Andrew Miller

Andrew, who is from London, England, first came to Japan in late 2006 where he worked as an English teacher in the Tochigi prefecture. After becoming a little more accustomed to the culture and the language, he moved to Tokyo in 2009 where he has been residing since. He has a passion for the Japanese language and has even created himself an “unofficial” Japanese name(安努龍). In addition, Andrew has an interest in a wide genre of news and as a freelance translator is keen to relay the subtle differences between cultures to readers around the world.

Posted by Andrew Miller

Thanks to the wonder of the internet, unlike in the past when we had to make do with what our local retailer had in stock or pay extortionate amounts for specialist items, with just a few clicks we have access an array of products from all over the world. As a result, many consumers are willing to try new and unusual things, and are using the net to get their hands on the products that they can’t get in their home country. Today we’d like to introduce you to a heartwarming story of internet shopping, great customer care, and of course sweet, delicious chocolate.

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Ever fancied fishing with your bare hands? The Kiso District in Nagano Prefecture could be just the place for you!

For anyone interested in catching their own fish but would like to try a more “hands-on” approach, we here at RocketNews24 have some good news for you. There’s a place located in the Kiso District of Nagano Prefecture in Japan which allows you to get down to a bit of barehand fishing. The spot is a shallow flowing river, located deep in a charming forest and is a retreat haven for anyone interested in catching and cooking their own fish on site. The type of fish that can be caught are landlocked salmon and while there’s plenty for everyone, catching the wriggly fellas with your bare hands could prove harder than it first looks.

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The future of eco-friendly electronics? Samsung introduces new line of origami-inspired printers

Samsung is known the world over for its stylish, high-quality products, but we doubt that anyone could have predicted the latest creation from Korea’s premier electronics maker. Let us introduce you to a brand new range of eco-friendly printers that are all inspired by none other than the art of origami.

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Members of the public injured at LG’s G2 smartphone giveaway event

Korean electronics giant LG has had to cut its G2 smartphone publicity event short after many members of the public were injured. The company hosted a giveaway of coupons that could be exchanged for free LG G2 smartphones and was expected to be held at other arenas across Korea. However, LG didn’t anticipate just how much of a reaction the free phone campaign would create as a man, intent on getting his own free phone, discharged a firearm into the crowd.

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An ingenious product that could put an end to holes forming in unwanted areas of your socks!

It is a problem that faces most of us at some point or another. Whether it be a get together at a friend’s house or a social gathering where you take off your shoes, having someone point out to you that there’s a gaping hole in one of your socks can be a little embarrassing. While for many in the West it isn’t that often you have to remove your shoes in public, in Japan many restaurants require you to get down to your socks before entering the premises. Therefore, it is much more difficult to disguise the problem if you’re living in the land of the rising sun. Well that was up until now: some clever fellas at a Japanese company named “Naigai” have come up with an ingenious invention for men that could put an end to the problem for good.

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Scientists in Osaka prove that it really does pay to be kind to others

A research group from Osaka University has confirmed that acts of kindness really are recognized and rewarded by those around you. Assistant lecturer Onishi Kenji, who is a specialist in the field of Developmental Psychology, led the research at the university which monitored the responses of infants to acts of kindness. The same research group announced its results in America’s online scientific journal “PLOS ONE”, dated August 7.

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Family of 91-year-old dementia sufferer struck by train ordered to pay JR compensation

Nagoya District Court ruled on August 9 that the family of a man with dementia who entered a railway line and consequently died after being hit by a train must pay compensation to the Japan Railway (JR) Group. The court concluded that the measures the family put in place to prevent the 91-year-old from wandering off by himself were insufficient.

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Ooh la la! MOS Burger’s new premium hamburger packs a sophisticated punch

MOS Burger, the Japanese fast food chain famous for being a fresher, slightly healthier alternative to other hamburger joints, has recently announced that it will release a new hamburger sandwich to go alongside its existing range of plain and cheese “Tobikiri” hamburgers. The exciting twist? This one’s loaded with French demi-glace sauce and aligot, a sumptuous mix of potato and cheese that’s sure to send you to premium burger heaven.

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This could be the most macho 80-year-old we’ve ever seen

It’s come to that time of the year again when many of us will be thinking about getting in shape (or wishing we already had!) as our garments become skimpier and the amount of flesh on show sees an increase. For some, this means planning well ahead of the summer season and going through heavy exercise or muscle training sessions at the gym. However, I’m sure that if you came across the 80-year-old Japanese man in the photo above, you’d find it hard to believe that he was a professional bodybuilder. Perhaps the most natural response would be, “An old man keeping himself active.” But wait until you see the body that he’s hiding under that tracksuit.

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India’s caste system: a marriage between the classes that led to a tragic ending

Many of us live in societies where we are free to choose the person we marry, regardless of social class and ethnicity. However, what if the society in which you lived was built around a hierarchy whereby sexual relations between classes was taboo? What would you do if you fell passionately in love with someone from a different social class?

This is a problem that confronted one unfortunate couple living under India’s caste system. According to latest reports from India’s media, the body of a 19-year-old man was recently discovered by the side of the railway line in Tamil Nadu. The man’s name was Ilavarasan, and under the Indian caste system, belonged to the lower class referred to as “untouchables”. It is believed that he fell in love with a 22-year-old woman from the upper classes, however was forced to separate from her in May due to the fierce opposition.

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Japanese viewers go wild after TV show introduces mackerel as possible slimming product

It’s not unusual for consumer products to suddenly explode in popularity after being introduced on a particular TV show, but when Japan’s Asahi TV introduced mackerel as a food that can be beneficial in weight loss during its home medicine program “Takeshi no Kenkou Entertainment! Minna no Kenkou Igaku” few coould have expected the overwhelming outcome.

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Chinese man tries to smuggle turtle through airport security by disguising it as a hamburger

The importance of the hand luggage inspection area at airports simply cannot be underestimated. Sure, they’re time consuming and can be an irritating experience for frequent fliers, but without them it would be impossible to ensure the safety of passengers on board aircraft. However, despite procedures becoming ever more stringent in recent years, it hasn’t stopped some passengers looking for ways to slip prohibited items past security. At one Chinese airport, for example, one man recently tried a quite bizarre tactic to smuggle his pet turtle onto the plane: pretending it was a hamburger.

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Japanese company develops new lithium-ion battery that promises amazing capacities

I’m sure I’m not alone in loving my smartphone but always wishing the battery would last a little longer. For many of us, not knowing whether our mobile phone’s battery will make it through the day can be a real problem. While mobile technology has improved in leaps and bounds in recent years, improvements in the batteries that power them have been rather more sluggish.

Thankfully, all this could be about to change. Japan’s Shin-Etsu Chemical Co. Ltd recently announced that it has developed a new material for use in lithium-ion batteries that boasts capacities roughly 10 times the current standard, and is about to shake up the entire industry.

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Japanese island that has refused nuclear money for 31 years pushed into a compromising situation

After the explosion at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant back in 2011, the subject of nuclear power has become a very delicate and complicated issue for the Japanese. While there is an element of danger associated with the creation of nuclear energy, many towns have also benefited from the large sums of compensation, known as “nuclear money”, that have gone into creating jobs and strengthening the prosperity of areas that have agreed to home such power plants.

Despite pressure from surrounding groups and the mainland, a small island off the coast of Yamaguchi Prefecture has for years refused to have anything to do with nuclear money, and has firmly opposed plans to build nuclear power stations in the area. But all that may be about to change.

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Survey suggests that most Japanese smartphone users couldn’t care less about mobile sites

It wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that smartphones and mobile technology in general have changed our lives in ways that we might never have imagined even 10 years ago. Communication between people on either side of the globe has become almost instant, with a wealth of information quite literally at our fingertips, and we now have more processing power in our back pockets than the PCs that took up most of our desks in the late 90s.

But is it possible that we are becoming a little too obsessed with making our data-loving life as streamlined as possible? What we’re talking about here are the mobile versions of websites that users are often redirected to when trying to visit a website on their smartphones. Often, these smartphone-friendly sites help us navigate more easily and avoid having to pinch to zoom or pan around the screen to read their contents. But due to their simplicity, many mobile versions lack many of the features of their PC-version brethren and we spend time trying to find what we really want.

A survey conducted by Kenrei Takuchi, CEO and Management Consultant for Iroha Ltd, suggests that a significant number of smartphone users in Japan have a fond dislike of the mobile versions of popular websites and wish they’d disappear back up into the sky where they came from.

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Korean media receives harsh criticism for not stopping man from committing suicide

Members of the Korean media have come under fire this week after they filmed a man who warned via his Twitter account that he would jump from Mapo Bridge-a known suicide spot-and made good on his promise.

There staff on the scene made no effort to intervene and have been arrested as accomplices to the man’s suicide.

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Sony and Panasonic announce joint development of 300GB capacity disc

Sony and Panasonic announced on July 29 that they are developing a new generation of optical disc that will boast capacities of 300GB or more. The joint business venture is a move by the two companies to strengthen their presence in the digital archiving industry. It would initially be targeted at the business industry but it’s possible that in the future, it could take off in the consumer market the same way that Blu-ray did in years previous.

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Homeless man puts himself up for auction online, receives 600 bids in a matter of minutes

Something attracting quite a bit of attention on the net at the moment is an incident involving a 25-year-old homeless man in Japan who put himself up for sale as an “item” on the Yahoo! Auctions website. Anyone winning the bid would in theory have been able bring the man into their home and provide him with accommodation.

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It’s at this time of the year that China’s biggest video game expo, China Joy, throws its doors open to the gaming public. And as with events like Tokyo Game Show here in Japan, what many visitors will undoubtedly be drawn in by are the absolutely gorgeous booth babes (or “booth companions” as those in PR would prefer us to say) who line the arena’s stands in their dozens.

Japan’s Xinhua News reports, however, that despite being something of a main attraction for many visitors, a number of these same young women earn a considerable amount of money in between trade shows by working as mistresses on the side.

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Japan reacts to Western newscaster’s accidental doodle of  a penis on live TV

Live on air, even with the best scripting and a highly skilled team behind you, anything can happen. Minor mishaps during live broadcasts rarely cause too much trouble, and most viewers are generally quite understanding when they do, but there are some combinations–such as, oh, a serious news bulletin and a doodle of a giant schlong– that tend to raise a few eyebrows.

As many of you may have seen, footage appeared online last week showing newscaster Siobhan Riley using a touchscreen to draw on a map of the local area during a live news bulletin, accidentally creating what some people think looks like a giant penis in the process. Unfortunately for Ms. Riley the news even made it out to Japan where netizens positively lapped it up.

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