Japan in the News

Japan in the News

The following human-interest articles have been carefully selected from English versions of prominent Japanese newspapers for their use in the K-12 classroom.   They can be used in a variety of ways: to introduce current events in Japan or as a basis for comparison with the United States.  For each article, we've included a brief  excerpt.



South Korea, Japan Agree to Boost Defense Cooperation (Mainichi Shimbun)
January 11th, 2011 -  "Relations between Japan and its former colony have been relatively fractious in recent years, but the increase in North Korean bellicosity shows signs of driving the two closer together. Vestiges of the Cold War, the US has a number of alliances with uncertain futures."

Hideko Takamine, Lauded Japanese Actress, Dies at 86 (New York Times)

January 4th, 2011 - "Hideko Takamine had an acting career that spanned nine decades, and defied precedent for continuing her career even after she married. She most famously starred in Mikio Naruse's seminal When a Woman Ascends the Stairs."

Zen and the Art of Finding Employment
(Daily Yomiuri)

January 4th, 2011 -" Unemployment is a chronic concern for Japan's youth, and a local temple has begun offering seminars to aid the jobless in their search."

Smallest Generation of 20-year-olds on Record Talk About Their Hopes, Concerns (Mainichi Shimbun)
January 11th, 2011 -
"Japan's population continues its steady decrease; new adults discuss their and their country's prospects."

Animal Cafes Spur Public Health Concern (Daily Yomiuri)
January 10th, 2011 -
"Cafes where patrons can relax amidst a gamut of animals have proven wildly popular, but underlying hygienic concerns and lax registration processes are raising alarm bells."

Civil Servants Won't Receive Right to Strike
(Japan Times)
January 10th, 2011 -
"Civil servants don't have the right to strike in Japan, but in compensation receive more competitive wages. The differences between the history of labor unionism in the US and Japan could make for an interesting classroom discussion."

Japan Still Lags Behind in Gender Equality (Asahi)
January 10th, 2011 - "
Despite being the world's third largest economy, Japan lags behind other industrialized nations in gender equality according to World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Index."

Dommune Live-streams DJ Sets to a Growing Fanbase (Japan Times)
January 7th, 2011 -
"Naohiro Ukawa's brainchild allows music fans to view live DJ sets from the comfort of their own homes and tweet live feedback on the performance. Is this is a step towards breaking down the barrier between entertainer and audience?"