Thursday, November 18, 2010

DTN News: Japan Top Stories / Headlines News Dated November 18, 2010

Defense News: DTN News: Japan Top Stories / Headlines News Dated November 18, 2010
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - November 18, 2010: Comprehensive daily news related to Japan for the world of TODAY.
*Comprehensive daily news related to Japan Top Stories / Headlines News for the world of TODAY
News On Japan
Friday, November 19, 4:10 (JST)
Japan's yakuza: Death of a mockingbird
What is it that draws some people towards their own destruction, like moths to a flame? Sometimes it is the most dedicated and generous people who end this way: foreign-aid workers, social activists. Even journalists, sometimes. And once in a while it is a lawyer, who chose a less-travelled path. One such attorney met a sad end this year. Toshiro Igari, a former prosecutor who worked on cases against the yakuza, Japan's mafia, was found dead in August. His death was ruled a suicide. But Jake Adelstein, an American journalist who specialises on yakuza activities, suspects murder. As in few other countries, the business of Japan's criminal gangs is woven densely into the life of the country, its economy, government and society. Some elements within the yakuza operate openly, lending the police an illusion of control. But there is a deeper and uglier dimension lying beneath the surface, profiting by human-trafficking, extortion and the trade in hard drugs. It can be exceedingly violent. (The Economist)
Seniors turn to pachinko to escape lonely lives
Step into any pachinko parlor on the 15th of the month and a growing problem in Japan--elderly people gambling with their precious pensions and savings--is often being played out. If it is an even-numbered month--February, April, June, August, October or December--the senior citizens will just have received their pensions and the pachinko parlor will likely be full of patrons with gray hair. According to one startling statistic quoted by industry observers, the ratio of pachinko machines in use across the country goes up 20 to 30 percent on the day pensions are handed out. Pachinko is a Japanese game played on a device like a vertical pinball machine. Winnings, often in the form of lighter flints and candy, can be exchanged for cash. Customers can spend hours trying to get a continuous stream of silver balls into winning holes on the machine to win a payout. (Asahi)
No. 2 man at Japan's largest crime syndicate arrested in Kyoto
A gangster ranked second-in-command to the imprisoned boss of Japan's largest crime syndicate, the Yamaguchi-gumi, was arrested Thursday for allegedly extorting some 40 million yen from a man in Kyoto from the end of 2005 to 2006, Kyoto prefectural police said. The arrest of Kiyoshi Takayama, a 63-year-old resident of Kobe, came amid an enhanced clampdown by Japanese police forces against the Kodokai gang, a dominant force in the Yamaguchi-gumi led by Takayama, before the release next spring of syndicate boss Kenichi Shinoda. (Japan Today)
Man linked to couple's murder plunges to death, suspected of strangling wife
A man has plunged to his death from an apartment building here, after apparently strangling his wife and setting their home on fire, ahead of police questioning over the deaths of a married couple, investigators said. The 61-year-old man jumped from the sixth-floor of the apartment building in Osaka's Nishiyodogawa Ward at around 7:15 p.m. on Nov. 17. Around the same time, a fire broke out in his residence on the same floor, burning the walls and the ceiling. Police found the body of a woman who is believed to be his 61-year-old wife in the room. (Mainichi)
Japanese whaler cleared of ramming protest boat
A Japanese whaler did not deliberately ram and sink a Sea Shepherd protest boat during a high-seas confrontation in Antarctic waters early this year, New Zealand investigators found Thursday. There was no evidence either the whaler Shonan Maru II or Sea Shepherd's Ady Gil deliberately caused the January 6 collision, which sheared the bow off the militant environmental group's hi-tech trimaran, Maritime New Zealand said. Instead, the government agency blamed poor seamanship on both sides for the accident, which occurred as Sea Shepherd boats harassed Japanese harpooners in a campaign to prevent whaling in Antarctic waters. (AFP)
In Japan, Beatlemania to strike again
The Beatles came to Japan in 1966 and took the country by storm. They played five gigs in Tokyo's Budokan. Those who were lucky enough to see the concert are still talking about it today. Others who weren't lucky enough watched a televised gig, which recorded one of the highest ratings in the history of Japanese television. The film adaption of Haruki Murakami's massively popular novel "Norwegian Wood," titled after and including the Beatles song, will hit movie theaters in Japan Dec. 11. (Wall Street Journal)
Three ex-executives of Japanese airlines indicted
A former executive of Japan Airlines International and two former executives of Nippon Cargo Airlines were indicted on Tuesday for allegedly participating in a global air cargo price-fixing conspiracy, the Justice Department said. An Atlanta grand jury handed up indictments for Takao Fukuchi, former president of JAL Cargo Sales, and Yoshio Kunugi and Naoshige Makino, who used to work for Nippon Cargo Airlines, the department said in a press statement. The three former executives are not in custody and are believed to be in Japan. (Reuters)
Japan's overblown anxiety
In Japan, anxiety over a lost decade has given way to fear that economic growth is never coming back. Japanese pundits warn that the country has "lost its animal spirits." A business leader I spoke with during a recent visit talked of relocating his company's operations to Singapore. Another asked if I thought Japan "would still be around" in 20 years. I'm not sure what he meant, but I know it isn't good. Two decades ago, Japan's gross government debt stood at 63 percent of the country's GDP Today, it's at nearly 200 percent. Consumer prices have fallen in 9 of the past 20 years, depressing production. A third of Japanese between the ages of 20 and 30 don't have jobs. Falling birthrates suggest there may soon be just two workers to support each retiree, yet there is little prospect of immigration reform to give the work force new dynamism. Yet, there are three reasons to believe that all this pessimism is overdone. (New York Times)
Nov 18Ford to cut stake in Mazda to 3.5% (
Mazda has confirmed that it has received notification from Ford that the US OEM will transfer part of its shares in Mazda to several of the Japanese company's business partners. The share transfer, equivalent to 7.5% of Mazda's equity, will be completed via off-auction trading through the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Following completion of the transfer, scheduled for 19 November, Ford will retain a 3.5% stake in Mazda and will therefore continue to be the Japanese OEM's fourth largest shareholder.
Nov 18Korean poachers threaten Japan crab industry (Asahi)
The Japanese Fisheries Agency has bolstered efforts to thwart South Korean vessels illegally catching snow crabs in Japan's exclusive economic zone (EEZ), but the poachers still seem to be a step ahead. The situation appears so bleak that some say the rampant poaching threatens to seriously damage Japan's snow crab industry. Concerns are already high that depleted global crab resources will push up prices of crab imports from such countries as Russia.
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