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Chinese tours to Japan resume, 1st since quake
A Chinese tour group of nearly 40 people from Xian will visit Kyushu for six days from April 29 in the first group travel to Japan from mainland China since the March 11 catastrophic earthquake and tsunami, according Kyodo News.

With concerns growing that radiation leaks from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant could pose risks to human health, tours to Japan from the neighboring country had been suspended across the board.

As Chinese are considered to be the biggest-spending foreign travelers in Japan, their resumption of visits could bode well for the disaster-hit nation, of which the economy is facing strong downward pressure due in part to sluggish consumption and production, observers say.

The Chinese tour groups are composed of tour conductors and their families, suggesting that the country’s travel agencies are now trying to confirm whether safety is secured in Japan after the natural disasters that ravaged its northeastern and eastern region.

"I believe that western Japan is safe," said an official at a travel company in Xian.

The tour group from Xian will arrive at Fukuoka airport by a chartered flight and visit spots on the southwestern main island of Kyushu such as those in Fukuoka, Nagasaki, Oita and Kumamoto, the sources said.

On April 30, another tour group of about 70 members from Wuhan will visit Kyoto and Osaka, the sources said.

In recent weeks, signs have emerged that Chinese people may resume travel to Japan.
Japanese Ambassador to China Uichiro Niwa said the government has issued tourist visas to three Chinese organizations. Hong Kong tour groups already restarted visiting Japan earlier this month.

 2011/04/30 07:22  この記事のURL  / 
X Japan’s upcoming world tour schedule
X Japan leader Yoshiki has partially announced the schedule for the band’s upcoming world tour.

This will be X Japan’s first time touring in Europe. They will start with the Shepherds Bush Empire in London on June 28, then Zenith de Paris on July 1, then Columbianhalle in Berlin on July 4.

X Japan will return to Japan for Summer Sonic on August 13 (Osaka) and August 14 (Chiba).

Yoshiki mentioned on his Twitter account that there are other tour dates to be announced, but his management asked him not to announce any more for now.

X Japan was scheduled to release their U.S. single “JADE” on March 15, but the Tohoku earthquake in Japan on March 11 led them to postpone the single. They plan to announce a new release date soon. It is also being reported that the song will be the opening track on the band’s new album that is expected to be released later this year.

The world tour currently consists of four shows in Europe and five in South America. Dates and venues are as follows:

* June 28 - London, England - Shepherds Bush Empire
* July 1 - Paris, France - Zenith
* July 2 - Utrecht, The Netherlands - Tivoli
* July 4 - Berlin, Germany - Columbianhalle
* September 9 - Santiago, Chile - Teatro Caupolican
* September 11 - Sao Paulo, Brazil
* September 14 - Buenos Aires, Argentina - El Teatro
* September 16 - Lima, Peru - Scencia
* September 18 - Mexico City, Mexico - Circo Volador
 2011/04/29 07:36  この記事のURL  / 
Tokyo DisneySea resumes operations!
Tokyo DisneySea Park resumed operations April 28, just ahead of the holiday-studded Golden Week period from April 29, following the reopening of the adjacent Tokyo Disneyland on April 15.

Both parks, comprising the Tokyo Disney Resort, had been closed after the March 11 earthquake. Like other entertainment facilities in the region, DisneySea, in the quake-hit city of Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture, has decided to take energy-saving measures such as reducing lighting in shops.

Tokyo DisneySea is a 176-acre (712,246 m2) theme park at the Tokyo Disney Resort located in Urayasu, Chiba, Japan, just outside Tokyo. It opened on September 4, 2001.

The park has an overall nautical exploration theme to it. The idea for the park can be traced to a proposal to build a second theme park in Southern California called "DisneySeas" in Long Beach, California.

Unlike Tokyo Disneyland, the overall intention was to create a more adult-themed park, including faster, scarier rides and shows designed more for an older audience.
 2011/04/28 19:57  この記事のURL  / 
Sports variety program SASUKE to broadcast in US prime time
U.S. television network NBC is planning to broadcast the popular Japanese sports variety program SASUKE in a prime time slot this fall. This is said to be the first time that one of the four major U.S. broadcast television networks will air a live-action show from Japan.

SASUKE started in 1997 and has become known for pitting contestants against an extremely challenging obstacle course. The show has been broadcast in some form in 153 countries worldwide.

The cable channel G4 brought it to the United States under the name “Ninja Warrior,” and the remake called “American Ninja Warrior” is one of the channel’s highest rated shows. NBC, in an apparent partnership with G4, will broadcast the 27th “SASUKE” competition as the climax of the third season of “American Ninja Warrior,” which is scheduled to start this August.
 2011/04/28 07:07  この記事のURL  / 
Donald Keene Gives Final Lecture at Columbia University
According to the Jiji Press, famed U.S. scholar of Japanese literature Donald Keene, who has recently announced his decision to move permanently to Japan and gain Japanese citizenship, delivered his final lecture at Columbia University on April 26.

The 88-year-old professor emeritus at the university, where he started teaching in 1955, plans to move to Japan in summer this year after leaving the university.

In a classroom packed with students and journalists, Keene talked about the history of Noh, a traditional Japanese musical drama, for one hour and a half. The lecture attracted more journalists than students.

While explaining what he felt when he watched Noh for the first time, Keene told the audience about the depth of the traditional play.

After the lecture, Keene told reporters that he would be happy if his decision to acquire Japanese citizenship helps enliven Japanese people.

Keene was very concerned following the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11. He had made many visits to two of the hardest-hit prefectures in the Tohoku region, and he is skeptical about the Western-style conviction in science that believes humans can control natural disasters.

I am a person who has been heavily influenced by Japanese culture," Keene said. "I am moved by the sense of resignation that feels the power held by nature cannot be resisted."
 2011/04/27 20:08  この記事のURL  / 
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栗田 亮(Makoto Kurita)
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