law

Censored scene shows newest Metal Gear doesn’t pull any punches (except in Japan) 【Video】

Censored scene shows newest Metal Gear doesn’t pull any punches (except in Japan) 【Video】

Once upon a time, the North American video game market was incredibly squeamish about gory content. The blood and guts present in Japanese releases were painstakingly removed, most hilariously with the North American version of Neo Geo title Samurai Shodown, which retailed for $200 in 1993. Apparently the game’s producers thought their customer base was old enough to have that kind of cash in their pockets, but still too young to handle the sight of a little crimson hemoglobin, so they replaced the fountains of blood that occurred in the game’s swordfights with geysers of what appeared to be highly pressurized milk.

Eventually, everyone saw how silly this was. Gamers as a whole were getting older and more mature, and the youth of Japan, where this kind of content had been allowed for years, weren’t turning into crazed remorseless killing machines. So restrictions were loosened, allowing games like Grand Theft Auto to top North American sales charts.

Now, things have come full circle, as a side by side video comparison of publisher Konami’s Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes shows less graphic content in its Japanese version.

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Japanese man suffering from dementia could lose house after forgetting about court hearing

Japanese man suffering from dementia could lose house after forgetting about court hearing

As Japan’s population continues to grow older, the nation is having to change to cope with the challenges that come with this aging demographic. The following story is just one unfortunate example of how current systems can fail to meet the needs of the elderly.

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Osaka man caught after teaching junior high for 15 years without a license

Osaka man caught after teaching junior high for 15 years without a license

Back when I was applying for my first Japanese work visa, there was a thick stack of paperwork I had to submit. Most of the items made sense, but one that struck me as weird, though, was my college diploma. I knew that Japanese law required a college education for the visa I was applying for, but wouldn’t sealed, authenticated transcripts make more sense than a personal diploma, which could be easily forged for 20 bucks at any print shop, or even with a high quality home-use printer?

Nope, I was informed, it had to be the diploma. That’s the paperwork they give you when you graduate, right? After all, from the standpoint of honest and by-the-book Japanese society, who would be so dishonest as to provide false educational credentials?

How about a man in Osaka, who taught junior high school for 15 years without ever obtaining his teaching credential.

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6 strange laws to take note of before embarking on your worldly travels

6 strange laws to take note of before embarking on your worldly travels

Who doesn’t love a good vacation? Particularly for working adults, it’s the only time we can take a step back from our hectic work lives, unleash the wild-child within us, and perhaps do something silly without worrying about (too many) repercussions since we’ll be jetting off in a couple of days.

But wait, hold your horses! The last thing you would want to do on an overseas vacation is to unknowingly breach the law, right? Some of the things that we normally do in our homeland might be illegal in other parts of the world. Things as normal as ladies wearing pants. Strange, huh? There’s more coming up!

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Somehow, underage drinking in Japan is about to get even easier

Somehow, underage drinking in Japan is about to get even easier

I’ve never been bothered by being asked for proof of age when buying beer. Maybe it’s because even when I was 16 I apparently already looked old enough that strangers in convenience store parking lots would ask me to buy a six pack for them, but I never took a clerk asking to see my ID as an insult. I simply accepted it as part of the societal dance necessary to procure my beloved barley juice.

Some drinkers in Japan, though, take offense at being asked for proof that they’re not minors. The Aeon Group, one of Japan’s largest retailers, has responded with a generous change in policy, and will no longer ask certain customers for confirmation of age, despite the fact that Japan’s underage drinking prevention is already ridiculously easy to circumvent.

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Gamers rejoice! China temporarily lifts 14-year ban on foreign video games consoles

Gamers rejoice! China temporarily lifts 14-year ban on foreign video games consoles

Despite the thriving grey market that has existed since the ban was put in place 14 years ago, both gamers in China and console manufacturers outside the country will no doubt be excited to learn that China’s State Council yesterday lifted restrictions on the importation and sale of foreign video games consoles, albeit on a “temporary” basis. That’s right: China may soon became a legitimate market for Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft once again.

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Fukuoka man ordered to pay over one million yen for peeing in elevator…every day for half a year

Fukuoka man ordered to pay over one million yen for peeing in elevator…every day for half a year

On 16 December, Judge Ryosuke Takahashi of the Fukuoka District Court ruled in favor of Japan Rail Kyushu and ordered a Higashi Ward resident to pay 1.3 million yen (US$13,000) to compensate for damages brought about his near daily urination routine over the course of six months.

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Is Japan really racist? A look at where things stand

Is Japan really racist? A look at where things stand

Much ink has been spilled about the supposed homogeneity of Japan and the dangerous idea of racial purity that goes along with it. Some expats have made entire careers writing — or ranting — about the problems of discrimination in Japan. And yet, the number of foreign residents has more than doubled in the last 20 years and international marriages in the country have been steadily rising, so it can’t be all that hostile either.

So how racist is Japan, really? Here’s my take—admittedly only one perspective—on where things stand.

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Japanese pro boxer condemns the law for classifying him as a dangerous weapon

Japanese pro boxer condemns the law for classifying him as a dangerous weapon

On September 9, Hozumi Hasegawa, a second-division professional boxer competing successfully at a world level, made a very angry post to his blog condemning the nation’s laws for preventing him from raising his hand against anyone outside of work, regardless of the circumstances.

We’ve probably all heard the story in unspecific terms: rumor states that a trained fighter must register his own fists as lethal weapons. It would then stand to reason that any scuffle involving that person would put him on the receiving end of severe charges for battery and assault with a dangerous weapon. Could it be that all the hearsay is actually true?!

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Don’t piss away your money! Use Pee Trajectory Corrector!

Don’t piss away your money! Use Pee Trajectory Corrector!

As we reported in August, the city of Shenzhen, China enacted a pee-control policy in its public toilets. Anyone caught peeing outside of the appropriate receptacle can face fines up to 100 yuan (US$16).

But when life hands you urination regulations, the true entrepreneur makes sweet golden urination regulation-aiding merchandise! That’s just what two opportunists did with their Pee Trajectory Corrector. Look for them conveniently on sale outside of a public washroom in Shenzhen.

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NVIDIA’s Shield portable console – Cool, sleek and technically illegal in Japan

NVIDIA’s Shield portable console – Cool, sleek and technically illegal in Japan

Powered by the world’s fastest mobile processor and billed by its maker as “the ultimate gaming and entertainment portable” the Nvidia Shield is in many way the realisation of thousands of tech fans’ nerdiest dreams: a genuinely powerful portable built around a home console-quality controller with a potentially vast software library. Offering gamers the chance to play games like Borderlands 2 and Skyrim anywhere from their bedroom to the toilet, the Shield at once steals both Nintendo’s “play with the TV off” Wii U thunder and makes Sony’s plans to have all forthcoming PlayStation 4 titles also playable on Vita seem like a copycat move, so it’s little wonder that the console has received a ton of attention the world over.

Currently only available in the US and Canada, lovers of all things sleek and shiny here in Japan who couldn’t wait any longer for an official release have laid down their cash (and with the portable retailing for US$299 that’s nothing to be sneezed at) and imported a Shield for themselves.

Little do they know, however, that simply by powering the thing up within the Land of the Rising Sun they’ll be breaking the law.

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Chinese city poised to fine guys who miss the bowl

Chinese city poised to fine guys who miss the bowl

Recently Shenzhen, Guangdong announced a new bylaw against “non-civilized” behavior in public toilets of the city. This means that guys for whom the act of urination turns into a Sunday afternoon with a wacky water weasel may face fines if caught.

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Japanese police smack down on prostitution ring employing overweight women

Japanese police smack down on prostitution ring employing overweight women

On Wednesday, July 16, reports came from the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department announcing that two women had been arrested on suspicion of violating the Japanese Anti-Prostitution Law of 1956. Those apprehended are thought to have been running a prostitution ring for men with a fetish for fleshy females. The average weight of the women they dispatched to paying customers was a good 100 kg (220 pounds)!

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Bicycle helmet law enforced in Ehime, failure to comply is punishable by… we don’t know

Bicycle helmet law enforced in Ehime, failure to comply is punishable by… we don’t know

Westerners who come to Japan may be taken aback by the sheer numbers of bicycles in use in cities. Equally impressive is the degree to which people load their bicycles with shopping bags, children, boyfriends, and/or garbage bags full of aluminum cans for recycling. And yet, with all this, it’s a rare sight to see anyone besides tiny kids wearing a helmet.

Ehime Prefecture, known for its scenic bike paths and wide use of bicycles for commuting, is hoping to change that by enacting a law instructing cyclists of all ages to wear a helmet, or else.

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Have Japan’s Anti-Smoking Laws Gone Too Far? Smokers Begin to Feel the Pressure

Have Japan’s Anti-Smoking Laws Gone Too Far? Smokers Begin to Feel the Pressure

In recent years there has been a dramatic change in attitudes towards smoking in public places in Japan. While it was a common sight to see someone walking along the street with a cigarette in their hand until a few years ago, nowadays it is becoming increasingly rare to see. It is fair to say that smokers have adopted a much politer approach to smoking in public. The movement towards a smoke-free environment is one welcomed by many, however accompanied by this is the tendency to drive smokers into corners and ostracize them for lighting up. Anti-smokers are increasingly pushing forward their demands, seeing a pollution-free environment as part of their right to a healthy lifestyle. But is it going too far?

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Jackie Chan Speaks Out Against Chinese Law Enforcement as “Too Soft on Smoking”

Jackie Chan Speaks Out Against Chinese Law Enforcement as “Too Soft on Smoking”

The Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (PCC) is a group composed of politicians, organizations, and other independent members who gather to help shape the political agenda for the upcoming year.

During this meeting on 4 March, international film star Jackie Chan appeared before the Governmental Advisory Institute with some stern words about the way law enforcement is handled in his country when it comes to cigarettes.

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Could Japan’s Latest Buzz Word Get You Sued? Lawyer Weighs In

Could Japan’s Latest Buzz Word Get You Sued? Lawyer Weighs In

One coinage that has been steadily building in popularity in the economically mired nation of Japan is “black business” (burakku kigyou). A black business is described as a company that overworks its employees, harasses them, and/or pays significantly low wages for the work provided.

The term, which can be traced back to the 2011 book by Haruki Konno, Black Business: The Monster Devouring Japan, is frequently used on blogs and social networks. Infamous message board 2channel even has a thread which ranks the blackest of companies in Japan.

But with all the bandying about of this phrase, one has to wonder what the legal dangers are of it. Black or not, these companies will do what it takes to protect their brand and to anyone who slaps the black business label on them, will slap back with a lawsuit.

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Strange Local Laws in Japan, Tax Dollars at Work

Strange Local Laws in Japan, Tax Dollars at Work

Buckle up everyone! We’re gonna talk about municipal ordinances!

We’ve all heard stories of real laws that seem to defy logic like “no petting horses on Sunday” and such.  The survey addicts at MyNavi had asked people about some unusual local laws and what they got were reports of Cupid Committee’s and McMansions.

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Japanese Government and Industries Battle Copyright Infringement by Hiding Strongly Worded Letters on P2P Networks

Japanese Government and Industries Battle Copyright Infringement by Hiding Strongly Worded Letters on P2P Networks

On 25 January, Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications along with various motion picture and music associations announced their latest copyright protection measure, dubbed “Operation Decoy File.”

The plan involves inserting files onto Japan’s popular P2P (peer-to-peer) file sharing networks such as Winny and Share which appear to contain popular copyrighted material.  However, once downloaded, the file is revealed to be a message appealing the user to reconsider their wicked ways.

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Husband in China Sues Ex-Wife for “Being too Ugly”, Wins Approx. US$100,000

Husband in China Sues Ex-Wife for “Being too Ugly”, Wins Approx. US$100,000

It has come to RocketNews24‘s knowledge that a rare lawsuit has been filed by a formerly married couple in China. The man charged his ex-wife with the crime of “being too ugly” which apparently is just a civil offence in that area.

Now, this seems like one of those crazy-guy-makes-ridiculous-lawsuit-gets-laughed-out-of-court stories, but the man was awarded around US$100,000 in damages by the judge.

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