A roundup of some of the best Japan-related stories from this week:
Gross public debt has edged up to 200 per cent of GDP. Net debt, at 100 per cent of GDP, is still in acutely dangerous territory.
Japan in risky territory: Things could turn ugly fast
The Times (Leo Lewis)
Japanese driving schools are offering more than instruction behind the wheel, with Hawaiian massage and lessons in BMWs among the services available to compete for a dwindling number of potential students.
Japan driving schools rev up with BMWs, manicures
Reuters (Chris Gallagher)
Japanese companies have long had a reputation of being unfriendly to women, especially mothers. That image was reinforced recently by the World Economic Forum, which downgraded Japan in its Gender Gap Report from 98th of 130 countries in 2008 to 101st out of 134 countries in 2009.
Japan sinks (even) lower on gender discrimination report
The Christian Science Monitor (Gavin Blair)
“[Yukio Hatoyama’s] shirt comes from the ’80s or ’90s. His ideas and philosophy are old. Japan is facing a crisis and we can’t overcome it with a prime minister like this.”
Japan’s prime minister under fire for fashion choices
CNN (Kyung Lah)
Tests show residents in dolphin-hunting village in ‘The Cove’ have elevated mercury levels
The Los Angeles Times (Jay Alabaster)