Reporting on human rights & everything in between: Japan, India, El Salvador, Indonesia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Argentina. Walked 1,200kms across India on Out Of Eden Walk with Paul Salopek.
The world’s third biggest economy seems to have emerged from the pandemic comparatively unscathed. I spoke to health workers who survived the frontlines about how, and at what cost: one doctor attributes Japan’s “success” to the public’s compliance. Another put it more bluntly: “We did not succeed. We merely got lucky.”
Japan’s foreign residents continue to be separated from their families — some for nearly two years — amid new travel bans.
“Within the Olympics village, people were tested almost daily and almost everyone was vaccinated. Outside the bubble, the situation was completely the opposite. So there is a clear double standard here.”
The sound of sirens across Tokyo has increased noticeably during August. After a year of keeping the pandemic in check, Japan’s health system faces its sternest test yet, with record breaking numbers of daily cases.
All across public spaces in Tokyo, one phrase, on a red and brown banner, has become part of the dizzying cityscape: “Tokyo 2020: United by emotion.” The highly-controversial, most-expensive, postponed 2020 Tokyo Olympics stirred up mixed emotions among Japanese.
A US navy personnel remembers it as sputtering hot oil on his face. A man faced it for 60 nights of the Black Lives Matter protests in Portland. Churchill was "strongly in favor of using poison gas against uncivilized tribes."
The legality of the use of teargas—from being used in WWI and WWII, and then being partially prohibited—has been long contested, based on its chemical composition, with a dose of political manipulation. So how did a military weapon go from being used in wars to streets?
“I am glad I am not out on the street under the hot sun, holding a placard that reads, ‘beware of heatstroke’ – something that I saw an older man being assigned to do.”
Small joys and many disappointments: the experiences of volunteers of 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The 1964 Tokyo Olympics Captured Their Hearts, But They Can’t Find Much To Love About This Summer’s Games
"I was 15. Čáslavská was the center of the conversation among my friends. At that age, all I could think about was this beautiful woman who was doing amazing things on the floor," said 72-year-old Nobumi Hiramatsu.
Those 1964 Tokyo Olympics were meant to symbolize something of a rebirth for Japan. But those who came of age with the Games do not share the same enthusiasm for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
As athletes arrive for the Tokyo Olympics, foreign students at Japan’s universities are left stranded
The plight of foreign residents barred from the country is under the spotlight as 11,000 sportspeople from around the world converge on the capital. A professor based in Japan says the situation does not bode well for universities that have been trying to attract overseas students.
In May 2021, the Embassy of Japan in India was forced to issue an apology on behalf of a Japanese music video, that relied on humorous yet stereotypical tropes of Indian people. The video angered the Indian diaspora in Japan. However, in their effort to “safeguard Indian culture,” the Indian men harassing a Japanese YouTube star instead exposed their own misogynist biases.
Though the Japanese government has provided 800 ventilators and 800 oxygen concentrators to India as emergency aid, Indian residents in Japan were also trying to do the same on an individual basis. They first tried to ship oxygen concentrators from Japan without success, and then from Indonesia, which resulted in delays, and finally from within India with success, frustrating those desperate to help out their family and friends back home.
Foreign tourism is something Japan can forget for a while: non-Japanese with resident permits who were stuck outside Japan in 2020 have been banned from re-entry. Families have been separated; international students enrolled in Japanese universities have not been allowed to enter; Olympians would be allowed to enter Japan whereas foreign spectators would be excluded. What this spells for the fate of the annual hanami is uncertain.
To what extent can religious traditions and institutions be part of disaster risk and recovery (DRR) efforts? With a growing number of disasters caused by natural hazards, there is a greater opportunity to tap into an institution that usually commands significance in the everyday lives of a vast number of people across the world. This paper seeks to understand the various ways in which majority religious institutions have so far been involved in DRR efforts, and in what way they can fill existing gaps; as well as proving to be the space for long-term healing.
Karela is the crocodile-skinned vegetable nemesis of Indian children, but for one writer it has come to symbolise home.
In a patriarchal society like in India, men decide what is best for the family. This includes their choice to step out in the evenings. But do only men want fresh air?
The reductively termed “bread” is available universally in various forms, stuffed with complex savory or sweet fillings. The Indian rupee has been weakening. For a freelance journalist on a budget, every dollar or cent spent is the equivalent of the price of the refreshing and ubiquitous “cutting chai” on Indian streets — the quantity equivalent to an espresso shot. Thus, bread can — and does — sustain us, even under the most economically stretched conditions.