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.

All Stories by Andrew Miller

53-year-old man who found it difficult to keep up with modern day technogy commits suicide

According to reports from Taiwanese media, a 53-year-old man who lived in the city of Changua committed suicide in his pick-up truck earlier this week after pulling over to the side of the road.

While any suicide is a tragic enough event, what brings this particular incident into the media spotlight today is the note the man allegedly left before taking his own life, which contained the lines: “I’m useless at just about everything these days, whether it be computers or cellular phones … Going on living in this way is scarier than dying. 

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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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Lost dog seen roaming the summit of Mt. Fuji

As many of you will know, this year Japan’s Mt. Fuji was officially declared a World Heritage site. However, since the mountain was officially open to visitors this climbing season, rumors of a pet lost on the mountain have become widespread, with netizens posting to Facebook and Twitter claiming to have caught sight of a dog wandering the mountain alone. Many concerned users have been appealing for animal welfare groups to collect the poor creature.

What is unclear is how the dog ended up at the top of the mountain in the first place. Surely it’s out of the question to assume he climbed all the way to the top by himself?! The most likely scenario is that he was brought along by his owner and somehow got loose or was abandoned.

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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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Bama, China: Home to some of the oldest, healthiest people in the world

With rapid developments in medicine and an overall increase in awareness when it comes to our general health, in many parts of the world people are living to an age like never before. Although many of us pay careful attention to the advice given to us by medical professionals, health and fitness magazines, and the media in general, curiously some of the healthiest and oldest people in the world rarely visit their doctor, nor do they have access to the information that we in the developed world do. Is it possible that the secret to longevity lies elsewhere?

A village in Bama Yao Autonomous County, China, is one of five locations across the globe where people are known to live far beyond the global average, with few suffering from health problems during their lifetime. Many of the inhabitants of this village live to be more than 100 years old, and despite the villagers’ environment being a tropical region where ultraviolet rays are strong, women of the area have a pale complexion and are strikingly attractive.

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New king of hybrids: Honda’s new Fit Hybrid to boast a 85.6 mpg fuel efficiency level

Up until now, if you were asked to think of the most efficient hybrid car on the market, surely what would have been at the top of your list is the Toyota Aqua. After all, it boasts a 35.4 km/L (83.2 miles per gallon) spec. that really cannot be ignored. However, the latest offering in hybrid vehicles from Honda, named the Fit Hybrid, goes one step beyond in redefining the notion of fuel efficiency. Boasting energy efficiency levels of 36.4 km/L (85.6 mpg), it steals the lead from the Toyota Aqua. Honda’s Fit Hybrid is expected to be introduced and go on sale in September 2013 in Japan and in terms of hybrid cars, if you exclude the Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles (PHV), is set to become the most fuel efficient car in Japan. We’re sure many hybrid car enthusiasts can’t wait to hear more, so check out the juicy details right after the jump.

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Food stall-like McDonald’s that only serves drinks and ice cream

If you were asked to think of the most loved fast food restaurant in the world, surely it would have to be the big M. After all, it is a place that, regardless of age and status, anyone can relax in the laid back atmosphere and indulge themselves in guilty fast-food pleasures.

In the Philippines there is one style of McDonald’s that arguably defies all traditional views of what a Mickey D’s represents. Its unique point lies in the fact that it is just like a food stall you’re likely to come across walking down your local street, and you won’t find a single hamburger or carton of fries on the menu.

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Japanese website lists cases of food-related scandals in China

With the country growing at an unprecedented rate and many still living below the poverty line, it is inevitable that China should struggle to control the quality of the foodstuffs it manufactures. With a reputation for being cheap and of inferior quality, Chinese exports are often unfairly labelled as potentially harmful or unappetising, and many in neighboring countries will snub Chinese-produced consumables found on supermarket shelves purely because of where they come from. But when developed countries rely so much on cheap Chinese labor and exports, one sometimes has to wonder whether this is partly a problem of our own making.

Of course, Japan rarely sees eye-to-eye with China, so it is perhaps unsurprising that it should focus on the negative when it comes to news of this kind. This week in fact, website Madame Riri published an article outlining 10 cases of food products from China that have caused scandal in recent years. After reading their list, though, even we can’t help but feel a little concerned for the wellbeing of the world’s next superpower.

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Driver charged after man who refused treatment is found dead a month after road traffic accident

A 50-year-old man who refused medical treatment after being knocked down by a car in the town of Tosu, Saga prefecture, was found dead in his apartment a month after the accident occurred, a local newspaper reports.

Why the man refused treatment is unclear, but after a routine postmortem investigation both town and prefectural police came to the conclusion that the man’s death was brought about by injuries received at the time of the road accident a month previous. Despite having immediately called for the medical assistance that the victim flat-out refused, the driver has been reportedly been charged with involuntary manslaughter.

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Chinese man’s body covered in bruises after eating shish kebab possibly containing rat meat

According to reports from media outlets in Beijing on July 22, a man who consumed what he believed to be a regular shish kebab was rushed to hospital after bruises appeared across the whole of his body. Doctors immediately performed a blood test which revealed traces of rat poison.

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We try the tomato, milk and lemon drink that Japan dared to produce

While doing a little shopping at her local Lawson Store 100 (a convenience store where everything is priced at around 100 yen), reporter Yumeno over at our sister site Pouch stumbled across a rather unusual drink from Tochigi Prefecture that we doubt many would be willing to drink without steeling their nerves first: “Tomato, milk and lemon blend.”

Seriously? Tomato, milk and lemon all mixed up together!? For the sake of science and because we love to laugh, our brave reporter grabbed a couple of cartons and brought them back to the office for a taste test.

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Underwater snap will remove any fears you ever had about crocodiles

If you were asked to imagine the behavioral traits of your average crocodile, surely the first thing that would come to mind is a creature floating on the surface of the water with a fixed look as it lies in wait for its prey. However, it may well be time to put such thoughts behind you. The following image of a crocodile swimming in its enclosure at a crocodile farm, which is currently doing the rounds online, is winning the hearts of thousands of Japanese.

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Chicken feet that expired 46 years ago make their way onto China’s food market

When it comes to the food we eat, the importance of the consume-by-date should not be underestimated. Depending on the item on sale, going beyond the expiry date by a day or two may not always create too many problems but when the product in question happens to be 46 years old, the possible repercussions of eating it do not bear thinking about…

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Get paid one million yen (US$10,000) for three months of hardcore gaming!

For anyone who loves gaming but often gets told by those around them to put their efforts into something more productive, we here at RocketNews24 have some great news. It comes in the form of a job post searching for someone to play video games for three months that carries a million yen (US$10,000) reward. Gaming all day only to be paid a salary at the end of it, is for many, the stuff dreams are made of. But believe it or not, this is a real job posting that is valid right now in Japan.

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“Breaching the laws of equality” – Has  Japan’s preferential treatment of women gone too far?

From women-only seats in libraries to female-only university cafes, it would seem that women get a lot of preferential treatment in Japan. Whether it be a restaurant with “ladies’ courses” on the menu or cinemas offering “ladies’ day” discounts, it is difficult to ignore the abundance of cheap deals or special services on offer to women. On the one hand, it all serves to help the struggling Japanese economy, but a lot of men can’t help but feel that they’re being a little discriminated against.

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Travel across Japan in under an hour without leaving the comfort of your home!

I’m sure taking a trip across Japan is a thought that has crossed the minds of many, whether they’ve already visited the country or not. However, unless you’re enjoying a gap year or have an extremely understanding boss, taking enough time off to see it all in one go isn’t easy. Experiencing the change in climates as you travel between the different regions of the country or admiring the scenery particular to a specific area carries an undeniable charm. If only there were a way to experience Japan in its full glory without being restricted by the factor of time.

Well, we might have just the solution for all you busy people out there. It comes in the form of a special Google Street View movie which boasts footage of the whole journey across the country, from the northernmost tip of mainland Japan right down to the south.

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Least surprising news ever? China and Korea are the most anti-Japanese of all Asian countries

Despite most Asian countries being notably fond of Japan, according to the results of a recent public opinion poll carried out by an American research organization, China and Korea have a distinctly poor image of the land of the rising sun, and it appears to be getting worse over time.

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31-year-old man from Sapporo arrested for beating his family with a bat

Three members of the same family were found collapsed with blood pouring from their heads in an apartment in Sapporo. They were all confirmed dead. Police commented that a male family member admitted to beating the victims to death with a bat.

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Up to 100,000 mental illness sufferers confined to their homes in chains in China

According to a Chinese newspaper published on July 11, a significant number of mentally ill patients are being confined to their homes in chains or being kept in metal cages rather than receiving appropriate treatment. In the province of Hebei alone, the number of patients being detained in this way is estimated to be 100,000.

It is reported that a shortage of psychiatrists and hospitals, combined with patients from the lower classes being unable to afford the costs of treatment, is behind this bizarre state of affairs. The population of the Hebei province totals in at 72.4 million.

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