Video shows Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe heckled by angry Okinawans at ceremony

June 23 marks the 70th anniversary of the end of the Battle of Okinawa, a bloody, 82-day battle which left thousands of people dead. In commemoration of this gruesome chapter of Japanese history, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appeared in Okinawa at the Cornerstone of Peace, a memorial to those who died in the battle, to deliver a speech.

However, it turned out that not everyone was happy to see the leader, who faced heckling by some attendees.

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Obama dreams of tempura: The Tokyo restaurant where even the US President can’t get a table

A Sunday newspaper in my native England used to run a column called “Can you get a table?” in which reporters would call fully-booked high-end restaurants claiming to be representing various celebrities of differing degrees of fame, and see whether they could wrangle a table for that night. A-listers tended to garner responses along the lines of “yes, I think that can be arranged”, while talent show contestants were more likely to be met with apologies and mumbling. Thus, order in celeb-land was successfully maintained.

I was amused and impressed, therefore, to read that there’s a restaurant in Tokyo that can’t even make room for the most powerful man on the planet to have dinner with the Japanese Prime Minister. When Obama met Shinzo Abe last week, Abe took him for world-class sushi at Sukiyabashi Jiro. However, sushi wasn’t Abe’s first choice. He wanted to take Obama-san to Tempura Kondo, but the booked-out restaurant turned them down. “Customers with reservations are more important,” the owner is reported to have said. “Even for the President of the United States, I can’t disappoint my customers who already made bookings.”

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PM Abe calls on Japanese businesses to learn from Nintendo, netizens skeptical

At a recent budget meeting in the Japanese Diet, a member asked Prime Minister Abe to explain his growth strategy. As you probably know, the prime minister has been focused on improving the Japanese economy, though he’s not having the greatest of luck. As Abenomics–the cheeky name given to Abe’s economic policies–fluctuates in and out of favor, many are wondering if it’s working at all. We’re not sure the Prime Minister’s response is going to assuage anyone’s fears…

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Got a spare $286,000 lying around? Get your 24k gold Mt. Fuji replica while supplies last!

With Mt. Fuji having recently been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site on June 22, souvenir makers have rushed to cash in on the mountain’s new found fame offering everything from rice bowls to beer glasses crafted in the shape of the iconic volcano.
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