Archive for the ‘Japan Article’ Category

Discussing the “reinterpretation” of Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution. This “reinterpretation” effectively allows Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense (i.e. militarily aid it’s allies if they’re attacked). After WWII, Japan renounced war as a means to settle international disputes, however, that does not prohibit Japan from having self-defense forces. The deployment of Japanese forces overseas (in support roles) is usually a rather controversial topic.

Article 9 protest march in Japan

First time I ever saw a protest march in my towns ;this against the new change in Jaapan saying they can go to war

Learning English in Japan differs from learning Spanish, French, or German in America. Many Americans take foreign language classes at school, learning vocabulary and grammar, practicing all four language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. American language education faces problems. Many Americans speak English, and only English. Many Americans do not have sufficient time in the foreign language classroom to learn a new language. Japanese spend more than enough time in the classroom to learn a foreign language. Japanese face a different problem: Foreign language education lacks balance.

In Japan, students learn grammar and vocabulary much as Americans generations ago learned Latin. While this situation is slowly changing in Japan, students who want to learn to communicate in English generally have to go outside the normal school system to study languages in private language schools. Many Americans and other native English speakers teach in such schools. The students come to use English, to practice what they know. Many teachers in these schools have materials provided for them, but many teachers also need to create their own materials. In this article, we would like to present a topic that we have found of interest to students in Japan: alternative American lifestyles.

Read alternative American lifestyles and you may immediately think of the ways that people can live based on religion, sexual identity, or other factors. We are only talking about people who live on boats or in RVs. Many Americans live on boats or in RVs across America and around the world. In Japan, people do not appear to live on boats or in RVs. Most Japanese are very interested in different lifestyles. Below is the information that we have used in our classes:

Boat Life

Although most people in the United States live in houses and apartments, a significant number of people live on boats. In some ways, life is different from living on land. Land dwellers do not need to think about checking that the boat is securely tied to the dock or having the barnacles scraped every six months.

We call people who live on boats liveaboards. Liveaboards do what most other people do, going to work, attending school, and listening to music. Their lifestyle is unique in that water surrounds their homes. Liveaboards can enjoy living on water near an urban environment, seeing birds on the dock, and watching them fly overhead. Sitting on the deck and watching the moon at night is a lovely boat experience. Listening to the water lap gently against the side of the boat can make each day feel just like a holiday.

When a storm comes though, the same water may seem like a roaring ocean about to attack.

Being a liveaboard can present other problems. Boats can have leaks, grow mold, or become damp. Forget about crispy pretzels. On a boat, you’re more likely to have slightly dampish pretzels if you don’t eat them right from the store. The dampness from the water permeates the boat, making staying warm in the winter a challenge.

Liveaboards also have the great advantage of flexibility. If you want to go someplace, you just take your boat. Going inland can be difficult though.

RV Life

Drive around Japan and you will probably see small RVs, which are recreational vehicles. They are little cabins on wheels for camping with space for sleeping, showering, and cooking. RVs in America are usually much bigger; some have toads. A toad is slang for a car that you tow behind your RV. Drive somewhere in a 40-foot RV, which is a fairly standard size, and you will probably not want to drive the RV if you have to go grocery shopping or run errands. The toad is the answer and many people with RVs have toads. We think the word “toad” comes from “towed.” RVs come in many sizes, some under 20 feet and some about 40 feet.

Not that long ago, most RV owners were senior citizens. Now, in the 21st century, however, Americans from babies to senior citizens live and travel in RVs. Some RVS are simply for vacations, but many people actually live in their RVS, traveling around the United States and Canada. If you live in an RV, America is your home. There is always something new to see or do.

If you ever travel to Japan and teach English there, you may want to think about teaching alternative lifestyles like these.

If you are an experienced editor specializing in medicine or the hard sciences, Aaron Language Services is interested in working with you. You can find us at on the web at We are a translation and editing business primarily serving a Japanese client base. We are looking forward to hearing from you.

How time flies sometimes.  It has now been two years since the naked body of Lindsay Ann Hawker was found in a bathtub on the balcony of Tatsuyo Ichihashi, with the suspect managing to run barefoot past nine police officers who went to his apartment, and then evading them on foot.  This story made headlines back in the UK straight away but it was only after foreign media became heavily involved that this story started to get mentioned by the Japanese media.  Interestingly, the Japanese Wikipedia article on Hawker still does not include Ichihashi’s by name, referring to only “the suspect”.

I predicted then that there was very little chance of the Japanese police catching this guy, and so it has proved until now.  In the past ten days the police chief in the case has been replaced for reasons not made public.  Coincidence or not, this change in staff came just days after he gave an interview with the BBC’s Inside Out program.  One wonders if people above him deemed his defense of the police officers at the time was seen as inadequate in some way.  He was quoted as saying, “”At the stage that the investigators went to Tatsuya Ichihashi’s apartment it was still not clear that he was involved in this incident and it was not clear that she (Lindsay) was already murdered.”  That does make you wonder then why nine armed officers were dispatched to his apartment, if they were just making an enquiry into a missing person’s report.

Hawker’s family are back in Japan once again as we approach the March 27th anniversary of her death, and are asking the police to increase their efforts to find Ichihashi.  The police’s attempts to show they are working on this case are, at best, laughable.  Previously they have made posters showing what Ichihashi might look like if he dressed up as a woman.  The most recent thing is now a cardboard cutout of Ichihashi to be placed in train stations around Tokyo which, if a button is pressed, will produce a grainy rendition of his voice.  The police have offered a reward for Ichihashi’s capture, but Y1m ($ 10,000) does seem a pretty paltry amount.

The reaction of people has been something to behold too.  Police have stated that they have visited many restaurants and adult entertainment facilities (no sniggering at the back) and inquired about him.  At one such bar, the owner told police, “I heard rumors that he is staying at (a gay bar in) Shinjuku Ward.”  That is some information, but if the police hadn’t gone there then for all intents and purposes this guy would have not come forward.  He would have just kept the rumours of sightings and whereabouts to himself.

And now, just as the Hawker family return to Tokyo to search for Ichihashi, a journalist has revealed to the Telegraph newspaper that Ichihashi’s father may have killed himself.  The story states that getting information on whether this is true or not is difficult, although the media seem to have no problem reporting names when it is any other person who has killed themself.  What gets you thinking in this story is that the suspected suicide was back in September, yet has been kept quiet until Hawker’s family are back in Japan.  A sceptic might consider that the story was kept quiet until a time when it may be useful to provide some sympathy for the family of the suspect, who have been forced to undergo extreme hardship after their son has been made a suspect in a murder enquiry.  Saying that though, I think his arrest warrant is still only for abandoning a body, as obviously he might not have killed the girl on his balcony in his bathtub filled with sand.

I’d like to report an update and possibly an arrest very soon, but I think it will probably be another year before this story takes up any more column inches in Japan.

Read more at Big in Japan:

2013。条文読み上げと解説。Amendments to this Constitution shall be initiated by the Diet, through a concurring vote of two-thirds or more of all the members of each House and shall thereupon be submitted to the people for ratification,which shall require the affirmative vote of a majority of all votes cast thereon, at a special referendum or at such election as the Diet shall specify.
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CNN’s Matt Rivers visits Mashiki, Japan, where residents are surveying the damage after two powerful earthquakes hit this week.
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EXCLUSIVE: VICE News Meets Barack Obama:
The brutal beheadings of Japanese nationals Kenji Goto and Haruna Yukawa by the Islamic State in January have shocked the island nation and lent momentum to an effort to expand the limitations imposed on its constitution and military after its defeat by the United States in World War II.

Leftists in Japan fear that the incident will encourage a departure from the country’s pacifist constitution, whose Article 9 states that “the Japanese people forever renounce… the threat or use of force as a means of settling international disputes.” Right-wingers, meanwhile, see an opportunity to allow Japan to assert itself as a truly sovereign state.

VICE News reports from Japan as its prime minister and right wing are pushing for re-militarization of the pacifist nation, amid protests from the left who staunchly oppose any changes to Article 9 of the constitution.

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Article 9 of Japan’s constitution states “the Japanese people forever renounce war” and will never have any other military potential.
But the goverment imposed a bill allowing the country to help its allies if there was a “threat to Japanese survival”.

Using force if there’s no other way to eliminate a threat to national security, is also allowed. The bill also comes at a time of rising tension surrounding the continued presence of the 23 U.S. military bases across Japan.


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Japan, War & Article 9

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