This week on Japan News Roundup, lets reflect on the best Japanese news of 2016, plus a look into some hopeful and fun happenings in Japan for 2017.
This gem of a goof happened last March, when a show called Mezamashi TV attended a Japanese games history exhibit and failed to recognize Shuhei Yoshida, the President of Sony’s gaming division, who was there to promote the Playstation VR. During an interview with him, they simply refer to him as a middle-aged man, nothing more than a passerby playing Space Invaders it seems. Shuhei Yoshida had a good heart about it as he later changed his twitter handle to 50-something-year-old, as the show referred to him as. Well played.
Combining two good faith news stories to make a great one, 2016 saw U.S. President Barack Obama visit the nuclear site of Hiroshima and likewise, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a visit to Pearl Harbor both to honor the fallen and show respect for each other and their current ties despite the two countries’ somber past. These events were a first for both, as neither country has ever had a leader visit these sites since the events of World War II.
Tokyo’s New No-Nonsense Governor, Yuriko Koike
Tokyo elected a new governor in 2016 and after shattering the glass ceiling for women, an especially thick one for Japan, she got right to work in shattering corruption involving the famous Tsukiji fish market’s location, as well as spending on the 2020 Olympics. The former environmentalist is having her way as Tokyo’s first female governor.
Hard Times for Kumamoto Amidst Earthquake Devastation
In the past year, the prefecture of Kumamoto was hit with massive earthquakes and aftershocks causing havoc, destruction and fatalities. The initial quake could be felt all the way up in Tokyo. There is still much to be done to revive the affected area and you can still help out by donating to the Kumamoto disaster relief fund, among others.
NEWS FOR 2017:
Young People Look to Move Away from the Big Cities in Search of Simpler Life Style
A study shows that 40% of people in Tokyo have an interest in moving to rural areas of Japan. Many believe this is a side affect of the collapse of the permanent employment system so highly valued in the 80’s and 90’s of which defined the Japanese workforce. Now there are even non-profit organizations that assist people in finding ways to move to the country-side and find success. This is particularly hopeful as these sorts of small, rural villages have been in danger of going extinct as more and more people left for the big cities. Now the trend is reversing as more young people are volunteering to help these villages and some are even staying long-term.
Paul McCartney Plans to Make Surprise Return to Japan
For his second concert since the Beatles played in 1966, Paul McCartney announced his return to Tokyo to a series of three shows for his One on One tour. The last time Paul played in Japan was 2015. Good news for fans in Japan of The Beatles, Wings, and Paul McCartney himself.
That’s it for 2016’s Japan News Roundup Review!