Every Sunday we gather the week’s weird and interesting Japanese news and present it to you in our Sunday News column. It might not always be hard-hitting news, but we hope that it still informs and entertains you. Enjoy!
[threecol_two]Tokyo Governor Ishihara Resigns: Tokyo’s notorious governor Shintaro Ishihara has announced this week that he will be stepping down from his position to focus on national politics. The 80-year-old Ishihara, besides being known for his war on crows, has a reputation for his off-the-cuff, often offensive remarks including saying that “
the Nanking massacre never happened,” the 3/11 tsunami was “
divine punishment” for Japan, and that “
homosexuality is an abomination.” It’s unfortunate that Ishihara is focusing his efforts on national politics, as I’d hoped he’d be retiring to spend more time saying offensive things to his family. [via New York Times, Shisaku, Reddit][/threecol_two] [threecol_one_last]Windows 8 Hits Akihabara: When Microsoft released its newest operating system, Windows 8, it recognized what people look for most in an operating system: moe mascots. In keeping with Japan’s long-running tradition of anthropomorphizing operating systems, Windows 8 is represented by two mascots. The question now is when is Apple going to make a play for the otaku market and endorse its own OS-tan? This never would have happened if Steve Jobs were still around!
73-year-old prostitute picked up (again) by police in Yokohama: Japan has long battled against 援助交際, or “compensated dating,” the practice of schoolgirl prostitution, but now it seems that the pendulum has swung in the other direction. A 73-year-old woman was picked up in Yokohama is reportedly the oldest person to be charged with prostitution in the area. I guess they don’t call it the world’s oldest profession for nothing.[/threecol_one_last]
[threecol_one]Moe Girl “Sakura Yamagata” Chosen to Promote Climbing Tourism : It seems like nothing in Japan can be without a mascot, and the Japanese have once again confirmed my suspicions. Gifu prefecture held a contest to create a mascot to represent mountain climbing tourism in the area. The winner is a character by the name of Sakura Yamagata, a name which has the kanji for mountain (山) in it. All we need now is a mascot for tourism-related mascots and the cycle will be complete.
WWII bomb defused: As an American, it’s strange to think about the weapons of World War II as a threat, but in lots of places around the world, including Japan, it’s still very real. This week, an unexploded bomb was found in downtown Tokyo; fortunately, the bomb was quickly desposed of and nobody was hurt. Initially, a robot was called in to defuse the bomb, but that was quickly stopped as it quickly became clear that the robot had gained sentience and harbored a deep hatred for humanity.[/threecol_one] [threecol_two_last]‘Only immigrants can save Japan’: Japan has long been in a demographic crisis where the old are slowly but surely outnumbering the young, causing a ton of social and economic problems. The government has attempted to stem the tide of this problem, but has largely failed. Now, a former government official is claiming “
only immigrants can save Japan.” The official, Hidenori Sakanaka, went on to say “
There is no way for Japan to survive but to build a society of living with immigrants and hoisting a new flag: ‘Immigrants Welcome.’” Does this mean policy change in the future? Only time will tell.[via Reddit]