End of the first decade

21 Dec

The year 2009 will be over in ten days…but not only that, it’ll also be the end of the first decade of the 21st century.

So I began thinking about the biggest news stories of 2009 to the American public compared to the Japanese public.

So first the biggest U.S. news stories of 2009:

10. “The Miracle On The Hudson River” – The pilot of U.S. Airways flight 1549, Chesley Sullenberger safely crash landed his plane in the Hudson River and saved all of his passengers’ lives.

9. “U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy Died” – Brother of former U.S. President John F. Kennedy died on 2009 August 25.
8. “Fort Hood Rampage” – Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan of the U.S. Army went on a shooting rampage on 2009 November 5 and killed 13 people and injured 30 others.
7. “Michael Jackson Died” – On 2009 June 25 at age 50.
6. “Obama To Send More Troops To Afghanistan” – On 2009 December 1, U.S. President Obama made the announcement that 30,000 more soldiers would be sent to Afghanistan by the summer of 2010.
5. “Swine Flu” – Called 「新型インフルエンザ」 (“New ‘Flu“) in Japan, the World Health Organization announced it as an international public health concern in 2009 April.
4. “Auto Industry” – In early 2009, two out America’s “Big Three” auto-makers filed for bankruptcy…the other, Ford, nearly did.
3. “Health Care” – America’s health care system underwent reform.
2. “Obama Inauguration” – In 2009 January, U.S. President was sworn into office.
1. “The Economy” – Just like the rest of the industrialized world, America fell into a recession.

And the biggest news stories of 2009 in Japan:

10. “Ichihashi Arrested” – On 2009 November 11, Tatsuya Ichihashi was finally arrested for the murder of an English teacher from England.

(Click here to read my post for more details).

9. “¥12,000 Handouts” – In an effort to boost the economy, the Japanese government gave ¥12,000 to every resident in Japan.
8. “First-ever Budget Debate” – A large number of Japanese went to the first-ever debate of wasteful government spending. Such a thing has never been attended by the public before in Japan.
7. “Obama Inauguartion” – This was big news in Japan too.
6. “Noriko Sakai Arrested For Drugs” – Drug use is extremely uncommon in Japan, and Noriko Sakai is a celebrety who had a very clean image in Japan…until she and her husband were arrested for using the drug called “Ecstasy“.
5. “¥1000 Flat Toll Road Charge” – In another effort to stimuate the economy, tolls on roads were given a flat rate of ¥l000 per day regardless the distance on certain days.
4. “Lay Judge System” – Some cases in Japanese courts have begun using a “lay judge” (“Jury”) trial system. Until this year, all verdicts in all court cases were decided by a judge (or panel of judges).
3. “Democratic Party Landslide” – Prime Minister Hatoyama was elected this year. He’s a member of the Deocratic Party Of Japan…the Liberal Democratic Party has won every previous election in Japan for many years.
2. “Michael Jackson Died” – This was big news all over the world.
1. 「新型インフルエンザ」 – The “Swine Flu”. About a hundred people have died from it in Japan.

What were the biggest news stories of 2009 to you?
How about the biggest news story of the first decade of the 21st century? I think it must be the 2001 September 11 attack on the World Trade Center in America.

10 Responses to “End of the first decade”

  1. Anonymous January 1, 2010 at 6:48 am #

    The end of the first decade of the 21st century is on Dec 31, 2010, morons. Decades within centuries end in zeros. The first decade was of the 1st millennium was from 1 AD to 10 AD. Count the years on your fingers if it’s hard for you. The first decade of the new millennium and the 21st century is from 2001 AD to 2010 AD. When 2010 ends we’ll be going into the second decade of the 21st century.


    • tokyo5 January 1, 2010 at 11:42 am #

      Thank you.
      It’s always so enjoyable reading comments by people who aren’t able to disagree without insulting those with differing opinions!

      Yes, if you count decades by the ordinal counting system, then the 201st decade will end on 2010 Dec 31.
      But no one calls the 1990s “the 200th decade”…everyone calls them “the ’90s”—and who would consider the year 2000 part of “the ’90s”?

      So, if you want to be overly concerned with finicky details, then you can call 2010 part of the “202nd decade”.
      But I think most people will say “the 2000’s” (or “the Noughts”) and mean the years 2000 – 2009…and we’ll consider 2010 part of the decade that goes from 2010-2019 (2020 will be the beginning of the “twenty-twenties”).

      Even if you nit-pick about there being “no year zero”…most people don’t think like that, I dare say. And even if it’s technically incorrect, majority rules.

      So, in summary, even if you call me names, I still say 2010 is the beginning of a new decade.


  2. tornadoes28 December 22, 2009 at 5:39 am #

    I forgot what must be the second biggest story of the decade. The hanging-chad/disputed presidential election of 2000. Crazy to think how different things might have been had Gore come out on top, for better or for worse.


    • tokyo5 December 22, 2009 at 12:19 pm #

      That was big news at the time and kinda embarrassing for America…but I wouldn’t say it’s one of the decade’s biggest headlines.

      I’d say the biggest news of 2000-2009 is:

      1. “2001 September 11 Attacks”
      2. “Iraq / Afghanistan Wars”
      3. “Tsunami in Thailand”
      4. “Swine Flu (新型インフルエンザ)”
      5. “U.S. President Obama’s Inauguration”


  3. tornadoes28 December 22, 2009 at 3:06 am #

    There is no doubt the September 11 is the biggest event of the decade. It lead to two wars and immense debate worldwide. It led to changes in the way all people of the world travel by air.

    And it may be the very reason that lead to America electing the first black President in US history. Without 9-11, there would almost certainly not have been the Iraq War which almost certainly means that Obama probably would not have been elected.


    • tokyo5 December 22, 2009 at 12:13 pm #

      I think, even if it did help his election, that everyone including Obama would rather that “9-11” and the “Iraq / Afghanistan Wars” didn’t have to happen.


  4. gigihawaii December 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm #

    yes, 9-11 was the biggest story of the 1st decade of the 21st century, but of 2009 it was Obama’s inauguration because he was born and raised in Hawaii, my home state.


    • tokyo5 December 22, 2009 at 12:10 pm #

      Was it big news in Hawaii that Barack Obama was born there?


      • gigihawaii December 22, 2009 at 4:09 pm #



      • tokyo5 December 24, 2009 at 1:12 am #

        I thought his hometown was Chicago, though.


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