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DISPATCHES

 

A regular up-date featuring articles written for publications

all over the world by FCCJ Correspondents

Father of 4 tasked with halting Japan's population decline

Bloomberg's Isabel Reynolds reports on the ex-finance ministry bureaucrat who's been given a key cabinet role

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is counting on his new minister for stemming Japan's population decline to inspire imitatiors. He's a father of four. Katsunobu Kato, a 59-year-old former Finance Ministry official was appointed Wednesday to a new cabinet post responsible for turning around Japan's demographic descent. Read the article

Japan's Parliament Approves Security Bills Amid Angry Protests

David McNeill reports on upper house panel approval in the Irish Times

Japan has moved a step closer to allowing its troops to fight abroad for the first time in 70 years after a chaotic parliamentary vote on controverial security bills. Live television showed politicians scuffling inside the Diet before an upper house committee approved the bills on Thursday. Read the article

 

Pacifist Protesters Take to Tokyo's Streets

In Al Jazeera, Michael Penn reports on the massive protests that surrounded the Diet on Sunday

They gathered in the drizzling rain in the tens of thousands on Sunday to make their objections heard to new security laws that would allow the military to deloy overseas for the first time since the end of World War II. It was one of the largest protests in recent Japanese history as ordinary citizens raised their voices in defiance while surrounding the Diet, the nation's parliament. Read the article

The city of sad stories

Five of Nagasaki's inhabitants talk to Patrick Zoll of the Neue Zürcher Zeitung about their relationship with the world-famous but little-known city. (In German)

Nagasaki ist am schönsten von oben. Der Blick schweift von der imposanten Hängebrücke an der Hafeneinfahrt über die langgestreckte Bucht und die geschwungenen Hügel dahin, wo sich die Siedlungen in zwei Tälern verlieren. Sogleich wird klar, wie gut der Naturhafen Schiffe vor Stürmen schützt. In Nagasaki sind auch die Hügelflanken bewohnt, eine Seltenheit in Japan. Read the article

Abe likely to use critical phrases in anniversary proclamation

In the Financial Times, Leo Lewis reports on PM Shinzo Abe's upcoming speech

Shinzo Abe is likely to reuse crucial phrases from past Japanese apologies for the second world war on Friday's 70th anniversary, as he seeks to avoid fresh tensions with China and South Korea. There has been speculation that Japan's prime minister, known as a conservative nationalist, would use his proclamation to water down past apologies, even if he risked setting off a storm of protest across Asia and inflaming domestic debates about Japan's wartime history. Read the article

Four Years after 3/11

In the New York Times, Martin Fackler reports that Fukushima residents are divided on whether to return

For four years, an eerie quiet has pervaded the clusters of farmhouses and terraced rice paddies of this mountainous village, emptied of people after the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, 25 miles away, spewed radiation over a wide swath of northeastern Japan. Read the article

Atom bomb survivors vs. nuclear weapons

In the Guardian, Justin McCurry reports on the Hiroshima survivors warning of the horrors of nuclear war

It is not as if Sunao Tsuboi nees another reminder of his violent encounter, as a 20-year-old university student, with a "living hell on earth." The fcial scars he has carried for seven decades are proof enough. But, as if to remind himself of the day he became a witness to the horrors of nuclear warfare, he removes a black-and-white photograph and points to the shaved head of a young man looking away from the lens.  "That's me," he says. Read the article

5 Things to Know about Nikkei

In the Wall Street Journal, Peter Landers covered the background of Nikkei Inc.

Nikkei Inc.'s flagship morning daily had circulation of 2.77 million in the first half of 2014, according to Japan Audit Bureau of Circulations figures cited by the Yomiuri newspaper. (The bureau doesn't release its numbers to the public.) That falls behind Japan's top general-interest newspapers--the Yomiuri had 9.56 million in the same period and the Asahi had 7.43 million--but the Nikkei's reach among corporate executives is unparalleled. Read the story

Prime Minister Abe vs. Okinawan Anger

In the New York Times, Martin Fackler says that Abe is facing growing wrath of Okinawans over U.S. base

HENOKO, Japan -- Orange buoys surround a wide swath of clear blue sea off the coast of Okinawa where the United States Marine Corps has long sought to build a new airfield on landfill. For more than two decades, plans for this base have gone nowhere, stymied by fierce local opposition and politicians in Tokyo without the clout or determination to overcome it. Read the article

PM Abe heckled at Okinawa anniversary event

In the Guardian, Justin McCurry reports that Japan's prime minister ran into hecklers at the event marking the anniversary of the WWII battle.

Japan's prime minister, Shinzo Abe, has been heckled at an event marking the anniversary of the end of the bloodiest battle of the Pacific during the second world war, as criticism mounts over his attempts to allow Japanese troops to fight overseas for the first time in seven decades. Shouts of "Go home!" and "Warmonger!" could be heard as Abe, a nationalist whose attempts to reinterpret Japan's pacifist constitution have sent his approval ratings to record lows, arrived at a ceremony on Tuesday to mark the end of the battle of Okinawa in which more than 200,000 civilians and soldiers died. Read the article

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