March 16, 2007
Japan's not doing it for itself

A touch late with this news, but it turns out that one of the reasons for Japan's low birthrate is they don't do the horizontal folk dance often enough:

A record 39.7 percent of Japanese citizens ages 16-49 have not had sex for over a month up 5 percentage points from two years ago according to a survey published this week by the Japan Family Planning Association. Among married couples, the rate was only slightly lower, at 34.6 percent...

"The situation is dismal," Kitamura said. "My research shows that if you don't have sex for a month, you probably won't for a year."

What seems most amazing is that Japan is home to a massive p0rn industry and has a pretty relaxed attitude towards sex. It's just not translated into action in the bedroom. Mind you this does explain why many Japanese seem uptight all the time. And that last piece of research could be handy: "But honey, it's been 29 days and the research says..."

Last time Japan's government tried to do something about this issue, it took them 50 years to offer a qualified apology and only 10 more to repudiate it. Maybe the government should sponsor the domestic p0rn industry instead to get those libidos going.

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[boomerang] Posted by Simon at 13:00
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June 21, 2006

From Manchuria to the moon: Editor's Note: A previous version of this story included a graphic of the Japanese flag instead of the Chinese flag. We regret the error.

One can see how the flags of Japan and China got mixed up, them being so similar and all.

Thanks to MM for the find.

Update LfC managed to save a screenshot of Japan's conquest of China's moon.

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[boomerang] Posted by Simon at 22:01
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April 17, 2006
Land of the falling sun

Just had another very pleasant trip to Japan. Sure Narita Airport is closer to Hawaii than Tokyo and I had the pleasure of spending the Easter weekend stuck in a seminar, but otherwise it was great. One thing I've always kept in the back of my mind is that Tokyo is an accident waiting to happen, that accident being an earthquake. I've always wondered what the right thing to do in an earthquake might be - I've heard plenty of stories where locals enjoy much merriment as their gaijin visitors scrable under desks.

Thankfully Tokyo's Metropolitan Government has come to the rescue, with an easy to understand guide for what to do when the big one hits. The good folks have also included a series of cartoons to really make sure the message hits home. Like all good stories, this one has subliminal messages...Japundit points out the hidden meanings these cartoons really contain. See if you can spot the black guy.

On a different note, I know what Hong Kong developers are getting for Christmas.

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[boomerang] Posted by Simon at 12:00
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» Sudoku Solver links with: nice!
» cd covers links with: cd covers

February 06, 2006
What An Aso

Japan has long been known to be an insular society. But it does not necessarily follow that it should be singularly incapable of producing a foreign minister that calms, rather than agitates, the ocean of discontent between the shores of China and Japan.

It must be difficult to be considered by your neighbors a has-been power. It must make one contemplate the past. How easy it must have been, some right-wing Japanese must think, when to nullify China all one had to do was to manufacture an 'incident' (think Marco Polo Bridge, 1937). But that is hardly any excuse for a Foreign Minister of Japan, Taro Aso (Mr. Potatohead?), in this day an age, to claim credit in a neighbor for colonial policies implemented when Japan was in charge. To wit, I quote from the Japan Times:

Foreign Minister Taro Aso said Saturday that Taiwan's present high educational standards resulted from compulsory education implemented during Japan's colonization of the island and that he believes Japan "did a good thing."

"Thanks to the significant improvement in educational standards and literacy (during colonization), Taiwan is now a country with a very high education level and keeps up with the current era," Aso said in remarks that risk sparking criticism from Taiwan and other Asian countries that suffered from Japanese wartime aggression.

"This is something I was told by an important figure in Taiwan and all the elderly people knew about it," Aso told an audience in Fukuoka. "That was a time when I felt that, as expected, our predecessors did a good thing."

He also for good measure called Taiwan a 'country' and also suggested that the former President Lee Teng-Hui could be invited to come visit Japan.

This as you can imagine has brought out furious reactions from the normally soft-spoken Chinese Foreign Ministry. Aso effectively hit on all three of China's psychohistorical bugbears: 1) Its past as the "Gateaux Chinois", carved up by the imperialist powers a century ago, kicked off by the Sino-Japanese War of 1895 (that made Taiwan a colony of Japan); 2) The ongoing efforts of Taiwan to become an independent country; and 3) the wartime atrocities of Japan in China during World War II.

An astute politician perhaps that knows how to press the buttons of his right-wing audience while conjuring up past demons for China. But this Aso is no diplomat.

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[boomerang] Posted by HK Dave at 10:16
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» From the Nakdong to the Yalu links with: Undiplomatic discourse

December 16, 2005
US Bases in Japan

Rant begins-> An idiotic weekly men's magazine, Flash, has had the gall of saying that the value of all the land occupied by US bases in Japan would be enough to buy up New York City. It is apparently 'outraged' by Japan's blind obedience to the United States, and for allowing it 312 million square meters to be 'occupied', worth a total of more than 14 trillion yen.

The nationalism in Japan knows no bounds. I shall pass on the fact that the land grants occurred when Japan was hardly in any kind of negotiating position, and focus instead on the fact that Japan saves that much annual on defense by having America there in its place. <-Rant over.

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[boomerang] Posted by HK Dave at 15:11
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December 09, 2005
The way of sushi

If you only watch thing this week, make it the way of sushi. Improve your Japanese, learn the ancient rituals involved with Japan's favourite snack food and enjoy.

Thanks to Curzon for the tip.

On a completely unrelated note, a new HK blog: Maybe HK. And the world's favourite English language Chinese blogger, ESWN is featured in Hong Kong's widely read Next magazine and LfC has translated some choice quotes. It's a just reward for the English language model worker award winner.

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[boomerang] Posted by Simon at 18:39
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