Small Print: September 3, 2015

Small Print: September 3, 2015

Disney disasters, pupil passivity, crossbowing criminals, and more ...


(Illustration by Martin Leroux)

“I want to scream so badly”
—Masahiro Fujita, 35, an advertising director with McCann Erickson Japan, who suffers from ALS and can communicate only via an eye tracking device


  • Disney Japan apologized for posting a tweet on the 70th anniversary of the Nagasaki bombing that read, “A very merry unbirthday to you!”
  • After announcing her surprise marriage last month, soccer star Homare Sawa described her new husband as “honest, dutiful, and manly.”
  • Aichi police are on the lookout for a man wearing a dark mask who used a crossbow to shoot and gravely injure a newspaper delivery man.
  • Authorities in Switzerland confirmed that remains found on the Matterhorn last year belong to two Japanese climbers who went missing during a snowstorm in 1970.


  • An education ministry survey found that a record-high 54.6 percent of high school seniors entered college after graduating this spring.
  • For the first time since 1994, more than 70 percent of university graduates hooked up with jobs right out of school.
  • Meanwhile, the proportion of elementary school children who stopped attending classes last year—about 1 in 250—was a record high.
  • One official blamed the truancy, in part, on “an increase in the number of apathetic children.”


  • 35: Remains of Japanese and Soviet soldiers found this summer on Shumshu Island in the Kuril chain, scene of one of the final battles of World War II
  • $560 million: Price paid by Kirin Holdings for a 55-percent stake in Myanmar’s largest brewing company
  • 24,567: People taken to hospitals with heatstroke in July, a record for the month


  • Tokyo 2020 Olympics chief Yoshiro Mori admitted that the cost of hosting the Games could rise to more than ¥2 trillion.
  • A Cabinet Office survey found that 22.7 percent of Japanese people say they’re interested in volunteering during the Olympics.
  • For the first time ever, shinkansen fans were invited to watch the elusive “Doctor Yellow” bullet train—used for rail-line maintenance and operating according to no announced timetable—as it underwent a tune-up in Shizuoka.
  • Sentence of the Week: “A former refrigerator engineer here in the capital of Uzbekistan runs a museum at his own expense that focuses on the experiences of Japanese detainees who were brought to the country by Soviet troops after World War II.” (via Jiji)


  • Consumer affairs officials expressed concern about the increasing number of infants who’ve gotten their fingers caught in the hinges of folding baby strollers.
  • And they say that, in the past five years, one person has been killed and 21 injured after “using disposable cigarette lighters and putting them in their pockets.”
  • Tuna farmers in Kushimoto, Wakayama Prefecture, suffered a ¥1.3-billion loss in late July when Typhoon Nangka killed 11,000 of their fish.
  • Relatives of a 102-year-old Fukushima man who hanged himself in 2011 sued TEPCO for ¥60 million, saying the victim “was psychologically driven into a corner by the prospect of being forced to evacuate his hometown.”


  • Officials at the internal affairs ministry want Diet lawmakers to pass a bill allowing children to accompany their parents to polling stations on election day.
  • Construction began on 22 redevelopment projects in nine Tokyo wards that were designated “national strategic special zones” to make the city more attractive for global businesses.
  • Former Taiwan president Lee Teng-hui made a six-day visit to Japan and gave his first-ever speech to Diet lawmakers.
  • Bottom Story of the Week: “Giant Pictures of Gone with the Wind, Star Wars Characters Fill Aomori Rice Paddies” (via Mainichi Japan)

Compiled from reports by AP, Japan Today, The Japan Times, Jiji, The Tokyo Reporter, The Mainichi, The Japan News, AFP, Reuters, and Kyodo