A roundup of some of the best Japan-related links from this week.
The [Yokohama branch of the Japan Teachers’ Union] said the textbooks made by right-wing groups contain many inaccuracies, including the Japanese government’s attempt to legitimize the country’s past aggression in Asia.
Japanese Teachers’ Union Boycotts Right-wing Textbook
The Dong-a Ilbo
A Japanese man has been detained by police after scattering tens of thousands of pounds’ worth of banknotes across a busy highway in Japan.
Japanese man arrested for throwing £20,000 onto highway
The Daily Telegraph (Danielle Demetriou)
Hiromu Nonaka, a former chief cabinet secretary, revealed last month that from 1998-99 he spent up to ¥70m ($600,000 at the exchange rate of the time) a month from his secret little piggy bank.
A slush fund is revealed in Japan: See no evil
The Economist (Banyan’s column)
“The amount of money a Chinese person is spending [in Japanese department stores] is incomparable to that of a Japanese customer.”
Chinese invasion offers a ray of hope to tourist trade
The Asahi Shimbun
The Japanese economy grew at a healthy clip of 1.2 percent in the first quarter, the government said on Thursday, hinting that Japan’s recovery from a crippling recession was finally gathering momentum.
Figures Suggest Japan’s Recovery Is Gaining Strength
The New York Times (Hiroko Tabuchi)
Posted 31 Mar 2010 — by Andy in Tokyo
Category News, Tokyo
Korean newspapers are up in arms (again) following the Japanese government’s endorsement of several elementary school textbooks that label the islets of Dokdo – or Takeshima in Japanese – as Japanese territory.
The islets, which are located slap bang between Japan and South Korea, have been claimed by both countries for several hundred years. Japan’s Ministry of Foreign affairs remains adamant that they are “an inherent part of the territory of Japan”, though South Korea has maintained a continuous police and military presence there since 1952.
In 2008, South Korea briefly recalled its ambassador to Japan after guidelines for Japanese junior high school teachers mentioned the dispute. In 2005, Korean protesters decapitated pheasants and chopped off their own fingers outside the Japanese embassy following Shimane prefecture’s decision to label the 100th anniversary of Japan’s annexation of the islets “Takeshima Day”.
The Liancourt Rocks are inhabited by two permanent Korean residents (both fishermen), 37 Korean police officers, a small number of lighthouse keepers, and an enormous amount of birds. It is believed that reserves of natural gas lie under the surrounding sea-floor.
The ongoing sovereignty saga is likely to be a thorn in the side for any Japanese government that wishes to improve relations with Korea. While the current DPJ-led government is far less hawkish than its predecessor, it remains wary of antagonising right-wing nationalists.
Article from the Chosun Ilbo: “Korea Must Do More to Counter Japan’s Claim to Dokdo” (31st March, 2010)