MEDIA IMMEDIACY: ASIA ONLINE
The New Observer
Based in Tokyo; aims "to fill a void which currently exists in the English-language publications in Japan." Carries stories and viewpoints ignored by the mainstream press, and serves "as a notice-board and discussion forum for political, economic, and cultural topics of interest to foreign residents and workers." The November 2000 issue featured homelessness in Japan, and deconstructed Tokyo Governor Ishihara's rather ominous plan for Tokyo - the "Earthquake Reconstruction Grand Design."
Japan's Media at Present www1.doshisha.ac.jp/~twatanab/watanabe/english/japan.html
Rather than a plan for disaster preparedness (lots of cities have those), it's actually a blueprint for building a new Jerusalem — or was that a new Tokyo? — out of the ruins of the old. It assumes a 7.2 magnitude quake, that will destroy large parts of the city. The blueprint...contains plans for a series of "strategic projects," including the "eco-green complex parks" (whatever that means), along with the "redevelopment of stricken areas," "big green networks," "rebuilding a safe foundation," "water networks," an "international business center," and "basic transport networks." The idea that everything can be planned out ahead of time is a small, perhaps innocent, flaw.
More eerily, though, the blueprint betrays a desire for the earthquake to actually happen. One passage, for example, proposes enthusiastically that: "When carrying out the reconstruction, maximum use should be made of the open spaces created by the disaster . . ." Translated from a more critical perspective, this means something different: "Buildings will collapse, crushing residents and workers underneath the rubble. Rather than focusing on how to save these buildings and the people within, let us focus on how to take advantage of the open land left behind . . ."
News On Japan www.newsonjapan.com
When news items are selected, the consideration not to offend or interfere with any group of readers is taken first, which means that the media do choose topics not to talk about serious social problems and they do not discuss concrete matters in critical ways, being afraid that some readers might take offense. From this comes a part of the reason why the Japanese media, especially the nation-wide newspapers, have not reported the truth about the Minamata Disease caused by the mercury emitted by a factory, or the HIV infection problem of the blood disease patients.
Japanese TV commercials — online. Is it really true that there's more art in Japanese TV ads than between them? Unfortunately, yes.
Gaijin A Go-Go
Posted by Zero One Design, another site focusing on Western stars in Japanese TV ads, "stars who wouldn't be caught dead in their own country pushing products."
Yesterday, attorneys for satellite TV company DirecTV sent Zero One Design a cease-and-desist letter asking them to take down a made-for-Japan commercial featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger, claiming the site infringes DirecTV's trademark — and Schwarzenegger's intellectual property rights.
Dentsu Advertising Museum www.dentsu.co.jp/ENG/dam/
Dec. 8: High-definition digital TV broadcasting began. East Japan Railways announced it will introduce a system to let people make a reservation using their cell phone and so pass through the ticket wicket without a ticket simply by letting their phone be scanned. A new vending machine was introduced that calls the police when it is being vandalized. A new system was inaugurated to alert drivers on a screen on their dashboard that there is a traffic jam ahead and to suggest an alternative route. The Highway Authority in Beppu announced the development of a net which can be used to clear away fog on an expressway.
The majority of townspeople wore kimono purchased at second-hand kimono shops. This was partly because fabrics were expensive at that time, but it was also the manifestation of a characteristic Edo philosophy of recycling resources to the greatest extent possible
Fortnight threw the Net www.insite-tokyo.com/column/john/index.html
Opinionated & entertaining bi-weekly compendium of off-the-wall but illuminating news stories on Japan from a diversity of sources.
J.O.Y (english, japanese)
Nihongo Yellow Pages
Nikkei Net Interactive (english)
RCAAU (english, japanese)
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