scandal

McDonald’s Japan to return “free smiles” to menu

In my more formative years I worked the counter at McDonald’s. It was an okay job for someone with no prior work experience and helped to support my SNES habit. However, the one thing I hated was when a customer approached the counter and would ask for a “free smile” because it was written on the menu.

It had gotten to the point that I could tell the look on a customer’s face before they even opened their mouth to ask for my worthless grin. And so, I’d give them that “oh you” smile as if I hadn’t heard the joke a thousand times before and a little bit of myself would die inside.

Now a whole new generation of Japanese youngsters will get to have that same experience as McDonald’s Japan announced the return of zero-yen smiles to their menus at all stores all day long.

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Snack company Calbee recalls 140,000 tubs of Jagarico potato snacks for the weirdest of reasons

I love potato chips, don’t you? Except in the UK, where I’m from, we call them crisps because we already use the word “chips” to refer to those chunky morsels of potato commonly served with fish. Regardless, chips and crisps – whatever you want to call them – are totally delicious, and Japanese snack company Calbee has long since perfected the perfect marriage of both – their crispy “Jagarico” potato chips, which are shaped exactly like french fries. (Or chips. Wait. I’m getting confused.)

Anyway, Calbee has caused a bit of a scandal by issuing a product recall for approximately 140,000 tubs of their yummy snacks which they feel are not fit for human consumption. But what exactly is wrong with them?

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Awkward: Teacher tries to show his students space DVD, accidentally shows them porn instead

Sometimes it’s hard work being a teacher, especially when you’re passionate about a subject and your students couldn’t care less. No wonder some teachers find themselves just going through the motions and counting the days until the next school break.

But sometimes, being a little TOO passionate can be even worse than phoning it in. And that goes double when you fail to check your lesson material in advance and wind up sharing a little too much with your students, as one teacher in Japan learned when he tried to show his kids a science video but accidentally gave them a peak at his porn stash instead.

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When you hear the name Xinhua News Agency, which operates under the auspices the Chinese Communist Party, you might envision a drab Kafkaesque organization of steel faced bureaucrats controlling the nation’s source of information.

However, as Time’s David Stout uncovered on Xinhua’s official Twitter account they might be just a bunch of bros after all. After clicking on the 3,301 accounts the news organization was following he found a few colorful examples, most notably “Absolute JP P0rn.”

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Awkward: University lecturer found naked on campus in Tokyo

Ever find yourself in a really awkward or compromising situation? The kind where you wish the earth would split open and swallow you up, or you could somehow be whisked away to some magic far-away land where you’d never have to show your face to the real world again? We’re pretty sure that’s what this 55-year-old university lecturer was feeling when he was found on campus, wearing nothing but his birthday suit. How he ended up that way is an even more interesting issue.

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Public backlash, fines all around for Chinese medical staff who took selfies in operating room

Scrubs? Check. Scalpel? Check. Smartphone? Double check.

The following photos of doctors and nurses posing inside an operating room at Fengcheng Hospital in Xi’an, northwestern China, were allegedly taken back in the summer on August 15. Although months have passed since then, the photos just recently surfaced online and have been causing quite an uproar among the general public over the past few days.

If it’s any consolation, would you breathe a sigh of relief to hear that at least the photos were taken after a successful operation? But wait–doesn’t the patient still appear to be undergoing surgery in some of the shots!?

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Love dolls, strippers, jacuzzis and drugs: The Philippines’ largest prison gets raided by police

Armed police stormed New Bilibid Prison, the Philippines’ largest penitentiary, earlier this week after it was reported that inmates were living lives of debauchery despite being incarcerated for their respective crimes. Many of prisoners were found to be in possession of numerous luxury items and living in private “villas”, with police even uncovering a room built especially for strippers to perform.

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Buildings in China slowly collide, shoddy worksmanship suspected

The Leaning Tower of Pisa might be able to draw huge crowds due to the fact that it’s a bit on the wonky side, but generally we prefer our buildings to stand upright. It’s no surprise, then, that locals in Shanghai, China were quite rightfully a bit flustered when these two apartment buildings decided to lean on each other for a bit of a rest. But what prompted these separately-constructed buildings to start nuzzling each other, and is this really safe?

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Cautious consumers wary of McDonald’s free McNuggets, fear of tainted chicken lingers

Recently, we brought you the news that McDonald’s Japan is offering free chicken nuggets in a bid to restore consumer good will in the wake of the “Chickengate” scandal. As reported, expired Chinese chicken found its way into a range of fast food eateries’ products, sparking public fears of food poisoning. We’ve been curious as to how many people jumped at the chance for free but potentially tainted nuggets, (although McDonald’s Japan has now switched their chicken supplier from China to Thailand) and how many decided to steer clear. Luckily for us, Livedoor has conducted a survey of 1,000 participants to see how many would be willing to cash in a free chicken coupon. The results are… kind of a mix.

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Thai video claiming corruption at the 2014 Asia Games goes viral

Readers in the West may not have heard much about it, but the 17th Asian Games were held between September 19 and October 4 in Incheon, South Korea. As the largest multi-sporting event after the Olympics, the Asian Games bring together athletes from all across the Asian continent only once every four years. By the end of this year’s competition, China had racked up the highest medal count, followed by host South Korea and Japan. However, this year’s Games were also plagued by rampant rumors of suspicious refereeing, fixed matches, and host country favoritism, leaving many nations with a bitter aftertaste upon their conclusion.

In response to the multiple stories of alleged corruption, one irate Thai viewer created a parody video to vent his frustrations. As of this writing, the video, with its scornful lyrics yet surprisingly bubbly nature, has been replayed over 2 million times on YouTube, despite having been published less than a week ago. Judging by the comments, it seems the rest of the world seems to sympathize with its message…

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Pop idols’ management demands 8 million yen in damages after two members caught dating fans

It’s a long-standing rule in the pop idol industry in Japan: performers should never become involved in romantic relationships. Doing so would, apparently, tarnish the reputations carefully designed to make these entertainers appear “accessible,” reducing them to the status of “regular people.” And that’s no life for an idol.

We’ve seen this rule lead to instances of head-shaving and weird YouTubers before in Japan. However, one idol management company is taking this rule to a new level and demanding compensation for damages as a result of performers fraternizing with fans–to the order of US$75,000.

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Here’s that “vagina kayak” Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi made with the help of crowdfunding

Remember Megumi Igarashi, the Japanese artist who shot to infamy after being arrested for sharing “obscene” 3-D data of her genitals online? Of course you do! Well today as a special treat we thought we’d share some photos of her enjoying the kayak she originally used that self-same data to make.

Well, it’s Friday isn’t it?

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Chinese factory in hot water after employees shown stepping and even sleeping on noodles

There were several scandals last year in Japan involving people being photographed inside ice cream freezers in convenience stores or lying atop bags of chicken nuggets in fast food restaurants. But it would seem that some workers in China have taken it to the next level, with scenes that may make you wish you could grow all your food yourself.

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Man sues mother for breaking promise to let him wed 8-year-old daughter when she came of age

We’re not really sure what to make out of this recent bizarre news out of Taiwan. Nine years ago, a man who was 32 years old at the time claimed to have fallen in love with an eight-year-old girl, even receiving a promise from the girl’s mother that he could wed the girl once she came of age. He then reportedly spent the next several years providing the girl’s family with financial assistance.

Fast-forward to the present, where the man learns that not only has his “betrothed” secretly married another man, but even has her own child. His next course of action is to file a lawsuit against the girl’s mother for fraud. How do you think his case turned out? More details after the jump.

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Chinese celebrity caught cheating on his wife triggers rush for “love insurance”

We’ve heard of celebrities and famous athletes spending insane amounts on insurance for their body parts, but it would seem that in China, the trend now is to buy insurance for love.

Recent reports of the infidelity of popular Chinese actor Zhang Wen not only set flame on Chinese social media networks, they also triggered off a rush for “love insurance”, generating more than a thousand new clients solely in Xiamen of Fujian Province. How does this “love insurance” work? Details after the break!

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“No kiss, no graduation certificate!” Uproar as photos of students and teacher kissing appear online

Internet message boards and news sites in China were ablaze earlier this week when photographs showing a male teacher kissing and being kissed by a number of his high school students were published online. The photos were allegedly taken during a mini graduation ceremony in the students’ homeroom, with the teacher having told the girls “Unless you kiss me or let me kiss you, I’m not giving you your graduation certificate.”

Though perhaps all was not quite as it seemed…

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Paying Just $11 a Day, Subcontractors Ripping Off Fukushima Nuclear Accident Decontamination Workers


The Tokyo Shimbun has discovered that workers involved with national government controlled cleanup projects resulting from the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant are being ripped off by subcontractors.

Despite being able to rent lodging facilities from the government and others for free or for very little money, contractors forcibly deduct inflated accommodation and meal charges from workers’ pay. When the 10,000 yen (US$111) a day “danger pay” provided to contractors by the government (read: taxpayers) is taken into consideration, it means the contractors themselves end up forking out a measly 1,000 yen (US$11) a day per worker.
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