Quote Japan

Interesting, odd, outrageous or informative quotes about Japan

Metropolis/ Japan Today- Quotes from Tokyo’s freebie entertainment mag

“The samurai spirit is in me. The Japanese character is that we pursue one thing earnestly and with great diligence. For me, that object of diligence happens to be France. ”
Noboru Tani, 55, the owner-chef of Le Mange-Tout, one of the 25 restaurants in Tokyo to win two Michelin stars. Tani goes home to his family only one night a week and happily describes his restaurant as a “prison.” (Washington Post)

“I love France. I once had a French girlfriend. She gave me a pistol as a souvenir but now it’s too old to be of any use. ”
Tokyo Gov Shintaro Ishihara, still trying to deflect criticism of his remarks in 2004 when he said French was disqualified as an international language as it was impossible to count in it. Twenty-one scholars, teachers and translators, including seven French people who live in Japan, sued Ishihara unsuccessfully for damages
“Their JET experiences and ties with Japan remain a strong influence. We may very well have a whole ‘JET generation’ to look forward to, one which will guide the Japan-U.S. relationship in the decades to come. ”
Motoatsu Sakurai, Japanese ambassador and consul general in New York. Two decades after the Japanese government instituted the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program as part of an internationalization effort, over 46,000 participants from 55 countries have lived and worked in its communities as all sides continue to benefit from the cross-cultural interaction. (Kyodo)

“Most assets in Japan are Japanese. The Japanese would have to defend themselves. ”
Brig Gen Joh E Seward, the deputy commanding general of operations for the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command. He said that while U.S. missile detection has vastly improved, it will largely fall to Japan to defend itself in the event of an atack by North Korea or China. (AP)

“Among the Group of Eight countries, Japan and Russia are the only two countries that do not criminalize the possession of child pornography. ”
U.S. Ambassador Thomas Schieffer, calling on Japan to update pornography laws to make it a crime so that investigators can obtain search warrants to confiscate and search suspects’ computers. (Daily Yomiuri)

“It is a myth that Japanese companies are world leaders in energy-saving technology and recent research has abundantly demonstrated that there are many more ways to reduce greenhouse gases at low cost. ”
Jusen Asuka, an environmental policy expert at Tohoku University, saying that asking private companies in Japan to implement voluntary action plans for environmental protection, will not be enough for Japan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (Kyodo)

“In foreign policy, every country seeks status and autonomy. Since Japan doesn’t have a lot of autonomy, it puts a lot of emphasis on status. ”
Jeff Kingston, professor of Asian Studies at Tokyo’s Temple University, on why Japan is devoting so much effort to hosting the G-8 summit in July when it hopes to champion the environment by hammering out a new deal on global warming.
 “No extramarital affairs, or at least keep it a secret from her. And hold your wife’s hand in public. ”
Instructions on a poster at the National Chauvinistic Husbands Association, which has been set up to help husbands give their wives more attention. A new law in Japan giving more rights to divorced women has caused divorces to go up but also forced men to recognize their wives must come before work. (UPI)
“Crimes by elderly people are increasing faster than the population is aging. ”
Osamu Nasu of the Police Policy Research Center at the National Police Academy. About 45,000 people over 65 were prosecuted in Japan between January and November. The crimes were mainly assault and shoplifting. (Reuters)

“It’s ironic, but it took this crisis to make universities realize they actually have to educate their students. ”
Atsushi Hamana, president of the Kansai University of International Studies, saying that financial pressures and a lack of students are forcing universities to improve or perish, a big change in a country where higher education has long been viewed as a four-year break before entering the work force. (International Herald Tribune)

“Much in Japanese aesthetics is determined by social dynamics and one-upmanship… The salient features of Japanese culture-wabi sabi, less is more, Zenism, etc.- thus appear as attempts to constantly outflank and counter the gaudy flash and panache of the nouveau riche… Japanese aesthetics are revealed as the product of this social competitiveness, of the desire to find yet more subtle shades of meaning and beauty than the next guy.” C.B.Liddell in a review of A Tractate on Japanese Aesthetics by Donald Ritchie in Metropolis magazine, Dec 28 2007

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