Police respond to explosion, suspected bombing at Yasukuni Shrine in central Tokyo

Bomb disposal unit finds remnants of suspected incendiary device at shrine for Japanese war dead in Chiyoda Ward.

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Should the Paris terrorism tragedy be called a “kamikaze” attack?

In the days following the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, people in Japan have expressed virtually universal sympathy for France and its residents. What has them more divided, though, is the frequent use of the word “kamikaze” in describing the incident.

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Tokyo Tower, Skytree don French Tricolour in show of sympathy following Paris terrorist attack

Last weekend, Tokyo’s two most famous structures switched their usual lighting to blue, white, and red in a showing of solidarity with the French people.

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Japanese tourist injured in Tunisian terrorist attack also attacked by Japanese media in hospital

On March 18, three terrorists attacked and took hostage patrons at the Bardo National Museum in Tunisia, killing 21 people and injuring about 50 others. Among those injured was Noriko Yuki, a Japanese tourist visiting Tunisia with her mother.

Ms. Yuki sustained a gunshot wound in the attack and was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. There, shortly after her surgery, she was immediately bombarded by Japanese media looking to interview her, with some members of the press apparently going so far as to tell the Japanese ambassador watching over her that he did “not have the authority to stop us from interviewing her.”

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Group of ISIS-inspired kids abuses, attempts to kill a goat as “practice for killing a person”

Earlier this month we saw what was beleived to be the first ISIS-inspired murder in Japan when a group of teenagers brutally killed a fellow classmate. However it has recently come to light that in the middle of February, a different group of Tokyo middle school students broke into an elementary school with the intent of murdering the school pet goat as “practice” for killing a fellow human being.

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ISIS-inspired gang kills middle school boy: “We’ll cut off your head while you’re still alive!”

On Friday, February 20, the body of Ryota Uemura, a first-year middle school student in Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, was found along the Tamagawa river with multiple stab wounds. It is believed that he was first beaten by a group of high school students, tied up, then stabbed repeatedly in the face, arms, and neck until he died of hemorrhagic shock.

One of the three high school boys who have been arrested recently proclaimed himself and the rest of his “team” as the “Kawasaki State,” following the same naming pattern as the terrorist organization ISIS/IS “Islamic State.”

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The Toyota Isis: The car with the most unfortunate name in Japan

Toyota, being the largest, most internationalized of Japan’s automakers, tends to do a pretty decent job steering clear of picking car names that sound weird or shocking to non-Japanese consumers. Sure, its product lineup briefly included the Emina, but that only sounds gross if you’re too impatient to carefully read the letters in order.

Until now Toyota hasn’t had anything as unintentionally startling as the Mazda Bongo Friendee, Daihatsu Naked, or Nissan Fairlady. But if you’ve taken a look at Toyota’s Japanese website recently, you may have found yourself doing a double-take as you noticed one of its current offerings seems to share its name with a well-known jihadist rebel group.

Ladies and gentlemen, we give you the Toyota Isis.

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Hayao Miyazaki on Charlie Hebdo attacks: Drawings of Muhammad were “a mistake”

Famed anime director Hayao Miyazaki may have retired from making feature films, but it’s not because he’s run out of clearly defined ideas or things to say. In a recent interview, the animation icon was asked for his thoughts about the recent terrorist attack on the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, and gave, in no uncertain terms, his opinion about the decision to publish the content cited as the trigger for the incident.

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“Passport confiscation robs us of rights”: Japanese journalist prevented from travelling to Syria

Japan’s Foreign Ministry has come under fire for confiscating the passport of a journalist who was intending to travel to Syria. War correspondent Yuichi Sugimoto, 58, was planning to visit Syria to cover events in refugee camps later this month, but was ordered to surrender his travel documents to authorities.

Under Japanese law, the ministry can confiscate a person’s passport to protect their life, but this is the first time the law has actually been used. Critics say the action contravenes the constitutional guarantee of freedom of movement and foreign travel.

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Terrorists release third video of Japanese hostage, say it will be his last

More than a week has passed since terrorist organization ISIS released its first video of Japanese hostages Haruna Yukawa and Kenji Goto. Days later, in a second video, a voice believed to be Goto’s was heard stating that Yukawa had been killed by the terrorists.

Now, a third statement has been released, in which a man identifying himself as Goto says that he has only 24 hours left before he will be murdered as well.

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New video claims one Japanese ISIS hostage killed, authenticity of video under investigation

Earlier this week, a video that is thought to have been produced by Islamic State militants surfaced, demanding that Japan pay a ransom of $200 million within 72 hours for the release of two Japanese hostages, Haruna Yukawa and Kenji Goto.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who had recently visited the Middle East and pledged $200 million in non-military aid, vowed to not give in to terrorism. The 72-hour time limit came and went, and on Saturday a new video was posted claiming that one hostage, Yukawa, was killed. While Abe and the Japanese people are angry, experts are taking a closer look to verify the authenticity of the somewhat questionable video.

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Fuji TV faces harsh criticism over “ticker” counting down to Japanese hostages’ murder

As we reported earlier in the week, Islamic State militants are currently holding two Japanese nationals hostage. The militants have said that the men will be executed within 72 hours unless the Japanese government pays a ransom of US$200 million, something that seems highly unlikely to happen.

With this being a rather sensitive subject, many people were extremely shocked and angry when Japanese morning television show Mezamashi Television went on air with a “ticker” onscreen counting how much time had passed since the demands were made.

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Knife Resistant Shirt Presented at Anti-Terrorist Convention

As a high ranking anti-terrorist agent in my fantasies off-time I’m often attacked by knife wielding maniacs.  This is why when I read Gigazine’s coverage of the recent Special Equipment Exhibition & Conference for Anti-Terrorism (SEECAT) 2012 in Tokyo I saw something that really piqued my interest.

On display at the Tanizawa Corp. booth was a sporty looking sweater that also prevents damage from knife slashes.  It could be the most comfy looking piece of armor I’ve seen.

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