My AP Stories for 2021

My AP Stories for 2021 are below. Please click on the highlighted links to read my AP Stories, and to go to My AP Stories for 2020, and My AP Stories for 2019 and 2018:

My AP Story July 30, 2021 about the Tokyo Olympics collecting lots of spit in an effort to curb COVID.

My AP Explainer Story July 30, 2021 on Japan’s state of emergency.

My AP Story July 27, 2021 on Japan’s disbelief, support after Naomi Osaka’s elimination.

I interviewed the Blue Impulse pilot and the youngster who ran with the torch-runner for this AP Story July 30, 2021 about memories of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

I’m a Contributor to this AP Story July 31, 2021 about the Japanese Olympic judo team.

My AP Story July 19, 2021 about the American father and son accused in the Carlos Ghosn escape getting sentenced to prison terms by a Japan court.

My AP Story July 19, 2021 about Toyota, a top Olympics sponsor, pulling Games-related TV ads.

My AP Story July 21, 2021 on Toyota adding to its technology partnership.

My AP Story and AP Photos July 18, 2021 on the protest against the Olympics and more.

My AP Story July 19, 2021 about the Japanese composer tendering his resignation.

My AP Story July 18, 2021 on the Japanese composer for the Tokyo Olympics apologizing for perpetrating abuse.

My AP Story July 15, 2021 on Toyota investing in digital mapping.

My AP Story July 13, 2021 about Fujifilm finding new niches, record profits amid pandemic.

My AP Story July 7, 2021 on Nissan’s CEO testifying in court about Carlos Ghosn’s compensation.

My AP Story July 21, 2021 about Japan’s exports, imports zooming amid a pandemic recovery.

My AP Story July 5, 2021 about the Tokyo city assembly election amid pandemic Olympic fears.

My AP Story July 3, 2021 on the mudslide that tore through Atami.

My AP Story July 2, 2021 on the Americans accused in the escape of Carlos Ghosn. Michael Taylor, choking over tears, told the court: “I stand here today a man whose life has been destroyed because of this.”

My AP Story June 30, 2021 on SoftBank denying it’s pulling the plug on the Pepper robot.

My AP Story June 25, 2021 about Toshiba’s shareholders’ meeting.

My AP Story June 21, 2021 on the first day of the Japanese companies’ mass vaccination drive. I also did AP Video today.

My AP Story June 20, 2021 on the arriving Uganda Olympic team having a member test positive for COVID.

My AP Story June 15, 2021 about vaccine laggard Japan stepping up shots with company efforts.

My AP Story June 29, 2021 on the Taylors apologizing to the court.

My AP Story June 14, 2021 on the Taylors’ trial starting.

My AP Story June 13, 2021 on the trial of the two Americans suspected in Carlos Ghosn’s escape.

My AP Story June 7, 2021 on Toyota reaching a settlement over bullied engineer’s suicide.

My AP Story May 26, 2021 about Carlos Ghosn’s interview defending Greg Kelly on trial in Japan.

My AP Story May 23, 2021 about IOC’s Coates getting a backlash on his remark about the Olympics being held even in an emergency.

My AP Story May 21, 2021 when he made the remark.  

My AP Story May 20, 2021 about TV stars playing lovers really getting married.

My AP Story May 18, 2021 about Japan’s economy shrinking as pandemic dries up spending.

My AP Story May 14, 2021 on the petition demanding cancellation of the Olympics being submitted.

My AP Story May 12, 2021 on Greg Kelly testifying in his trial, saying he just worked for Nissan’s best interests.

My AP Story March 26, 2021 about how the Nissan-Renault rift is getting highlighted at the trial of former Nissan executive Greg Kelly.

My AP Story May 11, 2021 on Carlos Ghosn’s answers to prosecutors being read by the defense lawyer in the trial of former Nissan executive Greg Kelly.

My AP Story May 6, 2021 about a petition drive demanding the Olympics be canceled.

My AP Story May 3, 2021 about nurses dismayed by Tokyo Olympics’ request for help.

I’m a Contributor to this AP Story May 19, 2021 about doctors asking to cancel the Games.

My AP Story May 6, 2021 on Nintendo profits booming as people staying home turn to games.

My AP Story May 1, 2021 on the torch relay detoured and other Tokyo Olympics developments.

My AP Story April 28, 2021 on June trial set in Japan for the Americans accused of helping Carlos Ghosn escape.

My AP Story April 27, 2021 on Toyota acquiring Lyft.

My AP Story April 14, 2021 on the president of Toshiba stepping down.

My AP Story April 13, 2021 on the late Nintendo president and his book.

My AP Story April 12, 2021 on Japan’s celebrating Hideki Matsuyama’s Masters win.

My AP Story April 15, 2021 about ruling party politicians expressing doubts about holding the Olympics.

My AP Story April 7, 2021 on Toshiba saying it had received a preliminary acquisition proposal.

My AP Story April 1, 2021 about the Bank of Japan survey showing optimism about a recovery.

My AP Story March 30, 2021 about how some medical experts aren’t convinced about holding the Olympics.

My AP Story March 21, 2021 on Hitachi acquiring GlobalLogic for $9.6 billion.

My AP Story March 24, 2021 on Toyota, Isuzu, Hino setting up tie-up in truck technology.

My AP Story March 23, 2021 on Japan spending billions on coronavirus tracking app for absent Olympic fans.

My AP Story March 22, 2021 about Japan charging two Americans in the escape of Carlos Ghosn.

My AP Photo and My AP Story March 5, 2021 and AP Interview with the chief defense lawyer for Greg Kelly on trial in Japan on charges related to Carlos Ghosn’s compensation.

My AP Photo and My AP Story March 4, 2021 about animation film “Demon Slayer” striking a chord with pandemic-era Japan.

My AP Story March 18, 2021 about the Tokyo Olympics being hit by another scandal over sexist comments.

My AP Story March 18, 2021 on Japan raising tariffs on U.S. beef after hitting import limit.

My AP Story March 12, 2021 on Japan’s post office tying up with Rakuten.

My AP Story March 2, 2021 explaining what might be ahead for the American father and son being extradited to Japan on suspicion of helping Carlos Ghosn skip bail and escape to Lebanon.

My AP Story March 1, 2021 on the prime minister’s PR chief resigning after lavish meal tied to broadcaster.

My AP Story Feb. 26, 2021 on Japan partially ending the state of emergency, while keeping it for the Tokyo area.

My AP Story Feb. 24, 2021 on Nissan’s former chief executive testifying in a criminal trial.

My AP Story Feb. 19, 2021 on Honda’s tapping a research expert as its new president.

My AP Story Feb. 14, 2021 on another protest in Tokyo against the military coup in Myanmar.

My AP Story Feb. 11, 2021 about thousands of people from Myanmar in Japan demanding democracy back home.

My AP Story Feb. 15, 2021 about Japan’s economy growing in the final quarter of 2020 in a gradual recovery from the pandemic slump.

My AP News Alert and Story Feb. 13 ~14, 2021 on the strong earthquake that hit northeastern Japan.

My AP Story Feb. 10, 2021 on Toyota’s earnings recovering from effects of the pandemic.

My AP Story Feb. 9, 2021 about Nissan staying in the red amid pandemic, Japan criminal trial.

My AP Story Feb. 9, 2021 on Honda’s profits rising despite pandemic damage.

My AP Story Feb. 8, 2021 on SoftBank’s profit zooming on lucrative investments.

My AP Story Feb. 8, 2021 is the Markets report for the day.

I’m a contributor to this AP Story Feb. 12, 2021, the day Mori is expected to officially resign.

I’m a contributor to this AP Story Feb. 4, 2021 about a Japanese Olympic official facing calls for resignation after a remark apparently belittling women.

My AP Story Feb. 3, 2021 on Sony’s profits booming on “Demon Slayer” hit.

My AP Story Feb. 1, 2021 on how Nintendo’s profits are soaring as people play games during the pandemic.

My AP Story Jan. 12, 2021 on the testimony of Nissan’s former COO on how the automaker sought to hide Carlos Ghosn’s pay.

My AP Story Jan. 7, 2021 on Japan declaring a state of emergency for Tokyo, and three nearby prefectures, after coronavirus cases surge.

My AP Story Jan. 8, 2021 on the first day for Japan under the state of emergency.

My AP Story Jan. 11, 2021 on the Japan material for The Latest on the virus.

My AP Story Jan. 10, 2021 on the Japan material for The Latest on the virus.

My AP Story Jan. 9, 2021 on the Japan material for The Latest on the coronavirus pandemic.

My AP Story Jan. 6, 2021 on coronavirus cases reaching a daily record in Tokyo.

My AP Story Jan. 4, 2021, a co-byline with our AP Sports Writer, on pandemic worries looming as the countdown clock for the postponed Tokyo Olympics hits 200 days to go.

My AP Story Jan. 1, 2021 on the emperor turning to video for his New Year’s Day message.

Magic 50 of COVID-19 Poems by Sandile Ngidi and Yuri Kageyama

Magic 50 of COVID-19 Poems by Sandile Ngidi and Yuri Kageyama (From Aug. 31, 2020 ~April 5, 2021. All rights reserved by the artists.)

1 (S)

Poetry kins us to these basal stems.

Moisture is life.

Gardens petals fresh & resilient.

Mother breathes songs of roots strong.

Words curate a healthy leaf mass, fruits defying leaf scorch defining these heavy seasons.

Plumes as words dancing in the winds.

2 (Y)

Dragonflies flutter by the slowly swelling river.

Moisture is life.

Blue-green of their wings play in the light.

Mother cries songs of currents deep.   

Leaves of Grass bend soft with the seasons, shining dew recalling these tears of birth.

Plumes as words dancing in the winds.

3 (S)

Far in the somewhere of dazzling seas,

nothing stops the seasons of fruitful friendships.

Dancing field to field feeding the imagination,

it’s the spring of delights, radished words.

Grass gesturing towards well-shaped flower leaves, moistured mosaics of words.

Life.

4 (Y)

Plumes as words dancing in the winds,

Tiny sparrows warble, not in fun but fear,

Scattering like debris, dirt, weeds and words,

Over oceans and deserts, swamps and streams,

The now of Dreams connect the All of history, the eternity of Forgotten nightmares.

Yes, Life.    

5 (S)

Across seas the rooster is red,

Crowing in the weeds.

Greek sea edge sinking Black lives.

The wind is nightmarish.

In drying Eldorado Park, slain Nathaniel Julies is rising.

Fresh gardens strut their stuff,

A poetry skyline in full sun,

greening the eversick landscape. Life.

6 (Y)

Poetry whispers in tanka and haiku,

Across oceans, red, blue, yellow and black,

Repeating of pain, repeating of life,

Repeating of love? Repeating,

Iwao Hakamada just smiles and believes

In God.       

7 (S)

After the soft rains,

Blooms fresh.

My epistle is no flower.

Naked, Black and pregnant,

Woman shot beast-like on a darkened Mozambique road –

Drowning soldier-savagery

Shamed seasons.

Lizalis’idinga lakho,

God of Black women now rise,

in tanka-maskandi cries.

Poppies.

8 (Y)

She is duped and gets easily used;

She is defiant and easily explodes;

She is vain, obsessed with appearance;

She let herself go, looks fat and shabby;

She is too quiet and can’t speak up;  

She is psychotic and can’t shut up;

She is all these things, all at once,

Deranged.

9 (s)

Would you dance naked on your veranda

seeing madigras brass band

mad boots on grass,

killing your soul’s shongololo?

Beyond the gleam of your silverware, the sun still shines.

Shun the sun if drunk in the polemic of your vomit.

The palm tree is tall still,

yet peaceful.

10 (Y)

Her robe translucent like briny waves

An ancient pagoda zooming to a giant moon

She will never come back

To an earth that’s unjust, unequal, unfree;  

She will never look back

At those who have sought to capture her

Her eternal dance

Gagaku

11 (S)

We hello each other,

a morning ritual.

He walks into the dew, 

whistling with the ancestors.

Mapholoba, a shepherd breathing poverty.

This dark mist, common as whites walking their dogs.

Seeing them pee with glee.

Peace.

His dogged legs a plea.

Ulaka lwabaphansi.

12 (Y)

Four an unlucky number,

sounding the same

as the word for “death,”

the 442 has two fours

and a two,

any even number unlucky,

divisible,

inevitable separation coming,

and Go For Broke they did,

from desert Camps,

to win what they never had,

the right to be American,

not an enemy.

13 (S)

Casting a warm eye on this land

my line to kiss her forehead

give her gladness sandwiches

water my mother’s spinach

add black pepper to the seasons

good taste into the bowl

a poetry pot firing the broil

simmering hope

the slow dawn of a brighter day.

14 (Y)

Taking a lazy walk next to this river

the gulls kiss the tips of the water

children laugh in floppy hats

I remember my father’s beatings

my mother’s Edamame

cooked in Salt, served with cold beer

a poetry pot firing the broil

simmering hope

the slow dawn of a brighter day.

15 (S)

Stratus clouds in the skies

Wishing blue skies smiled

Chuckled like Louis Armstrong

The air was friendly

Night undaunting

Unbanning lazy solitude strolls

Poets oets perching in trees

Chickening every silly sunset

Dazzled by darkness

Her seductive light.

16 (Y)

Skyscraper windows

Unblinking light

Dot the aging skies of night

With stories each window tells

That age-old face of every city,

Tokyo, LA, Johannesburg,

Breathing suicidal loneliness

With violence smoothed only by time

His seductive weeps

Await that trickle of dawn  

17 (S)

after a long trip is a place

where one returns

changes into fresh clothes

puts the heavy load down

drinks cold water

eats porridge and amasi

while the dog licks wounds back to health

where suicidal fantasies die

hopelessly lacking any poetic imagination.

18 (Y)

sighs of exhaustion breathe through

the night, screams of wind choked silent,

kissing pleats on rain-filled waters,

river to river, sea to sea, blood to blood,

is it dawn somewhere else?

do the birds care enough to remember

the messages from that somewhere else?

19 (S)

He says hi

inkabi back from jail

straw grass world

exhaustion

brute storms

leopard lonesome

blood-heavy yoke

motherless calf

can’t be licked for first milk.

He’s a local

no hate blues.

Do I offer my hand

to the killer-ox

talk weather

disgust Bushiri?

20 (S)

Body seducing sleep

Swinging on her axis

Tell the night be tight.

Behind the sun sleep is light.

In dreams lovers kiss the ground in flight

Saliva no dread on Covid lane.

Children dance the morning dew into song.

Laughter.

Phezu komkhono!

Bujitsu

21(Y)

That needed daily fix of kimchee,

Granpa’s growling snores

Rattles shoji screens,

Like gently shaking maracas:  

Where miso soup cooking,

And cooking and cooking

Wafts through

The peppermint morning air.

22 (Y)

Memories repeat

Even in dementia eyes:

A ring that sparkles,

Gem of yellow,

Rainbow and diamond,    

Promising a love eternal,

Fool-proof, never betrayal,

Like the immeasurable,

Unfailing Worth

Of Truth and

Freedom.

23 (S)

In a deadly pandemic

blackened skies

hellish eyes

greed so pathetic

so trump-manic

muzzled jingle bells

Wakashio in Mauritius

shits oil

kills marine life

kills food

kills kanji

even after Fukushima

drills invade the Okavango

kill life

kill laughter

Pula.

24 (Y)

Death nudges closer

The pandemic world we share,

Skin cracked of disinfectant,

Sweat dripping on masks,

Prayer and hope,  

Remembering music:

Winston Monwabisi “Mankunku” Ngozi

25 (S)

Pain pierces the heart like an assassin’s knife.

See the restless sea.

Shingled memories, the coffee blues.

Rumours of Christmas in the warming moist air.

Humming with the moon, its tears.

Pleading for the lost lotus flower seeds.

Impepho.

26 (Y)

one pandemic year

blurs

into the next,

those who hate

must hate

blinded to truth and fact

but we recognize

more than ever

what is important,

and who

27 (S)

America, poop fools climb walls in tantrums.

Haters copiously eat garlic.

Whiteness is no guesswork.

Hard stools on TV.

For COVID-19 deaths to be sweet & swift.

Trumps.

In my hood, the owl headlines death.

A cry for a strong midrip.

Palms.

28 (S)

The stubborn heaviness in our shoulders.

The bloodshot eyes, now we know,

our lives are being irrevocably torn apart.

Those who are ill, dying and dead, are familiar names.

Family.

Friends.

Beloved ones.

Death is no longer a metaphor.

The nightmare. The nightmare.

The nightmare.

29 (S)

Since we are already here.

Poetry of faith at the full.

Kindly keep these sandwiches, too.

To be shared at the golden hour

That poets dream of,

Even as it madly thunders.

30 (Y)

Our poem will end

When we overcome;

We will celebrate

For once,

An end

As we always do

With beginnings

31 (Y)

Laugh, belittle, ridicule,

Call me naive

Over-blown

Narcissistic,

Easily duped,  

Those names,

Whatever is up

Entitled sleeves,

To silence stereotype enslave.

32 (S)

The dread of your dying wick.

A single lung blighting all joy.

Memories of your dead mother.

Your pus-filled body.

A cry for green stones of home. Hot springs.

Jail is sad.

Prisoners die at this cursed hour.

Now on my kneeling mat, milling the moon.

33 (S)

At the local dumpsite, I flinch

improvise a mind-soul spin.

Kids playing atop the site,

happy-hip outdoor crib with a view.

Good times rolling like Kamala Harris,

dogs fighting over smelly nappies.

Kids running away, stained condoms

popping up.

They are doing it.

34 (Y)

it used to be simple

getting on a plane

breathing without a mask

touching a doorknob

and not being afraid

it used to be simple

laughing on an elevator

just going out

hugging someone

you love

35 (S)

Ziyagiya ziqethuke.

Mqombothi plastic cups.

Lives dangling on the lion’s jaws.

Ease the storm beloved ancestors.

We miss the magic of hugging the clay pot.

The odd belch.

The tickling cold stir on lips.

The Khongisa spirit.

Songs against thunder and disease.

Rain.

(Section 35 was written by Sandile Ngidi on the day of the death of legendary South African vocalist, and his friend, Sibongile Khumalo, evoking the spirit of one her great songs, a prayer to the gods of Africa. Let us mourn in prayer this collective loss as we face a world torn by the pandemic.)

36 (Y)

Shivers of monster icebergs

Fevers of raging forest fires

Fuzzy spikes running amok

Vessels organs flesh and muscle

Dropping phlegm immunity bombs

More virus more virus more virus

Tentacles piercing nails red-blue

Hoping to wipe out Humanity

Weighing who gets to live

Which rich nations get vaccines first

37 (S)

The vaccine arrives in the rain,

I wave on TV,

frown lines of relief.

Puppy-happy, playing fetch

The bride is here, for

migrants too.

Waves crash onto shore,

a swash of stars

arresting the frozen hours.

Maize seedlings ready, hands to earth.

Fresh starts.

38 (Y)

Yurikamome float like lotus

Heaven on earth

This river of fruit and birth,

Tender Flowers,

A moment in this pandemic Hell

That enslaves, rapes, steals,

Infections of greed and envy

39 (S)

Humming leaves giving rhythm to the reticent day.

Fruits.

Mapholoba off to his cattle post.

Our morning ritual in flight.

Salutes to sunrise.

Laughter shared like bread.

A mbhubhudlo bond.

Songs.

The heaven of village handshakes.

Palm leaves.

40 (Y)

Hot pink buds are shaking dew,

Airplanes roar over clouds of spring  

And the weeping of sirens,

Piercing the city smog;

We wonder if it’s COVID-19

Or some other emergency;  

We pray for anshin anzen,

Safe and secure,

As elusive as those broken promises.   

41 (S)

Sibiya’s laughs are boiled maize kernels we throw in the air,

Right into our mouths.

Sweet rain drops.

In the wasp-killing sun, we breathe dreams into the soil,

Muting the weeping sirens.

The soil’s ulnar verse spreads and breaks like seawaves.

We are silk songs.

42 (Y)

We wake up today to the Earth shuddering,

Rumbling in fear of human evil,

Magnitude 7.3 almost midnight.  

We wake up today to water levels sinking

In reactors that sank 10 years ago

Meltdowns in Fukushima, 

Half-cracked containers spewing,

No one gets close without dying;     

Remembering human greed,

Evacuating in fear of radioactive imperfection.

43 (S)

You ntanga yethu, David Sibisi.

Walking talking with stoic grace.

Broomcorn strong.

Smile bristles giving the day her delayed radiance.

Some milk cows perished in the recent hellish rains.

But you braving the forest,

giving the village her health.

Brooms.            

44 (S)

It’s a year since that freezing wind struck,

left its bloodied knife on the floor.

The winding path of pain, indefinite tracks on a hill.

The dead can’t smell the flowers, and play with their dogs anymore.

Yet memory drapes each day with protean seeds.     

45 (Y)

Smell the soy sauce cooking

See the squints stab desert skies

Hear the heartbeat taiko vibration

Feel the texture of kimono silk

Taste the ocean sashimi brine

So Simple: Has it been a year?

We are alive we mourn filled with love

Can you remember how that love made you afraid?

46 (S)

Empty lands,

where brutal spiderworlds

silence women.

In the name of tradition,

the kikuyu loses her green heart.

Tribesmen betray justice.

Blowing their noses at a woman,

as she cries for justice.

When her speech is chilli hot,

her eyes a stubborn flame.

47 (Y)

Vagina warm and snug,

Dark and tight Slant Eyes,

Shot at a Massage Spa;

Skin as smooth as China Silk,

Straight Black Hair a Tightrope,

Shot at a Massage Spa;

Serve your addiction

But Not racially motivated,

Shot at a Massage Spa;

He just had a bad day,

The women are dead.

48 (S)

Sunny days are darkening at load-shedding speed.

Seasons of foul stench.

Skunks squealing with careless glee.

Children too happy to play outside.

Far from the smell of the political millipede.

To wink at the transient sunrise.

Holding on to its warm scarlet scarf.

49 (Y)

Oblivious to the pandemic,

Sakura buds fatten,

Burst in benevolent explosions,

Millions of screams

Crying out to Stop Hate, 

Pink pompoms spilling Pink Periods

On a timeless Manuscript

Of pavement and dirt.   

50 (S)

Bright skies and the sea full of grace, heroic balsamic kisses.

Hugh Masekela’s Homeric bloom.

Bliss.

It’s the season of the kindest sunlight.

Petunias strutting their lot in lilac, red –

And Hughey’s enduring love petals.

Hip grazing in the April grass.

“The canvas is big. Gets beautiful with every brush stroke. What matters to me is the possibility of the festival. We are still afloat.” _ SANDILE NGIDI


“I must answer to my brother poet’s challenge and spirit, our words weaving together as family, across oceans, skies and continents.” _ YURI KAGEYAMA

Haiku March 24, 2021 by Yuri Kageyama

Haiku March 24, 2021 by Yuri Kageyama

つえをつき

見上げる空に

初桜

Cane in his hand,

He looks up for a long time

First cherry blossoms

The world suddenly looks like a splendid and hopeful place when sakura starts to bloom, right about this time in Tokyo. It happens without fail every year. But it’s so dazzling it feels unexpected. This morning, an old man was gazing up at a tree, probably the first cherry blossom tree he saw on his walk. His eyes, behind the glasses, I knew had seen so much, and was seeing all of that, again, in the flowers.

3.11 ON OUR MINDS My AP Stories over the last decade

3.11 ON OUR MINDS I’m going to share, if I may, some of my stories I did for The Associated Press, covering the tsunami, earthquake and nuclear disasters that slammed Japan in 2011, and my followup stories over subsequent years. I am grateful to all the sources who spoke with AP, to The AP for this experience that has shaped me, and to journalism. Here goes:

My AP Exclusive Story May 27, 2011 on how the Fukushima tsunami plan was just a single page.

My AP Impact Story May 1, 2011 on the ties between the Japanese nuclear industry and its regulators.

My AP Exclusive Story Dec. 7, 2012 on how Japanese scientists took utility money.

My AP Story May 23, 2013 on this: “Keeping the meltdown-stricken Fukushima nuclear plant in northeastern Japan in stable condition requires a cast of thousands. Increasingly the plant’s operator is struggling to find enough workers, a trend that many expect to worsen and hamper progress in the decades-long effort to safely decommission it.”

My AP Story July 10, 2014 on how stigmatized nuclear workers are quitting.

My AP Story March 10, 2010 on soy sauce’s miracle “comeback.” “RIKUZENTAKATA, Japan (AP) _ When the tsunami warning sounded, workers at the two-centuries-old soy sauce maker in northeastern Japan ran up a nearby hill to a shrine for safety, and watched in disbelief as towering waters swallowed their factory.”

My AP Stories in 2020

I do stories and sometimes photos and video for The Associated Press, the world’s biggest and most trusted news organization. The link to all my stories in 2019 and 2018, and I’m starting anew here with all my AP Stories in 2020, the Year of the Mouse:

My AP Story Dec. 11, 2020 about Dentsu and the corporate sponsors behind the Tokyo Olympics.

My AP Story Nov. 16, 2020 about Walmart selling majority of its stake in Seiyu, retaining 15%.

My AP Story Nov. 16, 2020 on Japan’s pandemic-hit economy returning to growth.

My AP Story Nov. 13, 2020, a co-byline, on the growing skepticism about going ahead with the Tokyo Olympics. My AP Photo below:

My AP Story Nov. 13, 2020 on Nissan’s damages case against an absent Ghosn starting in Japan.

My AP Story Nov. 9, 2020 on actors playing the young and old Hokusai in the closing film of the Tokyo International Film Festival.

My AP Story Oct. 28, 2020 on my interview with Masaharu Take, the director of “Underdog,” the Tokyo film festival’s opening film.

My AP Story Oct. 23, 2020 about a Japanese youngster’s online message counseling.

My AP Story Oct. 14, 2020 on Japanese director known for single shots releasing Zoom film.

My AP Story Oct. 9, 2020 on judo in Japan getting scrutiny over abuse and violence.

My AP Story Oct. 23, 2020 on Japan, Britain signing a post-Brexit free trade deal.

My AP Story Sept. 25, 2020 about a civil lawsuit demanding damages from a Roman Catholic priest, bishop and the diocese in northeastern Japan.

My AP Story Oct. 19, 2020, about Japan’s trade data.

My AP Story Oct. 10, 2020 about a storm swerving to the south of Japan.

My AP Story Sept. 24, 2020 on the tiny Rubik’s Cube going on sale in Japan.

My AP Story Sept. 14, 2020 on Naomi Osaka, who just won the U.S. Open, and her Japanese corporate sponsors.

MY COVERAGE OF THE TRIAL OF GREG KELLY AND NISSAN:

My AP Story Nov. 11, 2020 on the defense starting to cross-examine the key prosecution witness.

My AP Story Sept. 29, 2020 about a Nissan employee testifying against Greg Kelly.

My AP Story Sept. 15, 2020 on the trial of Greg Kelly and Nissan opening in Tokyo.

My AP Story Sept. 6, 2020 on Nissan former executive Greg Kelly’s trial.

My AP Story Sept. 13, 2020 that’s a Q&A on the upcoming trial.

My AP Story Nov. 12, 2020, on Nissan reporting losses amid pandemic and the Carlos Ghosn scandal.

My AP Story Aug. 20, 2020 on reports about Carlos Ghosn’s undeclared personal income.

My AP Story July 30, 2020 about Greg Kelly’s trial set to start without Carlos Ghosn.

My AP Story Sept. 4, 2020 on Nissan’s new production technology to make
carbon fiber reinforced plastic, or CFRP, components, faster and better.

My AP Story Aug. 31, 2020, an obit on Osamu Masuko who used to head Mitsubishi Motors Corp.

My AP Story Aug. 28, 2020 on Japan’s “flying car” taking off with a person on board.

My “One Good Thing” AP Story Aug. 20, 2020 on how a museum portrays the pandemic through everyday things.

My AP Story Aug. 10, 2020 on Japan legacy of forced labor.

AP Photo by Eugene Hoshiko

My storytelling out of Tokyo is a part of this global AP Story July 14, 2020 on how small businesses are struggling to survive amid the pandemic.

My AP Story Sept. 17, 2020 on Netflix trying to grow in Japan.

My AP Story Sept. 8, 2020 on Japan’s economy shrinking in the April-June quarter even worse than initially estimated.

My AP Story Sept. 5, 2020 on Typhoon Haishen approaching.

My AP Story Sept. 2, 2020 that updates on the typhoon story.

My AP Story Sept. 1, 2020 on Typhoon Maysak bringing rain and wind to southern Japan.

My AP Story Aug. 17, 2020 on Japan’s economy shrinking at a record rate, slammed by the pandemic.

My AP Story Aug. 19, 2020 on Japan’s exports plunging amid crush from pandemic.

My AP Story Aug 19, 2020 on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe saying he just went for a checkup.

My AP Story Aug. 17, 2020 about Japan’s prime minister visiting a hospital, setting off speculation about his health.

My AP Story Aug. 4, 2020 on Sony’s profits up as people staying home play video games.

My AP Story Aug. 6, 2020 on Toyota’s profit plunging as pandemic halves sales.

My AP Story Aug. 5, 2020 on Honda reporting loss as virus hits sales.

AP Photo by Koji Sasahara

My AP Story July 15, 2020, on Nissan showing its first all-new major model, an electric crossover, since getting embroiled in the Carlos Ghosn scandal.

My “One Good Thing” series AP Story June 22, 2020 on how high school baseball players will be getting Koshien Stadium dirt in a memento from the professional Hanshin Tigers.

My AP Story June 14, 2020 on the Black Lives Matter march in Tokyo.

The Japan bit for this AP Story Aug. 1, 2020 is by yours truly.

The Japan bit for this AP Story July 31, 2020 is by yours truly.

I’m a contributor to this July 31, 2020 AP Story on the Tokyo Olympics by my colleague.

My AP Story July 1, 2020 on a Bank of Japan survey showing companies’ sentiments at lowest in more than a decade.

I contribute the Japan material for this AP Story July 28, 2020 on “whitening creams” around the world.

My AP Story July 28, 2020 on Nissan expecting second straight year of red ink amid outbreak fallout.

My AP Story July 27, 2020 on Mitsubishi Motors racking up losses on the pandemic pain.

My AP Story June 29, 2020 on Nissan executives facing angry shareholders after fiscal losses and the Carlos Ghosn scandal.

My AP Story July 29, 2020 on the commander of the U.S. Forces in Japan affirms U.S. support for Japan on China dispute.

My AP Story June 25, 2020 on SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son leaving the board of Alibaba.

My AP Story June 19, 2020 on the economy reopening cautiously, balancing health risks.

My AP Story July 3, 2020 on Japan formally filing the extradition request with the U.S. on two Americans arrested in Massachusetts and accused in his escape.

My AP Story June 11, 2020 as the saga of Carlos Ghosn returns as Japan seeks the extradition of two Americans, recently arrested in the U.S., and wanted in Japan on suspicion of having helped a criminal escape, meaning that extraordinary flight of Ghosn to Lebanon hiding in a box.

My AP Story June 12, 2020 on the high court upholding a lower court conviction on data manipulation for Mark Karpeles, who headed a Tokyo bitcoin exchange that collapsed.

My AP Story May 28, 2020 on how Nissan is closing auto plants, in Spain and in Indonesia, as it sinks into losses for the first time in 11 years.

My AP Story April 26, 2020 on how Japan is low-tech and challenged

My AP Story May 23, 2020 on the virus outbreak today.

My AP Story May 22, 2020 on the Bank of Japan helping provide lending to small and medium-size businesses amid pandemic hardships.

My AP Story April 11, 2020, an obit on Nobuhiko Obayashi, who devoted his works to depicting war’s horrors and singing the eternal power of movies.

My AP Story Jan. 23, 2020 with AP Photos by my colleague Jae C. Hong on the homeless of Tokyo and how they fear removal as the Olympics approach.

My AP Story May 6, 2020 on a 16-year-old who cared enough to come up with a free iPhone app to help people record their whereabouts to track possible virus infection.

My AP Story June 18, 2020 on money-losing Mitsubishi says executives will take pay cuts.

My AP Story May 18, 2020 on Japan sinking into a recession amid the pandemic.

My AP Story May 21, 2020 on how exports are plunging for recession-hit Japan in their worst fall in a decade.

My AP Story May 7, 2020 on how Nintendo profits rose as people stay home and play video games amid the pandemic.

My AP Story April 10, 2020 on Toyota Chief Executive Akio Toyoda promising the Japanese auto industry will save jobs.

My AP Story April 2, 2020 on the workers at the Fukushima nuclear plant.

My AP Story April 3, 2020 on how the Athletes Village for the Tokyo Olympics could house virus patients.

My AP Story April 3, 2020 with My AP Photos on a paternity harassment case in Japan.

My AP Story April 2, 2020 on SoftBank ending its tender offer on WeWork.

My AP Story April 20, 2020 on Japan’s exports in March diving over the pandemic.

My AP Story March 8, 2020 of our daily virus story roundup, focusing on Italy’s quarantine of its northern areas.

My AP Sports Story March 2, 2020 on how the Japanese professional baseball season is in doubt.

My AP Story March 4, 2020 on a minister commenting about the Tokyo Olympics perhaps being postponed until later in the year.

My AP Story Feb. 15, 2020 with yet another photo by Jae C. Hong on how the U.S. Embassy says Americans aboard the quarantined ship will be flown home.

My AP Story Feb. 17, 2020 on 99 new cases confirmed on the Diamond Princess.

My AP Story Feb. 21, 2020 on how the virus outbreak may slash $29 billion from airlines’ revenue.

I’m a Contributor to this AP Story Feb. 17, 2020 on Americans getting flown out, off the cruise ship Diamond Princess.

My AP Story Feb. 17, 2020 on the Japanese economy sinking amid virus fears.

I’m a Contributor to this AP Story Feb. 16, 2020 on the ongoing virus outbreak and reactions from the world, including Japan.

My AP Story Feb. 12, 2020 on how Guinness certifies a Japanese as the oldest man.

And My followup Story Feb. 25, 2020 that he died.

My co-byline AP Story Jan. 29, 2020, on how the new virus poses a threat to a fragile world economy.

I am a contributor to this AP Story Feb. 7, 2020, about how the flow of Chinese tourists has declined after the virus outbreak.

Mario like Mickey? My AP Story Jan. 31, 2020, on how Nintendo is banking on profits from characters.

My AP Story Jan. 30, 2020, on how Toyota’s global vehicle sales for last year trails Volkswagen’s.

My AP Story Feb. 25, 2020 on Japan ordering 20 more Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

My AP Story Jan. 27, 2020 on how Bryant’s death is drawing tributes from Asia.

THE YEAR STARTS OFF WITH MY COVERAGE OF CARLOS GHOSN

My AP Story Jan. 9, 2020 about how Ghosn as fugitive is bringing global attention to Japanese justice.

My AP Story Jan. 30, 2020 on how Japan is seeking the arrest of Ghosn and three Americans who allegedly helped his escape.

My AP Story Jan 4, 2020 on how Ghosn’s lawyer is as outraged by Japan’s legal system as by the escape.

My AP Story Feb. 13, 2020 on Nissan sinking into losses as vehicle sales plummet.

My AP Story Feb. 18, 2020 on Nissan’s shareholders’ meeting where some began shouting angrily about crashing stock prices, zero dividends and quarterly losses after the Ghosn scandal.

My AP Story Feb. 12, 2020 on Nissan suing Ghosn seeking damages.

My AP Story Jan. 12, 2020 how the lawyer tallied the questioning of his client without a lawyer present, found it averaged seven hours a day.

My AP Story Jan. 3, 2020 on what’s known and not known about Ghosn’s case after his escape.

My AP Story Jan. 7, 2020 on arrest warrant for Nissan ex-chair’s wife Carole and Nissan saying Ghosn is still responsible for “serious misconduct.

My AP Story Feb. 28, 2020 on Japan sending justice official to Lebanon.

My AP Story Jan. 5, 2020 on Japan saying Ghosn’s escape was inexcusable, and it has ordered an investigation

My AP Story Jan. 10, 2010 on Ghosn’s lawyer slamming Japanese justice minister’s gaffe about suspects having to “prove” innocence.

My AP Story Jan. 16, 2020 on Hironaka and his team quitting from Ghosn’s defense.

My AP Story Jan. 17, 2020 on Ghosn’s lawyers refuting Nissan’s take on what happened.

My AP Story Jan. 6, 2020 on Justice Minister Masako Mori telling reporters Japan will improve border checks, bail after Ghosn flight.

My AP Story Jan. 3, 2020 on how Ghosn made his escape on a chartered plane, a co-byline with my colleague in Turkey.

My AP Story Jan. 1, 2020 on how by jumping bail, fugitive Carlos Ghosn is burning bridges to Japan.

My AP Story Jan. 2, 2020 on how prosecutors are raiding Ghosn’s Tokyo home.

Life suddenly _ a poem by Yuri Kageyama May 9, 2020

Music by Lorian Belanger inspired May 15, 2020 by “Life Suddenly,” a poem by Yuri Kageyama written May 9, 2020.

life suddenly seems so bare,

absent of distractions and noise,

honed down to essentials:

food, water,

the daily dosage of exercise,

sleep, working from home,

buying online,

safety from disease.

you realize life

is still,

alone,

full of meaning that is

so fragile

and easily lost.

My VIRUS DIARY published in KONCH

A journal of my poetry, music and other thoughts that I kept from April through May 2020 about living in a post-pandemic world has now been published in the special issue of Ishmael Reed’s KONCH online literary magazine. And what great company I am in.

My recent stories for The Associated Press

MY RECENT STORIES FOR THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, WHERE I WORK AS A REPORTER AND SOMETIMES ALSO DO PHOTOS AND VIDEO

Below are my AP stories for 2019 and 2018.

Please go to this site for my AP stories for 2020.

Please CLICK on the headlines below to jump to the full stories:

My AP Story Dec. 14, 2019 with My AP Photos about how cries of abuse in the Catholic Church are starting to be heard in Japan.

My AP Story Dec. 19, 2019 on Toyota’s upgraded humanoid robot.

My AP Story Dec. 8, 2019 on historical documents showing Japan’s role in WWII sex slaves.

My AP Story Nov. 25, 2019 on Iwao Hakamada, a former boxer who spent 48 years in prison for murders he says he didn’t commit, taking part in Pope Francis’ Mass at the Tokyo Dome. 

In this photo provided by Mario Marazziti, Iwao Hakamada sits in his seat at Tokyo Dome in Tokyo as he waits for Pope Frances’ Holy Mass on Monday, Nov. 25, 2019. Hakamada, a former Japanese professional boxer who spent 48 years in prison for murders he says he did not commit was among some 50,000 people greeting Pope Francis as he entered Tokyo Dome stadium to celebrate Mass on Monday. (Mario Marazziti/Giovanna Ayako via AP)

My AP Story Oct. 28, 2019 on Japanese film director Nobuhiko Obayashi, I also did AP Photos.

My AP Story Nov. 19, 2019 on Toyota worker’s suicide ruled work-related after harassment.

 

My AP Story Oct. 9, 2019 on a Court hearing a case on paternity leave at a Japanese brokerage.

 

My AP Story Sept. 9, 2019 with My AP Photo on paternity harassment lawsuits in Japan highlighting plight of dads.

My AP Story Sept. 12, 2019 on the Asics case opening.

My AP Story Oct. 12, 2019 on the typhoon that hit Tokyo and surrounding areas.

 

My AP Story Oct. 15, 2019 on how Japan had not been prepared for the typhoon in a new era of climate change.

 

My AP Story Oct. 13, 2019 the day after the typhoon on the flooding and rescue efforts.

 

My AP Story Oct. 14, 2019, on the continued search for missing people. 

I’m a Contributor to this AP Story Dec. 5, 2019, about a Japanese doctor killed in a shooting in Afghanistan. 

My Story Dec. 8, 2019, on his body coming home.

My AP Story Sept. 12, 2019 about Yahoo Japan making a tender offer for retailer Zozo at $3.7 billion.

My AP Story Aug. 5, 2019 on Japan’s NEC showing its “flying car.”

 It flew substantially longer than another flying car from Japan demonstrated in 2017: 

 

 

My AP Story Sept. 13, 2019 on Pope Francis’ visit to Japan and Thailand set for November.

 

My AP Story Aug. 19, 2019 on the history behind the worsening ties between South Korea and Japan, a collaboration with my Seoul colleague Kim Tong Hyung.

My AP Story Aug. 21, 2019 on the US Marines chief being worried about deteriorating Japan-Korea ties with My AP Photos.

 

My AP Story June 5, 2019 on how in #MeToo era a Japanese woman slams #KuToo heels dress code.  

My AP Story Aug. 20, 2019, on documents showing Japan’s wartime emperor had deep regrets.

My AP Story July 22, 2019 on Olympic robots.

 

My AP Story May 25, 2019 on how trade is a big issue during President Donald Trump’s state visit, but the deficit problem is worse with neighboring China. 

My AP Story July 1, 2019, co-bylined with my colleague in Seoul Hyung-jin Kim, on Japan’s restrictions on exports to South Korea. 

My AP Story May 21, 2019 on how Trump’s checking out sumo during his state visit is proving a head-ache. 

 

 

My AP Story April 1, 2019 on Toyota’s robot that can’t slam dunk but shoots  mean 3-pointer.  

 

 

My AP Story and My AP Photos May 13, 2019 on the U.S. Agriculture Secretary’s barbecue to sell Japan on buying American beef. 

 

My AP Story May 17, 2019 on a court case looking at the legality of Taiji dolphin killing, made famous in the Oscar-winning film “The Cove.” 

My AP Story May 29, 2019 about Japan’s aid to Bangladesh during leader’s visit.  

My coverage of Carlos Ghosn

My AP Story Dec. 31, 2019 on how Ghosn says he is in Lebanon and left Japan because of “injustice.”

My AP Story Nov. 22, 2019 on a court allowing Carlos Ghosn to talk with his wife Carole, whom he has not been able to talk or meet with for eight months.

My AP Story Oct. 24, 2019 on how Carlos Ghosn’s defense team is asking charges be dismissed, alleging widespread prosecutorial misconduct will endanger his getting a fair trial.

My AP Story Aug. 6, 2019 on how Mrs. Carole Ghosn is protesting the restrictions on communicating with her husband.

My AP Story April 17, 2019, in which I interview Mrs. Carole Ghosn. She says her husband is ready for a fight but she fears he may not get a fair trial.

My AP Story June 1, 2019, in which I interview Takashi Takano, a lawyer for Carlos Ghosn who criticized the bail conditions that prevent his client from seeing his wife as violating human rights.    

My AP Story Dec. 10, 2019, on Japanese regulators recommending a $22 million fine on Nissan.

My AP Story Dec. 2, 2019, on the new CEO Makoto Uchida stressing the importance of the Renault alliance.  

My AP Story Sept. 9, 2019 on Nissan’s Saikawa tendering his resignation after receiving dubious payments.  

My AP Story Oct. 8, 2019 on Nissan picking head of the China business as Saikawa’s replacement. 

 

My AP Story Sept. 5, 2019 about Nissan’s chief saying he got dubious payments but didn’t know.

My AP Story Oct. 23, 2019 on the Tokyo Motor Show, which had futuristic technology galore but Ghosn was gone.

My AP Story Sept. 3, 2019 on the new Tokyo chief prosecutor defending his office’s handling of Ghosn’s case.  

My AP Story July 25, 2019 on Nissan slashing 12,500 jobs as it reports dismal earnings. 

My AP Story July 24 2019 on Nissan directors on governance promising reforms but say job cuts are also coming. 

 

My AP Story June 7, 2019, about how Nissan had no say but had the technology that drove the merger talks between Renault and Fiat Chrysler. 

My AP Story June 5, 2019, about how the merger talks had left Nissan out in the cold. 

My AP Story Oct. 24, 2019 about Nissan, eager to put Ghosn scandal behind it, shows technology.

My AP Story June 10, 2019 about my visit to the Tokyo Detention House, where Ghosn was held for 130 days.

 

My AP Story June 25, 2019 on Nissan’s shareholders meeting where they approve governance steps and keep Saikawa on its board. 

My AP Story June 12, 2019 on how proxy companies are advising Nissan shareholders against approving the reappointment of Hiroto Saikawa as a board director.

My AP Story May 29, 2019 on Renault talking with Nissan about the Fiat Chrysler merger proposal.  

 

My AP Story June 20, 2019 about Mitsubishi Motors shareholders approving the ouster of Ghosn.

 

 

My AP Story May 13, 2019 A takeout on Nissan without Ghosn.

 

My AP Story May 14, 2019 on Nissan’s earnings results, slammed by Ghosn’s arrest. 

My AP Story April 25, 2019, in which a court approves Ghosn’s release on bail for his rearrest, and Ghosn walks out of detention.

 

My AP Story April 9, 2019 on Carlos Ghosn’s video statement in which he says a “conspiracy” at Nissan led to his arrest.

 

 

My AP Story May 17, 2019 about Nissan proposing new board members including Renault’s Bollore.

My AP Story May 9, 2019 on court denying appeal on restrictions about Ghosn’s contact with his wife. 

 

 

My AP Story April 4, 2019 about the rearrest of Carlos Ghosn on fresh allegations despite his release on bail.

 

 

My AP Story April 24, 2019 on Nissan slashing profit forecast on Ghosn fallout. 

My AP Story April 8, 2019 on Nissan shareholders approving Ghosn’s outster from the company board.

My AP Story April 10, 2019 on Ghosn’s lawyers appealing to the Supreme Court over the latest detention.

 

My AP Story April 11, 2019 about his wife getting questioned in a Tokyo court.

My AP Story April 7, 2019 on his lawyer clarifying the conditions for his initial release on bail.

My AP Story April 12, 2019 about his detention being approved through April 22.

My AP Story April 5, 2019 about his detention being approved through April 14.

My AP Story April 3, 2019 about Carlos Ghosn saying he will hold a news conference April 11,  noting he is ready to tell the truth about what’s happening.

My AP Story March 27, 2019, on Nissan’s governance committee that says Ghosn had too much power.

My AP Story March 12, 2019 on how Renault, Nissan, Mitsubishi, with Ghosn gone, is forming a new alliance board.

My AP Story March 11, 2019 on a Tokyo court rejecting Ghosn’s request to go to a Nissan board meeting.

My AP Story March 8, 2019 on lawyer apologizing for Ghosn’s ‘disguise’ during his release.

My AP Story March 7, 2019 on the Japan reaction to Ghosn’s release.

My AP Story March 6, 2019 on Ghosn released from detention after more than 100 days.

My AP Story March 5, 2019 on the back and forth on the bail release.

My AP Story March 4, 2019 on Ghosn’s new lawyer Junichiro Hironaka hoping to gain release on bail.

My AP Story Feb. 13, 2019 on Carlos Ghosn tapping a lawyer famous for acquittals for his defense, replacing his previous attorney, a former prosecutor . 

My AP Story Feb. 15, 2019 on Ghosn’s new power defense: The high-profile cases by Junichiro Hironaka. Yoichi Kitamura, the attorney for Greg Kelly, who was arrested with Ghosn, was also on the defense team of Ichiro Ozawa, one of Hironaka’s acquittal wins.

My AP Story Feb. 28, 2019 on Ghosn’s new lawyers requesting release on bail. 

 

My reporting on Mr. Hironaka’s news conference April 2, 2019 is the bottom part of this AP Story out of Paris.

 

My AP Story Jan. 21, 2019 on Carlos Ghosn requesting bail and promising to live in Japan, wear an ankle tether and hire security, while asserting his innocence.

My AP Story Jan. 22, 2019 on bail being denied.

My AP Story Nov. 19, 2018 on the arrest of Carlos Ghosn, who led Nissan for nearly two decades. The arrest was on allegations he falsified his income reporting.

My AP Story Jan. 8, 2019, on Carlos Ghosn appearing in court to assert his innocence and question his detention nearly two months after his arrest.

Habeas corpus? In Japan, “hostage justice” My AP Story Dec. 23, 2018.

I am a contributor to this AP Story Feb. 8, 2019, with comments from Ghosn’s lawyer and spokeswoman about his Versailles wedding: Ghosn paid for all expenses, didn’t know the rental would be charged to Renault and offers to reimburse Renault.

Nissan CEO at the news conference in Yokohama headquarters. Photo by Shuji Kajiyama.

A COUP OR NOT A COUP? THAT IS THE QUESTION: My AP Story Dec. 13, 2018 on how the arrest of Nissan star Ghosn is raising such speculation

My AP Story Jan. 11, 2019 on Carlos Ghosn being charged with breach of trust, making his release unlikely for months to come.

My AP Story Jan. 18, 2019, on Mitsubishi Motors board considering new allegations against Ghosn.

My feet visible in the media huddle.

My AP Story Jan. 15, 2019, on Carlos Ghosn’s request for release on bail denied.

My AP Story Jan. 14, 2019 on how Carlos Ghosn’s wife slams detention as “draconian” in a letter.

My AP Story Jan. 11, 2019 on Carlos Ghosn coming down a fever and his wife issuing a statement.

My AP Story Dec. 5, 2018. I interview the Brazilian consul general in Tokyo, who says Carlos Ghosn is holding up, not worried about his plight and just asked he bring him thrillers next time, not the philosophy and history books he’d brought.

My AP Story Nov. 30, 2018 on the lawyer for the executive arrested with Ghosn, Greg Kelly, who says his client is innocent and abided by law and company policy.

My AP Story Dec. 31, 2018 about the court extending Ghosn’s detention by 10 days through Jan. 11.

The Tokyo Detention Center

My AP Story Dec. 3, 2018 on how Ghosn’s case highlights corporate governance failings in Japan

My AP Story Nov. 22, 2018 on Nissan’s board meeting voting unanimously to dismiss Ghosn as chairman.

My AP Story Nov. 27, 2018 on East-West auto alliances.

My AP Story Feb. 5, 2019 on Nissan board tapping Renault’s Senard and setting extraordinary shareholder’s meeting. 

My AP Story Jan. 30, 2019 on Nikkei’s interview with Ghosn in detention, quoting him as saying a “plot and treason” led to his arrest.

My AP Story Dec. 17, 2018 on how Nissan decides not to name a new chairman as a replacement for the ousted Ghosn.

My AP Story Nov. 26, 2018 on Mitsubishi Motors firing Ghosn as chairman.

My AP Story Dec. 10, 2018, on Ghosn getting charged by Tokyo prosecutors.

My AP Story Dec. 12, 2018 about Greg Kelly’s lawyers protesting prolonged detention

My AP Story Dec. 11, 2018 about Ghosn’s detention being extended through Dec. 20

My AP Story Jan. 9, 2019 on Nissan’s unveiling the new Leaf electric car after Ghosn’s arrest delayed it.

My AP Story Jan. 9, 2019 on Tokyo court turning down Ghosn’s appeal of long detention.

My AP Story Dec. 7, 2018, on Nissan disclosing more dubious inspections.

My AP Story Jan. 12, 2019, on Jose Munoz resigning from Nissan, the first high-profile departure publicly acknowledged as related to Ghosn’s arrest.

My AP Story Jan. 5, 2019 on a Nissan executive going on leave for tasks related to Ghosn’s arrest.

My AP Story Jan. 30, 2019 about global auto sales for Toyota, Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi versus Volkswagen.

More recent stories:

 

My AP Story June 5, 2019, about Mark Karpeles starting a blockchain business while fighting for exoneration.  

 

My AP Story March 29, 2019 about Mark Karpeles, former head of bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, appealing the ruling.

My AP Story March 15, 2019 about Karpeles’ getting a suspended sentence, avoiding jail time, on data manipulation but cleared of other charges.

 

 

My AP Story May 9, 2019 about Toyota and Panasonic combining their housing businesses in Japan.

My AP Story March 9, 2019 about Guinness naming Japanese woman as oldest person at 116.

My story about architect Arata Isozaki awarded the Pritzker

 

My AP Story March 6, 2019 on Isozaki being honored with architecture’s highest award.

My coverage of Shinya Tsukamoto, a legendary filmmaker

My AP Story on Shinya Tsukamoto’s new film “Killing,” inspired by the masters, horror of violence

And My AP Interview with the director Shinya Tsukamoto from last year.

My coverage of Okinawa and Gov. Denny Tamaki

My AP Story March 1, 2019 when Okinawa Gov. Denny Tamaki talks about his meeting with the prime minister on the referendum that rejected the Henoko relocation plan.

Denny Tamaki

My AP Interview with Okinawa Gov. Denny Tamaki Oct. 31, 2018.

My AP Story Feb. 25, 2019 on the referendum on the U.S. base plan.

My AP Story Feb. 24, 2019 on the referendum on the U.S. base plan. 

Denny Tamaki

My AP Story Oct. 1, 2018 when Denny Tamaki, critic of U.S. bases on Okinawa, won the election

My AP Story Oct. 2, 2018 on how the new Okinawa chief embodies the complexity of Japan’s U.S. bases

My reporting on the Mayweather exhibition fight in Japan

My AP Story Dec. 31, 2018, on how Mayweather stopped Nasukawa in the first round, flooring him three times.

My AP Story Dec. 29, 2018 when Mayweather arrives at last for the fight.

My AP Story Dec. 18, 2018 on how opponent Tenshin Nasukawa is looking for a real fight.

My AP Story on how the fight is on again Nov. 18, 2018.

My AP Stories on Naomi Osaka

My AP Story Jan. 24, 2019 on how Nissin drops Osaka ad after complaints but star remains focused on the game.

Naomi Osaka and Citizen

Naomi Osaka headed for big money with Japan, global appeal

Naomi Osaka and Nissan

The latest in my Godzilla coverage

godzilla

My AP Story and My AP Photo on Godzilla Oct. 31, 2018.

More recent stories:

Japan’s minister of cybersecurity has never used computer. My AP Story Nov. 15, 2018.

My AP Story July 26, 2019 on SoftBank announcing $108 billion Vision Fund 2.

Japan’s SoftBank invests in US office space-sharing WeWork. My AP Story Nov. 15, 2018.

SoftBank mobile unit to go for IPO raising some $20 billion, My AP Story Nov. 12, 2018.

Japanese Actor Koji Yakusho says his is a solitary craft in My AP Story Sept. 29, 2018.

softbank

SoftBank decries journalist’s death, defends Saudi fund

princess wedding

My AP Story Oct. 29, 2018 about a princess marrying a “salaryman”

india

My AP Story Oct. 28, 2018 about India’s prime minister visiting Japan

philip morris 2

philip morris

My AP Story Oct. 23, 2018 about Philip Morris in Japan

My coverage of the move from Tsukiji to Toyosu

AP Photo by Eugene Hoshiko

My AP Story Oct. 11, 2018

New fish market opens with tradition: the tuna auction

AP Photo by Eugene Hoshiko

Toyosu

A related AP story Oct. 5, 2018

Famed Tsukiji fish market uneasy over move to new site

AP Photo by Eugene Hoshiko

My AP Story and My AP Photo Oct. 16, 2018.

Official: Move of Japan fish market could have been better

My coverage of the Zozo CEO and his trip to the moon on Elon Musk’s rocket

zozo

My AP Story Oct. 9, 2018

Japanese tycoon going on SpaceX rocket says he trusts Elon Musk

And My AP Story with more background on MZ when he first announced the moon trip Sept. 19, 2018

SpaceX’s first traveler is moonstruck Japanese fashion tycoon

My visit to a nursery school that uses digital technology in their program

preschool

My Story Sept. 26, 2018

Japan preschool using tablets to prep tots for digital age

prschool 2

OTHER RECENT STORIES

My AP Story Feb. 1, 2019, on Nintendo seeking growth outside games.

My AP Story Jan. 22, 2019.

Toyota, Panasonic announce venture for green car batteries.

My AP Story March 28, 2019 on Honda and Hino joining the mobility service venture.

My AP Story Oct. 4, 2018

Toyota, SoftBank setting up mobility services joint venture

My AP Story Sept. 19, 2018

Will flying cars take off? Japan’s government hopes so

My AP Story Aug. 24, 2018

AP Interview: Japan official says Trump misunderstands trade

3D mapping

My AP Story June 14, 2018

Japan banks on 3D mapping deemed crucial for driverless cars

manufacturing

My AP Story June 8

manufacturing

As trade fears grow, US states reach out to companies

manufacturing

paternity

My AP Story June 7, 2018

Dad takes Japan Inc. to court alleging paternity harassment

My AP Story April 26, 2018

nintendo

Nintendo taps new president; profit improves on Switch sales

My AP Story April 20, 2018

nursing

Woman’s win of nursing home money a rarity in aging Japan

My AP Story April 12, 2018

Takata acquired by Key Safety Systems, president resigns

Isao Takahata

My AP Story April 6, 2018

Studio Ghibli co-founder, director Isao Takahata dies at 82

My AP Story March 28, 2018

Japan embracing cryptocurrencies despite big theft cases

My AP Story March 23, 2018

Nissan not changing autonomous drive tests over Uber crash

My AP Story March 3, 2018

Kobe Steel chief steps down over massive fake data scandal

esports

My AP Story Feb. 11, 2018

Esports officially arrives in Japan, home of game giants

My AP Story Feb. 2, 2018

Sony taps CFO as new president, replacing Hirai

A story shared from prison by Yuri Kageyama

I met the former inmate behind this story a few years ago, in 2016, when I was putting together my story “The Very Special Day” with artwork by Munenori Tamagawa. I was thinking of just stapling together printouts, but the visual artist had other ideas. He wanted a real book, and he said he knew someone who knew how to design books, a skill, as it turned out, he had learned in a Japanese prison. I didn’t ask questions. I just assumed he had committed a serious crime because of the long time he had been incarcerated, but felt he deserved to be treated no different from anyone else as he had served his time. I did not even know until he told me his story that he was asserting his innocence. This is his story:

He spent 15 years behind bars for a murder he confessed to, but he says he didn’t commit. His father hanged himself in shame. While in prison, he bit off a piece of his arm in a suicide attempt. Placed on half a dozen tranquilizer pills, he was an addict by the time he finally got out, four years ago.

Fengshui Iwazaki, who has changed his name to protect himself from the social backlash, is still trying to adjust to being back in the real world.  

“Fifteen years _ that’s a whole generation in a lifetime,” he says, his eyes clear, child-like, much younger than his 41 years. 

His story underlines the treatment convicts get in Japan, a society that’s so insular and crime-free most people don’t know much about what it’s like to live the life of a criminal. The arrest of Nissan’s former Chairman Carlos Ghosn, charged with financial misconduct, is helping bring international scrutiny to this legal system, which human rights groups have long criticized as harsh and unfair.

Iwazaki had never before spoken to me about his experiences, how two decades ago, he had made headlines as a murderer.   

“It was as though I was a monster,” Iwazaki recalled.          

^____<

Iwazaki and others who went through Japan’s criminal system say prosecutors and police come up with a story-line for a confession. While interrogated, Iwazaki was taken to the mountains where the body had been found and directed to point in the right spots, he said.

His girlfriend had been strangled to death, and he instantly emerged the prime suspect.

He resisted at first but signed the confession after three weeks of being interrogated daily without a lawyer present, standard practice in Japan.

He says he was bullied, his hair pulled, the table banged. After a while, it was easy to cave in.  

He believes the real murderer might be the man who had adopted his then-3-year-old daughter from a previous relationship. He had planned to live near her someday, not ever telling her he was the father, just to be close to her. She died in a car accident while he was serving time. 

Prosecutors say they are merely doing their jobs and didn’t create the system.

Defense lawyers say suspects sign false confessions and don’t realize it’s too late to assert innocence later in a trial.

That’s why it is called “hostage justice.”

Judges tend to believe the prosecutors’ story line: the conviction rate in Japan is higher than 99%.

Going against such a powerful trend takes tremendous courage. Unlike the U.S., prosecutors can appeal, meaning innocent verdicts can get overturned in a higher court.

^___<

The life of imprisonment Iwazaki describes is austere, isolated and regulated. Each prisoner gets a tiny cell with a toilet and bedding, unless the prison gets crowded and cells get shared, a condition that’s increasingly rare.

Communication among inmates is limited to the 30 minutes of outdoor exercise, or the evening hours, during which TV is allowed.

Whenever inmates are transported, they wait in enclosed booths lined next to each other so prisoners won’t mingle, called “bikkuri-bako,” or “jack-in-the-box.”   

Every morning, the convict changes into green prison garb and gets marched to a factory within the prison grounds.

Iwazaki did menial work like placing wooden chopsticks into paper wrapping and packing them in boxes. He also learned how to work the printing presses.

The toughest time was his three-year solitary confinement doled out as punishment for being a troublemaker, he said.

One time, out of frustration, he smashed a window with his bare hand, which added half a year to his sentence.

He was always curious about why others were locked up.

One inmate, he learned, had tried to steal money from an ATM to send his son to college. When a guard found him, he used a stun gun. The guard had a weak heart and died. And so the charge became murder while committing grand larceny, a serious offense.

“There are no really bad people in prison,” Iwazaki says with a conviction that is startling.  

^____<   

There is little in Japanese society that helps people adjust to life after incarceration.

When Iwazaki was released, he only had 1,000 yen ($9). He checked into a hospital, pleading insanity. He was running out of the pills prescribed at the prison.

He finally made it to Eizo Yamagiwa, a filmmaker who has devoted his life to supporting prisoners. Yamagiwa, who had visited Iwazaki in prison, gave him money, and Iwazaki finally made it home to his mom.

Yamagiwa says only the authorities’ side of the story gets relayed in Japan, influencing judges and juries so that trials tend to merely work as rubber-stamps for the prosecutors.

The prison system, he said, is so devastating most people come out sick and unable to continue with their lives.

He said Iwazaki was an exception in working hard to live a normal life.

^___<          

Iwazaki, who had originally planned to become a schoolteacher, has had his life forever changed.

Retrials to try to overturn guilty verdicts are rarely granted in Japan. Usually, totally new evidence such as a DNA test is needed.

Iwazaki is hesitant even to try. His case is tough because of the mounds of evidence submitted during his trial, including his confession. His mother has asked he doesn’t pursue a retrial; she doesn’t want to think about any of it ever again.

Iwazaki lives alone in a stark room with a tiny drab kitchen and a bathroom. A desk and two chairs are the only furniture.

On the walls are two drawings signed Masahiro, a man who died on death row. Done meticulously and entirely by pen and pencils, one depicts a bouquet of red roses, the other, Mary and baby Jesus. No one except for Iwazaki had claimed them.

Iwazaki also drew pictures while in prison: A big close-up of his open mouth filled with pills, a bird’s eye view of his cell, an inmate working so hard in the factory he is turning into a blur.

The drawings were part of a show of “art by outsiders” in April 2019, in Tokyo, a milestone for Iwazaki. While in prison, authorities had forbidden such exhibits.

Iwazaki is also in a training program to counsel addicts. He already works as a counselor, having studied various therapy methods, which he says helps calm him. Completing the training means better pay.   

He has also found a girlfriend, a carefree woman who works at a dot.com and is passionate about saving lions in Africa. They plan to get married and maybe have children.


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The Apology _ A poem by Yuri Kageyama

The Apology
_ A poem by Yuri Kageyama

My voice screaming banzai
Ten thousand years banzai
Dying in glee as the divine devil wind
For the crane god whose voice I heard too late

My hand piercing your baby
A glob of meat with my bayonet
Raping girls in the name of comfort
Burning a city like a Sherman deranged

My heart that worships history
To win status as an honorary white
Bleeding streaks from a fluttering red sun
Despising those of the same yellow skin

My voice
My hand
My heart

My voice will never speak that way again
My hand will never act that way again
My heart will never feel that way again
No apology is enough but I promise
And I apologize