Archive for May, 2007

Save innocent lives!! Another baby found being dumped.

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One early morning in Tokyo last week, there was a baby found still alive in the garbage. It was so shocking that it reminded Japanese people of the akachan-post/baby post that was placed in Kumamoto Pref. just couple of weeks previous to this terrible crime.

With much debates of placing akachan-post, in such case of leaving just-born child, people wished that there was a post in the crime sense. On the other hand, the first child placed in the post was three-years-old, thus the usage of the post was from the very beginning misused. Sadly to such two crimes, there have been many news about leaving children to death or still alive in various parts of Japan.

Today, there was another baby found dead in Sapporo, Hokkaido Pref. In comparison to the case of Tokyo, this Sapporo case was devastating. In the case of Tokyo, the baby was fortunate to be found alive before the garbage cars collected trash. However, in the case of Sapporo, the baby was found dead in a cooler who seems to be died soon after birth and weighted only 2 kilograms with navel still being attached.

How can people so easily dump innocent lives who have no choice of choosing their parents!?

Report from Mainichi Daily News and Asahi Evening Newspaper

http://http://mdn.mainichi-msn.co.jp/national/news/20070531p2a00m0na020000c.html

http://http://www.asahi.com/

Surfing Metblogs

Just some cool posts I found touring Metroblogging today:
Marijuana Map in Toronto
Drink of the Week in Atlanta
Sunset in Chennai
Citizens on Patrol in LA.

See more at the Best of Metroblogging.

French woman behind Miss. Universe Japan!?

Sad news has been crossing the nation for the past two days with the politician’s suicide and death of popular Japanese singer, there was a bright light with the news of the winning Miss. Universe. As probably already known, 2007’s Miss. Universe was Japanese woman aged 20, Riyo Mori. Last year was Kurara Chibana coming first runner-up, and this year was the winner!! Not only two of these ladies, but also five years ago, there was a Japanese lady was also chosen in the top 5. What is the success of Japanese women being so popular (!?) in the Miss. Universe?

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There might be many factors that have resulted in the success of Japanese women’s winning. I am not a big fan of watching Miss. Universe, but as much as I have known, there have been dramatic changes for whom to be chosen for Top 5 or Top 10. It is not only the physical beauty, but also intelligence, charismatic character, and communication ability has been so crucial. Japanese contestants have been changing into ladies with having all of these qualities as well as having extra point being exotic.

I remember watching Miss. Universe when I was in junior high school and I always felt funny how Japanese contestants wore old fashioned dresses when all other contestants wore sexy, but appearing dress. Not only that, when I saw it then, Japanese contestant couldn’t speak English. However, Riyo Mori and Kurara Chibana both speak some English as well as they are capable of speaking several other languages.

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Such success of these recent Japanese contestants has been possible with great sponsors who teach manners, healthy diet, what to read and how to exercises. According to Japanese media, there is a French woman who is behind such Japanese success story for the past ten years. Not much information of this lady is out there, but this French woman has been crucial for Japanese Miss Universe contestants to be set in the right path for the winning many prices for especially for the past five years.

Photos and some info from Miss Universe Official HP.

http://http://www.missuniverse.com/

Too early death for famous Japanese singer… ZARD (Izumi Sakai)

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Shocking news in Japanese music society suddenly crossed the nation two days ago. Izumi Sakai known for the leading vocal for ZARD passed away from slipping from the hospital slope on the 27th resulted in death. She was originally hospitalized for the treatment for cancer, but from the unfortunate event that took place early Saturday morning, it ended her 40 years of short life.

ZARD was extremely popular during the 90s and still very close to many Japanese people’s hearts. Izumi Sakai had such clear smoothing voice that was favored by wide range of age groups both men and women. Her most famous song 「負けないで/makenaidewas even used for the song for annual high school baseball competition as well as many other songs were used for dramas and TV anime. Although ZARD was most popular during the 90s, the songs are still very popular today that many people often sing at karaoke. I myself also just sang her songs two weeks ago, when I last went to karaoke.

According to Oricon today, ZARD’s 「Golden Best 15th Anniversary」that was released Last October has risen its ranking from outside of 100 to top 6 for the past two days since her death was announced. Not only have those, many fans gone to her memorial service to her office with tears in their eyes, disappointed about such early death.

http://http://mdn.mainichi-msn.co.jp/national/news/20070530p2a00m0et015000c.html

As well as those many fans, I am personally a big fan of ZARD. I am also very shocked and sad about such unfortunate event. I hope that she will remain in Japanese music and Japanese people forever.

Miss Universe Japan 2007!

Congratulations Ms Riyo Mori, Miss Universe 2007.

What is your career ambition?
To open my own dance school in Tokyo! My mother runs a successful dance school outside of Tokyo and we plan to expand my family’s love for the performing arts by opening an international dance school in Tokyo, the capital of Japan and a crossroads for many cultures. My plan is to hire teachers who speak a number of languages so that I can host students from around the world. Opening my own school will allow me to live and teach my passion for dancing while being an independent businesswoman.

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Gasoline cost in Japan

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I don’t own a car, so I usually don’t pay attention to the cost of gasoline. But with the intense debate about climate change this spring here in Japan, and the Iraq war not going very well at all, gasoline cost is a major issue that affects everyone. Also, there is the serious issue of “peak oil” – the fact that fossile fuels are getting less economical to pump up from oil fields around the world. Guys, we are running out of oil. A global decline in oil production will have serious social and economic implications…

Today, in Japan, gas costs about 130-140 yen per liter. That is around $4.50 a gallon. Compared to Northern Europe, that is a bit less: The Netherlands appears to have the highest cost due to taxes at $6.73 a gallon at the pump. The US average is $3.20 a gallon (Note that US taxes on gas have gone down from 32% to 14% since 2000 – who is paying for the war in Iraq?).
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PSP Golf Caddy

Add this to my Birthday List: Minna No Golf Jo is a PSP app that will tell you the distance to the pin and locations of other hazards. You will need the PSP GPS receiver as well.
Some courses have this kind of system on their Golf Carts, but people seem to get annoyed by me driving the cart onto the fairway to get the exact distance from my ball to the pin…

Overdue TSE Reform

It is not Japanese companies that we would like to protect but rather the Japanese market and growth going foward.

Very welcome words from Yuji Yamamoto, Minister for Financial Services speaking earlier this week. Let’s hope they are not just words.

Japan aims to emulate the success of London as a pre-eminent financial centre to help spur economic growth as the population shrinks. Japan must boost the competitiveness of Tokyo’s financial services industry in the face of growing competition from other Asian cities.

Bloomberg are reporting follow-up comments from Kotaro Tamura, the vice minister for financial services:

Japan has to open up its financial markets over the next three years even if that means attracting companies that put domestic banks and brokerages out of business… Nationality doesn’t matter as long as such investors can contribute to Japan’s interests…We must carry out reforms in three years, otherwise we’ll fail to compete with rivals such as Hong Kong and Singapore.

Narita / Haneda reform (currently under discussion) will be important as well if Tokyo really wants to be the hub of Asia.

Breaking News – DUCK

It appears that Kim is throwing his toys out of the pram again.

Sumida Tower

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Pictured is the New Tokyo Tower which will be constructed by 2011 next to Oshiage station in Sumida-ku.
It will be the tallest free-standing tower in the world and the tallest man-made structure in Japan: at 2001 feet, nearly twice the height of the existing Tokyo Tower. However I haven’t heard many opinions on it yet.
Inspirational, waste of money, needless Godzilla provocation? What do you think?

Photo courtesy of Shin-Tokyo Tower Co

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