In the News

I keep up with the news much more now that I’m living abroad than I ever in the states! This is partly because I have internet on my phone, so I just read up on msnbc and cnn.com whenever I’m on the train. I’m completely out-of-the-loop when it comes to pop culture but otherwise I’m pretty up to date. I also look over japantoday.com and the Japan Times Online now and then so I have an idea of whats going on here too. ——-Just thought I’d share some interesting (or funny or strange) Japanese news stories with you.

*All gray headings are linked to the actual news story.

McDonald’s admits 1,000 people paid to join queue for Quarter Pounder debut in Osaka

“OSAKA — Around 1,000 people were paid to join the queue outside the Midosuji-Suomachi branch of McDonald’s for the release of their Quarter Pounder burger in the Kansai area on Tuesday”

Yakuza may also be eligible for jury duty

“In 2009, Japan will initiate a new lay jury system in which a panel of six rank-and-file citizens attend criminal trials and consult with three court judges before decisions are handed down…But members of criminal syndicates are not specifically excluded. Attorney Kaoru Inoue, a former judge and outspoken opponent of the new system, says the way the law stands, there’s no reason why someone cannot serve as a lay juror just because he’s a yakuza.”

Japan sent uranium to U.S. in secret

Enough highly enriched U.S. uranium to make about 20 nuclear weapons was sneaked back to the United States from Japan over a 12-year period until last summer in a secret operation aimed at keeping it out of terrorists’ hands, a senior U.S. official and Japanese specialists recently revealed.”

Government to offer flats to jobless people

“The Finance Ministry has decided to temporarily provide apartments to people whose jobs have been claimed by the deepening recession. The ministry said Friday it will open 775 apartments usually reserved for public servants to jobless people instead. The vacant units, a small portion of the 88,000 or so maintained across the country, are used to house public servants dispatched to regional agencies and bureaus.”

More parents send kids to Indian, Chinese schools

As China and India increasingly flex their muscles as economic powerhouses, many Japanese parents are beginning to send their children to international schools run by Chinese and Indian educators with hopes of churning out more competitive kids.”

Asahi goes ‘green’ with beer profits

Asahi Breweries Ltd. will use part of its beer revenues to help prefectures promote environmental conservation activities, company officials said Saturday.”

Also, picture of the day:

Saw this on one of the Asakusa subway line stops the other day

Saw this on one of the Asakusa subway line stops the other day

Japan is just too good at cute. Really though, be careful around trains when you drink! I heard a really tragic story the other day!

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