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!



Chinese Air Pollution Expected to Cross Over to Western Japan: This week’s news has been full of reports about China’s incrasingly apocalyptic air pollution. While it might seem like China’s problem, it’s easy to forget that what happens in one country affects virutally the whole world. In this case, China’s smog is expected to drift over to Japan. It looks like those surgical masks will really come in handy now.
[/threecol_two] [threecol_one_last]“Hashbrowns” are the 2012 Food of the Year says Japanese Diners Association: The Japanese Diners Association, a group that promotes American cuisine in Japan, recently announced that 2012’s food of the year was hashbrowns. I can only anticipate that next year’s food of the year will be ketchup, and maybe the year after that, salt.

The CW’s “Battle Royale” Adaptation is Dead: We mentioned last year that the American CW TV network was considering turning the Japanese classic Battle Royale into a TV series. For better or worse, the network has given up on the adaptation, leaving plenty of room in its lineup for more shows featuring rich blonde people.[/threecol_one_last]


[threecol_one]Japan’s Philanderers Stay Faithful to Their ‘Infidelity Phones’: Even though smartphones are all the rage these days, a certain segment of the Japanese population still seeks out old technology. The reason? One brand of older phone has a mode that makes it easier to hide missed calls and texts from secret lovers. But does it have Siri? [via Reddit]

Yen plunges as Japan gambles for growth: With the LDP’s victory in last year’s election and Shinzo Abe’s return to power, the yen has been steadily falling since the start of this year. The yen’s descent has had a lot of effects both at home and abroad. But the best part? The USD to Yen exchange rate is getting more and more favorable as Tofugu gets ready to go to Japan.[/threecol_one] [threecol_two_last]tommy-lee-jones-emperor

Tommy Lee Jones Shows Off Swagger In Historical Drama Emperor: Apparently not content enough to be the star of a long-running series of amazing coffee commercial in Japan, Tommy Lee Jones will be starring as General Douglas MacArthur in the upcoming historical drama Emperor. Unfortunately, I doubt that his role in the movie will be as awesome as his role in the commercials.[/threecol_two_last]


  • Shollum

    So, are you saying that I should buy Japanese PSP (or other) games while they don’t cost $100 a piece or are you saying I need to buy up some 円 and wait for the rebound at which point I make me a nice profit?

    I’m so glad the CW gave up on Battle Royal. Pointless US remakes of movies is one thing, but pointless conversion of a movie that was a book into a television show is just appalling. Plus, my brain tells me it would have been horrible.


    Buy Yen now, Sell for (not much profit) later.


    When I lived in China I was amazed at how bad their air quality was. Anything you can imagine, it is three times worse in reality. There are literally no check against car pollution of burning trash in public. It all just goes into the air there. Some days in summer, it just gets down right nasty. Humid, smelly, and you cannot breath at all once you step outside. Forget about doing any kind of exercise. It’s just bad.

  • zoomingjapan

    The falling yen is really starting to annoy me. I hope it’ll recover soon. :(

  • alexandre j seguin

    Well, at least it’s going to be a good think for tourists…

  • Zach Green

    Falling yen is good for their economy, actually. It means they can sell their products at more competitive prices