Tag Archives: obama

Japanese Empress is 75

20 Oct

Today is the birthday of the Empress Of Japan.
She’s 75 now.

Last year, I wrote a post about her 74th birthday (and a few other things). Click here to read it.

For her birthday statement this year, she mentioned her sympathy to all who have had hardship due to the poor economy and she also expressed her happiness about U.S. President Obama’s Nobel Prize and his wish for a nuclear-free world.

She always expressed her gratitude to everyone who offered the Royal couple congratulations on their Golden Anniversary (50 years) this year, and the Emperor’s 20th year on the throne.

The Empress Of Japan

The Empress Of Japan

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Also, beginning today, doctors, nurses and other hospital staff in Japan were able to receive the 新型インフルエンザ (Swine Flu) inoculation.

Next week, young children and pregnant women will be able to receive theirs.

After that, people with chronic disease (such as asthma) will be in line to get the shot.

And finally other people.

The medicine that people in Japan will be receiving to protect themselves against this new flu is “made in Japan“…so it’s supposed to be safer.


By the way, speaking of 新型インフルエンザ (Swine Flu), did you know that a company in Japan is selling a business suit that looks just like a normal suit businessmen wear to the office…but it’s being promoted as the first suit that “protects the wearer from the Swine Flu”?

Recent news of Americans in Japan

10 Oct

First of all, today is the beginning of a three-day-weekend in Japan.
Monday is 「体育の日」 (Sports Day).

Until a few years ago, this holiday was on October 10th (today), and if that day fell on a Saturday (like it is this year), the day off would be “lost”. (If the 10th was a Sunday, it would be observed on the following day, though).

But now the holiday is the second Monday of October…so it’s always a three-day-weekend.
(Click here to read my short FAQ about this holiday).

Anyways, here are few recent Japan-related news items that involve Americans:

  • Japanese Prime Minister Hatoyama sent his congratulations to U.S. President Obama for receiving a Nobel Peace Prize, saying in part that he was pleased by Obama’s call for a nuclear-free world and that it must be difficult for the leader of the nation with the most nuclear weapons in the world to make such a statement.

    Japanese survivors of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki also expressed their happiness by Obama’s plan to rid the world of nuclear arms and their support of his Nobel Prize.
    They also reiterated their invitation for him to visit their cities.

  • U.S. President Obama is scheduled to make his first official visit to Japan on (2009) November 12 – 13.
  • An American man was arrested for bringing a handgun into Japan on a flight from America.
    His gun was found by Japanese airport customs officers when he passed through customs at Narita Airport near Tokyo trying to transit to a flight to Thailand.

    It is unclear how he managed to get the gun through U.S. customs at the Dallas / Ft. Worth Airport, where he boarded the plane for Japan.

  • Another American man is in Japanese prison for attempting to kidnap his children from his Japanese ex-wife and bring them back to America.He divorced his Japanese wife in America and the U.S. courts gave him custody of their two young children.

    But his ex-wife (the children’s mother) took the kids to Japan on “holiday” and never returned. So there is an arrest-warrant for her in America…that can only be enforced if she steps foot on U.S. soil again (which is unlikely).
    The Japanese courts, though, granted her full-custody of the children and when their father came to Japan to take the kids back, he was arrested.

    This case shows one of the many differences between American and Japanese culture.
    In America, when parents divorce it is common for both parents to “share” custody.
    But that’s extremely uncommon in Japan. The divorce-rate is still very low in Japan…but it is climbing. And when parents divorce here it is felt that it’s in the children’s best interest to try to keep life as stable as possible by having the father (usually) simply move on and keep out of their lives.

Have you heard about any of these cases? What’s your opinion?

Congratulations Brazil

3 Oct

Last night at about 2:00AM (Japan Standard Time (JST)), it was announced that the 2016 Summer Olympics will be hosted by Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.

The four cities that were candidates to host the games in 2016 were Rio De Janeiro (Brazil), Chicago (USA), Madrid (Spain), and Tokyo (Japan).

Chicago was the first city to get eliminated in the IOC (International Olympic Committee)’s voting process yesterday, then Tokyo was eliminated…which left Madrid and Rio in the running.
At that point, they said that they would announce the winning city in 90 minutes. Was the intermission meant to add to the anticipation?

Anyways, if you click here, you can read the comments that wrote on a post I wrote last month about the four candidate cities. I wrote the comments while I was watching the IOC’s vote.

In 2016, when Brazil hosts the Olympics, it will be the first time that the Olympic Games were held in South America.
So, it’s actually good that Rio won their bid to host the games (even though I would have liked to have the Olympics here in Tokyo!).

Similarly, in 1964, when Tokyo hosted the Olympics, it was the first time that the Olympic Games were held in Asia.

The logo of the 1964 Olympic Games hosted by Tokyo, Japan.

(The logo of the 1964 Olympic Games hosted by Tokyo, Japan.)

Leaders first meeting

26 Sep

Japan’s new Prime Minister, Yukio Hatoyama, went to New York yesterday and had his first meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama.

Japan Prime Minister Hatoyama and U.S. President Obama

Japan Prime Minister Hatoyama and U.S. President Obama

For the U.S., the issue of Japan continued help with the “War On Terrorism” is of top concern.
For Japan, it’s the issue of reducing the number of the U.S. military stationed in Japan…and abolishing nuclear weapons in the world.

But for this first meeting, the only major issue raised was about ridding the world of nuclear weapons.
Both Hatoyama and Obama said that they’d like to see an end to the nuclear threat in the world.

As the only country that has ever been attacked by nuclear weapons, this issue is important to Japan.
Prime Minister Hatoyama reiterated Japan’s stance that all nuclear weapons should be abolished and invited the the American president to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki when he comes to Tokyo next November.

No U.S. President has ever visited Hiroshima or Nagasaki .

Why is this a problem??

8 Sep

I don’t live in America, and U.S. President Obama’s planned speech to American school students today hasn’t even been mentioned on the news here so far.

obama

アメリカ合衆国大統領オバマ

But I read about it online a couple of days ago. The first I saw about it was on a site recommending that parents keep their kids out of school on September 8th so that they wouldn’t be “subjected to Obama’s propaganda”.

I searched around the internet at various websites about the subject and even found a transcript of the U.S. President’s planned speech and, even though it appears that this is a very controversial subject in America right now…I don’t understand what the problem is!

It seems that U.S. President Obama plans to tell students to stay in school and study hard.

No matter what you want to do with your life – I guarantee that you’ll need an education to do it.

You want to be a doctor, or a teacher, or a police officer? You want to be a nurse or an architect, a lawyer or a member of our military? You’re going to need a good education for every single one of those careers. You can’t drop out of school and just drop into a good job. You’ve got to work for it and train for it and learn for it…

(excerpt from U.S. President Obama’s planned speech on 2009 Sept 8)

That sounds like perfectly sound advice.

But it seems to be a problem to some Americans.
I saw a news video clip online from an American TV news program that had people debating whether or not children should hear the President’s speech.

As I said, I don’t live in America and therefore I don’t keep up with the current events and the culture there (which has become foreign to me over the years), but it seems that the people who plan to keep their children home from school today didn’t agree with the plan of the U.S. 教育委員会 (Board Of Education) to have the students write how they could “help the President”.
Or something like that.

Also, while I was reading about this online, I saw a news report about a church preacher in the U.S. state of Arizona who told his church to “pray for the death of the president”.

And it seems that a member of his church carried a rifle and a handgun to a speech that U.S. President Obama was giving. And he wasn’t arrested because it’s legal to carry firearms in Arizona!

This is all one of those “only in America” things, I think. 😉

Have you heard about this?
(If you live in America, maybe you could explain a bit about it better).

President Obama

21 Jan

It’s early in the morning on Wednesday, January 21, 2009 in Japan right now…but in Washington DC, it’s about noon on Tuesday, January 20.

And the United States’ 44th president just took office.

obama

44th President of USA, Barack Obama

He took office today at the age of 47…making him the fifth youngest person to become President of the United States (Theodore Roosevelt was the youngest at 42).

My youngest sister went to Barack Obama’s inauguration in Washington D.C.. If she’s able to take some nice photos and send them to me, I’ll add them to this post.

U.S. Election

5 Nov

As everyone around the world knows, the 2008 U.S. Presidental election is over and Barack Obama will take office as the President of the United States in January 2009.

Just as many world leaders did, the Prime Minister of Japan offered his congratulations to Obama:

I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to Senator Obama on his election as president of the United States of America.

Working together with President-elect Obama, I will strive to further strengthen the Japan-U.S. alliance and to resolve various challenges the international community faces when addressing issues such as the international economy, terrorism and the environment…

内閣総理大臣麻生太郎 (Tarou Asou, Prime Minister of Japan)

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Also, as I said in this post, the Japanese city of 小浜 (Obama) has supported Barack Obama ever since he became a candidate for the U.S. presidency. They sent him gifts (and they received a reply letter from his office with a couple words written in 日本語 (Japanese)).

The city of Obama has “Obama hula dancers” and souvenirs with Barack Obama’s image on them.

They’re considering making Barack Obama an honorary citizen of the town.

Of course, the reason for all of this is because Obama is a small town in western Japan that was losing money and the town’s mayor saw an opportunity to attract tourists…and it’s working. Suddenly the town is getting many visitors…some of them from overseas.

The tourism campaign is called “Obama For Obama“.

The mayor anticipates the town of Obama will become a world-famous vacation destination now that Barack Obama won the election.

The “Obama Hula Dancers” hope to perform at Barack Obama’s inauguration in January, by the way.

小浜

10 Sep

There’s a city in 福井県 (Fukui Prefecture, Japan) called 小浜 (Obama).

Obama is the name of the city and is written 小浜. (It translates to “small beach“).

This small town in central Japan has decided to unofficially support the U.S. Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama because of the similarities in names. (The names are written the same way in the English alphabet only. In Japanese, the city in Japan is written 「小浜」 but Barack Obama’s name is written as 「オバマ」).

Ironically, near the town of 小浜 (Obama) in 福井県 (Fukui Prefecture) is Masunaga Optical company.
This is the company that made the eyeglasses that U.S. Republican Vice Presidental candidate Sarah Palin wears.

The president of Masunaga Optical said that he’s now in a bind because he had been unoffically supporting Barack Obama with the rest of his town…until the nomination of Sarah Palin, who wears his company’s eyeglasses.

Anyways, it’s not as if anyone is the town of 小浜 (Obama) can vote in the U.S. elections.
It’s all just in fun because of the coincidental similar names.