This Week in Japan
Sunday, August 25, 2019
The latest headlines in Japan for the week of August 19 2019
Top News Stories for the Week of August 19, 2019
- Japan's Environment Ministry Boosts Efforts to Clean up Ocean Plastic
- Visa Approval rates for Japanese Language Schools Drops
- Earthquake Hazard Maps to be Redesigned for Color Vision Deficiencies
- CDP and DPP Join Forces to Counter Abe
Japan's Environment Ministry Boosts Efforts to Clean up Ocean Plastic
The Environment Ministry announced that in fiscal 2020 they will increase the subsidies provided to prefectural governments to collect and dispose of marine waste. 70% to 90% of the costs for retrieving and disposing of plastic waste comes from the ministry and municipalities also get a share of the subsidies via prefectural governments. The ministry will also continue to support municipal plans on how to combat marine waste.
Visa Approval rates for Japanese Language Schools Drops
Since the crack down earlier this year on Japanese language schools importing foreigners under the guise of being Japanese language students but actually ending up doing blue collar labor in Japan, the number of visa approvals for many countries has dropped significantly. For example the approval rate of applicants from Myanmar was 15% down from 76%, the approval rate for applicants from Bangladesh was 21% down from 61% and the approval rate for Sri Lankan applicants was 21% down from 50%. However the approval rate for applicants from China and Korea still remained at 90%. “This is the result of our response to an increasing number of applicants submitting false documents,” an official at the Immigration Services Agency said.
Earthquake Hazard Maps to be Redesigned for Color Vision Deficiencies
The government announced plans to redesign the national earthquake hazard maps in a way that is more understandable for those with color vision deficiencies. The redesigned map will have a scale of 9 colors, the weakest one being light grey and the zones of high danger being bring red. The current map employs both red and green colors, red implying areas the most urgent areas and green being the least. However people with color vision deficiencies have trouble distinguishing between red and green so the new scale (if approved) will do away with green all together.
CDP and DPP Join Forces to Counter Abe
The Constitutional Democratic Party and the Democratic Party for the People announced that they will be joining forces in the Diet and the House in the upcoming autumn session. The two political parties hope that together they will be able to counterbalance Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's unprecedented agendas to amend the constitution. Party leaders Yukio Edano and Yuichiro Tamaki hope that together they can show the public that they are a viable alternative to the LDP and Abe. Up to now the CDP was not in favor of joining forces with other political parties but given the extraordinary circumstances the party hopes that a united front against Abe will be more effective.