Japanese blogger id:eliya, who is doing economics research abroad, writes that he is often asked by colleagues why Japanese work so hard [ja]. Referring to economics professor Masami Nomura's book, “Employment Instability” (雇用不安) [ja], he explains that Japanese work hard basically because the penalty for being fired from your job is very high: Japanese corporations, for example, are unlikely to hire a worker who has already been fired from another job mid-career.
Latest posts by Chris Salzberg
4 November 2009
Tokyo's neighborhood of Shimokitazawa is well-known for its complicated spaghetti-like web of shop-lined streets, train tracks and back alleyways, but that web may be in for a big change. Plans to redevelop the area to make way for a 26-meter wide thoroughfare had already aroused opposition among some of the area's fans, but a proposed new design scheme for the local train station has added fuel to the flames. Blogger Hideaki Matsunaga explains why.
12 March 2009
“On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog.” -- The words of a well-known adage dating back to a New Yorker cartoon from 1993 capture the anonymity people generally expect from online communication. This week a new take on this adage hit the Japanese blogosphere when a blogger discovered that two of his closest friends on Twitter were actually bots designed as part of a programming contest.
3 March 2009
Spring is fast approaching, and in Japan that means two things: the fall of cherry blossoms and the start of the new school year, which coincides with last year's graduates joining the workforce. One blogger and university professor posted a letter to a student which struck a drew a huge reaction among Japanese bloggers. The first line of the letter begins, "To you who will graduate this year"...
1 March 2009
27 February 2009
Over a week has passed since now-infamous footage of Japan's former finance minister Shōichi Nakagawa stumbling through a 20 minute speech at the G7 meeting in Rome made world headlines and hit the top of YouTube charts. In this post I feature a handful of responses to the speech by Japanese bloggers.
14 February 2009
Demands by municipal assemblies and bar associations across Japan that Google revise [ja] or even halt altogether its new Street View service, rolled out in 12 Japanese cities late last summer to mixed reactions, have triggered renewed debate on issues of privacy and the limits of public space. The latest moves by municipal governments come on the heels of demands by a group of Japanese lawyers and professors, who petitioned Google in mid-December to retract its service.
13 February 2009
Motohiko Tokuriki at Tokuriki.com posts a long discussion [ja] of the recent PayPerPost incident at Google Japan. Tokuriki writes that while he does not agree with the PayPerPost approach, there is nonetheless a distinction to be made between the PayPerPost strategy in which funding is openly acknowledged, and the strategy in which it is not; this case came to light precisely because it was mentioned in posts that the bloggers in question were participating in a CyberBuzz campaign.
12 February 2009
Blogger Hiromitsu Takagi posts a transcript [ja] of a recent open meeting [ja] organized by the Tokyo metropolitan government about Google's Street View service, introduced in major Japanese cities last summer. Google was invited to the meeting and reportedly told that, in future cases, the company should give advance notification [ja] before photographing neighbourhoods. Renewed demands to outright stop the service altogether have been mounted in recent months by citizen groups, lawyers, professors and journalists.
11 February 2009
Commenters at Japan's popular bulletin board service 2channel are responding to the story [ja] of a Japanese girl (ID tomochan) who, reportedly through the “enjoy JAPAN (KOREA) translation service” run by Korean search portal Naver, became close friends with a Korean guy. Naver plans to end the service on February 20th, meaning that tomochan and her would-be boyfriend will no longer be able to communicate [ja]. An early commenter responds, “I guess these Japanese girls who discover that Korean guys are better looking lose their interest in Japanese guys.” [Original article at Naver (in Korean).]
4 February 2009
Over the past week, Japan's major mobile phone operators have commenced filtering web access on mobile phones contracted to minors (users under 18 years of age), following on legislation introduced in late 2007 and on developments over the last year toward the regulation of “harmful” content. Bloggers respond.