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The Negi

Japan Celebrates Respect for the Aged Day by Playing Golf and Going Shopping

This September 18th marks Respect for the Aged Day, and preparations are already underway to celebrate the sacrifices made by the older generation. Gathering at leisure places around the country, young and middle-aged Japanese will show their gratitude to the elderly by engaging in such activities as golf, tennis and twister, or maybe just by going shopping.

Their respect is unlikely to go unnoticed. Hiroshi Yamamoto, an 82-year-old pensioner living alone in Nakano, remarked: “It’s so nice to have this special day just for us. Seeing all those children playing outside makes me remember what it was like to have legs that worked properly. I have five grandchildren, but I don’t see them very often because they live on the east side of Tokyo and I can’t walk.”

Woman Sets New Record for Simultaneous Activities While Riding a Bicycle

A 20-year-old convenience store worker set a new world record this past weekend for the number of simultaneous activities while riding a bicycle. Megumi Uehara, peddling past a daycare center in downtown Fukushima, was able to beat the previous record held by Chiako Suginami of Hokkaido.

The simultaneous activities performed included smoking, talking on the phone and nail painting – all seen in previous attempts. Uehara’s precariously supported umbrella, however, pushed her forward to a tie with Suginami. The tie breaker, meanwhile, came when she removed her left hand from the handlebar and reached into her bag to find an eye-liner pencil.

Experts hailed the performance as “a bravura display of gravity defiance”. However, safety experts expressed reservations, citing Ms Uehara’s subsequent demise under the wheels of an articulated truck as “possible cause for concern.”

Foreigner Reads Japanese Playboy for the Pictures

Bart Jameson of Winnipeg, Canada admitted in a lunch time confession last Tuesday that he buys and reads Playboy magazine solely for the pictures of semi-naked women. While Jameson is not totally incapable of reading Japanese characters, he remains functionally illiterate in the language. However, this does not prevent him from purchasing Playboy monthly.

“Back in Winnipeg I used to skim the articles, so I guess you could say I was reading it,” Jameson told co-workers. “But to be honest, I have no idea what all those squiggly lines mean – they all look like something out of Space Invaders. I really just buy it to whack off with now.”

Japanese Foreign Minister Visits Middle East in Effort to Seem Relevant

Foreign Minister Taro Aso visited the war-torn Middle East this month in what many analysts are calling a bid to seem relevant. The first day of the trip included a summit meeting with Jordan’s King Abdullah II. In an emotional statement, Aso told reporters: “It is time at last for peace in the Middle East. Japan will no longer stand by and watch as so many innocents die in a terrible fashion. We Japanese experienced such terror during World War II and will fight to see that it never happens again.” King Abdullah returned the gesture, saying “Uh… yeah. Thanks for the input.”

In subsequent talks with Lebanese officials, Aso promised whatever support Japan could give to the strife-torn country. Aid would commence with a peace mission to Beirut, where an envoy was reportedly having viewfinder problems with a Sony digital camera that was past its warranty.

Rising Costs of Petroleum Have Disastrous Effects on Cute Crap Market

As world oil prices soar, Japan is facing record high prices on cute, inessential merchandise. A recent survey found that the price of products such as Hello Kitty bento boxes and Miffy slippers has increased nearly 20% since the start of the war in Iraq. These increases are putting pressure on families attempting to get by with even the most rudimentary of cartoon-branded merchandise.

Some analysts fear the spiraling cost of cheap tat may spark a run on stores, as was the case during the oil crisis of the 1970s. At that time, consumers responded by stockpiling cartoon goods in fear of a global economic collapse.

News in Brief

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