Prime Minister Abe does super cute shuffle-jog into meeting room, China falls in love【GIF】

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met Russian President Vladimir Putin at the U.N. headquarters in New York on September 28 to discuss advancing negotiations on long-standing territorial disputes between the two countries.

Rather than focusing on politics, however, netizens have been focusing much more on the fact that, having arrived late to the proceedings, Prime Minister Abe performed an adorable little shuffle-jog straight towards the Russian prez. So adorable, in fact, that some Chinese netizens have completely reversed their initial impressions of Prime Minister Abe, and now apparently think he’s the last word in kawaii!

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Check out Chinese media giant’s weird, passive-aggressive video assault on America 【Video】

It’s probably safe to say that China’s relationship with a number of countries is a little bit strained at this exact moment. The massive East Asian country has been enjoying something of a renaissance recently, but with that has come myriad international political issues as the country—and those interdependent with it for trade—grapple with China’s newfound status as an economic superpower.

But is China overstepping its bounds with this passive-aggressive, thinly veiled threat against the United States?

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Japanese PM Abe accidentally thanks the inventor of the retweet while trying to reach Indian PM

Some of you may have noticed during the royal rumble that ensued in the Japanese Parliament late last week, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe quietly slipped out while members of his party continued to fight back a horde of angry legislators so that they could usher in changes to the way the constitution is understood. At first, I wondered why he would duck out at such a moment, but then I remembered: it’s his biiirthdaaay♪

Yes, on 21 September, Japan’s fearless leader turned 61. Unfortunately his age is really starting to show in his lack computer savvy. We already know the PM has his own Twitter account after Abe revealed that he pays his Twitter fees just like the rest of us. But apparently he still hasn’t grasped how to use the “@” symbol properly when a message of thanks to the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi accidentally went to the wrong guy, who also just happened to help develop Twitter.

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War and One Piece: How Japan’s constitution was changed

The above scene of Japanese elected officials climbing on top of each other like extras in a Pearl Jam music video made headlines worldwide much to the country’s chagrin. And it was in this way that Japan has officially reinterpreted its constitution to allow military deployment to other parts of the world for the first time since World War II.

Yes, rather than through persuasive speech and the rational debate that government was designed to produce, the future course of Japan had been steered by underhanded tricks, shoving matches, and even a decoy legislation made of a One Piece advert.

But were these uncivilized tactics motivated by honest passion and the sheer intensity of the situation, or were the elite of Japanese society simply showing their true nature of political impotence? To find out, let’s take a look at how the whole fracas started.

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South Korean president says Korean reunification “might even happen next year”

Sometimes it’s hard to believe that North and South Korea used to be the same country. On the one hand, you have South Korea, plastic surgery and cute baby capital of the world, and on the other hand you have North Korea, which is apparently constantly on fire, possibly due to “gasoline clams.”

However, many would love to see the two Koreas reunited once again, among them South Korea’s president, Park Geun-hye. In a speech that she gave at a recent meeting, she said that the two Koreas might even be reunited as soon as 2016.

This of course set off a chain of reactions from South Koreans online, some praising the idea of immediate unification while others criticized it – and not necessarily for the reasons you might think.

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Microsoft’s Windows 10 ads inadvertently ruffle feathers in Korea with… a bad choice of font?

American tech giant Microsoft apparently has some explaining to do to Korean Windows users.

That’s because a television commercial announcing the recent release of Microsoft Windows 10, the latest and blessedly less-infuriating edition of the company’s flagship operating system, apparently commits an unwritten faux pas by way of a text font displayed in the ad.

And if you’re as baffled as we initially were about how a simple, commonly used font could be so offensive, well, let us tell you a little story about Japan-Korea relations…

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Thousands sign petition against TPP’s supposed copyright conditions

A few months ago, it was reported that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement may contain changes to copyright laws that many are calling “excessive.” In response to this, a growing number of lawyers, journalists, writers, and others involved in Japanese culture have signed a petition to convince the Japanese government to refuse such conditions.

If the agreement is reached, the minimum limit of copyrights could be extended by 20 years, and even non-copyright holders such as police and prosecutors may be given the ability to go after people for “infringements”. Those opposed feel that these changes could seriously damage the artistic freedom of Japan.

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“Too Cute” Tokyo City councilwoman has Japanese Netizens swooning

Judging by the sheer volume of these kinds of posts we do, one does get the impression that, while bored westerners are inclined to seek out cute cat videos on the Internet, Japanese Netizens with nothing better to do apparently like to scour the web for pictures of very attractive women working in jobs where being cute isn’t a prerequisite. While you’d think this would be a relatively niche interest when there’s perfectly good adult material available around the corner, “Beautiful Woman Doing Things” posts are everywhere on the Japanese net.

So, without further ado, here’s the latest Beautiful Woman Doing Things from Japan: Hachioji City councilwoman Azusa Sato.

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Otaku assemblyman elected in Ōta-ku, Tokyo

Excitement was in the air all over Tokyo as the votes for regional elections to council seats were talli–hey where are you going!?

Sure, local politics aren’t all that electrifying aside from the occasional eccentrics who throw their shark-tooth necklaces into the ring. But it’s also sometimes the place where small but inspiring stories of success can happen.

Such is the case with Minoru Ogino who was recently elected to Ōta Ward (aka Ōta City) or Ōta-Ku in Japanese. It’s a fitting district to win in as Assemblyman Ogino is Love-Live-lovin’ Kankore sailing otaku himself.

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Dojinshi fans worry trade pact could be the end of Comiket, but is the fear founded in reality?

Whether you call it Comic Market, Comiket, or Comike, the twice-a-year event is the largest gathering of creators and fans of dojinshi, Japanese self-published comics. Each iteration of Comiket draws hundreds of thousands of otaku to its venue at the Tokyo Big Sight convention center.

Something else that’s known by more than one name is the Trans-Pacific Partnership. A proposed trade agreement between a dozen nations, including Japan and the U.S., the legislation is more commonly referred to by the acronym TPP in the Japanese media.

As negotiations between the U.S. and Japan continue, some anime and manga fans are worrying that the Trans-Pacific Partnership/TPP could be disastrous for Comic Market/Comiket/Comike, but just how justified are these fears?

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President Obama thanks Prime Minister Abe for all the cool anime during official visit 【Video】

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is currently making a diplomatic visit to the United States, where he was received by President Barack Obama. The two heads of state recently appeared before the press in a ceremony where the American President reiterated the importance of cooperation between the two countries, and also thanked Japan for all that cool anime.

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“We should apologize” – Authors Murakami and Hyakuta engage in war of words over words of war

Haruki Murakami and Naoki Hyakuta are two of Japan’s most popular writers. Murakami is the author of such international bestsellers as Norwegian Wood and 1Q84 and is currently a prolific and outspoken blogger on a range of topics from the meaning of life to nuclear power. Hyakuta, on the other hand, is the writer of domestic hits such as Eien no Zero (The Eternal Zero) and Monsuta (Monster) and currently a passionate Twitter user putting out 140-character quips on everything from masturbation to Asian international relations.

Hyakuta also had some sour tweets aimed at Murakami following an interview which at one point dealt with the issue of Japan acknowledging and apologizing for its actions during World War II.

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There might be a Jedi running for mayor of Shibuya

So we all know that Tokyo-area political races can attract some pretty, um… eccentric candidates.

We’ve got perennial Tokyo Governor candidates like Mac Akasaka, representing his own Smile Party (often while dressed like Superman), leader and probably the only member of the World Economic Community Party, Mr. The Only God Matayoshi Mitsuo Jesus Christ, and Rock ‘n Roll Samurai – aka TOKMA – whose big shtick is to dress like a samurai and play war-mongering rock ‘n roll music.

But, despite their crazy antics and lofty-sounding, self-appointed nicknames, these men are all mere Earthlings. What Tokyo needs is a true leader. A man of stellar moral character. Someone who can protect Tokyo from the inevitable threat posed by evil empires from other galaxies. In other words, Tokyo needs a Jedi. And that’s why Mutsuto Imajo gets our vote for Shibuya Mayor!

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25-year-old NEET running for Chiba city council seat, partly on platform of fiscal responsibility

Japan uses the term NEET to describe adult members of the population who are neither working nor going to school (not, in actuality, a special forces-style combat brigade). Broken down into its components, the acronym stands for “not in education, employment, or training.”

Of course, nothing in the label says anything about not being in government, which is why one ambitious Japanese NEET is running for city council.

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Nurse cosplay: Would-be Hiroshima City Councilwoman’s innovative campaign tactic

With over a million people living in Hiroshima, we imagine at least a few residents are still undecided about who to support in the upcoming city council elections. But with less than a month until they cast their votes, it’s time for them to start narrowing down their selection.

The multitude of political parties in Japan means that sometimes candidates can start to blur together in voters’ minds, though. Standing out from the crowd isn’t a problem for Naomi Kikuura, however. After all, when was the last time you saw a would-be city councilwoman appear in her political ads doing nurse cosplay?

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Anti-Japanese protestors “execute” effigy of Prime Minister Abe with ISIS-style beheading 【Video】

This is no April Fool’s joke: on April 1, a group of  anti-Japanese protestors gathered outside the Japanese embassy in Seoul, Korea to rally against Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe addressing the U.S. Congress later this month.

Things started to get out of control when an effigy with Abe’s face was beheaded ISIS-style, and a Japanese imperial flag was sliced to pieces with a knife. The protest is being called “too extreme” even by those sympathetic to their cause.

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Japanese PM Shinzo Abe says he pays his Facebook and Twitter fees just like everyone else

Has Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe fallen for one of those “Facebook to start charging” hoaxes?

Abe found himself the butt of the joke in parliament this week after slipping up on the subject of social media. The prime minister proudly told the House of Councillors on Wednesday that of course, he pays his Facebook and Twitter membership fees.

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After Obama’s otaku outing, images surface of Love Liver Joe Biden getting cozy with anime idols

Late last month, we got indisputable visual evidence (which is by no means to be confused with humorous photoshopped evidence) of something we’ve been suspecting for the last several years: U.S. President Barack Obama is a huge fan of cute girl anime.

Politics being what they are, the vice president tends to follow the president’s lead on major issues such as foreign affairs, economic policy, and what gets watched on the federal property DVD players after all those press conferences are over. So it’s only natural that images, every bit as convincing as those of President Obama, have now surfaced showing Vice President Joe Biden to be passionately infatuated with the teenaged idols of anime Love Live!

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“Northern Territories Day” commercial accused of promoting excessive nationalism

Since 1981, Japan has observed February 7 as “Northern Territories Day,” which commemorates the signing of an 1855 treaty granting the nation possession of a chain of islands off the coast of Hokkaido.

In a recent commercial titled “Drawing the Northern Territories,” a male voice begins: “Even though it’s Japanese territory, Japanese people can’t live here.” Pastel drawings of picturesque mountains and fishermen at work segue into a shot of a woman looking out across a stretch of sea to a rocky outcrop. “Look, it’s so close,” continues the narrator, as “16 km” appears across the bottom of the shot. The ad ends with the message: “The Northern Territories: inherently Japanese.”

Harmless patriotism, or government propaganda? Public reactions seem to be leaning toward the latter.

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Chinese netizens left reeling after father of slain Japanese hostage apologizes to the public

You’re no doubt aware of the (at time of writing) ongoing hostage crisis that has swept Japan, Jordan and those country’s allies up in a tense political chess match as representatives attempt to negotiate with the fundamentalist Islamic militant group ISIS for the release of a captured Jordanian fighter pilot and a Japanese war journalist Kenji Goto. The crisis has certainly been nerve-wracking and immeasurably scary for those with ties to the hostages.

But, for Chinese netizens, something far scarier happened a few days ago.

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