“You lie,” he said warily. “I’m finished.”

TOKYO — Iwao Hakamada was a muscular former boxer in his 30s when he was thrown in jail for the killing of a family of four that shocked 1960s Japan. On Thursday, he limped from his cell on death row, a bewildered-looking 78-year-old who, his family fears, may have lost his mind in prison…

[nyt]

If you’re not enjoying the original Australian version of Rake, you should be!

So much fucking! And strange customs (like bowing when entering the courtroom like it’s a dojo, and high ranking government officials walking the street like they’re ~people~!)… and the slang! Ahh, so many funny words. :)

intense interview with PM Abe @ Foreign Affairs

It always seems to cause problems when you talk about history, so why not just avoid it? And let me ask a related question: In order to put these issues aside, can you promise that as prime minister, you will not visit Yasukuni Shrine in either your official or your private capacity?

I never raised the issue of history myself. During [recent] deliberations in the Diet, I faced questions from other members, and I had to answer them. When doing so, I kept saying that the issue is one for historians, since otherwise you could politicize it or turn it into a diplomatic issue.

About the Yasukuni Shrine, let me humbly urge you to think about your own place to pay homage to the war dead, Arlington National Cemetery, in the United States. The presidents of the United States go there, and as Japan’s prime minister, I have visited. Professor Kevin Doak of Georgetown University points out that visiting the cemetery does not mean endorsing slavery, even though Confederate soldiers are buried there. I am of a view that we can make a similar argument about Yasukuni, which enshrines the souls of those who lost their lives in the service of their country.

But with all due respect, there are 13 Class A war criminals buried at Yasukuni, which is why it makes China and South Korea crazy when Japanese prime ministers go there. Wouldn’t it be easier just to promise not to go?

I think it’s quite natural for a Japanese leader to offer prayer for those who sacrificed their lives for their country, and I think this is no different from what other world leaders do.

"~Crazy!~"

Used MP3 Stores

NYTimes:

On Thursday, the United States Patent and Trademark Office published Apple’s application for its own patent for a digital marketplace. Apple’s application outlines a system for allowing users to sell or give e-books, music, movies and software to each other by transferring files rather than reproducing them.

Meanwhile, a New York court is poised to rule on whether a start-up that created a way for people to buy and sell iTunes songs is breaking copyright law. A victory for the company would mean that consumers would not need either Apple’s or Amazon’s exchange to resell their digital items. Electronic bazaars would spring up instantly.

Would I start buying more than a couple albums or CDs each year if these used shops come about? Probably not.

“The technology to allow the resale of digital goods is now in place, and it will cause a dramatic upheaval,” said Bill Rosenblatt, president of GiantSteps, a technology consulting firm. “In the short term, it’s great for consumers. Over the long term, however, it could seriously reduce creators’ incentive to create.”

I’m fucking SWIMMING in movies and music that I have zero energy or time to digest, and I still love music and film. The world could USE some reduced creatoring!

USA Today:

Jamie Sniffen, 39, held back a charging pitbull and watched as the two men fought, her boyfriend stabbing and pistol whipping her obese paramour, who came at him with a stereo speaker.

LOL 

This five-year-old boy in Alabama(?) got kidnapped. He’s stuck in a bunker with some nutty Vietnam vet. 

abc.go.com

Clouse said the boy has Asperger’s syndrome, an autism-like disorder, as well as ADHD. Police have been delivering medication to him through the pipe, he said.

I hope that medicine has Iocaine powder in it, and that they’re secretly building up the boy’s resistance, so when the man runs out of cans of beans and demands a pizza SWAT can POISON THE FUCK OUT OF IT

http://newsonjapan.com/html/newsdesk/article/100583.php

Japan’s finance minister Taro Aso said Monday the elderly should be allowed to “hurry up and die” instead of costing the government money for end-of-life medical care.

"This won’t be solved unless you let them hurry up and die," he said.

"I don’t need that kind of care. I will die quickly," he said adding he had left written instructions that his life is not artificially prolonged.

He’s not totally wrong. The bulk of Medicare money here in the U.S. (and I can only assume it’s worse in Japan) gets spent trying to pull out a few more so-so years from elderly people. It should really be going to children who haven’t yet lived a full life.