回顧星期天LBS - 2022 日本相關時事趣聞 All news about Japan

· 國際時事跟讀Daily Shadowing,每日跟讀單元 Daily English

Topic: Covid-Inspired ‘Silent Cut Haircutting Service Gains Popularity in Japan

Devised by a Tokyo hair salon during the Covid-19 pandemic to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the ‘Silent Cut’ service is becoming increasingly popular in Japan.


As a way of curbing the spread of the coronavirus during the Covid-19 pandemic, authorities in Japan started promoting “no conversation” or “less conversation” policies in schools, shops and supermarkets. One Tokyo salon decided to implement the ‘silent cut’ service and it proved so popular that others quickly followed suit.


As it turns out, hairstylists prefer the silent cut as well, with many claiming that they were taught to chat up clients in their apprenticeship.


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Topic: We’re hiring: Babies wanted for Japan nursing home 我們正在招聘:日本療養院需要嬰兒

A nursing home in southern Japan is “hiring” babies for a very important job — to keep its elderly residents company and make them smile.


A job advert pinned to the wall informs would-be workers they will be compensated for their services in diapers and powdered milk.


New recruits at the facility in Kitakyushu must be under four years old, and their guardians have to sign a contract stipulating that the babies and toddlers can show up for work “whenever they feel like it.”


More than 30 babies have been signed up so far, tasked with lifting the spirits of more than 100 residents who are mostly in their 80s.

至今已有超過30名嬰兒報名,他們被賦予提升逾百名居民興致的任務,這些居民大多超過80歲。Source article: https://features.ltn.com.tw/english/article/paper/1555385

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Topic: What’s behind strained China-Japan relations


Japan and China on Thursday last week marked the 50th anniversary of the 1972 normalization of their ties, but there isn’t much of a celebratory mood. Improved ties between Asia’s two biggest economies are considered vital to the region’s stability and prosperity, but they remain at odds over disputed East China Sea islands and China’s growing military and economic assertiveness in the region. Here are the key issues in the often strained relations between these powerhouse neighbors:




A huge source of contention is an uninhabited group of Tokyo-controlled, Beijing-claimed East China Sea islands called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China. Japan insists that the islands, which once hosted a Japanese seafood factory, are part of its territory, both historically and by international law. China says they were stolen by Japan in 1895 and should have been returned at the end of World War II. The disputed islands are surrounded by rich fishing grounds and undersea oil deposits, and Japan accuses China of suddenly making its territorial claims after the undersea resources were found in a 1969 United Nations report. The 1972 normalization communique did not deal with the issue, but the dispute intensified after Japan’s government in 2012 nationalized the Senkaku islands, leading to violent protests across China. Chinese coast guard and fishing boats are regularly found in the area, routinely intruding on Japanese waters.





Japan, along with its security ally the US, has openly criticized increased Chinese activities in the South China Sea. Tokyo has also pushed for peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. China claims Taiwan, a self-governing democracy, and has threatened to annex it by force if necessary. With a US-China trade war and naval tensions on the rise in the area, Japan is increasingly worried about Taiwan emergencies. China’s increased joint military drills with Russia near Japanese coasts have also irked Japan. Tokyo is shifting its military posture toward southwestern Japan, including Okinawa and remote islands just east of Taiwan. China staged major military drills in areas surrounding Taiwan in August in an angry response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Taipei visit, and fired five ballistic missiles into waters near Okinawa. Fear of conflict over Taiwan adds to Japan’s urgent efforts to reinforce its military capabilities and boost its budget. Japan is currently revising its national security strategy, which is expected to call for the possession of preemptive strike capabilities that opponents say would violate the country’s pacifist constitution. With Japan’s westernmost island just east of Taiwan, “It is increasingly difficult to see how a Taiwan military contingency would not affect at a minimum the waters and airspace around Japanese territory,” said Amanda Hsiao, senior analyst for China at the Crisis Group.






The two countries were at war, starting with clashes in the 1930s, until Japan’s defeat in 1945. Japanese atrocities during the Sino-Japanese war include the Rape of Nanking, the use of chemical and biological weapons and grisly human medical experiments in Manchuria, where Japan’s imperial army had a secret biological weapons unit. Japan also took nearly 40,000 Chinese laborers to Japanese mines and factories, where many died of malnutrition and abuse. In the 1972 communique, China waived the right to war compensation, which some experts say was in exchange for Japan’s apology and recognition of China as the only legal government. Japan, however, has provided official development aid totaling 3.6 trillion yen ($US25 billion) to China over the past four decades.






China considers Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine — which honors 2.5 million war dead, including convicted war criminals — as a symbol of Japan’s wartime militarism. Beijing views visits by Japanese ministers and lawmakers to the Tokyo shrine as indicative of a lack of remorse over Japan’s wartime aggression. China, along with South Korea, which Japan colonized from 1910 to 1945, routinely protests against such visits.





As a top US ally and a major trade partner with China, Japan is in a delicate situation and must balance its position between the two superpowers. China has been more assertive about pressing other governments to embrace Chinese-led initiatives, including a trade group called the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. Japan, along with the US, is seeking ways to stand up to increasing Chinese economic influence in the region. Tokyo also wants to reinforce economic security with other democracies in areas such as supply chains and the protection of sensitive technologies, apparently as a counter to China.

Yasuo Fukuda, a former Japanese prime minister who is an active proponent of better ties with China, says friction between Japan and China largely stems from US-China trade issues. “The question is whether global trade works better by excluding China,” he said.



日本前首相福田康夫積極支持改善與中國的關係,他表示,日中之間的摩擦主要源於美中貿易問題。「問題是排除中國後全球貿易是否會更好」,他表示。Source article: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2022/10/04/2003786373

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Topic: Japan’s cats and dogs get wearable fans to beat scorching heat

A Tokyo clothing maker has teamed up with veterinarians to create a wearable fan for pets, hoping to attract the anxious owners of dogs - or cats - that can’t shed their fur coats in Japan’s blistering summer weather.



The device consists of a battery-operated, 80-gramme fan that is attached to a mesh outfit and blows air around an animal’s body.


Rei Uzawa, president of maternity clothing maker Sweet Mommy, was motivated to create it after seeing her own pet exhausted every time it was taken out for a walk in the scorching summer heat.

成衣製造商Sweet Mommy負責人鵜澤璃看見她自己的寵物每次在炎熱夏天高溫下的戶外散步之後筋疲力盡,因而有了製作這款衣服的動機。

After the rainy season in Tokyo ended in late June, the Japanese capital suffered the longest heatwave on record with temperatures up to 35 degrees Celsius for nine days.


"I usually use dry ice packs. But I think it’s easier to walk my dog if we have this fan," said Mami Kumamoto, 48, owner of a miniature poodle and a terrier.


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Topic: World’s oldest person dies in Japan aged 119 全球最年長人士在日本過世 享年119歲

A Japanese woman believed to have been the world’s oldest person has died aged 119, public broadcaster NHK said on Monday, reporting the death of Kane Tanaka.


Born on Jan. 2, 1903 - the year of the Wright Brothers’ first controlled flight of their motor-driven airplane - Tanaka was confirmed by Guinness World Records in 2019 as the oldest living person.


She died of old age at a hospital in Fukuoka city, western Japan, on April 19, NHK said. During her life, she had been partial to chocolate and fizzy drinks, NHK said.


Japan has a dwindling and rapidly ageing population. As of last September, the country had 86,510 centenarians, and nine out of every 10 were women. (Reuters)

日本人口不斷減少並快速老化。截至去年9月,該國有8萬6510名人瑞,而且每10人中有9人是女性。Source article: https://features.ltn.com.tw/english/article/paper/1538125 ; https://features.ltn.com.tw/english/article/paper/1514547