Friday, October 31, 2008

Prince Charles, Camilla tour Nara, meet Aso

Prince Charles and his wife Camilla spent Wednesday, the third day of their five-day official trip to Japan, visiting the ancient capital city of Nara in western Japan. At Todai Temple, the royal couple saw the Great Buddha, a giant statue of Buddha, and a model that reproduced the 8th-century temple’s original state as they were guided around by the temple’s head priest, Dozen Ueno.

Later, the royal couple visited a local craftwork hall in the city and saw artisans weaving the traditional Nara Sarashi fabric and students in a craftwork class chiseling wood. Later in the day, Prime Minister Taro Aso and Prince Charles, who is heir to the British throne, held talks at a Tokyo hotel, where the prince expressed hope that the bilateral relationship will grow further, a Japanese official said. The prince also touched on the importance of forest conservation, and Aso said Japan would like to exercise leadership with Britain in the field of climate change, the official said.

The royal couple will also visit Nagano before heading to Brunei.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Three men arrested for unauthorized demonstration near Aso's house

The Public Safety Bureau of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department on Sunday arrested three men in their 30s for staging an unreported demonstration, which violates Tokyo’s public safety ordinance law, and interfering with policemen in the execution of their duty at the time of their arrest. The three called for the demonstration on the Internet and tried to march to Prime Minister Taro Aso’s house in Shibuya. About 40 people gathered for the demonstration.

According to police, the three men conducted the demonstration without reporting it to a local police station and assaulted police officers who were monitoring them on the street after they gathered in front of JR Shibuya Station at 4 p.m. The group of demonstrators raised flags and made speeches with loudspeakers during the march after police ordered them to stop the demonstration.

The organizers of the demonstration, a labor union, said advanced notification to police is not necessary and that the arrest was illegal. They said Aso’s house in Shibuya is worth 6.2 billion yen and they tried to “have a look at what it is like.” Some members of the group also gathered outside Shibuya Police station, shouting, “Police support only the rich!”

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tokyo 2016 - The Olympic Games Logo

No Death Penalty
No more Hangings
No Tokyo Olympics

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Kubica quickest in wet Saturday practice at F1 Japanese Grand Prix

OMAYA, Japan — Robert Kubica of BMW set the fastest time in a wet practice session Saturday ahead of qualifying for Sunday’s Formula One Japanese Grand Prix.
The Polish driver set a best time of one minute 25.087 seconds on a track made wet by morning rain at Fuji Speedway. Toyota’s Timo Glock was again prominent, setting a time that was just 0.085 seconds behind Kubica. Glock, who topped the time sheets in dry conditions Friday, indicated Toyota could be a threat to the top teams on the track its parent company owns.
The leading times of the session were all set in the closing moments when the track was at its driest in improving conditions.
Prior to the last burst of laps, Ferrari’s Felipe Massa was top of the timesheets, but was quickly relegated to seventh.
Massa trails McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton by seven points in the drivers’ championship with three races remaining.
Hamilton was 11th quickest in morning practice.
Renault’s Nelson Piquet Jr. was third fastest and BMW’s Nick Heidfeld fourth best.

from: Olympic Times - Sports Daily

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

naked in the imperial moat! What a shame for foreigners!

Stupid Brits in Japan!
A bald naked and stupid man who said he was a British tourist went swimming in the moat of Japan's Imperial Palace yesterday, climbing the palace wall, throwing stones and splashing water at police before being taken into custody.
Television footage showed the tall man getting out of the water at one point, chasing police with a stone and a plastic construction site pole.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Tokyo 2016 try to Gain some Knowledge From Tennis Championships

The AIG Japan Open Tennis Championships were held in Tokyo September 29 to October 5 at the Ariake Colosseum and Ariake Tennis Forest Park, one of the proposed venues of Tokyo’s 2016 Summer Olympic Games bid. But even living in Japan i didn’t hear anything about this event.
The venue is positioned next to the proposed 2016 Olympic Village site and forms part of Tokyo 2016’s Games plan to transform Tokyo into an Olympic Park.
According to a press release the event attracted more than 80 of the world’s top tennis players competing for men’s and women’s singles and doubles titles.
The event set a record with more than 75,000 attending despite inclement weather, and was watched by millions more on television. Of the 75,000 i strongly believe many of them got free Ticket from the government. Japan is doing this trick on several sport events because far too many seats will be free. Giving away free tickets help to give a false imagine of how japanese like to go to attend sport events.
Dr. Ichiro Kono, Chairman and CEO of Tokyo 2016 said, “we are very proud of our Japanese culture so I am delighted that top class athletes across the world appreciate the hospitality of the Japanese people, as well as the wide range of attractions and restaurants that Tokyo has to offer. In addition to allowing the world to again witness Japanese fans’ passion for sport, the AIG Japan Open has enabled Tokyo 2016 to deepen its knowledge of the needs and requirements of major sporting events in terms of the organizers, the athletes and the spectators. It was an invaluable experience for us as we continue to refine our bid to host the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games“.
Japan is still the wrong country to host any international sports event. Japan should focus on becoming more international and less nationalistic.


Friday, October 03, 2008

Formula one: Williams stick with Rosberg and Nakajima

Williams will keep an unchanged lineup of Germany's Nico Rosberg and Japan's Kazuki Nakajima next season, the Formula One team said Wednesday.

The Toyota-powered former world champions said in a statement that 21-year-old German Nico Hulkenberg would also remain as test and reserve driver.

With Formula One's technical regulations changing considerably, Williams said continuity was a key consideration.

Rosberg, 23, was already under contract for 2009 after team founder and co-owner Frank Williams last year rejected what he called an offer of "majestic proportions" from Mercedes-powered McLaren.
However Toyota protege Nakajima, son of former racer Satoru and currently Japan's only grand prix driver, had been waiting to hear whether he would be retained for a second season.

"Nico Rosberg continues to be one of the most capable drivers in the sport," said Frank Williams in Wednesday's statement. "Kazuki is getting stronger all the time and has more to offer and Nico Hulkenberg is developing well."

The announcement came after the British-based team celebrated their second podium finish of the season in Singapore's inaugural night race last weekend.

Rosberg, son of Finland's 1982 world champion Keke, finished a career-best second while Nakajima took a point in eighth place.

Williams, who last won a grand prix in 2004, are currently eighth in the constructors' championship with three races remaining.


Aircraft Decorated For Tokyo 2016

As an official partner of Tokyo 2016, Japan Airlines put into service Thursday a specially decorated aircraft to support Tokyo's bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics Games.

The airline has decorated one of its B767-300 aircraft with a special Tokyo 2016 Olympic/Paralympic Games bid design, which incorporates the committee's logo and Japanese catchphrase as well as an "attractive" rainbow motif, reports Japan Today.

The plane will serve on domestic Japan routes to raise awareness and support Tokyo's 2016 Olympic bid throughout the country.

But we all know well Tokyo don't deserve to get the Games again!

Deadly fire raises Japan building safety fears

As police questioned an unemployed man suspected of setting fire to a crowded adult video theater in western Japan, killing 15, fire officials warned Thursday that thousands of karaoke, video and comic book lounges across the country may be potential death traps because of widespread safety violations.

The pre-dawn blaze in the Cats video theater in an entertainment district in Osaka, Japan’s second-largest city, killed 15 men and injured 10 others. Police arrested a 46-year-old jobless man who escaped injury in the fire on suspicion of arson and murder.

The man admitted to investigators that he set the blaze with a stash of newspapers because he was “tired of living,” public broadcaster NHK reported.

The fire has renewed concerns that many entertainment districts in Japanese cities are overcrowded and filled with clubs that blatantly ignore safety codes and building regulations, creating virtual death traps. In 2001, a fire in Tokyo’s biggest red-light district killed more than 40 people, including bar hostesses and their customers.

Officials said Thursday they were stepping up inspections and warned that thousands of clubs could be unsafe.

Two government agencies launched an emergency nationwide inspection of video shops, Internet cafes, karaoke bars and sex shops.

The inspections will center on businesses that offer private cubicles, which have become a popular modern-day substitute for flophouses in Japanese cities.

“Buildings rented by multiple tenants, where nobody knows who has the responsibility for risk management, are particularly risky,” said infrastructure ministry official Kazuomi Abe. “Regardless of the type of business or customers, we must make sure everyone can escape safely.”

He said the number of violators could be “astronomical.”

Boxes of drinks, garbage bags and other equipment often occupy hallways, blocking emergency exits, he said.

When the fire in Osaka started, the theater’s 32 viewing cubicles—each equipped with a cot, a television and a DVD player—were mostly occupied and many of the victims were found dead curled up on their cots. Police said Thursday that carbon monoxide poisoning was the main cause of death.

Media reports showed a layout of the shop, with tiny compartments on both sides of a narrow corridor.

A nationwide inspection conducted last year after a fire at a karaoke bar in Takarazuka, also in western Japan, killed three people showed the majority of 6,500 such lounges with individual cubicles violated fire prevention laws and building safety codes, according to the infrastructure ministry and fire agency.

Another national survey of about 2,800 sex shops, released by the fire agency Wednesday, revealed that about half lacked sufficient safety measures. The inspection followed a fire at a sex parlor in northern Japan that killed three people this year.

The video center in Osaka offered a wide selection of movies—mostly porn but also cartoons and Hollywood films—for viewing in separate cubicles for 1,500 yen.

It is among a growing number of such centers that are a cheap alternative to hotels and attract businessmen and others who miss their last train home as well as people who cannot afford proper housing.

Woman arrested for abandoning newborn baby in Internet cafe toilet in Yokohama

YOKOHAMA — Police on Thursday arrested a 30-year-old woman for abandoning her newborn baby in the toilet of an Internet cafe in Yokohama, after she gave birth there. The baby was taken to hospital and is in a stable condition, according to police.

Kaoru Osaki, who is unemployed, was arrested for allegedly abandoning her male baby inside a plastic bag, leaving it in the toilet of the cafe, around 8:45 p.m. on Tuesday night. According to police, cafe staff found the baby and spotted Osaki leaving the cafe.

Osaki told police she left the infant because she didn’t have money to raise him, adding she didn’t know who the father was. Police said her family reported her missing a few years ago.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Policeman held for posting nude photos of children on Internet site

A 25-year-old police officer was arrested Thursday on suspicion of posting nude photos of children on a child pornography site on the Internet in violation of the law banning child prostitution and child pornography, Kanagawa prefectural police said. Toshiyuki Kobayashi, a police officer at the Seijo station of the Metropolitan Police Department, admitted to the allegation, saying he has posted child porn materials on Internet sites on several other occasions as well, police said.

According to investigators, Kobayashi allegedly posted five photos of naked girls around 10 years old, which he had copied from other Internet sites, on the child pornography site using his cellphone on Sept 12 last year. Police on Wednesday arrested the operator of the site in question, which was accessed tens of thousands of times a day, on suspicion of violating the same law. An official of the personnel division of the MPD said, ‘‘It’s very regrettable that one of our officers was arrested. We will handle this matter strictly after investigations by the Kanagawa police are completed.’’

GSDF member arrested over sexual relationship with 14-year-old girl in Sendai

Police on Wednesday arrested a 29-year-old member of the Ground Self-Defense Force for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture.

Shunsuke Kamata, who had been arrested for having a sexual relationship with a 12-year-old girl in September and was released on Tuesday, was arrested for allegedly having sex with the 14-year-old at a hotel on June 1 after they contacted each other through an online dating service for mobile phones.

Police said Kamata admits the allegations