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Two years after celebrating the manga’s 20th anniversary, fans finally get their present In 1992, a 14-year-old Japanese girl set out to save our universe from total anhiliation. She became a hero for young women around the world, saving them from evil and from the macho male heroes that permeated the media at the time. Her name was Usagi Tsukino, but you may know her better as the one named Sailor Moon. 


 
 
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Japan has a Kawaii Ambassadur - a cute ambassador. Yep, that is a thing. At least in Jaoan. Kawaii ambassador and model Misako Aoki travels such countries as France, Italy, South Korea, Spain, Russia and Brazil under the auspices of the Foreign Ministry. Lolita fashions served as one of the program's major highlights. During the time of the Kawaii Ambassadors program, the Japanese media used to ask her all the time: "Why Lolita fashion?"


 
 
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Some 65% of global car purchases are decided by women, while in Japan Nissan is increasingly courting female consumers through new-look dealerships and staffing. In the Tokyo suburb of Fuchu, a pilot dealership managed by women underwent a design transformation this month to make the shopping experience more welcoming and easier. Called the “Ladies First” project, CEO Carlos Ghosn said the plan will broaden across Japan.


 
 
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Many fast food companies have alter-egos overseas. Japan is home to outposts of several U.S.-based fast food chains, including McDonald’s, Burger King, and Subway. From Spam breakfast sandwiches to an apple pie burger, some options are bizarre. Other menu items, like the pretzel mocha Frappuccino at Starbucks, would likely be popular in the U.S., too. Pictured right, for example, you see Burger King Japan's 'BK Ringo'. It is designed to taste like apple pie. It's topped with apple slices and a cinnamon mayo spread.


 
 
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Japanese company Brandear has come up with an innovative service that lets the broken-hearted erase all remnants of their failed relationships.  The ‘Heartbreak Box’ is a cardboard box that is specially designed for you to ship your former lover’s belongings in. It also helpfully contains a Heartbreak Guidebook, tissues and bubble wrap that will come in handy when sorting through your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend’s items. 


 
 
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It is the familiar background music of every Japanese shopping street: a cacophony of mechanical bleeps and rattles, disgorged along with a plume of cigarette smoke each time the doors of a pachinko parlor open to admit a new punter. Yet the archetypical salary man pastime is dying, in spite of its apparent ubiquity. Even as Japan looks ahead to its first western- style casinos, pachinko, the modified version of pinball played since the 1930s - itself a quasi-legal form of gambling - has been all but abandoned by younger Japanese.


 
 
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Even by the standards of pop stars, Hatsune Miku is eccentric and protean, her mystique elusive. Her eyes are too round and blue to be real. She can be buxom or boyish, and almost painfully sultry — all in a droid-ish, understated way. She dons a school uniform, with thigh-high power boots and a flared ultra-micro miniskirt. Her pig-tailed turquoise hair is so long that she risks tripping over it as she dances lithely in front of her adoring, sell-out crowds. 


 
 
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The Japan Tourism Agency has devised guidelines to improve signboards and make them easier to understand for foreign visitors. Tourism officials are trying to turn Japan into a more tourist-friendly country by enhancing explanations of facilities and places in foreign languages. The draft guidelines say names of facilities, such as parks and museums, will be translated. For example, "Hibiya Koen" will become "Hibiya Park."


 
 
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The number of people you’ll see in Japan wearing surgical masks is pretty surprising. Sure, Japan is a hard working society, and the spread of productivity-sapping sickness is always a concern at schools and workplaces, but that doesn’t seem like reason enough for the proliferation of facial coverings that sometimes has Tokyo offices looking more like an operating room.


 
 
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The rate of smartphone users among students owning mobile phones at elementary, junior high and high schools in Japan stood at 56.8 pct in late 2013, up 20.8 percentage points from a year earlier, a Cabinet Office survey showed Wednesday.  The rate stood at 82.8 pct for high school students, up 26.9 points, 47.4 pct for junior high students, up 22.1 pct, and 13.6 pct for elementary school children, up 6.0 points.