Welcome to another weekend Japan Daily Press readers! Let’s keep this intro short & sweet, shall we? This is the weekend recap for week 33 of 2012, and here you’ll find highlighted stories from Sunday, August 12th, through Saturday, August 18th.
Territorial island disputes were without a doubt the topic of the week. From the Dokdo/Takeshima issue with South Korea, to the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands problem with China. Here’s a quick run down of the top stories:
- South Korean soccer player Park Jong-Woo has his Olympic medal withheld after waving a political sign about Dokdo at the end of a match with Japan.
- Korean President Lee addresses his visit to the islands and calls upon Japan to apologize for its colonial rule.
- Japanese Cabinet member makes controversial visit to Yasukuni Shrine, further upsetting South Korean nationalists.
- South Korea rejects Japan’s motion of taking the island dispute to the International Court of Justice.
- A group of activists from Hong Kong sail in a fishing boat to the Senkaku Islands, managing to get by the Japan Coast Guard vessels and plant Chinese flags on the outlying rocks.
- Shortly after their arrival, the activists are arrested by police, followed by China demanding their immediate release.
- In order to prevent further fraying of the ties between Tokyo and Beijing, the group from Hong Kong are deported after only two days.
Moving on to other topics, the Japanese government’s Upper House voted in approval of the consumption tax increase, meaning by the end of 2015, we’ll all be paying 10%! There was also a fairly significant earthquake originating from north of Hokkaido: 7.5 in magnitude, but barely felt by those most affected by last year’s disasters. One of Japan’s largest active volcanos, Mount Sakurajima, is predicted by scientists to spew the most ash it ever has in the last 20 years. A Japanese man 106 years old has been recognized by the Guinness World Records as being the old person to travel around the world. Oh, and let’s not forget what is quite possible the most important news of the week: A new Dragonball Z movie for the first time in 17 years!