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The Weekly News Roundup: May 27 – June 3 2 June 2007

Posted by jlap in Bribery, Mailed In, Ministerial Suicide, Not so Cliche School Trips.
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Last week’s bribery story concluded this week, when the agriculture minister took his own life. Government officials committing suicide to avoid scandal is nothing new, but how high will it have to go to change anything? [CNN]

As a result, J-Green will be no more. It will just be replaced by a new bid-rigging agency with the same personnel. Yay for Democracy! [The Yomiuri Shimbun]

Students from a Tokyo school remain stranded in Vancouver after one of them contracted measles. This raises an interesting question. Out of all the places to go, why Canada? [Reuters]

And finally, a different kind of college based in Shibuya. [Asahi Shimbun]


The Week in News from Japan 26 May 2007

Posted by jlap in Bribery, Commercial Patriotism, Crime, Outsourcing Corruption, Stupid Media.
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This week’s political corruption scandal of the week comes from the Japan Green Resource Agency, who were accused of having rigged the bidding processes of projects in Kumamoto and Shimane prefectures. Creating J-Green was a brilliant idea because the corruption that would normally occur gets at the Ministry level gets passed onto to this supposed independent commission. [Daily Yomiuri]

With seemingly nothing else to do the Diet lowered the age of incarceration to “about 12.” Will this make any difference in juvenile crime whatsoever? Is it even necessary? Those two questions probably have the same answer and it’s definitely not yes. [The Japan Times]

A 2-year-old is stabbed by a mentally ill woman in Yokohama. The real story here is that the story reads like some sensationalist local TV news program. [Asahi Shimbun]

And finally, Shinzo Abe is slightly more popular this week. The surge in approval comes from constitutional reform and last week’s item about patriotism in schools. I’m sure China, South Korea, etc. are all pleased about the development. [The Jerusalem Post]

Weekly Stories of Interest 20 May 2007

Posted by jlap in Bribery, Commercial Patriotism, Crime, Dostoevsky Would Be Proud, Manga.
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rena.jpgA 17-year-old student and two others were arrested after leaking sections of the Weekly Shonen Sunday and Weekly Shonen Jump in a bid to gain respect on 2chan. This would be far from the first case of someone doing something stupid on the internet to impress people they will never meet. (¬_¬) [Daily Yomiuri]

The former mayor of Ikoma, Nara Prefecture, Koichi Nakamoto, was found to have colluded with former assembly speaker Takashi Sakai in a land deal which lost the city 100 million yen and while boosting their own bank accounts. It just wouldn’t be a week in Japanese politics without some scandal involving retired politicians would it? [The Asahi Shimbun]

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spearheaded a change in the Basic Education Law which mandates instilling patriotism in the nation’s youth.  Toby Keith looks down on this approach which lacks the commercially-motivated songs required to start the Japanigasm. [BBC]

Tell me if you’ve seen this before. Kid stops going to school, beheads own mother without remorse, walks to police station with head in a duffel bag and blames the movies and books he had been reading. Um…yeah way to take personal responsibility, kid. [Mainichi Daily News]