What the World Can Learn From Japan’s Early Train Departure Apology

  On November 14th, a train scheduled to leave a Chiba Prefecture station at 9:44:40 AM departed 20 seconds early. The reason given was a lack of confirmation by the driver. For Japan, which has built a reputation on running according to schedule, this was rather surprising news. A New York newspaper asked, however: “Is this even […]

Dear Megumi: President Trump Listened to Your Story, and That Gives Us Hope

Megumi Yokota, 2nd from the left watches the Sea of Japan in 1976. Next year she was abducted by North Korean agents.   Hello, Megumi.     The time of year in Japan when the leaves change colors has passed. We feel the cold more and more each day.  You really loved nature. We want […]

Is Osaka’s Mayor Alone in Fighting Against the Comfort Women Statue in San Francisco?

  Mayor Hirofumi Yoshimura has vowed to “dissolve” Osaka’s sister city relationship with San Francisco in the United States “before the year’s out.” The reason has been much publicized—at least in Japan—regarding a possible decision by the Californian city to permit a statue falsely depicting young Koreans as “sex slaves” to be installed on public property.   […]

Tomioka High School Dance Club and Yoko Oginome Collaborate for Midosuji Autumn Party

The 2017 Midosuji Autumn Party was held on Sunday, November 12, to promote Osaka both domestically and internationally. Singer, Yoko Oginome, and the Tomioka Senior High School dance club—the runner-up team from the All-Japan High School Super Cup Dance-Off sponsored by Sankei—collaborated for a special performance. The event was hosted by executive planning committees from […]

An Interview With Kikkoman: How the Japanese Soy Sauce Became A Global Seasoning

  Kikkoman is a leading soy sauce manufacturer with a history spanning more than 350 years. This year, however, Kikkoman celebrates the 100th anniversary of the company’s incorporation in Japan and its 60th in the United States. Kikkoman has sold and promoted its soy sauce—a seasoning that was once known only in certain Asian countries—tenaciously overseas. In 2016, […]

Trump Rekindles the Hope of Abductees’ Return

  At a joint press conference on Monday, November 6th, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and United States President Donald Trump described the relationship between the two countries as something beyond an alliance, rather they called it a “bond.”   In part, this was forged during their meeting, just before the leaders faced the press, with the […]

Trump, Abe Promise to Secure Return of Japanese Abductees From North Korea

  Families of Japanese abducted by North Korean agents decades ago met with United States President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe this Monday afternoon, November 6, at the Akasaka Palace in Moto-Akasaka, conveying their hopes for an eventual rescue of the still missing abductees.     Among them was Sakie Yokota, 81, mother of […]

Akane: Meet the Coach Behind Tomioka Senior High School’s Hit Bubbly Dance’

  If you haven’t seen it yet, watch the “Bubbly Dance” that Tomioka Senior High School students performed at the recent 10th All-Japan High School Super Cup Dance-Off. Although they only placed second overall, they captivated viewers with their mesmerizing movements and nostalgic outfits, having been unofficially proclaimed the “people’s champions.”   This year’s theme, based on […]

Don’t Lose Interest in Rescuing Japanese Abductees. That’s What North Korea Wants

Abducted and missing people’s photo list   “There is absolutely no sense of urgency. The Parliament isn’t even discussing how to rescue victims.”   In the afternoon of December 9, 2016, Teruaki Masumoto, brother of a  kidnapping victim, made this comment at a seminar after listening to parliamentarians making speeches regarding the abduction issue at […]