Guessing The News In Japan
After enough time reading the news in Japan, you start to recognize a bit of a pattern. Perhaps the words “a bit” serve as somewhat of an understatement. More accurately, it gets to a point where you can semi-accurately guess the news in Japan in any given week.
A close friend told me that they hadn’t turned on a TV or read a newspaper in weeks, and were wondering what was going on. Although I hadn’t touched the Japanese news in a while myself, I was able to provide a surprisingly accurate update of the weeks-gone-by! Point by point, I was able to lay out the news in Japan for that week. Of course I didn’t cover every story, but what was covered was all magically in the news that week!
How? Well, as much as you might be inclined to believe that it is because I am psychic, such is not the case…
[Disclaimer: I am not outright stating that I am not psychic. But rather that it was not the use of psychic ability that enabled me to produce the following results. I leave all thoughts and assumptions on my psychic abilities up to the reader.]
Rather, I was able to guess the news to a certain degree of accuracy because this is Japan, and in Japan, certain things just seem to happen again and again~
And so without further adieu, I give you (about 50% of) my predictions for any given week in the Japanese news…
Somewhere in Japan, a police officer was caught doing something he shouldn’t have been doing.
Broad, yes. Yet surprisingly accurate. If you take a look at this post, or wait for my next post, it’s easy to see a very clear and consistent trend here in Japan; Nearly every single week, the police screw up and the media busts them for it. I don’t know if the police in Japan are actually that bad, or if the media in Japan really just love to make them look incompetent, but either way, there is never a shortage of Japanese police fails in the news.
There was another pointless update glorifying some minuscule “accomplishment” of AKB48 or one of its members.
AKB48… I don’t really need to say much more here. From accomplishments like promoting Christmas cake for 7/11 and releasing ‘music’ videos to being in controversial commercials (ie – “wanna have a baby with me?” and “girls kissing with candy”), AKB48 seem to make their way into the news week after week.
My personal favorite point about this, is the number of people who take the time to read the articles, log in, and post comments saying how much they hate AKB48… Seems like a lot of effort to go through if you ask me…
And if the regular news isn’t enough for you, you can always go out and pick up a copy of the AKB48 newspaper. Yes… They have their own newspaper for some reason.
Tensions between Japan and a neighboring country ran high for some reason.
Big surprise here right? Japan and conflict?! From island disputes, whaling, and trade disputes, to reaping the harvest that has grown from the actions and poor choices of previous generations, Japan finds themselves having troubles with their geographical neighbors on a weekly (sometimes daily) basis. Sometimes on the offensive, and sometimes making excuses, Japan just can’t seem to get enough conflict. Kinda makes one glad that the country only has a National Defense Force and not a formal Military…
A Japanese company that was once in great shape is now going through very hard times.
Sony, Olympus, Sharp, Panasonic, Toyota, Suzuki, and the list goes on…
Japanese companies that were once so strong seem to be struggling in both Japan and around the world. The companies that once brought Japan so much pride and glory, now seem to be the very companies featured in the business sections of the newspapers for their shortcomings rather than their accomplishments.
A Japanese politician apologized, resigned, or was removed from his post (most likely due to an “unfortunate” remark).
Politicians in Japan like to play fast and loose with their opinions, remarks, loyalties and apparently with common sense itself. In a country infamous for a turnover rate in politicians that can only be compared to the turnover rate of a Detroit McDonald’s, it is amazing that they haven’t figured out the age-old trick of learning from the mistakes of your predecessors. I imagine that most of the prestigious short-lived careers of these attempted politicians were preceded by a lifetime repetition of touching the stove burner and wondering why their hands hurt afterward.
A Japanese car company had to recall a large number of automobiles.
It is amazing the 180 that Japanese automakers have taken in the past couple of years. Japan spent decades climbing to the top of the automotive ladder just to use their position for a proverbial base jump back to the ground. Only time will tell if they packed a parachute. Unfortunately my expectations don’t match my hopes on this one.
There was some admission by TEPCO or finger pointing by the media of something that TEPCO didn’t do right or in a timely manner.
I might just be getting lazy at this point in the writing process, but I’m pretty sure this one explains itself. I’m just not sure how I feel about it. On one hand I sit thinking “yes… we know TEPCO screwed up… Bad. But we all know that no matter how much TEPCO failure gets brought to light, they will just brush it off and move forward unchanged“.
But the other side of me is glad that the media isn’t letting it go. That they are not letting people forget that TEPCO played a very large hand in the destruction that has occurred. I just worry that for many, it has become little more than background noise. It just goes to show how much the mind-set and culture of this country has changed that those original TEPCO officials continue their day-to-day lives.
Now, I’m going to go ahead and say that there are probably quite a few that I have missed or left out for one reason or another (i.e. Children getting injured or worse due to the failure of their guardians), but in the end it would seem that this serves to be a fairly accurate assessment of the news in Japan in any given week.
For good measure and a little fun, I have decided to include a few online news sources that you can use for news in Japan.
And when all else fails, apps and Japanese newspapers usually seem to do the trick!
But now that you can guess the news in Japan, I guess you don’t really need them anymore….