Europe

Maker of Hello Kitty under investigation by EU Commission for breaching antitrust laws

That’s what you get for trying to be the alpha kitty!

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Japanese director alleges that beloved children’s anime Doraemon is “banned” in France

France-based Japanese composer, writer and director Hitonari Suji recently revealed that broadcasts of the much-loved anime Doraemon are “banned” in France for fears it would stunt children’s emotional growth.

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AKB48 not just popular in Japan – Belgian politician lobbying for first European concert

The most famous idol group in Japan, AKB48, has a lot of fans all over the world. Not only do they perform to sold-out venues within Japan, but they have also held packed concerts in the US and other parts of Asia.

The group of singing female pop stars hasn’t made it to Europe yet, but one mega-fan might be influential enough to convince the AKB48 brass to take their tour bus to Belgium.

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Champagne, macarons and Pikachu? Paris plays host to Europe’s first Pokémon Center

The Pokémon video games may have been created in Japan, but there is no lack of Pokémon fandom in the rest of the world from redesigning sports logos to pokéball engagement rings. And to showcase France’s Pokémon love, a pop-up Pokémon Center has opened up in Paris this month featuring original art, limited edition goods and even a special pokémon sent directly to your Nintendo 3DS.

Unlike Japan’s eight Pokémon Centers, which usually focus on the series’ merchandise, the highlight of this pop-up show is the Pokémon gallery where you can sip champagne, munch on Pikachu macarons and appreciate the amazing artwork, including some amateur fan art. Click below to take a peek inside the “Pokégallery” and find out which Pokémon is France’s favorite!

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Find your Finnish name with the Finn generator

When it comes to Finland, there’s no shortage of opportunities for getting acquainted in Japan’s capital of Tokyo. From cafes where you can chow down with cute, stuffed Moomin characters created by a famous Swede-Finn, to Finland’s top doughnut chain, Arnold’s, and Karhhu, Finland’s number one beer, it’s easy for Tokyoites to take their taste buds for a dip in Nordic cuisine.

Now, people in Japan have found a new way to get acquainted with Finnish culture with the introduction of a clever little name generator from VisitFinland.com. Simply enter your name and within seconds you’re bestowed with the Finnish version, complete with a full explanation of the meaning behind your new name. We translated some well-known names and found they were connected to the wild nature of Lapland and mysterious tales of forest kings. 

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Hey guys, unlucky with women? There’s always Latvia!

If love is a numbers game, we’d say there’s no better place for men to play the odds than Latvia. In the formerly communist Baltic-region country, there are only 84 men for every 100 women, making the country the most gender-divided in the world – a fact that has a lot of single men here in Japan paying great attention.

As if that weren’t enough for men fed up with being “friend-zoned” by the women of their own countries to start researching ways to smuggle themselves into some Latvian tourist’s return luggage, Latvian ladies are apparently gaga over foreign men with college educations.

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12 toilet oddities around the world that surprise Japan

Squat toilets aside, Japan’s technological achievements in the restroom are well-known. From seat warmers to washlets and noise-eliminators, Japan is probably the number one place to go number two. But what does the country of the advanced-thinking toilet think of restrooms around the world? Read below to find out!

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