Japan Now Back Issues 2000

Japan Now is a newsletter of current topics in Japanese politics, economy, society as well as Japan-related information from around the US. While the publication is currently online, up until 2005, it was a print newsletter. Copies of most back issues between 1999 to 2005 are available in PDF files.

Japan Now

January 2000

Table of Contents

  • Ambassador Yanai Sees Close Cooperation in 2000
  • No major Y2K bug: No major incidents occurred to disrupt the world's second largest economy.
  • News Digest: Okinawa base realignment; Pacific Forum; Singapore trade; Macau handover.
  • Trends in Japan: New Currency bills are widely termed "millennium money."
  • Eco-friendly cars: Japan automakers are in front in the race to build the clean cars of the future.
  • Viewpoint: Japan's veteran woman, shuttle astronaut describes her unique experiences during her trips in space.
  • Beyond Differences: Netsuke the special fascination with unique collectibles.
  • A Virtual Japan: Children can enjoy the real Japan without ever hopping on a plane.

Japan Now

February 2000

Table of Contents

  • Prime Minister Prepares for G-8, Foreign Minister Visits Washington
  • News Digest: Kyushu-Okinawa summit; Russian relations; Mideast; North Korea; war on drugs; youth exchange; test ban treaty.
  • Trends in Japan: Convenience stores start meeting your every need; Sony's bold Internet move.
  • Birth rates still decline: The number of babies born in 1999 may have been the lowest ever recorded.
  • Viewpoint: Finding peace and harmony in a pot of tea in a simple Washington, D.C. tea house.
  • Sports Watch: Young soccer players earn a trip to the Olympics; volleyball teams come up short even as the game booms.
  • Beyond Differences: The challenges of carving netsuke, involve a search for the proper tools.
  • New life-forms at ocean depths: New submersible technology has opened a window on a mystical world.

Japan Now

March 2000

Table of Contents

  • Common Agenda Advances, Amid a Round of Diplomatic Activity.
  • Agenda yields results: Ocean observation and drilling; nutrition and public health; combating infectious diseases; counter-narcotics in Asia.
  • News Digest: Royal visit; Silk Road diplomacy; helping Africa; investment; Malacca Straits.
  • Prime Minister's G-8 plans: He has a series of issues to discuss at the Kyushu-Okinawa summit.
  • Trends in Japan: New appliances are leading to the Internet kitchen of the future.
  • Business Watch: Testing the "Big Bang," as $3 trillion in postal savings mature; online trading.
  • Viewpoint: A JET participant finds that sometimes being different in Japan isn't a bad thing.
  • Doraemon turns 30: The character has captured the hearts of children the world over.
  • Beyond Differences: Collecting netsuke requires more than a little knowledge of the ancient craft.
  • Traditional Shamisen Music: A prominent musician highlights Music From Japan Festival 2000.

Japan Now

April 2000

Table of Contents

  • New Prime Minister Mori Stresses Reforms, U.S. Ties.
  • New PM a consensus builder: Mr. Mori is widely respected for a keen sense of political balance.
  • News Digest: Breakthroughs on Korea; G-8 preparations; Third World debt; Mideast; Turkey; conflict prevention.
  • "Cherry Blossom Front": The annual rite of spring captivates the nation as a new season dawns.
  • Trends in Japan: Legendary bullet trains are revamped to adapt to faster speeds and changing tastes.
  • Osaka bids on the Olympics.
  • Viewpoint: Changes ahead will require a new approach to the retirement system.
  • Science Watch: Wearable computers are a reality; cell phones now surpass fixed lines.
  • Beyond Differences: Kurosawa's long road to legendary status in the cinema world took many turns.
  • Okinawa classical dance tour: Tour highlights the island's role in the upcoming G-8 summit.

Japan Now

May 2000

Table of Contents

  • Prime Minister Mori Readies for G-8, Calls New Elections.
  • PM Mori's eulogy: He praises a man for his image of how Japan can become a world beacon.
  • News Digest: Mr. Mori's global travels; China relations; Royal Mongolia visit; Kono in Southeast Asia; new aid; Asian currencies; Palestinian Authority; piracy conference.
  • Business Watch: PC sales skyrocket; mobile phone emissions; a new Nikkei; Toys R Us.
  • Trends in Japan: More young people are living with their parents; efforts to reduce smoking levels.
  • A "golden" Golden Week.
  • Viewpoint: One man's bicycle tour of Japan.
  • First Female governor: Japan's second most populous prefecture elects the nation's first woman.
  • Another crested ibis is born.
  • Beyond Differences: Film great Kurosawa Akira's career was tied to Mifune Toshiro for years.
  • Okinawa's Rich Traditions: It hosts the G-8 Summit in July.

Japan Now

June 2000

Table of Contents

  • Prime Minister Mori Meets President Clinton in Tokyo.
  • News Digest: China trade; Russia treaty; nuclear accord; young leaders; women's conference; Assad; Asia-Africa; Fiji, Solomon Islands.
  • Japan-U.S. contacts abound: The broadness of the relationship is on display in a series of developments.
  • Korean summit praised: The first-ever North-South leaders' meeting is welcomed in Tokyo.
  • World Cup countdown.
  • Tokyo, Seoul draw closer: From baseball to rock music the two cultures find much in common.
  • Viewpoint: Clearing land mines, "peacebuilding."
  • Food security: Changing eating habits leave Japan heavily dependent on imports.
  • Beyond Differences: Kurosawa's renditions of Shakespeare.
  • Okinawa's martial arts: Karate is now a household word.

Japan Now

July/August 2000

Table of Contents

  • G-8 Summit in Okinawa Says "A New Era Dawns."
  • Mori, Clinton in accord: President's speech at the memorial is praised.
  • News Digest: Albright honored; North Korea progress; EU Summit; Russian visit.
  • Strong U.S. support: New poll shows American trust in Japan and the alliance is greater than ever.
  • Business Watch: U.S. firms are players in cable TV, banks, stocks, computers and more; Japan-U.S. telecom accord reached.
  • Viewpoint: There are many exciting things going on for travelers in Japan.
  • Protecting cultural heritage: Japan is playing a major role in the effort to protect the world's historical gems.
  • Beyond Differences: Kurosawa had a unique style that captured audience's attention.
  • Japanese language study: There are over 2 million students of Japanese in 108 countries.

Japan Now

September 2000

Table of Contents

  • Prime Minister to New York for U.N. Millennium Summit
  • News Digest: No Russia treaty; Kono in China; North Korea talks; Mideast peace; Oman pact.
  • Cell phone boom continues.
  • Signs of economic rebound: Corporate profits and consumer spending are up.
  • New coins issued.
  • Going for Olympic gold: Japanese athletes have high hopes for Sydney in many sports.
  • Viewpoint: Japanese animation, anime, is popular among age groups worldwide.
  • Science Watch: The portable DVD player market could reach almost $1 billion in Japan.
  • UNHCR's Ogata to step down.
  • Beyond Differences: Japanese-style pottery is an art of a very special kind.
  • The art of Suiseki: Collecting and displaying pure objects of nature.

Japan Now

October 2000

Table of Contents

  • China's Zhu says Japan visit was, "Full of achievements"
  • News Digest: Concern at Mideast Violence; Yugoslavia's election; a dialogue with Africa.
  • Kono meets Albright, Cohen: Wide-range talks cover Russia, nuclear proliferation, U.N. reform, regional issues.
  • Joint sub-rescue exercises.
  • Business Watch: First interest rate hike in 10 years; a new travel boom.
  • Trends in Japan: Everyone is writing an autobiography.
  • Viewpoint: Cleaning up Mt. Everest is no easy task.
  • Sports Shorts: A strong finish in Sydney; NHL opener near Kyoto; Grand Prix in Tokyo.
  • Beyond Differences: A potter's life comes with many surprises, joys, and even sorrows.
  • Tanka meets Western Art: Japanese poets are now using classical paintings for inspiration.

Japan Now

November/December 2000

Table of Contents

  • Full Diplomatic Schedule: Regional integration highlights APEC; ASEAN Plus Three talks; Progress on Korea and contacts with Russia.
  • New Guidelines Drive Operations.
  • New Cabinet Named: Ministers speak out; GDP up for the third straight quarter.
  • Trends in Japan: Museum honors John Lennon; Workers won't take off; A railroad to Paris.
  • Viewpoint: Do locally-controlled schools promote democracy? That was debated in Japan.
  • Attracting foreign students: New streamlined procedures aim to double the number of foreign students.
  • Beyond Differences: "Contextualism" may be the best way to explain different cultural values.
  • Vending-Machine Mecca: These ubiquitous machines sell most everything, and can even read your ID.