A ban on restaurants from serving "rebasashi" (sliced raw beef liver served with spicy dipping sauce) goes into effect July 1.
The latest issue of the weekly Shukan Asahi magazine quoted a die-hard rebasashi lover as saying, "If I can have it again, I don't care if the consumption tax goes up to 20 percent."
Here are more remarks made during June, a month marked by political tugs of war over the integrated tax and social security reforms.
At a memorial service on June 23 to mark the 67th anniversary of the end of the Battle of Okinawa, Mina Kinjo, a third-year student at Shuri Senior High School, recited this poem she had written: "We are following the people who lived 67 years ago/ What we can do/ Is to never bring back that day again/ What we need/ Is to understand that day and keep talking about it."
Folded paper cranes made by Sadako Sasaki, a young Hiroshima hibakusha who died in 1955 at age the age of 12, are being donated to the USS Arizona Memorial Visitor Center in Honolulu. Her brother, Masahiro, 70, said, "Japan began the Pacific War by attacking Pearl Harbor, and the United States ended the war by dropping the Hiroshima and Nagasaki (atomic) bombs. I want both countries to overcome their mutual grudge and in their hearts put an end to that war."
A rebellion by a Democratic Party of Japan group led by former party chief Ichiro Ozawa has effectively split the party. DPJ Secretary-General Azuma Koshiishi is still trying to talk Ozawa out of leaving the party, but a source close to Koshiishi's noted, "It's too late to stop (the Ozawa group) from bolting. What's going on now is a carefully-orchestrated farewell ceremony." Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's leadership is surely being tested.
Two reactors are being restarted at the Oi nuclear power plant. Takeichi Saito, a 59-year Hokkaido resident and vocal opponent of nuclear power generation, said, "All that the prime minister had to do to prove his leadership was to decide to go without nuclear power this summer and see what will happen. But he blew his chance."
The quake and tsunami of last year drove many pupils of Watanoha Elementary School in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, from their hometown. Some have since returned, but the student body today is still less than 60 percent of what it was before the disaster. The school recently held a field day, which also served as a day of reunion for the children. Mika Kanno, a sixth-grader, remarked, "You can replace stuff, but you can't replace friends who are gone."
Ever since that disaster, I myself have learned to cherish anything that cannot be replaced.
--The Asahi Shimbun, June 30
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Vox Populi, Vox Dei is a popular daily column that takes up a wide range of topics, including culture, arts and social trends and developments. Written by veteran Asahi Shimbun writers, the column provides useful perspectives on and insights into contemporary Japan and its culture.
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