Friday, March 13, 2009

Japan and Korea: not so different

Some headlines from today's Japan Times.
  1. A Canadian actor in Japan, Jai West, has been arrested for having marijuana-laden cookies mailed to him from Vancouver, British Columbia, via ship. Why does that kind of thing sound so familiar? Look, if you can't go without smoking pot for whatever time you plan to be in Korea or Japan, don't come. Yeah, yeah, it's practically legal in Canada, but guess what? Meguro isn't Medicine Hat!
  2. Japan's National Police Agency (NPA) reports that there has been a 20.1 percent increase in domestic violence cases handled by the police. This does not necessarily mean an increase in actual violence; rather, a new domestic violence prevention law that went in place protects current or former spouses, partners, or their children from not just physical violence, but also threats, including harassment and nuisance phone calls. South Korea, with a similar family structure and social position of women, may want to see where Japan's doing things right and see if they would work in Korea. Japanese police also handled 8.9 percent more cases of stalking.
  3. The NPA plans to regulate "dating-service" cafés to prevent child prostitution. The basic idea of the plan is to prevent minors (under 18) from entering these cafés and similar venues. Such cafés would also be prohibited from operating near schools. Both Japan and South Korea have a very utilitarian view toward prostitution, and while it appears Japan's under-age prostitution may be considerably larger than Korea's, it is nonetheless a serious issue in South Korea.

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