Raw Japan

Slices of Japanese business, politics and life

from Global News Journal:

Remembering Hiro’s gentle smile

As Hiro Muramoto headed out the door of the Tokyo newsroom last week, weighed down with TV equipment on his way to Bangkok to cover demonstrations, he flashed a smile at a Reuters colleague.

It was, she remembers, a "Hiro" smile. It was gentle, rather than a broad grin, and it showed the 43-year-old was pleased once again to take his expertise on the road to do his job telling the world what was going on.THAILAND/

It was doing that job that cost him his life as he was killed, along with 20 others, during a sudden burst of violence during the protests in central Bangkok on Saturday night.

Hiro was not the gung-ho war correspondent of the movies. He was a careful, loving married Dad of two and a gentle mentor for young colleagues and an expert story teller.

Cracks at Japan’s press clubs


Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada got a rapturous round of applause and a gift of a T-shirt when he made a speech at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club in Tokyo a few days ago. The reason had nothing to do with his diplomatic skills.

JAPAN-ELECTION/Reporters were simply grateful for his decision to open up his twice-weekly news conferences to journalists, including foreigners, who are not part of Japan’s rigid system of kisha, or press, clubs.

3D TV is on its way



Whenever I hear the words “3D TV”, I’m reminded of a scene in the 1971 flick Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory in which Mike Teavee uses Wonka’s television chocolate machine to miniaturise himself to fit inside a TV screen. As the mini Mike shouts with excitement about his TV debut, his mother reaches into the TV, picks him up and puts him in her purse. As a kid, that was as close as I’d get to 3D TV.

But on Monday, although I wasn’t quite miniaturized, I had the chance to visit a Panasonic plant in Osaka where I put on my own pair of TV glasses and watched 3D TV in a way young Mike Teavee would have loved.