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!



Photo by TTTNIS

Abe to become Japan’s 7th PM in 6 years after landslide LDP win: After resigning from the post of prime minister over five years ago because of “crippling diarrhea” (I’m not making this up), Shinzo Abe looks poised to once again assume the highest office in Japan after one of the biggest elections in Japanese history. Can Abe hold his own his second time around, or will his bowel movements once again best him? Only time will tell.
[/threecol_two] [threecol_one_last]Japanese man, 115, becomes world’s oldest person: This week Jiroemon Kimura, age 115, became the oldest person in the world after the previous record holder died only two weeks after receiving the honor. It’s not a title I would relish, as it doesn’t seem to be one that people hold onto for too long. [via News On Japan]

Japanese toilet answers nature’s call via Android: It’s common knowledge that Japanese toilets are the most advanced in the world, but despite the lack of competition, they keep pushing the bar. One Japanese toilet manufacturer is planning to release a smartphone app that uses Bluetooth to issue commands remotely to your toilet. Flushing? There’s an app for that.[/threecol_one_last]


[threecol_one]Japan Sets Guinness Record for Longest “Human Chair”: Japanese municipalities aren’t strangers to publicity stunts, but rarely do they set world records. In October, the city of Onojo attempted to set the Guinness Record for the longest-ever “human chair,” an attempt recently certified by Guinness. I would hate to be the butt-end of that chair.

Japanese Man Recieved 1-Year Prison Sentence for Stealing 12 Cents: It’s a good thing that Koichi didn’t get greedy in our latest episode of TofuguTV, because it looks like he could have gotten some prison time. That’s exactly what happened to a Japanese man who took a ¥10 coin from Mt. Koya, a Buddhist holy site and Japan’s largest cemetery. I applaud the legal action taken here, and only hope that this means the law will get tough on people who take pennies out of fountains.[/threecol_one] [threecol_two_last]

Abe wants to change Japan’s constitution: While the US constitution has been amended 17 times since its ratification, the Japanese post-war constitution has never been touched. The soon-to-be new prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, along with many Japanese conservatives throughout the years, have fantasized about changing Article 9 of the constitution, the article that prohibits Japan from declaring war. Will this be the year that the Japanese finally amend they constitution? We’ll see.[/threecol_two_last]


  • Hamyo

    Prime minister Shinzo Abe, hmmm hopefully he can finished the conflict of disputed island between china and japan. :)

  • Aoi

    Japan’s Basic Policy for National Defense is Maintaining an exclusive defense-oriented policy and of course it is reflected in their military; Japan Self-Defense Force, even if Shinzo Abe manages to win the election and change the Article 9, Japan won’t be too offensive at any time soon, and if you learn the history wisely, you may also see the U.S role for disarming the Japanese and why the U.S is keeping it that way (they don’t want any “surprise” anymore aren’t they?).

    adding Article 9 from Wikipedia:
    “Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes. (2) To accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.”

  • デニス エイドリアン

    Let’s just hope the whole thing doesn’t end with war or something. China has been really hostile about the topic and Korea isn’t exactly happy with how things have turned lately. Those islands may be important for economical porpuses, but nothing in the world really justifies going to war for some territory, in my opinion.

    Oh well, time will tell. Let’s hope for the best.

  • Hamyo

    I agree with you, that teritory is very precious because the oil resources. that will be hard to find a fair deal for both of the side because it would take more time but it will be better than end it with a war. hopefully everythings gonna be fine with this new goverment :)


    I like how Japan has the most advanced toilet technology in the world, but also uses the squat toilets. Old dogs…

  • Tora.Silver

    RC toilets? Don’t you have to be fairly close to a toilet to use it anyways? Or is this solely for the enjoyment of making your friends think your toilet is haunted?

  • Drewdeth9

    27 times*

  • bigwonk

    China, Korea and Japan all have new leaders so there’s a chance to re-think and hopefully calm heads prevail. Abe is going to appoint Aso, another widely unpopular previous PM, to lead Finance which signals Japan stepping backwards to embrace the same economic methods to re-invigorate their economy over the last 20 years. And Aso couldn’t lead the country so why he should be anointed to lead Finance leads folks to think Abe really didn’t learn during his last appointment that you can’t just hire your buddies.

    I wonder what the current odds are of Abe lasting 1 year. There’s got to be a good betting line on that.

  • Jonadab

    This would actually be just about the ideal time for Japan to draft an entirely new constitution. The generation of people who were adults during WWII has just about expired — those who are still alive are well into their nursing home years by now and would not have any major influence on the process, so a constitution drafted now could be largely untainted by the war its emperialism. The post-war constitution was necessary at the time, but at this point Japan has clearly joined and fully embraced the free world and is not in any imminent danger of falling back on old pre-San-Francisco habits. The time to draft a new constitution, a completely Japanese constitution, a constitution free of the legacy of the old emperial issues, is now.

  • CelestialSushi

    Well, the guy stole a coin from a site of religious significance… I could see why they’d prosecute.
    Not that stealing from any other place is any less bad, mind you…