Prostitution is often called the oldest job in history. While that seems like a less-than-realistic claim, it doesn’t change the fact that the sale and purchase of sex has been around for millennia and will likely continue despite the various efforts to ban it. However, that hasn’t stopped some from trying. Take, for example, a Russian politician who recently suggested that people caught with prostitutes ought to face a fine and prison term–unless they agree to marry the sex worker!
Oct 27, 2014
Last Friday, on the recommendation of a special committee the Abe cabinet agreed to suggested changes to the Fueiho laws which place severe and unclear regulations on dancing in Japan.
As we reported last week, under Fueiho (Act on Control and Improvement of Amusement and Entertainment Business), businesses such as nightclubs are required to operate under a loosely defined set of parameters. However, most didn’t. This led to a string of raids and closures which crippled the night club scene in much of Japan.
After these new changes pass through the Diet, clubs will be allowed to host dancing after midnight – provided the lighting is bright enough.
Oct 20, 2014
On 15 October it was reported that Masatoshi Kanemitsu would have to go back to court after being acquitted by the Osaka District Court. His alleged crime: allowing his customers to dance in the Umeda area club he owned called Noon.
This kind of law prohibiting dancing might sound straight out of some fundamentalist theocracy, but it’s alive and well in Japan. Actually, it’s far worse than a draconian “no dancing whatsoever” law that you know where things stand; nightclubs in Japan seem to allow dancing until someone in authority decides otherwise. There’s no way to know until officers start bursting through your doors.
This sword dangling over the heads of the remaining clubs is called the Act on Control and Improvement of Amusement and Entertainment Business or Fueiho for short. So let’s take a quick look at why this law is crushing dancing in Japan, and I’ll do my best to avoid any Footloose references.
Oct 18, 2014
It’s often said that nothing in life is certain except for death and taxes, but for one Osaka resident, that maxim was little more than an old wives’ tale.
One day, the taxman came calling to the tune of 816 million yen (US$7.7M) over years of unreported winning horse race bets. However, in a game where the house always wins, this guy managed to flip the script and knock down the money owed to a relatively modest 67 million yen ($635,000).
Sep 3, 2014
Japanese people love to take pictures. Whenever you see them on vacation, no matter if it’s their first time or their thousandth time, they are always taking them. In fact, Japan was one of the first countries to sell mobile phones equipped with a camera back in 2000. Having a camera on you at all times sure does come in handy, as you’ll always be able to capture that special moment wherever you are.
Unfortunately, sometimes that special moment is a peep-shot or a scandalous photo which is certainly a violation of privacy. Japan has taken a very no-nonsense approach to help stop these highly inappropriate photos, and it comes in the form of the Anti-Nuisance Ordinance. So powerful is this law that the latest person to be arrested has caused a bit of commotion. His crime? Taking a picture of a fully-clothed woman sitting beside him on the train.
Sep 3, 2014
If you’re like me and enjoy riding a bike while smoking a cigar, kicking a soccer ball around, with a group of friends and your dog while also shooting off a bottle rocket or two when going to the park, you’ll be hard pressed to find one that will accept you.
But you don’t even have to be nearly as obnoxious as I am to be denied entry into some of the thousands of municipal parks across Japan. In recent years, the number of bans on a vast range of activities ordinarily done it parks from riding bikes to walking dogs have been getting banned at an alarming rate.
At least, they would be, but alarms are also probably banned in many parks.
Jun 22, 2014
It’s only been a few months since Japan’s consumption tax jumped from five to eight percent, making everything consumers buy instantly at least three percent more expensive. Some sneaky retailers even took advantage of the opportunity by tacking an extra three percent onto their displayed, pre-tax prices.
Now comes a rumor of an entirely new revenue stream the Japanese government might be moving to secure: a tax on cell phones.
Scott R Dixon
Jun 17, 2014
Singapore may have a reputation for being an extremely safe and clean country, but there is a good reason for that—very strict laws. The infamous gum ban is just one of the many rules in Singapore designed to keep the city-state tidy and well-behaved. So if you are planning a trip to Singapore (besides perfecting your race-walking skills) you might want to check out some other local laws that are surprisingly stricter compared to other developed countries. Click below to read about 10 laws in Singapore that you should probably follow unless you plan on taking an up close and personal tour of a Singapore jail!
Jun 12, 2014
When starting a new business, one of the most important things to do is build name recognition. An easy, if ethically questionable, way of doing this is to base your company’s name on an existing, more recognized brand, such as calling your new restaurant McBurgers, or your talent agency filled with only the most charming and pleasant-smelling individuals RocketGoodSmell24.
Of course, McDonald’s would probably put a stop to such a plan, even if you weren’t directly competing with them in the fast food market. In fact, the company would probably be all the more swift in dropping the hammer if you were setting up shop in an industry it wants to avoid any association with. For example, if you were a budding pimp and called your brothel McHumptown, you could expect an angry letter from the Golden Arches.
You know who else doesn’t like being connected to the skin trade? Denny’s, as three men in Japan who appropriated the restaurant’s logo for their sexual services company just found out.
As a sign of China’s continuing integration into the global community, the country’s long-standing ban on video game consoles was lifted last year. This doesn’t mean Chinese gamers are free to enjoy all that modern gaming has to offer, as censorship regulations mean certain types of content aren’t allowed.
Some of the problem areas are nebulously defined, such as restrictions on games that “besmirch the image of China” or “intentionally blacken the image of the Chinese army.” A possible upcoming addition to the list of punishable offenses is a little easier to understand: no more video game characters wearing bikinis.
Mar 25, 2014
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.
Mar 19, 2014
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.
Feb 24, 2014
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.
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!
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.
Jan 8, 2014
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.
Dec 18, 2013
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.
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.
Sep 11, 2013
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?!
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.
- 1,200 Japanese workers convert above-ground train to subway line in a matter of hours1
- Ghibli background artist Naohisa Inoue’s painting technique is out of this world2
- Canada-based artist stuns with new realistic take on Naruto characters3
- “Common habits of Japan’s low earners”: What this survey tells us, and what it doesn’t4
- Why almost all Japanese people hate root beer5
- Who knew frozen apples could taste so good!: Simple dessert recipe for the diet-conscious6
- The top 10 spots in Tokyo to make an anime pilgrimage7
- Can you spot the problem that led to the recall of this otherwise cute Japanese New Year’s card?8
- 12 gender-bent Disney and Ghibli characters that are utter perfection9
- Yamanashi zoo’s roly-poly resident raccoon is ridiculously round, remarkably cute10
- 1,200 Japanese workers convert above-ground train to subway line in a matter of hours1
- Japan discovers awesome cheese snack that takes just one ingredient and two minutes to make2
- Ghibli background artist Naohisa Inoue’s painting technique is out of this world3
- Budding Japanese student artists impress us with chalkboard works of art4
- Japanese sleep experts say we’ve been using our blankets wrong, help us hate winter a little less5
- Why almost all Japanese people hate root beer6
- Controversial pick-up artist breaks silence as campaign against him continues7
- Live-action Attack on Titan posters show new characters and weapons, plus one huge absence8
- Cat got your tongue? 10 unusual Japanese phrases that use the word ‘cat’9
- The familiar looks of “once-in-four-thousand-year” Chinese idol have Japanese netizens talking10
- “No one sleeps in her class!” Internet goes gaga for gorgeous Chinese science teacher1
- Hayao Miyazaki working on new project, says “I’m going to continue making anime until I die”2
- Japanese high school holds annual contest to decide the prettiest “girl” in school3
- 1,200 Japanese workers convert above-ground train to subway line in a matter of hours4
- Sorry guys! Video of “sexy ice cream girl” in Taipei only delivers on half its milky promises5
- Oysters’ amazing cleaning skills shock Japanese netizens who question their shellfish habit6
- Japan discovers awesome cheese snack that takes just one ingredient and two minutes to make7
- One Piece manga sends off Naruto with a classy secret message8
- Clever Japanese pet owners find perfect cat beds…at IKEA! 【Photos】9
- Man revives woman with AED, branded a “pervert” for removing her clothes to apply electrode pads10
- School textbook is withdrawn after “teacher” on the front is recognized as Japanese adult video star1
- Artist turns innocent Disney princesses into flirty pin-up girls2
- “No one sleeps in her class!” Internet goes gaga for gorgeous Chinese science teacher3
- Hayao Miyazaki working on new project, says “I’m going to continue making anime until I die”4
- Mickey and friends in human form are more charming than we had imagined! 【Pics】5
- A sad turn of events at a butterfly exhibition in China6
- 6-year-old boy vowed to marry his childhood sweetheart, really marries her 18 years later7
- Ten-year-old boy cuts construction worker’s lifeline because noise was interrupting his cartoons8
- 61 more images of cosmetic surgery from South Korea9
- Chinese cat with unfortunate dark patch of fur tired of people asking why it’s shocked10
- Who knew frozen apples could taste so good!: Simple dessert recipe for the diet-conscious
- The top 10 spots in Tokyo to make an anime pilgrimage
- Can you spot the problem that led to the recall of this otherwise cute Japanese New Year’s card?
- 12 gender-bent Disney and Ghibli characters that are utter perfection
- Yamanashi zoo’s roly-poly resident raccoon is ridiculously round, remarkably cute
- A vision of the future? We can’t take our eyes off Shimizu Corporation’s “Ocean Spiral” design
- Filled to bursting point? Rush-hour crush on Tokyo subway leaves train with broken window
- Check out these cool ways to enjoy hot springs in Oita, including eating and breathing them
- Nissin Cup Noodle is offering a promotional life-size water-dispensing cow
- Continue your collection of Kit Kats with a NEW flavor inspired by Japan’s bullet train
- From mermaids to monsters: The taxidermy mummies on show in Japan【Photos】
- Live-action Attack on Titan posters show new characters and weapons, plus one huge absence
- All-male dance group in Japan breaks the ice with incredible “Frozen” inspired number【Video】