Killing for cash

“I wanted money, I could not refuse after being asked.”

A 15-year-old boy’s ‘justification’ for allegedly killing his friend’s mother, after the 46-year-old woman’s son offered him a 300,000 yen (1,345 pound) payment.”

The 16-year-old son involved in the murder is suspected of talking to his friend about the crime in early August, with police officers confirming that the woman was stabbed to death last Sunday at around 10pm in Wakkanai, Hokkaido.

Due to their ages neither boy can be named, but the son is said to have confessed to investigators that he was unhappy with his mother following his parent’s divorce, telling officers, “When I talked about my father, my mother always came to his defense, so I grew to hate my mother as well.”

Whether similar retribution was planned for the father has yet to be disclosed.

Fornication fasting

Japan’s unenviable position at the bottom of the ‘most at it like rabbits’ league table looks set to continue, with the seemingly less than passionate population quite possibly set to reduce the tryst tally even further this year.

japan sex survey

At least this would certainly be the case were the poll restricted to married couples, as a recent survey by Bayer – which has been tirelessly translated by the far from wilting What Japan Thinks – found that the average number of sexual sojourns for a Japanese pair was a measly 17 a year, further strengthening the notion of the sexless marriage. A number so pitiful in fact that it makes the nation’s average figure of 45 forays seem almost feverish in its frequency.

Whilst a little over 10 percent of those questioned managed to make the effort at least once a week, the rest of the results make for less than encouraging reading. A sizeable 16 percent of those asked only indulge in a bit of intercourse once a month; however even this figure isn’t that bad when compared to those who haven’t had a bit of how’s your father for over a year – a whopping 34 percent.

Notably a thrifty 3 percent managed to just about keep up appearances by getting one ‘go’ in a year. Something of a holiday treat perhaps.

Tokyo terrors

Quite what the collective noun for scarecrows is remains unclear, yet the birds in this particular part of western Tokyo must be especially problematic, with a gaggle or even a scourge of scarecrows sent out to protect the harvest.

But no ordinary bird scarers mind, as heading the horde is a sport-sponsored sentinel.

To, ahem, cover all bases however, the inclusion of this effigy of an elderly lady complete with liberally applied make-up appears to have been deemed necessary.

And it being a farm and all that, omitting a copy of a country gent would have been inconceivable.

The final addition of a disturbing looking dancer completing the crowd, its freaky face almost enough to scare off both birds and humans alike.

(click images for super-sized sentries)

Fowl food

In the obsessive world of over-sized snack production, the residents of Kawamata in Fukushima Prefecture are currently flying high – which is more than can be said about their ingredients, as the town’s record-breaking yakitori required the use of around a dozen game fowl.

jumbo yakitori

Measuring a trouser-tightening 12 metres 27 cm, the flame-grilled foodstuff got the official nod from a member of a national yakitori association, who was conveniently on hand to verify the record. A result that whilst delighting the inhabitants of Kawamata, dismayed those of Hidakagawa, Wakayama Prefecture; the latter’s reign as yakitori kings lasting a measly 12 days – a gallant effort of 11 metres 7 cm simply lacking the necessary length to hold on to the celebrated title.

However Hidakagawa Deputy Mayor Senya Yamamoto vowed to fight back, although his allegedly disparaging comments concerning girth and his counterpart’s apparent lack of it have yet to be confirmed.

Britney’s bottom ban

The seemingly perpetually pregnant Britney Spears has caused something of a kerfuffle in Japan, a promotional campaign featuring her bare body being censored by Tokyo Metro Co., the capital’s subway operator.

britneys breasts and bum

Whilst Britney’s ballooning breasts and bulging belly were deemed acceptable, her thunderous thighs were not, resulting in the ad campaign designed for Omotesando Subway Station looking like this.

britneys breasts only

HB Japan Inc., the publisher of the magazine being advertised, failed to understand the decision, saying, “The photo expresses her happiness at being pregnant. Covering part of the photo has made its concept unclear.” Tokyo Metro however remained unrepentant, claiming the image of the singer violated advertisement guidelines, which state that they must be appropriate in view of the protection of youths.

However the hypocrisy of the decision will not be lost on HB Japan, especially considering that as of writing, this ‘protection of youths’ hasn’t stretched to removing Ms Spears’ songs from the nation’s airwaves, with the likes of “Oops!…I Did It Again” and “Baby One More Time” still allowed to pervade the minds of impressionable youngsters.