All posts filed under: Japanese news

Japanese News: July week 2 (終)

Introduction This week’s post is very short, only two topics, and it will be the last post in the section “Japanese News”… The reason why I stop is that I think this exercise already bore its fruits. I started it to help me read the news, and it worked better than I could say: Studying articles on my blog improved my reading comprehension (when I started doing this exercise, reading a political article was really scary and I usually understood nothing unless I studied it sentence by sentence). Posting every Friday forced me to be regular and read the news, if not every day, several times a week. More than the study part, I think that the regularity the blog forced me into is what helped me the most. I learnt a lot of English words too (to be honest, the real challenge of the Friday post was often more English than Japanese! It is not easy to write about politics in English…) But now, I have reached a point where writing this post takes …

Japanese News: July week 1

The topics I studied this week are: The labour reform: a recap Post-Abe: a list of the 5 candidates who could succeed Abe Football: Politicians’ reactions to the last match and a Korean digression The execution of Aum Leader Matsumoto. Labour reform On Friday 29th, the Diet enacted the Labour Reform bill. Despite many criticisms, the 高プロ was not removed from the text. As it stands, the reform contains three major topics: The system “同一労働同一賃金” will ensure that regular and non-regular employees get the same salary if they do the same work. I think that nobody criticises this point. A maximum cap for extra time “残業時間の規制”. Even if the opposition welcomes this instauration, they criticise that it is only fixed at 100 hours per month, which is higher than the 過労死ライン. The so-called 高プロ or 高度プロフェッショナル制度. This is the most controversial part of the reform. According to this system, some skilled professional workers with high salary will no longer be concerned by the working-hour regulation system: 高収入の一部専門職を労働時間規制から外す. According to the opposition, the 高プロ will only increase the number …

Japanese News: June week 4

Politician criticises the press Let’s start this post with a shocking statement by Taro ASO, who is both Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance. Seeing that the LPD had received high support among people under 30 during previous elections, he used this result to criticise the press. He said: “一番新聞を読まない世代だ。読まない人は全部自民党(の支持)だ.” To me, this is a strange way to attack the press. I guess that he wants to criticise the newspapers which, like Mainichi, make a lot of reports about political scandals and point out the problems of the government. Young people who don’t read newspapers are not “corrupted” by them, or at least, I think that this is the core of the message. But it is then easy to reply, as did a member of the communist party: “新聞を読んで真実が伝われば自民党支持にならないというのは、ある意味でその通りだ” (source) The most shocking part is that Aso says that people should not read newspapers: “新聞(の購読者増)に協力なんかしない方がいいよ。新聞販売店の人には悪いけど、つくづくそう思った.” 購読・こうどく: buying (a book or a magazine) and reading it つくづく: really, keenly, deeply, profoundly, (think) from the bottom of one’s heart IR Bill or Integrated Resorts Enabling Act …

Japanese News: June week 3

Only two main topics this week! The Diet session and M. Kake’s press conference: Japanese supporters clean up the stadium after winning against Colombia On Tuesday, Japan won its first match (2-1) of this year’s World Cup against Colombia. What struck observers, however, is how Japanese supporters took the time to clean up after themselves in the stadium. Colombian press talks of “sportsmanship”. Even though they won, Japanese supporters stayed respectful and willing to give a good image of themselves. This is what the Colombian press said: “ゴミを拾う日本人サポーターを祝福するコロンビアファンの姿が多く、スポーツマンシップに溢れる光景であった.” 溢れる・あふれる: overflow Current Diet session to be extended If I understand this article correctly, this current Diet session was to end on June 20th, but Abe wants to extend it for a month to pass important bills: 政府・与党は、20日に会期末を迎える今国会を1カ月程度、延長する調整に入った. 調整に入る・ちょうせいにはいる: I am not sure, but I think we can translate it literally by “enter (a phase) of adjustment or regulation.” This adjustment being here an extension, a prolongation. According to the article, the main reason for this prolongation is that Abe wants to pass a bill relative to …

Japanese News: June week 2

These are the topics that I found interesting this week! As usual, I have skipped all international matters. Fukushima (imperial visit and dismantling) The attack in the Shinkansen Wedding anniversary Hakamada case (paragraph break down and some reflexions on Japanese grammar) Majority at 18 Fukushima Imperial visit It is the sixth time that the Emperor and Empress visit Fukushima since the disaster. It would also certainly be the last time before the Emperor’s abdication next year. Among other activities, they met four representants of the victims from 富岡、大熊、双葉、浪江 and gave words of comfort and encouragement for the future like: “ご苦労も多かったと思いますが、それを乗り越えて良い生活を築いていかれるよう願っています。お元気で.” (source) From the various articles I read on the subject, it seems that the words uttered by the Emperor and Empress really mean a lot to those who receive them. Dismantling Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc announced that it will dismantle four reactors at the Fukushima’s second nuclear power plant. The Japanese name for Tepco or Tokyo Electronic Power Company Holdings is 東京電力ホールディングス(HD)and is abbreviated into 東電HD. The Japanese word for ”second nuclear plant” is 福島第2原発. The …

Japanese News: June week 1 (Moritomo only)

This week, Finance Minister Taro ASO communicated the results of the investigation conducted by the Ministry to clear up the Moritomo problem. There has been an avalanche of articles on the subject in Mainichi, and I was so deeply buried under it that I had no willpower left to examine other topics this week. (Now I know that I can’t draw avalanches) Moritomo Gakuen scandal There has been some development concerning the falsification of documents relative to the sale of public land with a huge discount to Moritomo Gakuen. (I feel that every article in the subject in Japanese starts with such a long sentence). We know now that the Finance ministry acknowledged that Nobuhisa SAGAWA is implied in and even gave directions for the falsification of the documents. However, there will be no prosecution against the officials concerned. The Finance Ministry will take intern sanction against 20 officials, including Sagawa. Sagawa’s sanction is three months of suspension from office. However, in March of this year, Sagawa had already received a punishment from the Ministry: …

Japanese News: May week 5

There are 5 weeks in May… 😲 Let’s start with a very interesting survey by Mainichi: 次期自民総裁石破氏20%、小泉氏17%、安倍氏16%. To be honest, I don’t quite understand the article, but what interests me is the survey in itself. At the end of the article, the results are given in details. We see at once that 48% of the people surveyed do not support Abe and that 31% do. But what is really interesting is to see the main reason why people do not support him: “安倍さんを評価していない” (58%). Even more revealing is the reason given by people who support him: “他に良い人や政党がない” (46%). People also massively (72%) wish that the opposition’s view should be taken into account when working on reforms. In my last Friday post, I talked about a document clearly linking Abe to the Kake Gakuen scandal. The survey asked people if they believe Abe’s denial and 70% answered “no”: “信用できない”. Nonetheless, when asked who should be the next head of the LPD (elections are in September this year), Abe was in the top three. The question was: “次の自民党総裁に誰がふさわしいと思いますか” …

Japanese News: May week 4

A lot has happened this week, and it was hard to follow everything! There are important topics that I have skipped, but here is what I found interested this week: Palme d’Or for Hirokazu Kore-Eda! Hirokazu Kore-Eda won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival for his film 万引き家族 or, in English, Shoplifters! 😃 是枝裕和・これえだ ひろかず: Hirokazu Kore-Eda ンヌ国際映画祭・カンヌこくさいえいがさい: Cannes Film Festival パルムドール: Palme d’Or According to this article, it has been 21 years since a Japanese director won the highest prize of Cannes. The last time was in 1997 for the film うなぎ by Shohei Imamura. 今村 昌平・いまむら しょうへい: Shohei Imamura During the award ceremony, Kore-Eda said: “さすがに足が震えています。この場にいられることが本当に幸せです”. 授賞式・じゅしょうしき: award ceremony I am not surprised that Kore-Eda should win the Palme d’Or because he has received critical acclaim at Cannes before and his films are always so enthusiastically welcomed in France. With Shoplifters, Kore-Eda has seen seven of his films selected in Cannes. Like father, like son won the Jury prize in 2013 and in 2004 young actor Yuya Yagira who played the leading role …