Friday, August 29, 2008

Sony unveils world's slimmest LCD TV

Sony Corp said Thursday it will launch the world’s thinnest and lightest 40-inch liquid crystal display (LCD) television, seeking to trump its rivals ahead of the key year-end shopping season. The new ZX1 model, part of the firm’s popular Bravia series, is just 9.9 millimeters thick at its slimmest section

Weighing 12.2 kilograms, it can be hung on a wall like a framed painting. Equipped with a fast wireless connection, the screen display is separated from the tuner so it does not need signal cables. The ZX1 series will be put on the market on Nov 10 with an estimated price tag of about 490,000 yen.

Sony also announced three other new series of Bravia LCD televisions with screen sizes ranging from 40 to 55 inches. They will be sold in Japan from Oct 10. Of them, the W1 series can project images moving four times faster than conventional models.

Japan like to bribe to get things rolling - Olympic Games 2016

Just found a really interesting article at It’s all about Olympics, of course. Japan and bribery, nothing new at all.
Read this article, it’s a really good post.

Japan is well known for bribery in getting international events. If they can’t do it then they will try to bribe someone to get things going. For the Beijing Olympic Games in Beijing it wasn’t all that clear what was going on.
Keirin is a cycling sport popular in Japan. However, it is virually unknown outside that country. The organisers of keirin wanted to make it more popular. How to do that? By making it an Olympic sport. And how to persuade the Olympic Games to adopt the sport? Maybe a $3 million bribe helped:

Documents given to the BBC suggest that $3m (£1.5m) was paid by organizers of a Japanese cycling event to the UCI - the world cycling body. The payments were allegedly made in the 1990s. The sport, called the keirin, was supported for inclusion into the Games by the UCI, and admitted in 1996.

For the Nagano olympics:

Meanwhile, the mayor of Nagano said that the city’s Olympic bidding committee’s decision to destroy its expense books had been proper and merely “the Japanese way of doing things.” Mayor Tasuku Tsukada said he left the decision on how to destroy the expense books to other officials. He explained that the expenses were approved at the committee’s general meeting and that meant, as a matter of course, that the records could be destroyed. “In Japan, that means it’s all done and finished,” he said. Some IOC officials inspecting Nagano as a possible site for the 1998 Winter Games were entertained by geisha, an official admitted yesterday. But he denied they were prostitutes. “We couldn’t very well have had the governor pour drinks,” Sumikazu Yamaguchi, a member of the bidding committee, said. “All they did was pour drinks and dance.”

from Wikipedia:

the 1998 Games went to Nagano, Japan in a 46-to-42 vote. Many felt the reason was because the US had recently been awarded the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta, Georgia. Others, including Welch, believed it was because Nagano had better wined and dined the officials.

In 2006, a report ordered by the Nagano region’s governor said the Japanese city provided millions of dollars in an “illegitimate and excessive level of hospitality” to IOC members, including $4.4 million spent on entertainment alone.

And read this one: (source:

A new report on Nagano’s successful bid for the 1998 Winter Games, ordered by the regional government, found that an “illegitimate and excessive level of hospitality” was handed out by the Japanese city.
The Nagano Prefecture Investigation Group Report comes more than 14 years after the International Olympic Committee chose Nagano over Salt Lake City in a close vote, even though the Utah capital was widely seen as better qualified to host the Olympics.
Salt Lake City went on to be awarded the 2002 Winter Games but sparked a worldwide scandal eight years ago when Utah bidders were accused of buying IOC votes with more than $1 million in cash, gifts, trips, scholarships and even medical treatments.
There were always similar concerns about Nagano’s bid but no proof because records had been burned. Now, according to an abstract in English of the investigation group’s report, dated Nov. 22, 2005, new problems with the Nagano bid have been documented, including:
– Nearly $544,000 (all dollar figures are calculated at current conversion rates from Japanese yen) in souvenirs were given out during the bid, an average of about $5,700 per IOC member. The gift limit at the time under IOC rules was $200.
– More than $4.4 million was spent to entertain IOC members during the bid, an average of about $46,500 per IOC member.
– There was no accounting of how approximately $776,000 was used during the 1991 IOC session in Birmingham, England, where the host city for the 1998 WinterGames was selected.

One government official told the investigation group that the money was used for “lobbying and promotional activities, and simply there were no receipts. Therefore, a phrase like ‘unaccounted for’ is not right, because it sounds like somebody stole it.”

– The total price tag for promoting Nagano’s Olympic bid was more than $24 million, almost five times as much as Salt Lake City’s bid for the 1998 Winter Games reportedly cost.
– The previously revealed destruction of 90 boxes of bid records — possibly, the report stated, at the request of the then- prefectural governor — “should still be viewed as a criminal act,” because the records were supposed to have been maintained for five years.

A bid committee member told the investigation group that the records “probably included a great deal of IOC-related secrets and personal information — it might lead to trouble if the documents were kept.”

The investigation group concluded the reason was because during the bid “illegitimate and excessive levels of hospitality were offered” that had to be hidden from Nagano citizens.

– A signature was forged on a document required to take a ceremonial sword, reportedly valued at $13,000, out of Japan to be presented to then-IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch. The report suggests whoever forged the signature might be guilty of a criminal offense.

The report appears to confirm the suspicions many had after Salt Lake City became the subject of local, national and international investigations. Rumors had started shortly after Nagano’s victory about IOC members having been provided with geishas and expensive artwork and electronics.
One story frequently told was that the Nagano bid committee reportedly gave members of the IOC expensive video cameras just before the IOC vote, while Salt Lake City’s bid team handed out disposable cameras.
Among the critics was Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who blamed Salt Lake City’s loss to Nagano on “corruption,” later claiming “Japanese leadership just basically bought the Olympics. . . . We were swindled out of it.”
But soon after the Salt Lake scandal surfaced, it was revealed that Nagano had set fire to its bid records. That appeared to make it impossible to verify allegations that theJapanese city violated IOC rules.
The Nagano investigation group, however, was able to piece together information at least about how much money was spent, by combing through a pile of documents that weren’t destroyed and interviewingJapanese bid and Olympic officials. Their report does not include details of what the Nagano bid actually purchased for IOC members.
But even though the report “revealed new findings, including how much public money has been misused,” there has been little reaction to it, according to journalist Tatsuya Iwase, one of five members appointed to the group created by Nagano Gov. Yasuo Tanaka in February 2004.
Despite the lack of interest, though, Iwase said in an e-mail that the advisory group is continuing to look at the impact of the Olympics on the finances of Nagano, a relatively rural mountain region known as the “Roof of Japan.”
Anti-Olympic activists in Nagano have long questioned the amount of money invested in the 1998 Winter Games, complaining that residents have been left with little more than debt.
Tanaka’s successful campaign to lead the prefecture, an entity similar to a state, focused on the need to investigate the Olympic bid further.
Repeated attempts by the Deseret Morning News to contact Tanaka about the report were unsuccessful.
Canadian IOC member Dick Pound, who headed the Switzerland-based organization’s investigation in the Salt Lake scandal that resulted in the ouster of some members, said Friday he had not even heard about the Nagano report.
“It might be of interest,” Pound said, even though the IOC investigative commission he led has long been “out of business.” He was surprised at the size of some of the expenditures listed in the Nagano report.
“That sounds high to me,” Pound said of the amounts the Nagano report said was spent on IOC members for gifts and entertainment. “But then some of my colleagues are higher maintenance than I am.”
It was Salt Lake City’s meticulous record-keeping that helped land its bid in trouble. The scandal started with a letter from an IOC member’s daughter about the financial assistance she was receiving from bid officials.
The records even led to the two top leaders of the Salt Lake bid, Tom Welch and Dave Johnson, being prosecuted by the federal government on numerous felony charges related to the scandal, but the case was thrown out midtrial by a Utah judge in 2003.
Welch could not immediately be reached for comment about the Nagano report.

How much will they try to pay to each IOC member this time?
IOC: don’t be a fool again! Slap the japanese bribers!

read more articles about the bribes of the japanese:
- 1999: Olympic officials face bribery charges

Bribes in Japan are just normal practice to have things rolling.

What do you think about this article’ Feel free to comment!
You think Japan should be banned from hosting future Olympic Games?


Japan’s medal-winning Olympic wrestlers back Tokyo 2016 - with bribes from the japanese goverment?

As support for Tokyo 2016 continues to rise across all sections of Japanese society, the country’s Beijing 2008 Olympic medal-winning wrestlers today threw their considerable strength behind Japan’s Bid to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
At an official meeting with Tokyo Governor and President of Tokyo 2016, extremist right-wing Shintaro Ishihara, and Tokyo 2016 Chairman and CEO, Dr Ichiro Kono, the Olympians endorsed the Bid’s vision to host the most compact Games in Olympic history around iconic urban features at the heart of Japan’s vibrant capital city.
Gold medalists, Saori Yoshida and Kaori Icho, silver medallists, Chiharu Icho and Tomohiro Matsunaga, and bronze medallists, Kyoko Hamaguchi and Kenichi Yumoto, were keen to pass on insights from their recent experience to help Tokyo 2016 enhance a Games plan that places the needs of elite athletes at its very core.
Ms Saori Yoshida, 2008 Olympic champion wrestler and member of the Tokyo 2016 Athletes’ Commission said:”The Beijing Games was an unforgettable experience. I want to help share this indescribable experience with the people of Japan, who are long-term supporters of the Olympic Games. I look forward to sharing Tokyo¡¯s unique culture and passion for sports with the world and to winning a medal in all classes of competition when the Games come to Tokyo in 2016.”
Ms Kyoko Hamaguchi, 2008 Olympic bronze medallist and Tokyo 2016 athlete ambassador said: “As athletes, the Olympic Games experience is the pinnacle of our dreams, hopes and aspirations. The chance to competing again in my home nation is would be more incredible still, and I am sure that Tokyo 2016’s uniquely compact, sustainable concept would make it a memorable Games for all of the athletes involved.”
Unfortunately Japan is not a country that welcomes foreigners. There was exceptional police and security personnel at the Soccer world Cup in 2002 and media warned Japanese citizen to be cautious of the foreigners coming to see the soccer games.

Dr Ichiro Kono, Chairman and CEO of Tokyo 2016, said: “We would like to thank the Japanese wrestling team for their committed support for Tokyo 2016 and congratulate them on their success in Beijing, where they inspired millions of people in Japan and across the world. Hosting the Games at the heart of Tokyo would lead to an incredible sporting, environmental and infrastructural legacy for the city, and set a precedent for urban evolution for the benefit of cities across the globe.”

Japan in it’s Human Rights problem is far behind any civilized country and should definitively not host any international sport event! Olympics should bring Olympic spirit and Japan is not at this time rife to go along international law.
To the IOC i like to advise not to do the same mistake as was made to China: award the Olympic games under promises. China didn’t go along with the promised it did. If Japan want to host the Games then, and only then, it should go along some basic rules and international laws. Only when past promises from Japan in the international scheme where fulfilled and new promises to safeguard human rights will be recognized should a candidacy be taken into consideration.

IOC: don’t take bribes from the Japanese and Tokyo government!

They will try to bribe you as in the past with the Nagano winter games! Let the sporting world have some credibility!

source: RobLadin - Olympic Games

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

S Korea to complain over use of 'Sea of Japan' in Olympic closing ceremony

South Korea said Monday it plans to complain to China over the use of the name ‘‘Sea of Japan’’ to refer to the body of water between the Korean Peninsula and Japan in the closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympics instead of ‘‘East Sea’’ as it is known to South Koreans. ‘‘The government plans to point out to the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee the invalidity of describing the East Sea as only ‘Sea of Japan’ and request ‘East Sea’ be used as well,’’ Foreign Ministry spokesman Moon Tae Young said in a regular press briefing.

South Korea will continue its efforts for ‘‘East Sea’’ to be used in naming the sea through international agencies, governments of other countries and manufacturers of private world maps, Moon added. Moon’s remarks followed critical reaction in South Korea over the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee’s display of a world map that used ‘‘Sea of Japan’’ during the prelude to the Olympic closing ceremony broadcast live across the world on Sunday. South Korean scholars and citizens argue that ‘‘East Sea’’ should be adopted as the historically and geographically appropriate name for the sea, which Japan began to refer to as ‘‘Sea of Japan’’ after its colonial occupation of the Korean Peninsula in 1910, according to Yonhap News Agency.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Each Aug 15, Yasukuni area turns into riot zone

With his broad shoulders rippling beneath his dark blue jumpsuit, Shinichi Kamijo has taken a sidewalk position on Yasukuni Dori, not far from Jimbocho station in Chiyoda Ward.

It is 2 p.m. and, given that he is about to engage in battle, Kamijo is surprisingly calm. “We must stop them from advancing to the shrine,” implores the 38-year-old member of Gishin Gokoku-kai, an “uyoku dantai” (right-wing group) that he founded when he was 26.

Kamijo’s target is the Anti-Emperor Activities Network, a “sayoku” (left-wing) organization that is about to begin a protest march through Kudanshita and toward Yasukuni Shrine, the controversial Shinto monument that effectively serves as a symbol of Japan’s wartime past. The group of 150 members is assembling at nearby Nishi Kanda Park, a small concrete and gravel square about a kilometer east of the shrine. Before the protest begins, the leader announces that the group’s battles with the uyoku are a usual occurrence. “But we are doing this for the people of Japan,” he says.

As Kamijo waits, convoys of his brethren in black trucks descend upon the area, their presence reinforced by the imposing grilles welded to their fronts, the gold-painted chrysanthemum crests upon their sides and, of course, the unmistakable nationalist jingles booming from their sound systems.

Thirty minutes later, hundreds of riot police officers materialize on the streets. Each trooper is outfitted with a shield, heavy black boots, shin guards and a helmet — the equipment needed to oppose the throng of rightists now stationed on the pavement.

“I want to show the strength of the uyoku power,” Kamijo says, readying his stance, “but we are under the control of the police.”

The above scene unfolded just prior to last year’s pacifist demonstration in Kudanshita on August 15, the anniversary of the end of World War II. The protest, which will be repeated this week and preceded by various other marches near the shrine, highlights the one day of the year where downtown Tokyo could nearly be confused for Pakistan or Tibet during times of political unrest — the city literally turns into a riot zone as right- and left-wing groups stand off against one another.

Yasukuni like a spark in a tinderbox

Perhaps Japan’s most notorious rallying point for nationalist sentiment, Yasukuni confounds its left-leaning detractors and inspires patriots due to its honoring of roughly 2.5 million military men, many of whom were encouraged by the belief that their spirit would be enshrined should they die in battle fighting heroically for the emperor. For South Korea and China, two countries that suffered most heavily at the hands of Japan’s military over a half-century ago, a crucial point of criticism is the enshrinement of 14 Class-A war criminals, including wartime Prime Minister Hideki Tojo. A heated debate on an average day, Yasukuni and its surrounding area is like a spark landing in a tinderbox on the anniversary.

Last year, the morning saw a separate one-hour demonstration in the streets west of the shrine’s grounds led by the Anti-War Joint Action Committee, which assembled in front of Hosei University in Ichigaya.

“On the anniversary, the uyoku begin working from early in the morning,” says the committee’s 64-year-old representative, Misumi Tadashi. “Not only around Yasukuni, but all throughout Tokyo, they blast their messages from speakers mounted atop their trucks. This is the most appropriate day of the year for them to appeal their existence to the public. The police cannot control them, and we cannot let them continue with these harsh activities. We have to do something.”

The Anti-War Joint Action Committee, which is funded through the sale of publications and plans on marching again this year, was established in 1992 to oppose the dispatch of the Japan Self-Defense Forces to Cambodia. Today, the war in Iraq is one of the group’s raisons d’etre.

The procession left the Hosei campus and moved up towards Iidabashi and back down Sotobori Dori to Sotobori Park, near Yotsuya. All through the route, police officers walked pace for pace with the over 100 protesters as uyoku members attempted to physically disrupt the march.

“It seems like the police are trying to stop them, but in reality it is very easy for the uyoku to break through,” believes Tadashi. “We can’t rely on the police, and the uyoku know that we have the skills and power to fight back — so that is why they don’t attack so aggressively.”

The proceedings were decidedly more subdued inside the shrine’s compound. Kamijo, the right-winger, paid his respects at Yasukuni just before noon. As he faced the memorial’s imposing façade, a hinomaru flag proudly stitched on the back of his clothes, beads of sweat poured down from his shaven skinhead on this mercilessly muggy day. He performed a few bows, tossed some coins, and clasped his hands in remembrance of Japan’s fallen soldiers.

Behind him, veterans sporting camouflage military uniforms and tourists, cameras in hand, emptied from tour buses onto the baking concrete.

Afterwards, as the burly Kamijo made his way back to a few rows of shaded tables filled with members of other right-wing groups, he explained that he founded Gishin Gokoku-kai because of the way Japan’s neighbors view the country.

“China and South Korea educate their children to hate Japan. They don’t want the younger generation to stop being angry and want to continue receiving money from the Japanese government,” he says of the Official Development Assistance program, whose work has included a subway project in Seoul and programs to improve the environment and public health in China. “I am tired of their complaints. They do not appreciate our efforts.”

By midday, most of the right-wingers had, like Kamijo, completed their patriotic duties at the shrine and returned to their fortress-like vehicles for the eventual move down the road to Kudanshita for the clash with the pacifists.

In Kudanshita, the tension is increasing. Cordons of police officers are now lined up face-to-face with the uniformed rightists. Kamijo, however, won’t be intimidated.

“Japanese have been way too quiet,” he explains. “And since we don’t have a nuclear weapon, they [China and South Korea] can be aggressive.”

Kamijo admits that he’s not in top form since having dropped 11kg following an illness, but there is little doubt that he means business. As a warning to foreigners, the word “DEATH” is tattooed on the back of his neck, as is the numeral 4, whose kanji (pronounced “shi”) has the same morbid meaning. Appearing on his meishi are the lyrics to “Kimigayo,” Japan’s national anthem.

History of brawling with mobsters, foreigners

A carpenter by trade, Kamijo says that his history of brawling with mobsters and foreigners in Roppongi while a member of a “bosozoku” motorbike gang is so extensive that he suggests we have a separate meeting so he can convey all the gory details. Certainly, on this day, his actions make such claims seem extremely plausible.

Carrying large red balloons, colorful flags, and painted banners — including one featuring the image of Che Guevara — the Anti-Emperor Activities Network makes the turn toward Kamijo’s corner. Their chants are loud and clear: “We are completely against all the people who go to Yasukuni!”

As if rushing a quarterback, Kamijo tries to wedge his massive frame between a pair of police shields to get at his enemies. When rebuffed by the officers, he stabs his right index finger to the sky and screams.

Unbowed, Kamijo quickly follows the crowd down the street with one of his cohorts. Together, they leap over a flower bed yet find themselves pushed back by a flurry of helmets and forearms. Amid the chaos, Kamijo winds up getting flipped onto his back, with planters being dumped and their contents spilled. Advertising flags fall to the sidewalk.

Reports of uyoku-sayoku clashes commonly claim that the police firmly side with the right. But on this day, the sayoku are generally being protected. As the procession moves along, right-wingers with portable loudspeakers blast their righteous messages as their bolder brothers continue to make attempts at breaking the police lines. Each time, however, the protester is tackled, dragged off or pushed away by Tokyo’s finest.

Confused onlookers stand by as the sidewalks and the center of the street become a swirling display of swaying flags, mashing bodies and deafening noise.

In spite of Kamijo’s claims of wanting to display the spirit of the uyoku, much of the violent activity appears staged, which matches with the observations of Tadashi from the Ichigaya demonstration. Though visually surreal, many of the punches seem feigned, and the multiple clenched fists merely come across as elaborate street theater. Further, given the clear planning on the part of the police, it is clear that the protest route, starting time and participants have been coordinated well in advance.

The opposition continues to show relentless zeal, yet the chants from the marchers do not stop: “We are not going to forgive the government at all! No more war! No more Yasukuni!”

In the surrounding area, right-wing groups have parked their trucks at police barricades established at many of the large intersections. The cops hold their ground as the members stand by and scowl outside their vehicles, whose sound systems are still smothering the area with the military anthems at ear-splitting volume.

By the time the mob comes within view of Yasukuni’s gates, an atmosphere of hatred permeates the entire scene. Standing outside of shops and offices, a few salarymen and older women have decided to join in and verbally condemn the lefties for their presence.

The march then turns up Mejiro Dori — not onwards toward the shrine — which most certainly was the plan all along. The protesters file into a small brick smoking area that includes a bathroom. Many right-wingers surround the premises and continue their screaming and pushing routines.

Down narrow side streets, a few overly aggressive rightists can be seen getting hauled away by small groups of police. It is now clear that the ranks are thinning, and when a caravan of right-wing trucks breaches one of the police blockades and makes a final sonic blitz past the assembled protesters, it almost signals a last gasp.

The atmosphere should be no less heated on the anniversary this year. This spring anger raged over the release of “Yasukuni,” a documentary by Chinese director Li Ying that multiple theaters in Japan refused to screen following threats from right-wing groups, who saw the film as being “anti-Japan.”

Kamijo, who was not arrested last year, expects a similar scene in Kudanshita, and once again he is excited. “We have to stop them,” he says bluntly. “We must force them to cancel the demonstration.”

The Anti-War Joint Action Committee, too, sees the scene unfolding much as it did 12 months earlier, and promises to be ready. “We have confidence to fight back,” Tadashi says. “We have guts and pride, and I am sure they will be coming after us.”

The Kundanshita demonstration will get underway along Yasukuni Dori on Aug 15, just after 2:30 p.m. Access via Jimbocho station (exit A1 or A2) or Kudanshita station (exit 5 or 6). The Ichigaya demonstration will start from Hosei University at 9 a.m. Nearest stn: JR Ichigaya. Due to police activity, routes and times may change without notice.

A panel of journalists and other interested parties will be holding a meeting about the Yasukuni issue at Sendagaya Kumin Kaikan on Aug 15 at 5:45 p.m. 1-10-1 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-3402-7854. Nearest stn: Harajuku or Meiji-Jingumae.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Yoshida retains Olympic title in women's 55kg wrestling

Saori Yoshida retained her Olympic gold medal in the women's 55kg freestyle wrestling on Saturday after defeating host wrestler Xu Li in the final.
Yoshida dominated the final, giving her opponent no chance and winning the two bouts 2-0, 5-0.
The 25-year-old Yoshida was also the winner of the last five world championships from 2002 to 2007 besides her triumph in Athens four years ago when women's wrestling made its Olympic debut.
Yoshida had a undefeated record of 119 matches, which ended by American Marcie van Dusen in the World Cup in Taiyuan, China in March this year.
"This gold really means lots to me," said Yoshida. "I can't forget the loss to van Dusen. That's the only one in my career life."
"That loss left shadow in my heart and it forced me to keep training. I came here only for the gold."
"I never wasted any practise chance since 2004 and I kept on improving myself." added Yoshida.
Yoshida thought high of her opponent in final. She thought Xu Li was quite a strong opponent.
"Xu Li is very young and strong. It is difficult to beat her."
"From now on, I will begin to start all opponents' weakness to win more." said Yoshida.
She became the first female wrestler to retain the Olympic champion.
Xu Li failed to earn China the first wrestling gold at Beijing Olympics. The silver was Chinese second as Chang Yongxiang placed second men's Greco-Roman 74kg class. Xu would have been the youngest Olympic wrestling gold medalist in any discipline.
Xu Li, 19, said she didn't expect to go into the final as her first target was just to be in the top eight.
"So silver is all right to me," said Xu. "I fought with Yoshida twice and I lost both. She was really a strong rival to defeat."
"Anyway, I don't think I was performing my best. I will work hard in the future." added Xu.
Jackline Renteria of Colombia defeated Ana Paval of Romania with a victory by fall, to earn Colombia the second medal at the Beijing Olympics.
Another bronze medal went to Tonya Verbeek of Canada. She took the second medal for Canada following teammate Carol Huynh's gold win in the women's 48kg category.

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Police charge Russian man in spying case

The Public Safety Bureau of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department on Wednesday filed charges against a Russian man of Asian origin for spying and the illegal use of a missing Japanese national’s passport.

The Metropolitan Police Department took the action after judging that it is unlikely the man, whose real name is unknown, will reenter Japan because the passport he renewed outside the country in 1997 expired in June last year, they said.

The man, believed to be currently in his seventies, has been on the international wanted list since 1997. In furthering their investigations police have decided to bring charges against him for allegedly applying for a passport under the name of dental engineer Ichiro Kuroba (who was declared missing in Koriyama City, Fukushima Prefecture in 1965), at the Japanese embassy in Austria in 1997.

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Police said the suspect had worked at an international trade company in Tokyo for 30 years, collecting military and political information for the Russian Intelligence Agency (the former KGB) through business trips to Western countries and his dealings with Japanese Self-Defense Force personnel, politicians and Russian embassy officials in Japan.

Police said the suspect is married to a Japanese woman, who currently living in Japan, and that she has communicated with him by radio since he left the country in 1995. She is quoted by police as saying, “I was sometimes concerned as to his real identity but I always trusted him.”

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Men’s 100m Breaststroke: Kitajima Kosuke takes gold in world record

Kitajima Kosuke of Japan defended his Olympic title in the Men’s 100m Breaststroke in fine style on Monday, August 11, breaking Brendan Hansen’s (USA) world record in a time of 58.91.

Norway’s Alexander Dale Oen won the silver medal in a time of 59.20. Oen swam consistently fast through heats and semifinals and went into the final the fastest qualifier after setting an Olympic record of 59.16 in the semifinals.

Hugues Duboscq of France collected the bronze in a time of 59.37, relegating one of the event favorites, Brendan Hansen (USA) to fourth.

Hansen, the world record holder coming into the event, looked sluggish through the heats and semifinals. His fourth place time was 59.57.

Hansen only had one individual race to contest at these Games, after failing to qualify for the 200m Breaststroke at US Olympic trials in July.

from: Beijing Olympic Games 2008

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Japanese Olympians to bring dust masks to Beijing

Japan’s Olympic delegation will carry 500 dust masks for industrial use to guard against the notorious air pollution in Beijing, a corporate official said Monday.

Koken, a major Japanese maker of respirators, gas masks and air purifiers, has provided the masks for free to the Japanese Olympic Committee for possible use in training at the Beijing Games.

“These are not the kind of masks that are sold at drug stores to protect yourself from flu or hay fever,” said Kohei Kubo, an official at Koken’s life safety division.

“They are used at dusty factories and other industrial sites, as well as hospitals, where they are used to prevent infections,” he said.

The masks can cut by more than 95 percent the number of small particles that the athletes would inhale, he said.

They are equipped with superlight filters, each weighing 11 grammes (one third of an ounce), and an exhaust valve.

The company recommended the products to the national Olympic committee last year as international concern grew about Beijing’s air pollution, Kubo said.

“We provided the products to the committee in mid-July and they are bringing them as a precaution,” he said.

Poor air quality in Beijing has prompted International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge to warn it could result in the suspension of some events, particularly endurance races such as the marathon.

Beijing has closed many of the most polluting factories around the city and banned more than one million cars from the roads every day.

Despite the measures, visibility in the city remained poor on Monday, and officials have warned they may need to take more drastic steps to clear the skies ahead of the Games, which begin August 8.

from: beijing olympic games 2008