Beijing Smog Makes the City Look Like Another World — You Know, the Uninhabitable Kind

If you can look past the devastating damage it causes to your respiratory system, air pollution in Beijing has become so dense that it actually makes the Chinese capitol look like something from a fantasy or science fiction world.

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Thousands Protest McDonald’s Online Speech Policy by Tweeting: “The Chicken Tatsuta is Delicious!”

A few days before, the news broke regarding McDonald’s Japan releasing a memo which outlined new speech restrictions for their employees on social media.  Many believe these new rules are an effort to stem worker’s complaints over the new “Enjoy! 60 Second Service” promotion.

After the memo was released, McDonald’s crew members and Japanese netizens took to Twitter and 2channel to voice their opinion about the controversial new restrictions, and everyone’s unanimous opinion was this:

“The Chicken Tatsuta is delicious! It’s my favorite burger!”

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How We Helped the Police Find a Cat with a Computer Virus Planted on Its Collar

On January 5, Japanese authorities recovered a memory card planted on the collar of a cat on a small island near Tokyo by a hacker who has been taunting the police for months.

The memory card contained information on a computer virus used in a series of terrorist threats that resulted in the arrest of four innocent people last year.

RocketNews24 was on the scene when the card was found and we have documented the events leading up to the cat’s capture below.

Check our previous article for the full background story on how Japanese police found themselves chasing cats on an island.

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Japanese Hacker Sends Police on Chase to Find Cat with Computer Virus Strapped to Collar, Encrypts Clues with Final Fantasy Language

Japanese authorities recovered a memory card hidden on the collar of a cat on an island near Tokyo on January 5, the latest development in a wild goose chase orchestrated by a hacker thought to be responsible for a series of terrorist threats sent remotely from computers across the country last year.

The memory card contained information relating to the “iesys.exe” virus, dubbed the “Remote Control Virus”, which is capable of controlling an infected computer from a remote location. Also attached was a personal message from the hacker, in which he states he will no longer send threats using the virus.

RocketNews24 was on the scene when the memory card was found, which you can read about in our report here.

For the full story leading up to last week’s wild cat search, check below.

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McDonald’s Japan Restricts What Employees Can Say on Twitter, Too Many Disgruntled 60 Second Servants?

McDonald’s has allegedly sent out a nationwide memo to all franchises regarding its employees’ use of social networks.  The memo is highly detailed regarding what types of online speech is permitted from staff.

Regulations include the prohibition of “McDonald’s bashing” on Twitter or popular internet message board 2channel (2ch), as well as other unethical (by McStandards) postings.

The following is a translation of the leaked rules.  Pay special attention to numbers 4 and 5.

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This Japanese LGBT Poster Might Be Slightly Biased

The poster you see above was recently shared on Japanese internet message board 2channel and appears to be aimed at raising awareness of sexual minorities among in Japan, with the slogan “love takes many forms” written at the top right corner.

Those of you with a keen eye for detail may have noticed that while the straight and lesbian couples are portrayed as vibrant anime characters with no particularly distinctive features, the gay couple is depicted as a burly mass of stereotype.

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Can ‘Make Me Asian’ App Make Japanese People Look Asian Too? We Investigate

Recently a lot of Asian Americans are getting their pantsu in a bunch about an Android app called “Make Me Asian” that allows users to slant their eyes, yellow their skin and add other stereotypical Asian features to their photos.

Critics say the app uses dated and racist stereotypes that marginalize and humiliate Asian Americans. There is even an online petition asking Google to remove the app, which has nearly 3,000 signatures as of December 28.

Alright, so the Asian American community is clearly offended, but what do Asian Asians think of this app?

Well, they think it’s pretty fun, actually.

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Japanese High School Girl Beauty Pageant Open to Online Voting, May Not Accurately Represent Japanese High Schools

The photos above are the contestants for the upcoming Kanto Miss JK Contest, a beauty pageant to be held on December 27 in Shibuya, Tokyo to decide on the cutest Japanese high school girl in Kanto, the region on the main island of Japan encompassing Tokyo and the prefectures around it.

Before we say anything too malicious, we’d like to acknowledge that perceptions of beauty—or “cuteness”, in this case—can vary greatly among different cultures. However, as many Japanese netizens have pointed out, a thick mask of makeup and hair dyed brown or blonde is hardly representative of a typical Japanese high school girl, let alone a cute one.

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Why Are More Young Japanese Women Showing Nationalistic Tendencies? (It’s the internet, stupid)

Ultra-rightist movements in Japan are visible through men who cover their faces with black bandannas, sun glasses and helmets.  They drive around in what is as close to an armored van as a Japanese civilian can get and spew military music and political rhetoric from loudhailers fixed to the top of the vehicle.  You can hear them coming from miles away and are reminded that the nationalism that led Japan into World War II is still alive to some extent, albeit among a small minority of people.

It is hard to believe, quite shocking in fact, that young Japanese women who don’t appear to have a provocative thought in their head are becoming politically active on the rightist’s side. Read More

Cruel Chicken’s Thesis: Is Colonel Sanders a Closet Cosplayer?

An image of a Colonel Sanders statue dressed up as Evangelion Unit-01 has been making the rounds on the Japanese internet…again.

Though the image above first popped up on the net over a year ago, its recent resurface makes a good opportunity to examine Japan’s fascination with dressing up the KFC mascot in further detail.

Check below for more pictures!

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Cigarette Carton Airplanes Now Trending on Japanese Nets

Most people have made paper airplanes before but how about cigarette box airplanes?

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[Biography] The Life and Times of Pedobear

Pedobear’s most recent appearance on Nestle’s Facebook page for Kit Kat got them in a heap of trouble.  It appeared that the chocolate maker had posted a photo of a man wearing a suit resembling that cute bear with a reputation for having a penchant for minors.

Many who know of Pedobear, also know of his roots on the meme factory internet site 4Chan.  A percentage of those people probably know that he was imported from its Japanese precursor, 2Channel, where he is known as “Kuma” even to this day.

But what is known of his life then?  To answer that RocketNews 24 is prepared to peel back the layers of Pedobear’s surprisingly wholesome – if not heroic – roots.

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This Japanese University English Textbook is a Joke, We’re too Worried About Japan’s Future to Laugh…

Yesterday we shared the highlights of an online discussion of what Japanese students think of their junior high school English classes.

Another similar thread has popped up on 2channel, this time sharing several pages from a university-level English textbook that are so mind-numbingly simple you’ll wonder what those 6 years of compulsory English education were for.

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Japanese Prime Minister Address Apathetic Public in YouTube Video, Struggles to Break 300 Views in 4 Days

Yoshihiko Noda is Japan’s 6th prime minister since 2006 and it’s no surprise that over half a decade of gridlock has left most Japanese people feeling either cynical or apathetic towards politics.

Recently, a thread emerged on popular Japanese internet message board 2 channel that highlights just how much people don’t care about what their political leaders are talking about.

According to the initial post, an official video of a public address made by Prime Minister Noda regarding comprehensive reforms of Japan’s social security and taxation systems had received no more than 300 views after 4 days of being uploaded.

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