to Jamaica and other Caribbean territories to give advice on disaster management.
"So the amount of co-operation through JICA is very substantial when it comes to Jamaica," Takeshi emphasised.
He pointed to the 363 Japanese volunteers who have been dispatched to Jamaica over the 25-year relationship -- the most among Caribbean Community (Caricom) member states.
He explained that Japan, through JICA, establishes as a rule that it must help partner governments train people -- engineers, technicians, and experts -- in specific fields so that they can operate and maintain facilities donated to Jamaica and other member countries by Japan.

"So far, donations of equipment through our grant aid assistance and human resources through our technical assistance come hand-in-hand," Takeshi said.
"We always pursue both physical infrastructure and equipment in a parallel form with the capacity movement of those people responsible for this equipment. So, we make it a rule to work that way and our partner country governments have been responding very positively. As our prime minister has stated, Caricom member countries have been and will always be extremely important for us. And we at JICA are determined to execute what the prime minister has stated when he visited the region in July," he added.
Asked whether aid to Caricom would stop should a new government come into power in the expected December elections, Takeshi said whatever the outcome of the polls it is his desire that aid will continue, and that Japan continues to work even more closely with Caricom countries, regardless of who is sitting in the prime minister's chair.



Japanese ladies reveal the top five date ideas to avoid

By Evie Lund - Japan Today

Dating these days is a complete minefield, and nowhere more so than in Japan. There’s a lot of stress put on guys to impress a girl with their choice of date spot. Sure, you can get away with cute cafe dates with yummy tea and cake during the “getting to know you” phase, but after that the onus is pretty much always on the guy to come up with something enjoyable each time. In fact, indecisiveness when it comes to date decisions is a major turn-off for Japan’s ladies, according to a survey conducted by Livedoor.

To avoid potential dating disasters next time you’re in Japan, here are the top five dates to avoid if you don’t want her to run screaming.

1. Movie Theater Date

Seeing a movie together may be a classic staple of the dating world, but it seems that Japan’s ladies aren’t impressed. If you’ve been to a movie theater in Japan, you’ll know that it’s basic etiquette to be completely silent throughout the film (and sit and watch the credits all the way through, even if there’s no extra scenes after). What this equates to is a date conducted in absolute silence, which the surveyees apparently find rather a waste of time. “I don’t like it if I have to be silent. I want to talk to him,” bemoans one lady. Of the 249 people surveyed, a significant 9.6% of them singled out movie theater dates as a definite no-no.

2. Amusement Park Date

Next on our list is a date to an amusement park. What could go wrong? You’ve got rides to ride, cute things to buy, themed food to eat… but according to 4.4% of the survey participants, girls would prefer going to an amusement park with their friends. Furthermore, one participant claimed that “going to an amusement park on a date is too exhausting.”
3. Pool/Beach Date

Unsurprisingly in body-conscious Japan, going for a swim with your sweetie is something most would rather avoid. “a) I don’t want to wear a swimsuit in front of him. b) I don’t want to get sunburnt. And c) it’s just too much to deal with”, states one survey participant. “I worry about whether I’ve got any visible body hair and also about my figure,” explains another. Hmm, it seems it’s better to err on the side of caution and plan dates that your lady friend can participate in fully-clothed. It’s just good manners.
4. Karaoke Date
If you’re the kind of person who couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket, you’ll probably understand how this one could be a bit awkward. However, it appears that Japanese women are more concerned about second-hand embarrassment than their own singing skills. “If he’s a terrible singer, I worry about how I’ll be able to keep a straight face,” one participant explains. Having to be careful about the choice of song material was another concern – what if he thinks you have terrible taste in music? Actually, it’s all a bit too risky, isn’t it? Better skip this one.

5. Car Date
This one might sound a bit weird if you’re from a country where everyone drives everywhere, but in Japan, where public transport is so consistently reliable, not everyone owns a car. In fact, owning a car is a bit of a status symbol, especially in a built-up area like Tokyo. So it’s no surprise that the suggestion of a romantic drive smacks of being a bit of a try-hard. “When it’s just the two of us in his car, it feels a bit awkward,” explains one participant. “What if I get car-sick?” panics another.
Also on the list of dates that don’t impress Japanese ladies much: walking around Akihabara (“It’s not interesting!”), going to a game center/arcade (“I don’t understand how to have fun there”), going to an izakaya/pub (“It’s too loud, the atmosphere is all wrong”), going for a walk in the park in summer (“Bugs! Bugs will sting me!”), and going to an onsen/hot spring (“Since we can’t go in together, what’s the point?”)

Hilarious Comment ......

"Funny, there's no mention of the "Drag me to a cheap love motel" date. I guess that would be okay then. Also not mentioned are the "Take me shopping at Louis Vuitton" date, or the "Get approved credit for this expensive jewelry" date."

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Random Events Update...Toyama, International Festival 2014, Halloween Parties,

Random Events Update...

These are one of those random updates I spoke about.

So to help ease the boredom in Toyama, I decided to host a Party in Toyama. It will be on Saturday, November 15th (tomorrow). So if you want to stop by from where ever ... Please feel free.... cost is 1500 yen with one free drink.

Day 2403 (Short Presentation)
Saturday, October 18, 2014

Did a 20 mins presentation at a company training meeting.



Day 2411 (Chorus Competition)
Saturday, October 25, 2014

For the first time in over 6 years living in Japan, I watched the famed Junior high school chorus competitions. It was really good. The singing from these students was nothing short of amazing. 

My friend drew a picture of me and my mom. Today was her birthday.

Also went to a halloween party in the night. Where am I in the pic? Not really my kinda thing but anything to get out of the apartment.



Day 2421 ( Snow on The Mountains )
Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Took a random photo of the moon and the mountains with snow ..... Recently the mountains are getting whiter and whiter, go figure.....



Day 2426 ( Toyama International Festival )
Sunday, November 9, 2014

Performed 3 dub poems at the Toyama International Festival. Here is the video.

You need the occasional photo bomb yah know !

No idea who this lady was



Day 2429 (Soccer in The Rain)
Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Went in the cold rain today to play soccer. It was amazing... I'm in pain now and it was a bit far away but really good work out and enjoyed it thoroughly.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Africa without Ebola / Japan - Home to Many Pedophiles / Man Attack Student and Steals Her Skirt

Map: The Africa without Ebola

by Adam Taylor - Washington Post

(Anthony England / @EbolaPhone

"Ebola is a frightening, unpredictable disease. Nearly 5,000 West Africans have died from the current outbreak with more than 13,000 people thought infected.
However, so far the problem remains largely limited to Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. Two other countries, Nigeria and Senegal, have had cases, yet are now Ebola-free. The DR Congo had an outbreak of a different strain of Ebola that now looks like it might be contained. And while there has been one case of the disease in Mali, the patient died and no others have been confirmed at the time of writing -- though that may well change.
Despite clear geographical limits to the Ebola outbreak, many Americans seem confused. How else could you explain the recent Ebola scare that kept two children who had moved from Rwanda to New Jersey from attending school, despite the fact the East African country is Ebola-free (and further from West Africa than New Jersey is to Texas)? Or the resignation of a teacher in Kentucky due to a backlash to her traveling to Kenya? Or the significant cancellation of tourist trips to places like Kenya, Zimbabwe and South Africa?
These countries are nowhere near the West African countries where Ebola is actually a problem. Frustrated by this, Anthony England, a British chemist who earned a doctorate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has spent a significant amount of time in sub-Saharan Africa, decided to make a map to help explain what countries currently have Ebola cases and which don't. You can see the map above.
England has some relevant back story here as well: "I used to run scientific conferences in West Africa, to make leading scientific researchers, and problem solvers in general, in the West all the more aware of the pressing concerns of the developing world," he explains in an e-mail. While his company, Mangosteen, ultimately wound down almost 10 years ago, he now sees the Ebola outbreak as proof that the West needs to pay more attention to what happens in Africa.

"In the case of this Ebola outbreak, a problem which does not yet have a scientific solution and which started in a village in the developing world is actually visiting New York City and the West," he writes. "Eventually the rich world will realize that it makes no sense to leave one part of the world struggling in poverty with such terrible national infrastructures. Before it's done, this Ebola outbreak might teach them all that."
Ultimately, it was frustration that led England to make the map and share it on his Twitter account, which he uses to post information about Ebola. It has since spread around the Internet, with his initial postretweeted hundreds of times.
"Ignorance & misinformation is a big problem with Ebola. So a clueless Kentucky school causing the resignation of a teacher because she spent time in Kenya is just idiocy," he writes, "And that idiocy leads to fear which leads to people like Chris Christie implementing nonsensical anti-science quarantine restrictions. Ebola in the U.S. is becoming a farce."
Of course, there are some caveats to the map. England's decision to not include Mali or the DR Congo, despite the fact neither have been declared free of Ebola, has caused some thoughtful criticism. England writes that he understands the criticism, but his point still stands: "There are only 3 problem countries, and the world needs to know that," he explains.
It's a fair point. Africa is a vast, under-covered continent and Westerners often have trouble understanding its geography. Earlier this year, The Washington Post ran an online quiz that asked our readers to name African nations. The results were not heartening:

For added perspective, it's worth looking at a map first published in 2010 by cartographer Kai Krause. Keep it in mind when thinking of Ebola and Africa."




The fuel for Japan’s pedophiles

By J.S. - Japan Today

"Amazon Japan, Yahoo! Shopping and Rakuten, Japan’s top Internet shopping networks, are exploiting children. That’s right. Young children.
I am a mother of three kids, ages 6 and under. On October 6, with my kids next to me, I typed the keyword “candy” into the Amazon Japan website, trying to find some cool Halloween loot. (The candy at the international supermarkets is WAY overpriced). However, no actual candy made it in the top 20 hits.

Instead, I saw a little girl, about the age of my first grade daughter, in panties, legs splayed in a sexual position. For sale: a pornographic photo book and DVD.  This must be a glitch that Amazon has overlooked, I thought. Knowing that the right thing to do would be to report such content, I clicked on the link so I could report the seller to Amazon. And guess what happened next? Suggested content of EVEN MORE, WORSE images came up. I lost my appetite and began to shake out of shock and anger.

I posted my experience on my blog and I was flooded with people saying that they had similar experiences. Some news networks conducted the same search and came up with the same results, documenting this with screenshots.
After filing an IMMEDIATE complaint with Amazon Japan, these products from Candy Doll Collection, a child pornographic series with a cult following, were removed from their site.
It took a week, a very angry blog entry, and a threat of mass media. A WEEK.

However, they only removed the specific publisher I complained about, not similar content. There is appalling content still on their site. If you don’t believe me, try typing in keywords such as Idol Farm, Candy Doll Collection, U12 アイドル, ジュニアアイドル
But it is not just Amazon. The same content comes up on Yahoo Shopping and Rakuten, two other major shopping networks here in Japan. All publicly traded companies.
If they won’t do the right thing for legal reasons, perhaps they will listen to their customers and shareholders.

Amazon, Rakuten, Yahoo Shopping. Please remove this content. Not in a week. Now. Next, report what you are doing to prosecute the sellers, publishers, modeling agencies involved, parents allowing their children to do this - they are all criminals. Next, tell the public what you will do to prevent this from happening again. And if you want to take it a step further, give the police a list of the perverts who buy this crap. Because they all are pedophiles.
In light of the kidnapping, rape and murder of the 6-year-old girl in Kobe, we need to think about what fuels these type of pedophiles. And, sadly, I believe that Japan’s top shopping networks add fuel to the fire.

I am updating my blog with updates on how the networks are responding and have started a petition to remove this content. Your voices are welcome and I am forwarding tips I get from readers now to appropriate authorities."




Man attacks student, steals her skirt in Ibaraki

Japan Today

A 15-year-old girl was assaulted by a man who stole her school uniform skirt in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, police said Thursday.

According to police, the girl was walking to school when a man came up behind her, grabbed her by the shoulders and started punching her in the face, TV Asahi reported. When the girl fell to the ground, the assailant removed her skirt and then ran away.

The girl used her cell phone to call police. She was taken to hospital with a broken nose, police said.
The assailant is described as being in his 30s or early 40s, chubby, about 170 cms tall and was wearing a black jacket. He also wore glasses.

Police said the attack took place in a farming area and there was no one else around at the time.


Monday, November 3, 2014

Tim Cook - Apple's CEO a Proud Gay / Underwear Peeking Pub in Trouble because of Licencing ? / Hashimoto - Mayor of Osaka Having Shouting Match with Head of Racist Group

Apple’s Tim Cook Says That He Is ‘Proud to Be Gay’

by Mike Isaac - New York times

Timothy D. CookApple’s chief executive, said he was “proud to be gay” in an essay published early Thursday, becoming by far the most prominent executive of a public company to come out.
“Let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me,” Mr. Cook wrote in the essay, published by Bloomberg Businessweek.
Mr. Cook, 53, has never spoken publicly about his sexual orientation in the many years he has worked in the spotlight at Apple.
In his essay, Mr. Cook also noted that he had spent much of his life trying to keep his personal matters private, which is why he had not previously spoken in public about his sexual orientation.
“Apple is already one of the most closely watched companies in the world,” he wrote, “and I like keeping the focus on our products and the incredible things our customers achieve with them.”
While he has never talked about it publicly, Mr. Cook’s sexuality has been a widely open secret in Silicon Valley. In private forums, he has alluded to facing difficulties growing up as a young man in Alabama, where he was raised for much of his childhood. He has said that human rights and dignity are values that need to be acted upon.
With his essay, Mr. Cook becomes the most prominent gay man in the corporate world, joining a very short list of openly gay executives at public companies. He also defies corporate sexual identity norms; 83 percent of gay, lesbian and bisexual people hide aspects of their identity at work, according to a Deloitte report.

Silicon Valley, and technology companies in particular, have taken largely progressive stances on gay rights and advancement in the workplace. Companies like Google, Facebook and Apple participate regularly in San Francisco’s annual gay pride parade. And many of these companies, including Twitter, Intel and Apple, offer more inclusive health benefits packages to gay employees and their partners.

Activist groups were quick to praise Mr. Cook for his essay, while lauding Apple’s progressive history. “Tim Cook’s announcement today will save countless lives,” the Human Rights Campaign, America’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights group, said in a statement. “He has always been a role model, but today millions across the globe will draw inspiration from a different aspect of his life.”
As Apple’s chief executive, he has publicly pushed for marriage equality in its workplace, and had consistently enacted progressive policies to encourage gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender candidates to work for the company.
Apple has publicly supported a workplace equality bill in California, site of the company’s headquarters, and spoke against a bill passed in Arizona which Apple said discriminated against the gay community.
Mr. Cook recently gave a speech in Alabama, in which he denounced his home state’s history of human rights and addressed its record of inequality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals.




Tokyo cops bust underwear-peeping pub on licensing charges

Tokyo Reporter

Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Thursday announced the bust of a risque bar in Machida City for licensing violations, reports Jiji Press (Oct. 30).
On Monday, officers raided Girl's Bar Baby Doll, and took Hiromichi Mori, the 33-year-old manager, into custody for offering services under the adult-entertainment law while licensed as a drinking establishment.
Upon a customer's request, the hostesses, seated behind a counter, will change into one of several costumes, including school-girl uniforms, or reveal their undergarments.
With 12 of the 20 hostesses employed at Girl's Bar Baby Doll being minors, officers plan to also pursue charges related to the Labor Standards Act regarding harmful employment.


Japan unveils first domestically made passenger jet in four decades

Japan Today

The first passenger aircraft to be made in Japan in nearly four decades was unveiled Saturday as its manufacturer pushed into the booming regional jet sector with an eye to taking on industry giants Embraer and Bombardier.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, a military contractor best known for its “Zero” World War II fighter, pulled back the curtain on its new Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ), a fuel-efficient, next-generation aircraft that claims to offer more passenger comfort with lower operating costs.
The jet, which will be delivered to customers from 2017 and was built with assistance from aviation giant Boeing, was unveiled at a ceremony in Komaki, near Nagoya, on Saturday.
“The dream of a Japanese-made product that can be proudly presented to the world for top-notch efficiency and top-notch passenger comfort is finally coming true,” said Mitsubishi Heavy Industries chairman Hideaki Omiya.
“This wonderful aircraft that Japan has created after (a wait of) half a century carries with it many people’s hopes and dreams.”
The plane marks a new chapter for Japan’s aviation sector, which last built a commercial airliner in 1962—the YS-11 turboprop. It was discontinued about a decade later.

Teruaki Kawai, president and chief operating officer of Mitsubishi Aircraft, recently said that the plane boasted “state-of-the-art aerodynamic design, and a game-changing engine (that) will significantly cut fuel consumption, noise and emissions, helping airlines enhance competitiveness and profitability in the future”.
Japanese firms were banned from developing aircraft by U.S. occupiers following its defeat in World War II.
The country slowly started rebuilding its aviation industry in the 1950s, starting with carrying out repair work for the U.S. military, before expanding its scope to start licensed production of U.S.-developed aircraft for Japan’s military. Japanese firms have also long supplied parts to Boeing.



Hashimoto, Zaitokukai chairman get into shouting match

Japan Today

A meeting between Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto and Makoto Sakurai, the chairman of Zaitokukai, a group that has repeatedly engaged in hate speech against Korean residents in Japan, ended after only 10 minutes when both men started shouting at each other.
The two men were seated at tables about three meters apart at Monday’s meeting at the Osaka government office. At one point, Sakurai stood up and approached Hashimoto, but aides got in between the two men, NHK reported.

Although the meeting was originally intended to be a civil discussion, it quickly degenerated into a shouting match with both parties insulting each other.
Hashimoto told Sakurai and his group to stop their hate speech against ethnic groups. “We don’t need racists like you here in Osaka,” Hashimoto said. The two men kept interrupting each other before Hashimoto finally decided he’d had enough, stood up and left the room.
Zaitokukai organizes hate speech rallies and argues that the Japanese government should not grant special rights to Koreans living in Japan.
In July, the Osaka high court upheld a lower court ruling that its hate speech directed at a Korean school is unlawful. Zaitokukai had appealed a ruling by the Kyoto district court last October in which it was ordered to pay 12 million yen in damages after its members yelled abuse outside a pro-Pyongyang Korean elementary school in Kyoto.

Zaitokukai claims to have more than 10,000 members. Though attendance at their rallies has been limited to a few hundred people at most and they are far from becoming mainstream, similar demonstrations of nationalists targeting ethnic Koreans and other minorities have escalated over the past year in Tokyo and other cities, amid Japan’s chilly diplomatic relations with its Asian neighbors.
Last year, in Tokyo’s Shin-Okubo district, dotted with Korean restaurants and shops popular among South Korean pop-culture fans, hundreds of Zaitokukai members and supporters called Koreans “cockroaches,” shouted “Kill Koreans” and threatened to “throw them into the sea.”
There are about 500,000 Koreans in Japan - the country’s largest ethnic minority group - and many are descendants of forced laborers shipped to Japan during its 1910-1945 colonial rule of Korea. They still face discrimination in education, marriage and jobs.