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JAPAN Forward Third Anniversary and Website Renewal



As JAPAN Forward celebrates its third anniversary, we extend our gratitude and appreciation to all of the supporters, contributors and readers who have helped us reach this landmark.

In various ways, each of you have helped make JAPAN Forward a special platform for discussing real news and analysis, informative features and informed opinion pieces from and related to Japan.

We are excited to share with you many updates to our website and services and invite you to join us for the next chapter of our journey.



★ Our Facebook page reached 1 million followers at the end of 2019! We are currently at 1.4 million followers.

★ Our LinkedIn page finally launched in Q1 this year, and we’re building a community there, too. If you haven’t done so already, please follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

★ 896 published stories between June 2019 – May 2020, and up from 731 the previous year. We have almost doubled our capacity since our first year when we published 516 articles.



★ The new design allows our readers to do what they love – read! After reading an article, a new one will automatically load for you, making it easier to stay up to date with news and stories.


★ The menu area has been updated to a more visual aesthetic and gives you a preview of the recent published articles for the category. Just hover your cursor over the category text and see the list.

★ Overall, the design allows the pages to load more quickly. We hope this benefits your mobile data plans and makes the news reading experience a smooth one.



★ Our newsletter subscription service has quadrupled! From our regular Weekly Digest newsletter, we have expanded to three new weekly newsletters: The Editor’s Picks, Sports Updates and Hidden Wonders of Japan. Join the mailing list by subscribing here.

★ We launched our first podcast – the Real Issues, Real Voices, Real Japan podcast, and you can listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and many more.

★ Select [Speaking Out] pieces are available on audio, as we hope to expand this to a fuller catalogue. Likewise, you can also subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and others.

Contributions are now possible, and payments can be made via credit card, PayPal, and bank transfer. We aim to continue delivering news from Japan to readers of all backgrounds all over the world. Any contribution, no matter what size, will be utilized to serve and grow our readership.



Top 10 Articles: June 2019 – May 2020



10. PHOTOS | Anthropomorphic Sonic the Hedgehog and Other Visual Treats at TGS 2019 Cosplay, by Galileo Ferrari.

The intricate designs and sophisticated details in the costumes can easily go unnoticed, especially by a novice observer.


9. ‘North Korean problem should be solved before war erupts’: Interview with Malaysia’s Mahathir Mohamad, by Hideki Yoshimura.

Malaysia and North Korea seemed to have ended their diplomatic row, which was sparked by Kuala Lumpur’s investigation into the brutal murder of Kim Jong-Nam, the estranged older half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

8. A Photographer’s Notes – My Top 5 Sequence Images, by Jason Halayko.

With sequence images, you are able to show the full progression of motion from start to finish by combining multiple images into one photo. Part of a regular column with tips from a professional action sports photographer.

7. PHOTOS: Metro Tokyo as Typhoon Hagibis Approaches, October 12, by JAPAN Forward.

Tokyo and its surrounding areas — Kanagawa, Chiba, Ibaraki, Gunma, Nagano, Yamanashi, Shizuoka — were bettered by heavy downpour and winds Saturday, October 12, as Typhoon Hagibis approached.


6. Shinzo Abe Vows to Share Coronavirus Vaccine to the World, As Japan Lifts State of Emergency, by Arielle Busetto.

Prime Minister Abe explained the reasons for lifting the emergency earlier than intended, and what steps should be taken by citizens to avoid reigniting the spread of the virus.


5. Dance Truck Tokyo: Taking Contemporary Dance To All Corners of Japan, by Arielle Busetto.

“We never thought we would get to this point, but we will perform even on an island. We are lucky to be performing on a truck. We wanted to create an opportunity for many different people to experience dance.”



4 Cherry Blossom Viewing Guide 2020: Western Japan, by Arielle Busetto.

The 2020 sakura season in Japan has begun, and it is time to begin planning your own hanami blossom-viewing excursions. Here is the schedule for Western Japan.


3 Japan Braces for What Could Be Strongest Typhoon in 51 Years, by Arielle Busetto.

Super Typhoon Hagibis — the Philippine name for the 19th significant weather disturbance this season — is predicted to hit East and Central Japan on the evening of Saturday, October 12 with record-breaking rain and wind.


2 JR East’s New Shinkansen Set to Reach 360 kph, by JAPAN Forward.

On May 16, JR East unveiled to the media the next generation of the Shinkansen, Japan’s state-of-the-art bullet trains. The new series ALFA-X was presented in Morioka, Iwate Prefecture, in northern Japan, and is set to start operation in April 2030.


1. Biological Weapons the Focus of China’s Military Research in the Last 20 Years, by Dr Monika Chansoria.

Independent Chinese media outlet Caixin Global revealed that Chinese laboratories had in fact identified a mystery virus — later identified as COVID-19 — to be a highly infectious new pathogen by late December 2019. But they were ordered to stop further testing, destroy samples, and suppress the news to the fullest extent possible.


Enjoy the articles your fellow readers have read the most, and let us know if you have different favorites. We look forward to your comments, here.




Thank you for being part of JAPAN Forward.


Hideaki Ota, Chairman, Board of Directors

Yasuo Naito, Editor in Chief

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