Topics

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Law gets serious about cycling safety

by Masaaki Kameda

Bicycle use is growing along with greater public awareness of health and environmental issues, with cities around the country beginning to rent them out to visitors who are eager to tour Japan on the cheap. But this has triggered a rise in fatal accidents caused by reckless cyclists, who are ...

E-textbooks to open digital can of worms

| Jun 1, 2015

E-textbooks to open digital can of worms

by Shusuke Murai

As the world goes digital, many schools are trying to introduce digital materials into the classroom to encourage studying and meet the needs of students’ increasingly diverse needs. In May, the education ministry formed a panel to discuss the use of digital textbooks and ...

Change trays

| May 23, 2015

Change trays

by Alice Gordenker

Dear Alice, I am very curious about those small trays that are used in Japan when settling daily cash transactions. Instead of handing your payment to the clerk, or setting it on the counter by the cash register, here you are generally expected to ...

Tokyo ramps up 'English village' plan as 2020 approaches

| May 11, 2015

Tokyo ramps up 'English village' plan as 2020 approaches

by Tomohiro Osaki

As Tokyo gears up to host the 2020 Olympic Games, demands for action are growing to overcome Japan’s notorious English-speaking phobia. To achieve that, discussions are underway for the capital to establish “English villages” — language education facilities aimed at improving students’ communication ability ...

18 looms as new age of majority

| May 4, 2015

18 looms as new age of majority

by Tomoko Otake

Japan’s youth will finally get a chance to have their voices heard in politics. Revisions to the Public Offices Election Law that would lower the minimum voting age to 18 from 20 are being deliberated in the Diet and are widely expected to be ...

| Apr 15, 2015

Is China-led bank a lost opportunity?

by Atsushi Kodera

China’s proposed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is causing a stir as the majority of Group of 20 leading economies sign on as founding members, while the U.S. and Japan remain on the sidelines. This outcome for a Chinese initiative that challenges the U.S.-led global ...

Translation tech gets Olympic push

| Mar 31, 2015

Translation tech gets Olympic push

by Shusuke Murai

Japan may not be the best in the world when it comes to speaking English, but it remains a pioneer in developing cutting-edge translation technology. With the 2020 Tokyo Olympics approaching, the nation is once again plotting to surprise the world, this time with ...