October 23rd, 2016


1)   What should be done about the debacle of the new Toyosu fish market which is supposed to replace the 80-year-old Tsukiji fish market, but which has been held up due to contamination issues?

Keep the fish market at Tsukiji and update its facilities if needed.

Relocate the fish market from Tsukiji to Toyosu only after it has been completely decontaminated and given the OK by independent experts.

Find a third location and build a new market.

2)   Japan’s two largest opposition parties refused to show up to parliamentary deliberations Friday on the ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, protesting remarks made by the agriculture minister this week that suggested the ruling parties could steamroll the approval of the pact through the Diet.

3)   A riot police officer dispatched from Osaka to help local police respond to anti-base protests in Okinawa Prefecture hurled an ethnic slur at protesters, calling them “aborigines,” police officials said Wednesday.

The incident came amid intensifying confrontations between riot police and local people over the construction of helipads at a U.S. military training site in the northern part of the prefecture

4)   Hillary Clinton ramped up her pressure on Donald Trump in the election’s most competitive states Friday with an emotional TV ad targeting his criticism of a Muslim-American family. Trump vowed to go all-out in the final three weeks so he’ll have no regrets — even if he loses.

5)   The organizers of a photo contest in northeastern Japan have decided to withdraw their revocation and award a prize for a picture of a teenage girl who apparently committed suicide due to bullying. They had originally revoked the prize after learning the girl had died.

The organizers, including Kuroishi City in Aomori Prefecture, said at a news conference on Wednesday that the top prize will be awarded for the picture of Rima Kasai. She was a second-year junior high student in the city.

6)   What is your opinion of organizations such as Greenpeace and Amnesty International?

7)   So perhaps idol unit i☆Ris (pronounced “Iris”) is on to something. Rather than having fans purchase CDs when what they really want is to spend a few moments connecting with (and possibly proposing marriage to) their favorite member of the group, i☆Ris has streamlined the process with a new promotion that simply lets fans pay money to talk with them.

So how much will these three minutes in conversational paradise set fans back? A cool 10,000 yen. However, CD albums in Japan regularly cost about 3,000 yen, and as we mentioned, passionate idol fans often buy multiple copies. As such, even with 49 time slots per i☆Ris member, reservations are already starting to fill up.