Depressing news day...

Good morning everyone,

It's going to be a grey, cold, wet day. I hope you haven't got any picnics planned for the day. The good news is that it should clear up by the time you're heading home from work. The bad news is that it isn't going to warm up for a few days. We can expect highs for the next few days to hover around 10C or so. By the end of the weekend or the beginning of next week, it should warm up a bit.

Today is just one of those days when I looked and looked and could not find a single shred of good news. Here's a sampling of some of the stories that are on the front pages of Japan's papers at the moment.
  • NPA recognizes repeated spats as yakuza gang war. That's right. The fighting, Molotov cocktails, cars crashing into buildings and, of course, shootings that have followed the break up of one of the biggest gangs in Japan has erupted into a full-scale battle.
  • Hiroshima boy kills himself after mistakenly told he failed exam. In Japan, teens need to pass entrance exams for junior high school, high school and university. This story is sad in a couple of ways. One, because a child felt so much pressure to get into a particular school that he would kill himself for not getting in; and two, because of the incompetency/sheer laziness/lack of compassion of the school board that allowed this mistake to happen. It wasn't just a clerical error.
  • Fukushima clean-up will take generations. Well, this one isn't exactly new news, is it? Anyone can imagine that it'll be decades before that land is safe to live on and use again and probably decades more before the stigma of being radioactive fades.
  • 5,803 foreign trainees fled Japan in 2015. Workers were beaten, forced to work in slave-like conditions, paid a percentage of what they were promised and...well, you get the picture. It isn't pretty.
  • Among industrialized nations, Japan ranks lowest in female business leaders. Maybe Japanese women are too smart to want to be a senior executive at a Japanese company. Ha ha!
I could go on and on...but man...today is depressing, isn't it?

Does anyone have any good news that they can pass on?

Have a great day!

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