Dateline Tokyo

Halal products draw more Muslim tourists to Japan
July 8, 2015
As overall tourism to Japan is on the rise — a priority as Tokyo prepares to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games — the country is getting high marks for its efforts at becoming a halal-friendly tourism destination. Continue reading …

JFK’s legacy today: How the late president transformed US–Japan relations
May 2015
Robert F. Kennedy stood on the stage of Waseda University’s Okuma Auditorium and looked out on an audience erupting in chaos. It was February 6, 1962, and President John F. Kennedy’s younger brother—also the attorney general and JFK’s trusted adviser—had been dispatched to Tokyo to smooth over US–Japan relations, at a time when anti-US sentiments were running high. Continue reading …

Camelot in Tokyo: Japan celebrates JFK’s legacy with former President Bill Clinton
March 19, 2015
Camelot is alive and well in Tokyo. Political leaders including former U.S. President Bill Clinton and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe joined academics, government officials, media pundits and even an astronaut to praise the legacy of U.S. President John F. Kennedy and his lasting impact on modern life. Continue reading …

A second home for foreign correspondents in Japan since 1945
Oct. 31, 2014
One of my favorite things about the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan in Tokyo is a wall in the library/workroom filled with books by current and former members. You’re in good company when you get to spend time perusing those shelves. Continue reading …

Japan’s gotta have baseball back in the Olympics! Tokyo 2020 squeeze play?
Oct. 29, 2014
With 12 Japanese MLB players having appeared in the World Series – Nori Aoki of the Kansas City Royals is the latest – avid baseball fans across East Asia want the sport restored after two Olympic shutouts. Continue reading …

Meiji beats Rikkyo, 8-2
Oct. 29, 2014
A day at a ballpark in Japan can be a lot like a day at any American ballpark. Continue reading …

Undercounting Tokyo’s down and out
Oct. 28, 2014
The other day in Hongo, Tokyo, I spotted a street vendor selling copies of The Big Issue Japan. A glossy photo of a very glamorous looking Nicole Kidman in evening dress graced the cover. Continue reading …

Sumo size me: How to eat like a sumo wrestler
Oct. 27, 2014
I live with sumo wrestlers. They are out and about in the neighborhood where I am staying, Ryōgoku, the section of Tokyo that is the center of the sumo world. There is a sumo stadium, sumo stables where the big guys live and train, and chanko restaurants, where the big guys eat in vast quantities as part of a weight-gain diet. Continue reading …

Down and out in Tokyo
Oct. 26, 2014
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts – and the homeless – beg to differ. Continue reading …

Demystifying Tokyo’s Train and Subway System
Oct. 18, 2014
So you’re coming to Tokyo, and you’ll need be able to get around. Tokyo is amazing as it is, but there is, literally, a lot below the surface. Below the streets are hundreds of subway routes snaking across the city, connecting the world’s largest metropolis. Continue reading …

Don’t Use the ‘D’ Word
Oct. 16, 2014
Wherever the Paralympic Games go, life can get easier for people living with a physical impairment. Accessibility improves, and attitudes change. Continue reading …

Japan must work to ward off ‘Olympic Curse’
Oct. 13, 2014
Tokyo Governor Yoichi Masuzoe recently convened the first meeting of the Council to Think of Tokyo’s International PR, an impressive collection of some 15 people from various fields (industry leaders, media strategists, think tanks, journalists) charged with discussing in a frank manner what it will take to successfully host the 2020 summer Olympics. Continue reading …

Young and old unite to celebrate 50th anniversary of the Tokyo 1964 Olympics, and look to 2020
Oct. 10, 2014
For today’s 50th anniversary of the start of the 1964 summer Olympics in Tokyo, Olympians from Japan’s past and possible contenders for future games came together today to share stories of glory days and hopes for Tokyo’s 2020 summer games. Continue reading …

Tokyo unplugged
Oct. 8, 2014
My first night in Tokyo offers a lesson for tourism planners as Japan seeks to vastly increase the number of its visitors leading up to the 2020 summer Olympics. Continue reading …

Tokyo’s plan to become a top global destination city
Oct. 7, 2014
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government today got down to the business of planning to host the 2020 summer Olympics, convening the first meeting of the Council to Think of Tokyo’s International PR. Continue reading …

Play Ball
Oct. 3, 2014
It was warm and sunny today outside the Tokyo Dome, perfect baseball weather, and Kashikawa Kazumi sat in the sun waiting for the start of a Yomiuri Giants open practice game at their home field. The 75-year-old played baseball in junior high and high school, is a loyal Giants fans, and can’t understand why there’s even a debate about whether to include baseball in the 2020 summer Olympics in Tokyo. Continue reading …

The Olympic Curse – or, how do you do it like Barcelona?
Oct. 2, 2014
Hosting a monster event like the Olympics is a major undertaking, one that involves a massive infusion of public money and a realignment of public priorities, all on the bet that the payback will be worth it. Sometimes, a host city measures its Olympic success more in symbolic and political terms than in dollars and cents.
Continue reading …

Happy 50th, Shinkansen
Oct. 1, 2014
Japan’s bullet trains began running 50 years ago, on Oct. 1, 1964. The trains that put Tokyo on the fast track to economic emergence are a marvel of clean, fast, and efficient travel, and an example for the rest of the world to see how investment in infrastructure pays off in the lives of everyday citizens.
Continue reading …

Tokyo hopes for a repeat of ’64 Olympic glory, but hurdles await for 2020
Sept. 30, 2014
In 2020, Tokyo will become the first Asian city to host the summer Olympics twice. The 1964 summer Olympics in Tokyo were the first to be held in Asia, and marked a major turning point for Japan, a return to the international stage for a country still recovering from its World War II firebombing and lingering global resentments. Continue reading …

Tokyo: The 2020 Olympic vision
Sept. 29, 2014
The 2020 Tokyo summer Olympics: Let the games begin. The buildup to hosting the 2020 summer games has been under way ever since Tokyo won the bid as host city last fall, beating out fellow finalist cities Istanbul and Madrid. Now the race is on to get ready, and even with six years to plan, a host city needs to get its act together or suffer the consequences. Just ask Sochi. Continue reading …

Sept. 26, 2014
Coming soon … reports from the inaugural Dateline Tokyo journalism program designed to encourage reporting from the world’s most populous metropolitan area as it prepares for the 2020 summer Olympics. News stories, blog posts, and first-person accounts about travel, tourism, business, public policy, and a first-hand look at a host city’s Olympic preparation.

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