2018年5月22日 星期二

Taisuke Miyagawa apologized and said his coaches had ordered him to injure the opposing quarterback

Eugene Hoshiko/Associated Press
• His coach told him to do it.
A violent tackle from behind would ordinarily result in a severe penalty. But in Japan, where American football barely registers, the illegal move during a college game has touched off a national debate about “power hara,” or obedience to authority and unwavering team loyalty.
The 20-year-old linebacker from Nihon University who made the tackle, Taisuke Miyagawa, above, apologized and said his coaches had ordered him to injure the opposing quarterback or risk being benched. The head coach has resigned.
“I wasn’t strong enough to say no,” Mr. Miyagawa said.

2018年5月19日 星期六

98%新畢業生找到工作; Corporate Japan learns to boost profitability

Stodgy no more. Combined net profit at 1,566 listed companies jumps 35%.
Net earnings of 1,566 listed companies rose by 35% last year

Japanoise. The Shape of Music - Yoshihide Otomo


The Shape of Music - Yoshihide Otomo - Direct Talk - NHK WORLD ...

Nov 6, 2017 - Musician Yoshihide Otomo has many sides, composing soundtracks for film and TV while also making experimental music unbound by ...

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Japanoise (ジャパノイズ Japanoizu), a portmanteau of "Japanese" and "noise", is the noise music scene of Japan.[1][2]
Nick Cain of The Wire identifies the "primacy of Japanese Noise artists like MerzbowHijokaidan and Incapacitants as one of the major developments in noise music since 1990.[3]
Certain Japanese noise artists themselves feel uncomfortable being categorized under the umbrella of "Japanese noise", arguing that use of the term is a way of ignoring the differences between musicians who don't necessarily follow the same approach or even know each other at all.[4]
On May 8, 1960, six young Japanese musicians, including Takehisa Kosugi and Yasunao Tone, formed the Group Ongaku with two tape recordings of noise music: Automatism and Object. These recordings made use of a mixture of traditional musical instruments along with a vacuum cleaner, a radio, an oil drum, a doll, and a set of dishes. Moreover, the speed of the tape recording was manipulated, further distorting the sounds being recorded.[5] In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Merzbow took Metal Machine Music as a point of departure and further abstracted the noise aesthetic by freeing the sound from guitar based feedback alone, a development that is thought to have heralded noise music as a genre.[6] According to Paul Hegarty (2007), "In many ways it only makes sense to talk of noise music since the advent of various types of noise produced in Japanese music, and in terms of quantity this is really to do with the 1990s onwards ... with the vast growth of Japanese noise, finally, noise music becomes a genre". Other key Japanese noise artists that contributed to this upsurge of activity include HijokaidanBoredomsC.C.C.C. (band)IncapacitantsKK NullYamazaki MasoSolmania, K2, The Gerogerigegege and Hanatarash.[7][8]

2018年5月13日 星期日

新市鎮(New Towns)的現狀:被孤立的居民們;2012As Japan strains to care for elderly, sacrifices begin

不知各位朋友有沒有聽過「團地」這一日語詞,意思為社區或新市鎮(New Towns)。為了應付在上個世紀出現的人口爆發所帶來的住宅缺少問題,政府和民間在都市郊區建設了許多新市鎮來緩解都市人口壓力。如今這些地方成為了老年人口密集的地區,成了新的社會問題。詳細情況請看我們這篇報導。
新市鎮(New Towns)的現狀:被孤立的居民們(平山洋介)|https://www.nippon.com/hk/currents/d00382/
半個多世紀前的經濟快速成長期,為了解決城市人口過於集中的問題,在大城市的郊外建設了一些「新市鎮( New Towns)」。曾經被稱為「理想居住地」的新市鎮,如今卻因高齡單身居住者引人注目。他們的孩子都獨立生活,夫.....

As Japan strains to care for elderly, sacrifices begin

Junji Kurokawa/AP - A elderly woman walks across a street in Tokyo on Jan. 22, 2011. Japan's seniors will account for 40 percent of people, placing a greater burden on the shrinking work force population to support the social security and tax systems.

The ominous demographics of this aging nation have long been seen by Japanese as a distant concern, not a present-day one. But that mind-set is being called into question by a prime minister who says that a crisis requiring immediate sacrifices has already begun.

In recent months, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has staked his job and bet his support on a tax increase designed to fund Japan’s soaring social security costs.

For Japan, achieving fiscal health in old age
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For Japan, achieving fiscal health in old age

And the potential tax hike is only a sneak preview of the burdens to come as Japan grows into the world’s grayest society, a nation where two decades from now seniors will outnumber children 15 and younger by nearly 4 to 1.

Economists and government officials say that Japan, in the coming years, will probably raise the retirement age, again increase taxes and trim spending on everything from education to defense, all to care for its elderly.

Young Japanese — those entering the workforce amid two decades of stagnation — will face the greatest burden: They will earn less in real terms than their parents, pay higher pension premiums, receive fewer social services and, eventually, retire with a less-generous pension package.

And that’s the best-case scenario, experts say, possible only if a notoriously fractious government succeeds in pushing through a series of unpopular measures.

Decades of good policy “can avoid a crisis,” said Masatoshi Katagiri, an economist at Chuo University, but living standards will erode. “Either way,” he said, “it will be gloomy.”
As it rose into an economic power after World War II, Japan created a generous social security net, with a universal health-care system and a universal pension system in which people were covered as employees or via a basic national program. But since the collapse two decades ago of the real estate and stock market bubble, the foundation of that system has started to crack. Tax revenue has dropped amid deflation, forcing Japan, whose debt-to-GDP ratio is highest among developed countries, to fund its social programs with more and more borrowing.

Meanwhile, Japan must come up with more and more money. This year, Japan will devote about 29 percent of its 90 trillion yen ($1.12 trillion) budget toward social security, its greatest single expenditure. Every passing year, according to government projections, Japan will need to raise an additional 1 trillion yen as it becomes the world’s most top-heavy society. All while the workforce shrinks in this country of 127 million.
“The ground on which social security stands is now shaking,” Noda said at a town meeting here this month.

Japanese government officials have held a series of such meetings across the country, but Noda delivered the pitch here in Nishinomiya, a town wedged between Osaka and Kobe in Japan’s industrial heart.

Speaking to an audience of 200, Noda said Japan needed to double its consumption tax rate by 2015, a move that critics say could stall a tenuous economic recovery.
Noda described Japan’s problem in visual terms. In 1965, Japan had 9.1 workers for every retiree, and the social security system, he said, operated like a “douage,” a sports celebration where a team tosses the coach into the air. By 2050, though, two in every five Japanese will be 65 or older. The country will have one worker for every retiree, meaning that those celebrations will look instead like “kataguruma,” or piggyback rides.

 “It becomes really tough for the person at the bottom,” Noda said.

For Japan, achieving fiscal health in old age

Japanese have long avoided major social reforms, reluctant to mess with a system that they credit for their health. (Japanese life expectancy at birth is 83, the highest in the industrialized world, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.)

Modest changes came in 2004, when the government nudged up premium rates for its employee and national pension programs. But experts say that more — much more — should have been done.

At that time, Japanese policymakers came up with an idea to keep pension benefits from getting out of hand. They drew up a formula that essentially connected workforce size with pension payments to retirees. As one shrank, so, too, would the other, keeping the system sustainable as the population aged.

But the formula had a catch. It would be triggered only by an economic benchmark that required inflation. Years of subsequent deflation have prevented Japan from meeting that benchmark.

As a result, the formula has never been activated.

“We should have already been seeing this downward adjustment” for years, said Noriyuki Takayama, an expert at the Tokyo-based Research Institute for Policies on Pension and Aging. “So we have this aging population, and we still have no good answer on how to deal with it.”

Passing on the burden
In Nishinomiya, Noda made his 20-minute case that a tax increase was the first step to confront the problem. He said the country is “at a crossroads.” And then he opened the floor for questions.

A few seconds passed.
Then a 20-year-old college student, Naoki Kakuta, raised his hand and asked whether there would be ways to reduce the burden on his generation.

Noda answered that it would be unfair to “forever” raise the pension premium, because the burden should be shared, not channeled toward those with jobs.
But the answer didn’t quell Kakuta’s concerns.

Kakuta knew firsthand about generous benefits of Japan’s social security system, because three of his grandparents were still enjoying them. His surviving grandfather, Sueo Uemura, had retired 20 years ago from the regional electricity company, living with his wife on pension and savings ever since.

Kakuta said he didn’t think the cutbacks to the current system were coming fast enough. And he doubted the ability of Japanese politicians to draft the right policies.

“To me,” he said, “it sounds more and more like we’re passing this on to the younger people. . . . I feel especially bad for the generation after mine. And that certainly doesn’t motivate me to have more children.”

Special correspondent Yuki Oda contributed to this report.



近日看到中國重譯Japan as Number One!
British Museum
During the Edo period in Japan (1615–1868), men often wore fashionable garments and carefully chosen accessories to demonstrate their status and personal style. Intricately carved toggles called netsuke (pronounced net-ské) were worn on kimonos. Netsuke were often inspired by the natural world – this group of wooden examples depict a horse, flying crane, insects and rats.
See the range of beautifully carved wooden netsuke available in our online shop: http://ow.ly/8VOX30bFsVU

2018年5月8日 星期二

Is Japan the world’s most overbanked country?

High-income countries have on average 17.3 commercial-bank branches per 100,000 adults. Japan has 34.1
Is Japan the world’s most overbanked country?