In the press review of this Thursday, March 25, we will discuss: the Olympic torch which leaves Fukushima for a 121-day relay around Japan, the increase in reports of animal abuse, finally the representatives of the traditional inns in Oita who forms a pop group to promote their spa (Onsen).
Top start for the Olympic torch relay
The Olympic torch relay was finally launched after a closed ceremony in order to respect health rules. First, delivered by the comic duo Sandwichman of Sendai, Mikio Date and Takeshi Tomizawa, the flame then passed into the hands of Azusa Iwashimizu, star of women’s football from Iwate County. She started the relay with 15 other members of the women’s football team, the Nadeshiko Japan, in the J-Village, of the department of Fukushima. The latter had served as a base for relief operations after the nuclear disaster of March 11, 2011. The torch will travel for 121 days across Japan and should reach the Tokyo National Stadium for the opening ceremony of the Games on July 23, 2021.
Increase in reports of animal abuse
The National Police Agency (NPA) has announced that 102 cases of reporting or arrest for animal abuse were reported in 2020. 90% of animal victims are cats and dogs. But other animals like horses, rabbits, hedgehogs, hamsters, canaries and lizards are also victims of abuse. While that number is lower than in 2019, it is the second highest since 2010 when the NPA began keeping statistics. The Agency believes that greater awareness of animal protection has contributed to the increase in reports.
Eight “Okami” form a group of J-pop
Following the drop in the number of tourists to the spa region of Oita County in southwestern Japan, the owners of traditional Japanese inns (ryokan) have decided to react. These women (okami) aged 60 years on average, who manage the ryokan, have decided to form a music group the OKM8. The name is a pun to remember okami and a nod to the many groups of young idols present on the Archipelago such as AKB48. The OKM8s have therefore made themselves known thanks to their video where they dance and sing the virtues of their spa and which they published on the Youtube platform. The music video titled ” Oita no okami-tachi from idol unit wo kessei shita yo. Hiza, koshi no itami ni taerareru ka! “ (Litt. We formed the Oita okami idol group. Will we be able to overcome the pain in our knees and hips?) was shot and produced by fourth year students at the University of Ritsumeikan Asia-Pacific in Beppu.