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Fun / foon Tokyo
Friday, March 26, 2004
Tokyo courts, bah!
Topic: Media
Last week, the Tokyo District Court ordered a publisher not to distribute the magazine with an article about the divorce of the daughter of former prime minister Tanaka. The Court called it an "invasion of privacy." However, 740,000 of the 770,000 copies printed had sold like hotcakes. Now the Yahoo eBay price is 2,000yen per copy about $18!
Tokyo court bans weekly's publication over Tanaka's daughter
Kyodo / Wednesday March 17, 12:30 AM

The Tokyo District Court has issued a temporary injunction banning the publication of Shukan Bunshun weekly magazine which had planned to run in its latest issue a story about the eldest daughter of House of Representatives member Makiko Tanaka, the daughter's lawyer said Tuesday....
In its March 25 issue to be published Wednesday, the popular weekly, published by the Tokyo-based Bungei Shunju Ltd., planned to run what it calls an "exclusive scoop" on Tanaka's eldest daughter.
According to her lawyer, the story says that the daughter got married despite her parents' fierce opposition and divorced after only one year and returned from Los Angeles....
Her parents are Tanaka and her husband Naoki. Tanaka, the daughter of the late Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka, is widely known as an outspoken politician and has served as foreign minister.

Notice how this story fails to name the "daughter" who is the secret love-child of Makiko-chan and Taro. Maybe she doesn't have a name.

Court halts weekly over story on Tanaka daughter

Posted by trek/taro at 1:35 PM JST
Updated: Friday, March 26, 2004 1:50 PM JST
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Wal-Mart in Japan
Topic: Japanese life
Sorry, but just this once I'm gonna NEKOBAKA this entire article, FAIR USE because nobody is reading this blog. It will be removed by 10pm March 26 Tokyo time.
Japan: The American Revolution
Forbes.com
Thu Mar 25, 6:33 PM ET
http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&cid=64&u=/fo/20040325/bs_fo/3a99979c322369997604a9a322d74e22&printer=1

Full text--
Wal-Mart's entree into Japan is Seiyu, the country's fifth-largest grocer, a 400-store chain with $8.9 billion in sales. When it agreed to sell Wal-Mart a 6% stake, the company was nearly bankrupt and had little to distinguish itself from its competitors, says Seiyu President Masao Kikuchi. Two years later it still seems to be struggling. Revenue fell 17% as it posted a loss of $65 million in 2003. Walk around a Seiyu store and you will be hard-pressed to notice any difference from before.

Look closer, though, and you see a revolution in the works. Fifty-three Wal-Martians have converged to move Seiyu's point-of-sale and inventory tracking systems over to the standard Wal-Mart setup. It will take three years for them to switch over all 400 stores, and then they'll move on to Seiyu's distribution centers. Store managers will know how many items of each individual brand were sold, how many are on the shelf and how many are in the warehouse.

The future of Japanese shopping as Wal-Mart sees it lies in the Futamatagawa store, near Yokohama. First, the company moved most general merchandise upstairs and put all the food onto the first floor. The entrance has been turned into a wide, inviting funnel crammed with fresh fruits and vegetables. A greeter hands out baskets to arriving customers and answers questions. Wal-Mart has made the elevators to the parking lot big enough to hold shopping carts and has radically increased the number of cash registers. Sales of food at the store are up 50% from last year.

But not everything is going according to plan. On the second floor, even though clothing prices have been cut by 20% as generics replaced brand items, sales have fallen 10%. The Japanese, apparently, like their brands. Still, overall revenue at the Futamatagawa store has risen 17% since Wal-Mart made its changes.

The real challenge for Wal-Mart will be dealing with the convoluted and opaque Japanese distribution system. Realizing that many manufacturers will sell only through their traditional wholesalers, Wal-Mart has decided to work with them when necessary and help educate them in how to cut their own costs. To wean suppliers away from middlemen, Wal-Mart holds out the carrot of access to its 5,000 outlets around the world. At the same time it's trying to encourage Seiyu buyers to turn to Wal-Mart's global partners like Procter & Gamble, Nestle, Johnson & Johnson and Kellogg.

Wal-Mart is learning from Seiyu, as well. Its systems will have to adapt to the rigor of Japanese shoppers, many of whom can tell just by tasting a piece of fish whether it has ever been frozen; prices can drop five times a day as the fish ages.


Posted by trek/taro at 1:19 PM JST
Updated: Friday, March 26, 2004 1:20 PM JST
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Hitachi ruins the worldwide launch of the iPod-mini
Topic: Japanese Tech
iPod minihttp://www.apple.com/pr/library/2004/jan/06ipodmini.html
iPod Mini was released Feb in USA and in April Worldwide
Arrrg, I needed to get a cheap second iPod with recording functionality for Mrs Taro and now they will neither ship to Japan nor sell a jPod-mini here.

Global iPod mini launch delayed
Apple delays the global launch of its popular iPod mini by three months due to US demand.

BBC / 25 March.
...reports of shops being out of stock and a thriving export trade on eBay...Greg Joswiak, Apple's VP of Hardware Product Marketing, told BBC News Online that...the problem lies with the miniature hard disc drive at the heart of the iPod mini: Apple is buying all the stock of drives as fast as Hitachi can manufacture them. "We're actually consuming just about all the 4GB, one-inch drives they make. As they make more, we'll get more," said Mr Joswiak.


Farking Hitachi, go figure.

Posted by trek/taro at 11:34 AM JST
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"Clone Wars" in Japan
Topic: Media

Star Wars: Clone Wars

(Episodes 11-20)
Begins March 29 (Mon.)
Every Mon. thru Fri. 19:00-19:05, 24:30-24:35
Star Wars: Clone Wars continues the saga where the live action feature film Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones left off - at the beginning of the Clone Wars....
Cartoon Network Japan, Clone Wars info
On SkyPerfecTV Channel 726
http://www.cartoonnetwork.co.jp/english/

http://www.cartoonnetwork.co.jp/english/sch_det_e.asp
http://www.cartoonnetwork.co.jp/english/200403/01.html Or read my foul Japanese site were my insane provider, Jens Spinnet, tries to ban English from personal blogs. Sheesh.

Posted by trek/taro at 10:39 AM JST
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US pet/spouse visas
Q: How long does it take a Japanese to get spousal visa's for work in the States?

For a US spousal visa, see http://japan.usembassy.gov/e/tvisa-main.html
Best amount of time is 3 weeks.
Worst time amount of time is 8+ months.
Average time amount of time is about 3 months.

BOTTOM LINE: Always plan ahead.

The smart idea is to apply for the "pre-entry" spousal visa, the " I-130 petition", get the pre-approval, then hold on to the pre-approval papers till the time they are actually needed: "after an immigrant petition is approved, can the foreign relative start the second step".


Also http://japan.usembassy.gov/e/visa/tvisa-7137c.html
"U.S. military personnel and American citizens who are long-term residents of Japan do not need to appear at the Embassy and are strongly encouraged to send in their I-130 petitions by mail. "
Find your exact situation and choose the proceedure here
http://japan.usembassy.gov/e/visa/tvisa-7136.html

Posted by trek/taro at 9:02 AM JST
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Thursday, March 25, 2004
This site is now fully legal in copying headlines in Japan
Topic: Media
Court denies copyright for Web news headlines
(Mainichi--Mar 25)

A damages suit filed by the Tokyo head office of the Yomiuri Shimbun against an Internet service firm that used the newspaper's headlines without permission was rejected in the Tokyo District Court ...denied that the headlines were creative expression. "These headlines were created within 25 characters, and either stated objective facts, or used only very short qualifying words, and cannot be described as creative expression"

Posted by trek/taro at 4:09 PM JST
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Mysterious Dr. Evil strikes again
Topic: Media
BWAHAHAHAHA! Mysterious Dr. Evil Kim strikes again. Will Iraq be next on the oil-for-nukes-for-cheaper-gasoline plan?

Report: Iran, N. Korea building secret underground nuke plant
East-Asia-Intel.com/ Mar 23--- North Korea and Iran are building a secret underground facility in northwestern North Korea to produce centrifuges to enrich uranium, according to a Japanese press report. The Sankei Shimbun newspaper reported March 10 ...

Posted by trek/taro at 3:48 PM JST
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Just no mayo pizza, pleeeease?
Topic: Japanese life
All I ask is no mayo on my pizza.mayo fish egg pizzaseaweed pizzamayo sweet potato pizza
Mayo fish-egg pizza, seaweed pizza, and mayo sweet-potato pizza via the so-called "California Pizza".

Posted by trek/taro at 2:08 PM JST
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Only 83 women trafficked into sex industry in Japan
Topic: Japanese life
Gee those 83 women must have been real busy servicing all of Japan in 2003. Maybe it's a typo and should read "83 women per hour" at the Tokyo Regional Immigration Office alone.
nipple
83 women trafficked into sex industry in Japan in 2003
Japan Today, March 25

TOKYO --The National Police Agency (NPA) said Thursday that is has uncovered 83 cases of women who were trafficked into Japan and forced to work in the sex ...


Compare and Contrast with: SPRAY...
Nyukan't be serious! - Fun at the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau

"....Before you, the Tokyo Regional Immigration Office, architecture reminiscent of some mental hospital or dog pound. ....Are you a prostitute? No my friend, at the Tokyo regional immigration beuro, you're an entertainer! Break a leg."

Posted by trek/taro at 11:40 AM JST
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Wednesday, March 24, 2004
UFO sighted over Tokyo
Topic: Me
EXTRA! EXTRA!


Stealth Starship sighted over the Land-o-Concrete!(tm)



Posted by trek/taro at 10:07 PM JST
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'New' Electronic Paper announced for the 400th time
Topic: Japanese Tech
nipple

First-Generation Electronic Paper Display to Be Used in New Electronic Reading Device


azom.com/ / March 24
Royal Philips Electronics, Sony Corporation and E Ink Corporation announced today the world's first consumer application of an electronic paper display module in Sony's new e-Book reader, LIBRIé, scheduled to go on sale in Japan in late April. This "first ever" Philips' display utilizes E Ink's revolutionary electronic ink technology which offers a truly paper-like reading experience with contrast that is the same as newsprint....resolution in excess of most portable devices at approximately 170 pixels per inch (PPI)...a user can read more than 10,000 pages before the four AAA Alkaline batteries need to be replaced.

Posted by trek/taro at 4:50 PM JST
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WTFFGBBQ! April 18
Topic: Me
FIELD TRIPPY! FIELD TRIPPY! WTFGBBQ!

Meet the TARO MUSEUM on Sunday afternoon, 1-ish, April 18, 2004 for the unofficial WTFGBBQ!

Cafe patio, gardens, forests, thatch-roofed Japanese village cum open-air museum, BBQ pit, and the modern art craziness of TARO! Razz And a surprise guest FG, "Kurohinge1", will be coming all the way from the Real World to visit. Taro will throw bento on the barbie as well as mad cows, sick chickens, cholera hogs and dead veggies but no natto ice cream.

TARO Museum info here


http://www.taromuseum.jp/english/d_a.htm


More Minka-en village open-air museum and BBQ forest info here http://www.city.kawasaki.jp/sisetu_e/minka.htm

Posted by trek/taro at 4:06 PM JST
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Chinese defeat the Japanese Coast Guard, again
Topic: Japanese life

Japan VS Chinese


Chinese activists land on disputed island claimed by Japan
Kyodo / Wednesday March 24, 12:11 PM

Flag-waving Chinese activists landed on an island claimed by both China and Japan on Wednesday, evading Japanese Coast Guard boats that tried to block them and triggering an official protest from Tokyo....
On Wednesday, a Chinese protest ship approached Uotsuri Island and dispatched a group of activists on small paddle boats that evaded a Japanese Coast Guard vessel...Japanese officials protested the landing.

Posted by trek/taro at 3:49 PM JST
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Blue-eyed Japanese Loan Shark
Topic: Japanese life
The dark side of Japanese finance
Japan Entrepreneur Report No. 17 March 2004 by Tim Clark

Speaking the polite Japanese of a seasoned businessman, the well-dressed visitor to Steven Gan's cramped Tokyo office introduced himself as an "investigation services colleague," so Mr. Gan invited him inside to get acquainted. For a few minutes, the two men made chitchat over cups of old mugicha barley tea. Suddenly, the stranger's face darkened. "What the hell do you think you're doing, trying to collect debts here in Tokyo?" he growled in the unmistakable slang of the yakuza, Japan's mafia. He pointed at Mr. Gan with fingers mimicking a gun. "Get out of this business now, or...bang!" ..


Posted by trek/taro at 2:38 PM JST
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authentic Japanese NATTO pasta?!
Topic: Japanese life
Try authentic NATTO spaghetti?

"One young woman I know breakfasts off natto on buttered toast...
For dinner, she often has natto on pasta, dousing the whole thing with mayo and soy sauce. "

The Japan Times: March 23, 2004

Posted by trek/taro at 11:38 AM JST
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Tuesday, March 23, 2004
"No Play" in Yokohama
Topic: Japanese life

"As a dog returneth to his vomit..." Prov. 26:11

There are some fun/foon pictures on this JET Returners site by "marcdano".
text

Posted by trek/taro at 1:46 PM JST
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Hello Kitty is 'officially' 1870 years old
Topic: Japanese life

Fun/foon typo on the Official Hello Kitty website on Tuesday morning, March 23


Hello Kitty
The orginal is now corrected, bah.
http://www.dreamkitty.com/hellokitty.html

Posted by trek/taro at 12:49 PM JST
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Tokyo unprepared for "CERTAIN" bio-attack
Topic: Japanese life
Japan should prepare for bio - attack - US health chief
Reuters AlertNet,
TOKYO, March 23 (Reuters) -
Japan, like the United States, is certain to be a target of an attack with biological weapons and should be ready to respond ... The government has compiled a manual to improve coordination among ministries in the event of an attack ... security experts worry that progress is too patchy.

Posted by trek/taro at 11:17 AM JST
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Giggling Japanese schoolgirl blog?
Topic: Japanese life

See/read a little more in the inspired livejournal entry:
today in giggling japanese schoolgirl zombie bunny-suit chainsaw news....

Posted by trek/taro at 10:26 AM JST
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106 straight losses & Haru-Horse is still a favorite
Topic: Japanese life

NHK News this morning devoted 15-farkquing minutes to this nag's big 106th "no-win" yesterday. Sheesh.
Even the yakuza couldn't even come up with such a good scam.

Get this. People lined up outside the track for hours before the race to bet. The racetrack had to close its doors at 2pm when it was filled over capacity. People were send to another fairgrounds 5 miles away to bet and watch the race on a big outdoor screen.


Japan Enthralled by Losing Horse...
AP via Sunspot Tue Mar 23 2004 08:12:00 GMT+0900

..."Glorious Spring" -- or "Haru-urara" in Japanese -- was out doing what she does best Monday, losing her 106th consecutive race, even with Japan's top jockey on her back. More than 10,000 fans braved the rain to watch her come in 10th out of 11 horses....
....Kochi Racecourse, travel agents are making a killing off "Haru" tours, and her chestnut face adorns shirts, cups and other tourist trinkets...A pop song about her came out last week....
Her already legendary lack of speed has made betting tickets with her name on them talismans to guard against traffic accidents. And her face is being used as advertising space: She races with a pink "Hello Kitty" riding mask.

http://www.harnesslink.com/www/Article.cgi?ID=10546

According to reports by 6 am there were already 40-50 people waiting to enter the course. The race did not start until approximately 4.35 pm.....
Shortly after noon the Kochi Racing Association's Internet server crashed after receiving a huge number of access attempts.

Posted by trek/taro at 10:08 AM JST
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