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17 janvier 2016 7 17 /01 /janvier /2016 13:29

Merci http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/01/15/national/osaka-set-pass-japans-first-ordinance-hate-speech-will-name-shame-offenders/#.VpuILU8RqAh

E. Johnston, The Japan Times 15 janvier 2016

OSAKA – The city of Osaka passed the nation’s first ordinance by a major city against hate speech late Friday.

The text is a watered-down version of a proposal that the assembly made last year and will serve merely to name and shame perpetrators.

It does not provide city funds to victims of hate speech for use in fighting the perpetrators in court. Nor does it fine those who make racial slurs and threats of violence.

Instead, the ordinance creates a committee that investigates allegations of hate speech filed by Osaka residents.

The committee is expected to consist of five academic and legal experts whose appointments must be approved by the assembly. If the committee judges that a particular group is engaged in hate speech, its name will be posted on the city’s website.

Last year’s version of the ordinance failed to win the assembly’s approval because of disagreement over a provision that would have given the city the authority to loan money to victims who secure recognition by the committee and who want to take their case to court.

Although the ordinance was supported by then-Mayor Toru Hashimoto and his Osaka Ishin no kai (One Osaka) local party, the measure was opposed by the LDP and Komeito.

Earlier in the session of the the municipal assembly deliberating the ordinance, a man in the gallery threw two colored balls filled with orange paint onto the floor, bringing the discussions to a standstill.

When the man was subdued by guards, he resisted by shouting, “Protect the self-esteem of Japanese people,” Kyodo News reported.

After the disruption, the session resumed late Friday night.

Osaka became the international focus of hate speech in 2013, following an incident that February in which the anti-Korean group Zaitokukai held a rally in the city’s Tsuruhashi district, home to many ethnic Koreans.

In a video that was translated into numerous languages and placed on YouTube, a 14-year-old was shown screaming insults, death threats and racial slurs about Koreans as Zaitokukai members applauded.

That led to calls by Hashimoto for crackdowns on hate speech, which intensified after the mayor squared off in a heated debate with the head of Zaitokukai in October 2014.

Korean activists in Osaka welcomed Friday’s decision by the city assembly, saying it was an important step forward but that more needed to be done.

“It’s a shame that there are no penalties imposed on those who engaged in hate speech. But we welcome it as the first ordinance of its kind in Japan,” said Kwak Jin Woong, head of the Osaka-based Korea NGO Center.

How effective the new ordinance will be in stopping hate speech is difficult to determine. But city assembly members said last year that even without an ordinance, local bureaucrats could already use existing rules and regulations about public welfare to refuse permission for certain groups to use public buildings and spaces for such gatherings.

This is basically the policy that Kadoma, a city in Osaka Prefecture, has been pursuing since 2014, when it said it would not approve applications for use of public facilities by those who habitually engage in violent and discriminatory behavior. The city also said it may revoke permission for rallies if applicants are likely to engage in such behavior.

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8 janvier 2016 5 08 /01 /janvier /2016 04:03
Encore une destruction

Il est vraiment dommage que les Japonais ne respectent pas plus leur patrimoine architectural et urbain.

Merci http://ajw.asahi.com/article/business/AJ201512310034

82-year-old Osaka landmark awaits wrecking ball

December 31, 2015

OSAKA--Despite an uproar over its impending demolition, the historic main building of the Daimaru Shinsaibashi department store, an art deco masterpiece, closed its doors for the last time here on Dec. 30 to end its 82-year history.

Representing the style of bold modernization that blossomed during the Taisho Era (1912-1926), the gothic-style building will be torn down to make way for an earthquake-resistant structure.

The eight-story building was designed by renowned U.S. architect William Merrell Vories (1880-1964), and has served as a major branch for the popular department store chain in the city’s busy Shinsaibashi district since 1933.

Although some parts of the structure were destroyed in an air raid during World War II, it was rebuilt based on the original design.

In July, Daimaru operator J. Front Retailing Co. decided to tear down the building to construct one that can withstand a major earthquake. The company will spend 38 billion yen ($316 million) to erect a new 11-story building with three basement levels. The new structure will be about 60 meters tall, 20 meters taller than the current building.

J. Front Retailing said it will try to preserve much of the original building’s interiors, including the ceilings, which are noted for their geometric patterns, and stained glass panes.

Daimaru will stay in business by moving its popular clothing brands and other operations from the main building to the north and south buildings of the branch while the new building is going up. It is set to open in autumn 2019.

“Our floor space will be condensed (until the new building opens),” a Daimaru official said. “But we hope to keep our loss of sales low by having an exclusive selection of goods.”

The Daimaru Shinsaibashi department store's main building in Osaka features ceilings with geometric patterns and stained glass panes. The building was designed by U.S. architect William Merrell Vories. (Kenta Sujino)

The art deco-style main building of the Daimaru Shinsaibashi department store in Osaka represents the style of modernization that flourished in the Taisho Era (1912-1926). (Kenta Sujino)

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12 mai 2015 2 12 /05 /mai /2015 03:03

Merci http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/social_affairs/AJ201505010073


OSAKA--A museum famed for its many exhibits showing Japanese aggression during World War II has removed them, bowing to pressure from conservative politicians.

“We had no choice but to remove the exhibition on the aggression to ensure the survival of the museum,” a source close to the museum explained.

Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto had threatened to close down the Osaka International Peace Center museum when he was governor of the prefecture.

Hashimoto's successor as Osaka governor and a close ally, Ichiro Matsui, praised the facelift when he toured the museum in the city’s Chuo Ward on April 30, the day the facility reopened after renovations.

“This looks better now,” Matsui told reporters. “I believe exhibits should not represent the view of one side when there are diverse perceptions (on the war).”

The Osaka International Peace Center is operated by an entity funded by the Osaka prefectural government and Osaka municipal government.

Among the dozens of exhibits removed were panels on Japan’s invasion of the continent, the colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula, suffering in Southeast Asian countries due to Japanese aggression, text describing the 1937 Nanjing Massacre and abuse of prisoners of war, and photos showing piles of dead bodies and civilians being buried alive.

Instead, the museum now houses an expanded section on U.S. air raids in Osaka Prefecture between December 1944 and August 1945 and shows a 14-minute war-related video in which Japan is not labeled an aggressor.

The Osaka International Peace Center was established in 1991 and was known for being a rare public facility in Japan shedding an equal amount of light on the nation’s role before and during World War II as well as the sufferings of the Japanese during that period.

Masaaki Arimoto, who led the secretariat of the museum for three years from 1992, said the facility opened at a time when there was growing awareness of the importance of learning about Japan’s militaristic past.

“There were advances in the research on Japan’s aggression, and many of those who fought in the war were alive,” said Arimoto, 78. “People in Osaka shared a notion that they would never be able to fully understand the backdrop behind the air raids without knowledge of Japan’s acts in other parts of Asia.”

Although the museum attracted about 70,000 to 80,000 visitors annually, it has long been condemned by conservative politicians and organizations.

In some cases, the museum was forced to withdraw or revise exhibits following protests.

Yoshinori Kobayashi, a renowned manga artist, denounced the museum by calling it a “system to brainwash viewers in the name of a peace museum” in his 1998 manga “Sensoron,” which defended Japan's actions during World War II.

The critical turning point came in 2011, when the Hashimoto-led Osaka Ishin no Kai became the dominant political party in both the prefectural and municipal assemblies.

The museum was already planning a renovation when Osaka Ishin no Kai party members at the prefectural assembly in the autumn of that year lambasted it, with one saying it had “too many unbalanced exhibits.”

In response, Hashimoto, who was the governor at the time and pushing through a review of public affiliated entities, pledged to “consider the possible closure of the museum if the exhibits are determined to be inappropriate.”

As a result of the criticism, the Osaka International Peace Center proposed in 2013 to scale back the display on the aggression and widen the exhibits on the air raids.

What was installed as a direct replacement for the items on the aggression was 14 minutes of footage portraying the period leading up to Japan’s defeat in World War II starting with the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-5 and including the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-5.

The section has an overall title of “When the world was embroiled in war.”

The narration of the footage does not use the term aggression regarding Japan’s wartime behavior.

On the Nanjing Massacre and Bombing of Chongqing, it simply states a large number of residents were killed.

The exhibits removed from the museum were thrown away late last year.

“Our storage room is small and very old,” explained Shigenobu Okada, the head of the museum.

Kazuya Sakamoto, a professor of international politics at Osaka University, defended the removal of the exhibits.

“It runs a risk of instilling an erroneous idea in the public that air raids (on Osaka Prefecture) were only expected since Japan did terrible things abroad,’” he said. “There is a need to fully convey the suffering of local residents first. After this, officials can get the public to ponder the development leading up to the aerial bombings, as well as Japan’s aggression.”

But Keiichi Harada, professor of modern Japanese history at Bukkyo University in Kyoto, said the display depicting Japan's wartime acts was vital in offering a bigger picture of the war.

“If the tendency to scale back exhibits of the aggression continues, war could be glorified and prevent the masses from grasping the reality of war,” he said. “That would make it easier for the nation to go back to war. We need to show both sides of war in peace education.”

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16 décembre 2014 2 16 /12 /décembre /2014 04:49

Merci http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/12/15/national/politics-diplomacy/title/#.VI-p_skRqAg

Roster of winners in the single-seat constituencies

28. Osaka

No. 1 Hidetaka Inoue (IS) No. 2 Akira Sato (L) No. 3 Shigeki Sato (K) No. 4 Yasuhide Nakayama (L) No. 5 Toru Kunishige (K) No. 6 Shinichi Isa (K) No. 7 Naomi Tokashiki (L) No. 8 Takashi Otsuka (L) No. 9 Kenji Harada (L) No. 10 Kiyomi Tsujimoto (D) No. 11 Yukari Sato (L) No. 12 Tomokatsu Kitagawa (L) No. 13 Koichi Munekiyo (L) No. 14 Takashi Tanihata (IS) No. 15 Naokazu Takemoto (L) No. 16 Kazuo Kitagawa (K) No. 17 Nobuyuki Baba (IS) No. 18 Takashi Endo (IS) No. 19 Hodaka Maruyama (IS)

Merci http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0001790625

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24 octobre 2014 5 24 /10 /octobre /2014 05:55

Merci: http://ajw.asahi.com/article/cool_japan/fun_spots/AJ201410230057


OSAKA--Visitors to Osaka Castle Park can soon take a trip back to the Edo Period (1603-1867) where they can dress up like a samurai and dine in restaurants that recreate the feel of those olden times.

The Osaka city government on Oct. 16 selected the firm that will manage the Edo Period theme park that will be situated on the grounds of the castle, originally constructed in the 1580s by warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1536-1598).

The theme park, scheduled to open within the next fiscal year, will be located directly in front of Osakajokoen Station on West Japan Railway Co.'s Osaka Loop Line.

Attractions in the theme park will include a photo studio that allows visitors to be photographed in samurai outfits and restaurants that let customers experience the Osaka of the Edo Period.

The building erected in 1931 near the main castle building that served as the Imperial Japanese Army's 4th Division headquarters until the end of World War II will be renovated to house cafes and restaurants. The building had been used as a city museum from 1960, but was left unused since it closed in 2001. The Japanese-style guesthouse inside the castle grounds will become a party venue.

The jogging course that extends across the castle grounds, used regularly by local residents, is planned to be renovated as well. New changing rooms for joggers will be erected.

The theme park will be managed by a consortium made up of the Kansai branch of advertising giant Dentsu Inc. and major housing firm Daiwa House Industry Co.

The consortium was chosen from the two organizations that applied for the position and will be in charge of the park's management for 20 years from April 1, 2015. Under the deal, the Osaka city government will receive an annual set fee of 226 million yen ($2.12 million) and 7 percent of the profits made through the facility, which is estimated to total 20 million to 90 million yen annually.

"The city will be receiving revenue, instead of the usual management of a facility using taxpayers' money," Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto told reporters on Oct. 16. "We don't plan on applying unreasonable restrictions, so I hope many people will make full use of the facility."

An artist’s rendition of the planned theme park in Osaka Castle Park that allows visitors to experience the Japan of the Edo Period (Provided by the Osaka city government)

An artist’s rendition of the planned theme park in Osaka Castle Park that allows visitors to experience the Japan of the Edo Period (Provided by the Osaka city government)

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27 janvier 2014 1 27 /01 /janvier /2014 01:36

Merci http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/kyodo-news-international/140124/nankai-trough-quake-cut-osakas-tap-water-supply-8-mil

Kyodo News International 24/1/2014

A powerful earthquake originating in what seismologists call the "Nankai Trough" off western Japan could cut off tap water to roughly 8.32 million people in Osaka, or 94 percent of the prefecture's residents, the metropolitan government said Friday.

The supply outage would result from quake-induced damage to tap water infrastructure stemming from intense oscillation, tsunami and a phenomenon called ground liquefaction, it said, quoting the results of discussions at an advisory panel to the local government.

Such an intense temblor would also knock out the power supply for a combined 2.34 million households, or 55 percent of the prefecture's households, while stopping gas supply to 1.15 million households, or 34 percent of the households, it said.

Damage to buildings, distribution networks and other infrastructure would surpass 28 trillion yen worth.

Although the national government earlier predicted the Nankai Trough quake would stop tap water supply for only 4.3 million people, the metropolitan government's projection almost doubles that estimate.

The Osaka government's estimate is much more severe as it takes into account possible damage to water intakes along the Yodo River, the prefecture's main source of tap water.

Tsunami to be induced by the quake would submerge a combined 11,000 hectares of the Osaka area, roughly 3.6 times the area estimated by the national government, it said.

The Osaka government assumes that the quake would trigger a tsunami, which would reverse the flow of the river to the point of sending tsunami-induced backward water flows reaching Osaka's border with Kyoto, it added.


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20 décembre 2013 5 20 /12 /décembre /2013 04:45

Documentary on daily life of Osaka butcher shop wins accolades

17/12/2013; The Asahi Shimbun

Merci http://ajw.asahi.com/article/cool_japan/AJ201312170016

A documentary film focusing on the daily routine of a family that runs a slaughterhouse and butcher shop is currently playing in Tokyo and Osaka after winning praise from audiences at showings both home and abroad.

Directed by Tokyo's Aya Hanabusa, "Tale of a Butcher Shop" documents how a family in Osaka Prefecture raises and slaughters cattle at a century-old slaughterhouse and operates a retail butcher shop.

The film opens with a sequence of a cow being led through a residential district with rhythmic steps. It is the last cow to be processed at Kitade Butcher Shop, which has been in use by the Kitade family for 102 years. The slaughterhouse is scheduled to be closed for demolition because the facility has become too old and outdated.

After killing the cow by hitting it in the front of the head with a hammer, four family members dismember the animal with quick practiced efficiency. The camera quietly follows the process.

With the division of labor becoming the standard in the business, breeding, slaughtering and selling the meat are carried out by different concerns. It is rare for one family to handle all the processes.

After the day's labor, the family is joined by neighbors to enjoy a lively meal together. "Tale of a Butcher Shop" shows the everyday events of the family in a straightforward manner. It won favorable reviews from audiences at the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival in Yamagata Prefecture and the Busan International Film Festival in South Korea. Some audience members said that they would like to see the film again with their children.

Hanabusa said when she saw black-and-white pictures of a slaughterhouse for the first time years ago, she found them "beautiful." The director wanted to turn her feelings into a film, but first she gave serious thought as to whether she could present issues surrounding discrimination against descendants of buraku people of the feudal era in a responsible way.

That was when Hanabusa learned about the Kitade family. She was moved by how the brothers--who run the family business passed down through generations--fondly remember their late father, who had been strict with his children. The brothers started helping their father when they were in elementary school.

"I wanted to reverse the view that (butchering is) something you can barely look at," Hanabusa said, adding that she wanted to "send a message that this job is nothing special" if she were to show their daily lives in an honest and straightforward way.

Hanabusa gained permission to film the daily lives of the Kitade family after she frequented the meat shop for six months and rented a room nearby. She visited the slaughterhouse on a daily basis and shared the dining table with the family, who invited her to join them.

"They ... accepted me for who I was with deep compassion," Hanabusa said. "I had a sense of ease that is hard to find."

Hanabusa adds that critics say butchering cows is cruel. But the Kitade brothers say in a matter-of-fact tone in the film that it is crueler to enjoy eating meat without knowing anything about how it arrived to the dinner table.

Visit the film's official website at (http://www.seinikuten-eiga.com/english/).

By YUKA ORII/ Staff Writer

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6 décembre 2013 5 06 /12 /décembre /2013 02:01

City in Osaka Prefecture passes resolution against local railway company sell

OSAKA, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- The municipal assembly of the western Japanese city of Sakai, Osaka Prefecture passed a resolution on Wednesday which urges the prefecture to withdraw its plan to sell a private railway company to a U.S. investment firm amid rising concerns that the plan puts too much emphasis on the bidding price, city officials said.

The decision was taken during the municipal assembly session held on Wednesday, where the assembly said that the prefecture's proposal to sell the non-profit railway operator, Semboku Rapid Railway, would neglect improvements to make the rail line more convenient. Instead it would prioritize the selling price to be paid by the fund, according to the Sakai City Council's spokesperson.

The resolution also said a series of ideas proposed by the U.S. investment firm, including possible train fare reductions, do not all reflect the views expressed by local passengers in their suggestions, noting that the prefecture should start over with a clean slate instead of trying to make gains from the pending sale.

The spokesperson told Xinhua that Osaka Prefecture has shared its idea to sell the railway company, which run trains on the 15- kilometer section between two cities in the prefecture, including Sakai, to Dallas-based Lone Star Funds, which has reportedly proposed purchasing the railway operator for 6 billion yen (about 58 million U.S. dollars) more than its competitor, a major Osakan railway company.


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7 septembre 2013 6 07 /09 /septembre /2013 05:05

Osaka power party eyes Crown in casino debate

JAMES Packer-backed Crown has hosted a powerful delegation from the Japanese city of Osaka at its flagship casino complex in Melbourne ahead of a debate in the Japanese parliament on legalising casino resorts.

The Osaka government initiated this week's visit to Crown Melbourne.

The delegation was given a tour of the property by chief executive Rowen Craigie and a presentation on integrated resorts by Crown's strategy and designs boss Todd Nisbet.

The 15-person delegation included Ryuichi Murakami, the Vice-Mayor of Osaka, and Teruo Minobe, President of the Osaka City Council.

There were also a number of politicians, including Akira Yanagimoto, faction leader of the Liberal Democratic Party on Osaka City Council and a representative of the Japanese Communist Party.

Officials from the new Osaka Economic Strategy Bureau also attended, including director-general Michiaki Tsutsumi.

The bureau was established this year by Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto to focus on boosting investments and luring foreign tourists to the industrial city.

The delegation was co-hosted by City of Melbourne officials including Jane Sharwood, manager, business and international.

The resounding electoral victory secured by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Liberal Democratic Party in July is expected to finally ensure passage of long-awaited casino legislation in Japan before the end of the year.

Mr Abe's LDP backs allowing fully fledged resort-casinos in Japan to add to the country's pachinko parlours.

A cross-party group of 140 politicians now supports the move and Japan's police have also dropped their longstanding opposition.

Liberalising gambling is one of a number of radical reforms Mr Abe hopes will boost Japan's sluggish growth.

Broker CLSA has estimated that just two gaming resorts in Tokyo and another in Osaka could create $US10 billion ($10.9bn) in revenue a year.

The Japanese are eyeing the success of the two integrated casino resorts in Singapore that generated combined revenue of about $US5.3bn last year.

The success of Singapore's integrated resorts strategy was highlighted by Mr Nisbet in his presentation to the visiting Japanese delegation.

Mr Packer told The Australian last month: "If Japan comes on it will be the second-biggest gaming market in the world. Japan is looking at the Singapore story. With integrated resorts done well, the good outweighs the bad. Singapore is proof of that."

Mr Packer's Asian gaming joint venture with Lawrence Ho, Melco Crown Entertainment, is building its first project outside Macau in The Philippines and eyeing opportunities in Japan and Taiwan.

Separately, Crown is pursuing its own integrated resort development in Sri Lanka.


Merci: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/companies/osaka-power-party-eyes-crown-in-casino-debate/story-fn91v9q3-1226713604769

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1 août 2013 4 01 /08 /août /2013 15:25

Merci http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20130731p2a00m0na011000c.html


Ancient tumulus discovered in Osaka residential area

Stones that were used for the Nagayama tumulus are seen in this photo in Sakai, Osaka Prefecture. (Mainichi)
Stones that were used for the Nagayama tumulus are seen in this photo in Sakai, Osaka Prefecture. (Mainichi)

SAKAI, Osaka -- Ancient clay figures and stones that belonged to the Nagayama tumulus, which appears in documents but was thought to have been removed through land development, have been discovered for the first time at a residential area here.

The Sakai Municipal Government announced July 30 that the pieces of ancient stones and clay figures that were discovered in the city's residential area are part of the Nagayama tumulus. Researchers also found out that the burial mound was built in the late fourth century, suggesting that it's one of the oldest tumuli in the Mozu Tumuli Cluster.

Among other burial mounds in the tumuli cluster, the Nagayama tumulus is located closest to Osaka Bay along with the Chinooka tumulus of the same period. Because of this, city officials believe that buildings of these large tumuli started from places near the sea.

The municipal government has been conducting an excavation survey on the area, about 2,200 square meters in size, since May this year for reconstruction of public housing. According to the city's cultural property section, the stones are believed to have been used for the edge of the tumulus. They are placed straight and are about 16 meters long, 1.4 meters in width and 0.5 meters in height. The stones are believed to be part of the keyhole-shaped Nagayama tumulus, which is calculated to be 100 meters in size.

Researchers also found other ancient articles around the area such as a piece of a circular stone, about 20 centimeters in diameter, a shield from the late fourth century and pieces of clay figurines.

Nagayama tumulus is located several hundred meters from the sea of that period. The Chinooka tumulus is built about 700 meters south of the Nagayama burial mound. City officials suppose that these tumuli were designed to display the power of leaders when viewed from the ocean.

An information session is scheduled to be held at the site from 1-4 p.m. on Aug. 3. No application is required. For more information, call the Sakai Municipal Government's cultural property section at 072-273-6101 (in Japanese).

July 31, 2013(Mainichi Japan)

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