2009年8月30日 星期日

Japanese Opposition Wins Elections in Landslide

日本眾議院選舉結果出爐,一黨獨大執政超過半世紀的自民黨在這次選舉中慘敗,民主黨在眾議院480席中,一口氣拿下308席,囊括將近三分之二的席次,成為第一大黨並取得執政跟組閣權,民主黨黨魁鳩山由紀夫也幾乎確定成為下任日本首相. 中翻英【Powered by Google AJAX Language API】,翻譯內容僅供參考。

日 本政權重新洗牌,執政長達半個世紀的自民黨淪為在野黨,首相麻生太郎在第一時間承認失敗並願負起政治責任.自民黨這次遭遇空前的挫敗,只獲得119席,人 心思變的日本把希望寄託給在野的民主黨.拿下眾院480席中的308席,民主黨雖然單獨過半並可自行組閣,但鳩山由紀夫將會結合包括社民黨跟國民新黨在內 的其他黨派組聯合政權. 選舉容易執政難,面對高失業率跟長期的景氣低彌,如何帶領日本走出經濟陰霾,並履行競選諾言,正是民主黨嚴酷考驗的開始.

Japanese Opposition Wins Elections in Landslide

For only the second time in postwar history, Japanese voters cast out the long-governing Liberal Democratic Party. The prime minister conceded defeat on Sunday.

2009年8月29日 星期六

Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organization (JIDPO)

財団法人 日本産業デザイン振興会

- [ 翻譯此頁 ]デザインによる創造的で豊かな社会の実現を目指して。(財)日本産業デザイン振興会は、我が国唯一の総合デザイン振興機関です。

Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organization (JIDPO), the comprehensive design evaluation and promotional organization, is pleased to announce the design ...

Topics & News

[Press Release] [Aug 14, 2009] GOOD DESIGN EXPO 2009



Come and See a Wide Variety of Latest Design !!

Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organization (JIDPO), the comprehensive design evaluation and promotional organization, is pleased to announce the design exhibition 'GOOD DESIGN EXPO' to be hosted at Tokyo Big Sight from August 28 to 30.

2009年8月26日 星期三

Will media predictions ring true on Aug. 30?

ring true
ring false

Will media predictions ring true on Aug. 30?


As I will be working on Aug. 30, I exercised my right to vote by casting an early ballot. A steady stream of people entered the polling station at the ward branch office soon after it opened, and it felt as if election day had been moved up by one week. A senryu poem I'd seen in the Aug. 23 issue of the vernacular Asahi Shimbun popped up in my head: "I'm an early voter/ Unable to sit still (until election day)."

Election forecasts by various newspapers all point to a landslide victory by the opposition Democratic Party of Japan. The Asahi Shimbun predicts that the DPJ "could capture 300 seats." The Yomiuri Shimbun says the tally "could top 300," while The Mainichi Shimbun boldly predicts "more than 320." And the later the publication date, the bigger the DPJ's expected size of victory. For the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, the nightmare is looming of losing half its seats.

It appears that nonaffiliated voters, who accounted for the "Jun-chan boom" that enabled then-Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to lead the ruling coalition to a historic victory in 2005 with his postal privatization policy, have decided this time to go along with the surging momentum for a change of government. While many voters are uneasy about the opposition party's campaign promises that sound too good to be true, they have apparently decided to at least give the DPJ a try.

The single-seat constituency system, under which shifts in voters' moods have decisive consequences, is now a curse for the LDP and a blessing for the DPJ. The LDP has had four prime ministers in as many years. If voters have finally reached their limit of tolerance with "same old, same old" and decided to boot out the LDP, the party is in no position to disparage the "suggestible masses." In fact, the LDP has no right to lament its fate now, since it owed its 300 seats in the last Lower House election to the suggestible masses, too.

Could the public's mood change in the final week before election day? "It could change completely overnight or in a couple of days," Prime Minister Taro Aso insisted on a TV program Sunday, vowing an LDP comeback. DPJ President Yukio Hatoyama, who is afraid of his party becoming smug, concurred with Aso on the same program, saying, "There is too much media hype."

Time will tell if the media have judged the situation correctly. For the media, too, the outcome of the Aug. 30 election will be a historic moment of truth. For the first time in many years, maybe for the first time in my life, I myself feel this strong sense of being a part of history in the making--not as a newspaper columnist, but as a voting citizen.

--The Asahi Shimbun, Aug. 24(IHT/Asahi: August 25,2009)

Horror of nameless statistics


Every person has a name. In death, every person leaves behind a life lived in his or her name.

"Nothing causes one deeper despair than to be treated as a mere statistic in death," wrote Yoshiro Ishihara (1915-1977), a poet and survivor of Siberian labor camps where hundreds of thousands of Japanese prisoners of war perished after World War II.

"In death, every person must be identified by his or her own name," Ishihara continued, noting he could never condone the thinking that the horror of a massacre lies only in the number of lives lost.

As someone who survived grueling labor in a frigid Soviet gulag and witnessed many fellow prisoners die as nobodies, Ishihara must have written those words with anger and as a prayer for the repose of their souls.

The same feelings are shared by Tsuneo Murayama, 83, a Niigata Prefecture resident and also a Siberian labor camp survivor who decided to take action.

He spent 11 years researching and identifying the names of 46,300 Japanese who died and compiled his findings in a self-published book in 2007. Titled "Shiberia ni Yukishi Hitobito o Kokusu" (Remembering the persons who perished in Siberia), the tome weighs a hefty 2 kilograms, a veritable "monument of paper."

Murayama had to cross-reference diverse materials to decipher non-Japanese-sounding names on documents provided by Russian authorities.

For instance, he found out that "Kochi Kashonich" was "Kochi Kamekichi."

And once he got the name right, he was able to also determine this person's dates of birth and death as well as the place of burial.

There were times when Murayama wondered if what he was doing was worth the trouble. But he could not stop.

"To be left nameless is tantamount to being denied one's existence," he recalled. "The war and the subsequent internment (in Siberia) shamed those men into anonymity and stripped them of their human dignity."

On the anniversary of the end of World War II on Aug. 15, I thought again of the evil of that war that caused innumerable lives to end up as mere "statistics."

The past is receding inexorably, but we should at least try to turn back the clock on Aug. 15.

There are still many people, living or dead, for whose sake we cannot yet pronounce the Showa Era (1926-1989) over.

--The Asahi Shimbun, Aug. 15(IHT/Asahi: August 24,2009)



From ancient times, Konpira Shrine has been a center of worship of the deity who watches over sea travelers. Near the shrine is a picturesque hot spring district, with numerous lodging facilities where one can enjoy the beneficial waters.

The Kotohira Shrine Lecture Hall

The Lecture Hall, made up of inner and outer halls, is an Important Cultural Property built more than 300 years ago. Five of the seven rooms in the outer hall contain a total of 90 murals painted on sliding doors by Maruyama Okyo. The inner hall contains other artwork of the highest quality, including Ito Jakuchu’s “Hanamaru-zu,” (Flower Circles). In autumn 2007, a new teahouse, Kamitsubaki, was completed. This is just one element in the ongoing plans for a cultural zone, prompted by the first Daisenza festival of the Heisei Period.


Restoration lets masterpiece blossom




photoRestoration lets masterpiece blossom(HIROYUKI YAMAMOTO/ THE ASAHI SHIMBUN)

Restorers apply finishing touches Tuesday to a mural by artist Ito Jakuchu (1716-1800) at Kotohiragu shrine in Kotohira, Kagawa Prefecture, after a year-long restoration project. "Hanamaru-zu" (Picture of flowers), created in 1764, graces the sliding doors and walls of an inner room of the shrine. It is one of the shrine's two greatest art treasures from the Edo Period (1603-1867). The other is by Maruyama Okyo. Jakuchu's work depicts 201 kinds of flowers in intricate detail.(IHT/Asahi: August 26,2009)

2009年8月25日 星期二

JAPAN'S voters, going to the polls on Sunday August 30th

Japanese voters go to the polls and other news


• JAPAN'S voters, going to the polls on Sunday August 30th, may opt for a change of government. The Liberal Democratic Party, which has ruled Japan for half a century (save for a brief spell in 1993), is under threat from Yukio Hatoyama’s Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ). Opinion polls give the DPJ a two-to-one margin over the LDP as Japan’s electorate are being won over by Mr Haotyama’s Obama-esque promise of “change” to cope with Japan’s ageing population, the low birth-rate and a dangerously lopsided, export-oriented economy. But Mr Aso has questioned the DPJ’s ability to pay for expensive campaign promises, such as a hefty child allowance to push up the birth rate, heavily subsidised schooling and income support to farmers.

See article

2009年8月21日 星期五


news25時:台湾 jicaが高雄県入り

  1. Japan International Cooperation Agency

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    Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) provides technical cooperation and other forms of aid promoting economic and social development in developing ...
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  2. JICA-国際協力機構

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(日)佐藤俊树 不平等的日本:告别《全民中产》社会

不平等的日本:告别《全民中产》社会, (日)佐藤俊树, 南京大学出版 2008


如臨大敵 日本加強預防新型流感 【05:15】
















2009年8月10日 星期一

Japan Rains Leave 13 Dead; Tropical Storm Approaches

Japan Rains Leave 13 Dead; Tropical Storm Approaches (Update2)

By Dave McCombs

Aug. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Thirteen people died in Japan when rains caused flooding and mudslides in the southwest and other areas, national broadcaster NHK Television said, as a tropical storm approached the coast threatening more downpours.

The Japan Meteorological Agency issued its highest-level warnings for floods and heavy rain in areas from the southern island of Kyushu to the northern prefecture of Akita.

More rain is forecast as Tropical Storm Etau heads toward the country. The center of Etau was 210 kilometers south of the southern tip of Wakayama prefecture, western Japan, as of 6:50 p.m. Japan time today, according to the weather agency.

Etau was heading north-northwest at 20 kilometers per hour with maximum sustained winds of 74 kph and is forecast to pass to the south of Tokyo after 9 a.m. tomorrow, the agency said on its Web site. The storm’s winds were gusting to 111 kph.

Eleven bodies were recovered in the town of Sayo in Hyogo prefecture west of Osaka, NHK said. Another person died in the prefecture and a woman was found dead in her collapsed house in neighboring Okayama prefecture, it said.

At least 10 people were missing in Hyogo and in Tokushima prefecture on Shikoku island, NHK said earlier.

Japan’s Fire and Disaster Management Agency said 9 people were dead and 18 missing as of 6 p.m. local time.

Suspended Lines

Workers at Tokyo Station used sandbags to stop runoff from storm drains flowing into underground areas while the water was 200 millimeters deep in some streets, NHK said. Areas west of Tokyo had as much as 300 millimeters of rain, the broadcaster said.

Some train lines in Tokyo were suspended as of 4 p.m. local time, with delays reported on the Narita line, which serves the New Tokyo International Airport, East Japan Railway Co. said on its Web site.

Prime Minister Taro Aso canceled campaign speeches in Hyogo and Tokushima today because of the rain, according to a statement on the Liberal Democratic Party’s Web site.

The LDP, which has held power for all but 10 months since 1955, is behind the opposition Democratic Party of Japan in polls before a general election on Aug. 30.

Etau means storm cloud in the language of Palau, according to the Web site of the Hong Kong Observatory that lists names in use for storms in the Pacific region.

In Taiwan, at least 15 people were killed and 55 are missing after Typhoon Morakot swept across the country before hitting the Chinese coast yesterday. One child died and the properties of more than 136,000 people were damaged after Chinese authorities evacuated almost 1 million before the storm arrived.

2009年8月4日 星期二



By Michiyo Nakamoto in Tokyo 2009-08-04

Wages in Japan have suffered their sharpest drop since tracking began almost two decades ago, fuelling concerns that the economy will remain under pressure from depressed consumer spending.

The plunge comes as Japan prepares to vote at the end of the month in elections that could topple the long-serving Liberal Democratic party, with both the incumbents and the rival Democratic Party of Japan, which is leading in the polls, wooing voters with promises of better conditions for workers.

Labour Ministry figures showed monthly wages, including overtime pay and bonuses, slid 7.1 per cent from a year earlier in June to Y430,620 ($4,518), the 13th consecutive decline but the biggest since the data series started in 1990.

The steep June decline stemmed in large part from deep cuts to bonuses as manufacturers in particular continued to suffer from weak demand. Bonuses, which are generally distributed in June and December, suffered a 14.5 per cent fall from a year ago. “This kind of drop in bonuses would be unthinkable in normal times,” said Naoki Murakami, chief economist at Monex Securities.

Overtime hours worked continued to fall by double digits, declining 40 per cent year-on-year in the manufacturing sector. Overtime pay fell 17.7 per cent in June from a year earlier.

Demand has been partly offset by government stimulus measures. Mr Murakami said that incentives to buy fuel-efficient vehicles and energy efficient electronic products have had a stronger impact on consumption than many economists had expected.

The LDP's policy manifesto pledges to create 2m jobs over the next three years and increase household after-tax income by Y1m within 10 years. The DPJ, meanwhile, is proposing an increase in the minimum wage to Y1,000 from about Y700 an hour.



日本厚生劳动省(Labour Ministry)的数据显示,包括加班工资和奖金在内,6月份日本的月工资水平同比下降了7.1%,至43.062万日元(合4518美元),为连续第13个月下降,且创下1990年数据开始发布以来的最大跌幅。

6月份工资急剧下跌的主要原因在于,日本企业(特别是制造商)继续受困于需求疲软,大幅削减了奖金水平。日本的奖金一般在6月和12月发放,此次发 放的奖金比一年前减少了14.5%。“在正常时期,奖金出现这样的下降是不可想象的,”日本Monex证券首席经济学家村上直树(Naoki Murakami)说。