Tag Archives: Japan

Japanese independent women

From eating out to camping, more Japanese women are doing things alone as they wish to enjoy their time to themselves.

In the past, those without family members, partners or friends were commonly looked upon in a negative light. However, this view has been changing with so-called soloists increasingly being seen as independent.

You make your own decisions, so you get the chance to face yourself,” said free-lance writer Mayumi Asai, who has been promoting a perception. “There is no feeling of loneliness, only one of significance and accomplishment.”

Her writing has garnered support from like-minded individuals who comment that they also enjoy undertaking activities by themselves and want to have similar experiences to hers.

One day last month Asai could be found strawberry picking at a farm in the city of Kawagoe, Saitama Prefecture.

Unlike the majority of visitors, who comprised couples and families, Asai had come alone. After picking a few dozen strawberries, she went on to take some pictures of the cherry blossoms in bloom along a nearby river.

The 33-year-old began doing things on her own as a university student after a female friend who had grown up abroad told her she liked to eat at ramen (quick-cooking noodles) restaurants by herself. Asai had always felt it was a burden to have to consider the feelings of others when hanging out in a group, but this feeling disappeared when she followed the example of her friend and began eating on her own.

According to a 2015 study conducted by the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, 36% of women responded that they would not feel lonely if they were to spend the rest of their lives by themselves, up 7% points from the previous study five years before.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe would like 30% of Japanese business leaders to be women by 2020. A record 75.7% of women between the ages of 25 and 39 held jobs in 2017, up 6% from 2012, according to a survey by the Internal Affairs Ministry. Confronted by a labor shortage, companies are offering flexible hours, enabling mothers with small children to hold on to their jobs.

Woman Kyoto

 

Japan Reiwa era with scent of plum blossoms

The Japanese public opinion reacted favorably to announcement of “Reiwa” as the country’s new era name, with many welcoming the use of a character meaning peace, calmness and harmony.

The new era name is comprised of two Chinese characters derived from the Japanese classic “Manyoshu,” an eighth-century collection of Japanese poetry.

Japan‘s new era beginning May 1 has been named “Reiwa,” with Crown Prince Naruhito due to ascend to the throne that day to succeed his father Emperor Akihito.

Kyodo News published is a photo collection of various scenes around Japan after the announcement of the new era name on April 1.

Japan enters new era

Regarding concerns ocured over the procedure of the changeover from Showa to Heisei era the government will officially record the process of selecting the new era name to follow Heisei which will be announced April 1,  Japanese government sources indicated.

Among a set of documents to be kept for a maximum 30 years under the law will be calligraphy of the gengō (era name) that Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga is expected to demonstrate in an announcement April 1.

The era name change will come on May 1 when Crown Prince Naruhito is due to ascend the throne, taking over from his father, Emperor Akihito, who is set to abdicate on April 30.

A panel of representatives from the business world, academia and media organizations will review proposed names in the morning April 1, and an outline of their discussions will be documented.

Following the announcement by the top government spokesman, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to explain its meaning and detail the literary work from which it is derived. But the government is unlikely to reveal further details that day, including other names that were discussed.

 

 

Japan to develop cruise missile

Japan Defence Ministry has adopted a policy decision to develop the nation’s first domestically manufactured air-to-ship long-range cruise missile, to be mounted on Air Self-Defence Force fighter jets and capable of attacking a warship from outside of an adversary’s range.

The new missile, which is to be developed in response to the rapid advance in the strike capability of the Chinese Navy, will reinforce Japan‘s deterrence by extending the shooting range to more than 400 km. The ministry aims to put the new missile into practical use within a few years, government sources said.

Japan Emperor reign anniversary

The House of Representatives issued congratulations to Emperor Akihito (85) on his 30-year reign, ahead of his abdication at the end of April, in the first such message dedicated to a particular Imperial anniversary.

“We, the Japanese people, respectfully acknowledge His Majesty the Emperor’s achievements over the past 30 years under his era of Heisei, during which he has always stood by the people and prayed for their peace,” says the message.

Among political parties, the Japanese Communist Party, which has traditionally maintained a distance from the Imperial system, boycotted the imitative, explaining that they do not agree with the “unprecedented” message that “excessively praises” the Emperor in light of the principle of popular sovereignty.

The Heisei Era started with the Emperor’s enthronement in 1989 and will end when the 85-year-old steps down on April 30 as the first Japanese monarch to do so in about 200 years. His eldest son, Crown Prince Naruhito (59), will take over the Chrysanthemum Throne on May 1.

Japan considers visa-free for Russians

Moscow has welcomed the deliberations in Tokyo for ending the visa system for Russians travelling to Japan, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Such discussions are undoubtedly welcomed and this fits into the general course towards further developing [bilateral] relations,” the Kremlin spokesman said.

Although the visa issue was not discussed at the latest talks between President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the spokesman added.

The Japanese newspaper Sankei earlier reported that Tokyo was looking into cancelling short-term entry visas for Russian citizens, which means that they would be able to enter Japan visa-free for 90 days, if they register data of their passports in any Japanese consulate in advance, the newspaper writes.
Earlier Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said there can be a pilot visa-free prjoect between  Sakhalin and Hokkaido.

The visa  issue might be discussed between the Russian and Japanese foreign ministers, at during Munich Security Conference set for February 16, the newspaper writes.

Tourism to Japan is booming: last year 31 travelers enjoyed visit to the Land of the Rising Sun.

 

EU-Japan ‘strategic partners’ era

From December 2018 to February 2019 EU-Japan relations are set to receive a major lift with the signing of a new trade agreement and a strategic partnership.

Although EU and Japan already enjoy good relations, they have agreed to upgrade their partnership against a background of increasing international tensions and protectionism.

The proposed trade agreement will make it easier for European companies to export to Japan, while a planned strategic partnership will boost cooperation on common challenges such as security and the environment.

 

The European Parliament endorsed both proposals of the Commission during the December plenary. The Council will also have to approve both agreements before they can enter into force.

EU companies export more than €58 billion worth of goods and €28 billion in services to Japan a year, but the trade agreement will boost this even further by removing remaining barriers to trade. This includes eliminating 90% of tariffs on more than 90% of the EU’s exports to Japan. This is expected to save EU exporters about €1 billion in customs duties a year. In addition, Japan will recognise the special status of more than 200 European agricultural products from specific regions, known as Geographical Indications. Measures will also be taken to lower non-tariff barriers, for example by relying on international standards rather than specific Japanese requirements.

The EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement sends a timely signal in support of open, fair, values- and rules-based trade at a time of increasing protectionism and an erratic trade policy by US President Donald Trump. This agreement also represents an opportunity for the European Union (EU) in the Asia-Pacific, especially since the US withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) regional free trade agreement, and helps promote EU values and high standards in the region.”  MEP Pedro SILVA PEREIRA a Portuguese member of the S&D group, said the agreement was being concluded at an important time:

“This agreement will foster not only closer bilateral economic ties, but also concrete cooperation on sustainable development like the fight against climate change. The agreement can, in addition, enhance coordination on multilateral issues with Japan and help shape rules for the global economy in line with our high standards and shared values of respect for human rights, democracy and the rules of law” the MEP added.

MEPs said they saw the agreements as possible models for cooperation with other countries.

It is the first EU trade agreement with a commitment to the implementation of the Paris Agreement to combat climate change and with dedicated chapters on corporate governance and small and medium-sized enterprises. The agreement also upholds the EU’s high standards on environmental protection, consumer protection, food safety and labour rights, protects public services and respects the right to regulate
Silva Perreira said.

The two agreements have been possible because the EU and Japan are like-minded partners with shared values of democracy and a common vision for global trade and cooperation… high standards and the readiness to address current global challenges should be the cornerstone of future cooperation agreements” MEP Alojz
Peterle said.

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