Here is our weekend recap for week 34 of 2012, covering some of our best news and stories from Sunday, August 19th, through Saturday, August 25th. Have a look and see if there’s something you might have missed, or just get caught up on some of the top issues surrounding Japan at the present, and be ready for next week!
The boiling tensions over the island disputes with China and South Korea continued this week. After last week’s deportation of the 14 Hong Kong activists who landed on the Senkaku/Diaoyu, a group consisting of Japanese activists and nationalist politicians made their own landing on the rocks. As expected, their waving of Japanese flags upset those in China even further, prompting numerous large-scale anti-Japanese protests in several Chinese cities. And just this Friday, Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara, the man responsible for Japan’s attempt to purchase the disputed territory, announced that he would make a visit this October.
As for South Korea and the Dokdo/Takeshima Islands, the governments of Seoul and Tokyo engaged in childish game of “hot potato” with a diplomatic letter. Prime Minister Noda’s hand written message to President Lee Myung-Bak called for an apology for the former’s comments about Japanese Emperor Akihito. The South Korean government returned this letter, without response, because of some of the wording used. Well, that didn’t go over so well, as Tokyo refused to accept the returned letter, calling South Korea’s behavior childish and out of line with diplomatic procedures.
Not related to the island disputes, the two most talked about stories this week were the Japanese journalist Mika Yamamoto who was killed on Monday while trying to cover the civil war in Syria. The war journalist was accidentally caught in a crossfire between the rebel fighters she was traveling with and Syrian military. Her husband and work partner, Kazutaka Sato, has revealed some of the last footage recorded before her death, as well as shares what he personally witnessed. The other news, also sad, was about a 20 year old university student from Japan who travelled to Romania as part of an internship program, only to be killed and raped by a 26 year old man who picked her up at the airport.