Category: Government

Swastika symbol removed from maps for foreigners

A traditional symbol that resembles a swastika which is used to indicate Buddhist temples on maps for foreign tourists in Japan will be replaced. The Japanese map symbol is called "manji" and originates from an ancient Sanskrit symbol that has been associated with Japanese Buddhism for centuries. The manji symbol looks very similar to the

Train stations: Don’t look at mobile phone while walking

People are being asked to not use mobile phones while walking in train stations in Tokyo. The transport ministry and railway companies began the effort after a 5th grade elementary school boy who was walking and looking at his smartphone accidentally stepped off the platform and onto the train tracks at Tokyo’s Yotsuya Station on

Beach naming rights sold to cookie company

The maker of a popular pigeon-shaped cookie was awarded naming rights to three beaches in Kamakura, Japan. The beaches will be renamed in 2014 by the manufacturer of the Hato Sabure (pigeon sable) butter cookie. Toshimaya company opened the first Hato Sabure confectionary store in Kamakura circa 1897. The Kamakura city government in Kanagawa Prefecture sold the naming

Top 50 radiation-contaminated foods in Japan 2011

Japan’s national provisional safety limit for levels of radioactive cesium in food is 500 becquerels per kilogram. Let’s Japan reviewed food-test data issued by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare covering the period from March 1, 2011 – Dec. 21, 2011.   Highest becquerels per kilogram levels     Becquerels/kg     Cesium-134 Cesium-137

Real life in Tokyo following Fukushima and the earthquake

Shoppers in Tokyo, March 25, 2011   We’ve been having some troubles here in Japan.  Maybe you’ve heard. I’ve written some articles about the earthquake and the coverage of the tsunami and the Fukushima nuclear reactors. You can read my reports here: March 25, 2011 Op-Ed: Tokyo OK, foreign media’s sensational coverage shameful March 16,

Smoking Rules on the Beaches

  A popular beach near Yokohama implemented a smoking policy at the start of this year’s swimming season in June. Zushi beach in Kanagawa Prefecture has banned smoking except at designated areas on its 600-meters of sand. Five smoking huts have been installed on the beach. Four standing ashtrays have also been placed in the

Train Gropers Grabbed in Week-Long Cop Crusade

Seventy-seven gropers (chikan) were arrested on Tokyo commuter trains during a crackdown by the Japan National Police Agency. During the April 15 – 21 effort, 120 officers from the NPA and the Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa prefectural police rode train routes known to attract molesters. Six people were caught on the Keio Line and JR

McDonald’s Celebrates 3th and Counting

  McDonald’s discount coupons from outlet in Setagaya-ku, Tokyo. This seems to be the standard coupon issued for McDonald’s outlets celebrating their third year of doing business. More 3th in Japan: dancers; fish; dog; the dentist; hair; kitchening. And from Korea. Counting ordinal numbers in Japan Other unique ordinal numbers available in Japan: 1th Jeans Websites Birthday

Prime Minister Reveals Funky Fashion Flair

  Japan Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama met with 10 parents and their kids in an informal gathering to discuss the government’s child allowance payments, child care and other child rearing issues. The  80-minute meeting Feb. 14 was held at the Prime Minister’s residence, in a room dubbed the "Pigeon Cafe". The Japanese word "hato" means