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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!

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Putin posts photos of puppy gifted from Akita Prefecture: Last year Russian President Vladmir Putin was gifted an adorable Akita puppy from the governor of the Akita Prefecture. In what’s presumably a gesture to show that he hasn’t had the dog killed or jailed, Putin posted pictures of him frolicking in the snow with the Akita and another. See, scary authoritarian leaders can have a soft side, too! [via News On Japan][/threecol_two] [threecol_one_last]

Sukiya, Matsuya to cut ‘gyudon’ prices: What’s better than the cheap, cheap beef bowls (AKA gyudon) from Japanese fast food giants Sukiya and Matsuya? How about even cheaper beef bowls from Sukiya and Matsuya? Word is still out if gyudon rival Yoshinoya will follow suit, but one thing’s clear: everybody’s winning (but the cows). [via News On Japan]


Boar rampage leaves eight hurt in Hyogo town: Even though people like to portray Japan as a hyper-futuristic megaopolis, the country still faces problems that it’s faced for centuries. One such example is wild boars, one of which ravaged a town in Hyogo prefecture, injuring eight people. No matter how advanced your country’s toilets are, it’s still hard to stop a 200lb boar. [via News On Japan]

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Why Japan is the most interesting story in global economics right now: As the yen is reaching towards ¥100 to $1 USD, people all over the world are watching intently to see what the results of Japan’s dramatic economic policies will be. Since Japan’s situation is so similar to that of other industrialized countries, its economic experiment could have huge implications elsewhere in the world. No pressure, guys! [via Twitter]


Japan outranks U.S. as world’s biggest recorded music market: After years of people screaming that the music industry is dying, Japan is showing ample evidence that it’s still very much alive and kicking. More surprising than that, Japan has not only surpassed the United States as the largest consumer of recorded music, but a lot of that is still CDs. Gotta get those AKB48 handshakes somehow!

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Photo by Tolka Rover

Japan deploys Patriot antimissile system in downtown Tokyo: As Kim Jong-un continues to throw a global temper tantrum, North Korea’s neighbors have to make contingency plans, just in case the DPRK accidentally launches a successful attack. In Japan’s case, it’s set up anti-missile system throughout the country in major cities. More advanced, robotic solutions, are undoubtedly in development as we speak. [via Reddit]
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  • DAVIDPD

    Say what you will about his politics, but (Russian) President Vladimir Putin knows how to have a good time.

  • Mescale

    Last year Russian President Vladmir Putin an adorable Akita puppy from the governor of the Akita Prefecture.

    I think this sentence would read better with a comma in it.

    Last year Russian President Vladmir Putin, an adorable Akita puppy from the governor of the Akita Prefecture.

  • http://twitter.com/Cupucuups Hamyo

    North korean please it would be more better if they just sell all of that balistic missiles and use the money to feeding their own people. *face palm

    http://okonomikatsu.blogspot.com/

  • Drew

    Fun Fact: 80% of the cd sales in Japan are of the song “Scatland” by Scatman John.

  • Henro 88

    It’s worth mentioning that CDs in Japan tend to cost NO LESS than 2000 yen – but more commonly they cost 3000 to 4000 yen. That’s 30 to 40 dollars. Per CD. It. is. absurd.

    However, I have to give Japan credit – I have bought some digital downloads in the past and I consider it a huge mistake. A waste of money.

    BUT, here’s the weird thing: Japan has Tsutaya. Libraries here aren’t as awesome as they are where I’m from, but at Tsutaya, you can rent music, comics or movies (no video games, but used video game sales are good in Japan). So, WHY do people spend all this money on CDs when they can just RENT them? Can it POSSIBLY be just for the AKB handshakes??

  • http://twitter.com/SactoMan81 Raymond Chuang

    Anti-missile defenses are being set up in Seoul and Tokyo for one good reason: they easily within range of North Korea’s large number of medium-range ballistic missiles. It has been said that if you want to plunge the world into economic chaos, target and destroy Seoul and/or Tokyo with a 15-20 kT nuclear warhead launched from North Korea; because both cities are such gigantic financial centers, there’s a scenario where attacking both cities would permanently damage the economies of both countries and result in China ascending to total economic dominance in eastern Asia.

  • 古戸ヱリカ

    From the sounds of it, it’s for the Scatman John handshakes.

  • Henro 88

    Good God, I wish that were true.

  • Henro 88

    I swear to God, they just played Scatman John on Japanese TV.