Headlines 

The Mysterious Twitter User Drawing a Swarm of Japan Traders

On a day when billions in profits and losses would be determined by split-second trades, the salaried professionals of Japan’s financial markets were glued to their news terminals. Another group was staring at the feed of an anonymous Twitter account. It was shortly after noon on Jan. 29, 2016, and people with money at stake were waiting for the Bank of Japan to announce its monetary policy. While the decision’s date is set in advance, nobody knows its timing. “It’s a negative interest rate bazooka!” gushed in reply. “The profits I…

Read More
Headlines 

World’s Top-Ranked Crypto Exchange Adds 240,000 Users in One Hour

The world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange keeps getting bigger. Hong Kong-based Binance.com is adding “a couple of million” registered users every week, with 240,000 people signing up in just an hour on Wednesday, Chief Executive Officer Zhao Changpeng said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. Demand is so high that the company is limiting new customers, he said, though Binance may fully reopen in the coming weeks. “We did not expect this kind of growth to be honest,” Zhao said from Tokyo on Thursday. Binance was the world’s most active crypto…

Read More
Headlines 

China to Overtake U.S. Economy by 2032 as Asian Might Builds

The growing leapfrogging the U.K. and France next year to become the world’s fifth-biggest economy in dollar terms. It will advance to third place by 2027, moving ahead of Germany. In 2032, three of the four largest economies will be Asian — China, India and Japan — and, by that time, China will also have overtaken the U.S. to hold the No. 1 spot. India’s advance won’t stop there, according to the CEBR, which sees it taking the top place in the second half of the century. Also by 2032,…

Read More
Headlines 

Typhoon Lan Poses a $35 Billion Threat to Japan in Worst Case

Typhoon Lan, which is forecast to strike near Tokyo early Monday morning, may cause an estimated $25 billion to $35 billion in damage, said Chuck Watson, a disaster modeler with Enki Research in Georgia. Lan is about 1,169 miles (1,881 kilometers) south of Tokyo with top winds of almost 150 miles per hour. That would make it the equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, according to the

Read More
Odds and Ends 

Every Year Japanese Art Students Get Together and Make Giant Animals Out of Straw

Since 2008, students from the Musashino Art University in Tokyo have travelled to Niigata City, Japan to create huge sculptures made from straw (featured previously) for the Wara Art Festival. The giant straw sculptures are built atop large wooden frames which serve as the base for the woven straw artworks. The festival also features kite flying, a miniature market and other events. It’s a huge hit with kids and parents as people get to interact with the sculptures, taking photos and playing in the open fields. Below you will find…

Read More
Headlines 

Kobe Steel Scam Hits Planes, Trains, Automobiles

Kobe Steel Ltd. has made a startling admission: It sold products that failed quality control tests to about 500 companies. Worse still, it did so not in error but by falsifying data to make it appear that items had made the grade. Aircraft, electronics, car and bullet train manufacturers were among the recipients, raising obvious safety concerns. From Boeing Co. to Ford Motor Co., companies are also faked data about iron ore powder and materials used in DVDs and LCD screens. Chief Executive Officer Hiroya Kawasaki said on Oct. 12…

Read More
Headlines 

How a Tokyo-Born Outsider Became the Face of Czech Nationalism

Tomio Okamura’s background is about as multicultural as you can get. The son of a Czech mother and a Japanese-Korean father, he suffered racist bullying in Japan and the Czech Republic that was so severe he developed a stutter and wet his bed until the age of 14. Which may or may not help explain why his Czech political party is adamantly opposed to immigration, wants the country to leave the European Union and compares Islam to “Hitler-style Nazism.” The message is resonating: Okamura’s Freedom and Direct Democracy may become the fourth-strongest…

Read More
Odds and Ends 

Once a Year This Japanese Town Comes Together to Grow Masterpieces With Rice

In the village of Inakadate, Japan, elaborate expanses of “rice paddy art†grace the surrounding landscape. Looking for a way to boost tourism and contribute to the village’s rich culture, town officials turned to what they knew best — growing rice. Using dozens of varieties of rice as their color palette, locals gather to plant each new masterpiece, taking inspiration from local geography and Japanese folklore. With each image taking up to three months to complete, it truly takes a village. Read more: http://twistedsifter.com/videos/the-japanese-town-growing-masterpieces-with-rice/

Read More
Headlines 

Bunkering down: sales of nuclear shelters climb in Japan wary of North Korea tests

Fears of devastating earthquakes and tsunamis are giving way to concerns over atomic attack following multiple missile tests conducted by Pyongyang A brief research trip to Japans north-east coast to witness the aftermath of the VX and sarin. But today, it is the potential for a manmade disaster, not a natural calamity, that has convinced the retired teacher that he was right to part with almost 8m yen to build the tiny shelter. Multiple missile tests conducted by North Korea this year, culminating in the Japan, and ushered in a…

Read More
Headlines 

Disabled passenger forced by Japanese airline to crawl up stairs to board plane

Vanilla Air apologises after staff prevent friends from assisting member of a disability non-profit organisation An airline in Japan has apologised to a disabled passenger who was forced to crawl up a flight of stairs to board his plane. Hideto Kijima, who uses a wheelchair, had to hoist himself from the runway at a tiny airport on the resort island of Amami up to the aircraft door, after staff at Vanilla Air refused to allow his friends to carry him aboard. Kijima, who is paralysed from the waist down, has…

Read More
Headlines 

Takata, Japan’s airbag giant, files for bankruptcy protection

The Tokyo-based car parts giant is facing lawsuits and huge costs over an airbag defect linked to at least 16 deaths globally Japans crisis-hit car parts maker Takata has filed for bankruptcy protection, after deadly faults in its airbags triggered the industrys biggest ever safety recall. The Tokyo-based car parts giant is facing lawsuits and huge costs over an airbag defect linked to subject to the airbag recall linked to a risk they could improperly inflate and rupture, potentially firing deadly shrapnel at the occupants. The ultimate cause of the…

Read More
Headlines 

Australian convict pirates in Japan: evidence of 1830 voyage unearthed

Exclusive: Fresh translations of samurai accounts of barbarian ship arriving at the height of Japans feudal isolation corroborate story long dismissed as fantasy An amateur historian has unearthed compelling evidence that the first Australian maritime foray into Japanese waters was by convict pirates on an audacious escape from Tasmania almost two centuries ago. Fresh translations of samurai accounts of a barbarian ship in 1830 give startling corroboration to a story modern scholars had long dismissed as convict fantasy: that a ragtag crew of criminals encountered a forbidden Japan at the…

Read More
Headlines 

Forced into porn: Japan moves to stop women being coerced into sex films

Reports of women tricked into X-rated appearances has prompted authorities to confront the booming porn industry When Kurumin Aroma was approached on Tokyo street four years ago and asked if she was interested in glamour modelling, she spied an opportunity to realise her dream of becoming a TV celebrity. The talent scout had a proper business card and spoke very respectfully, so I thought he was someone I could trust, Aroma, who uses an assumed name in public, told the Guardian. But months later, the 26-year-old became one of an…

Read More