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The program delivers "today's" information of Japan, probing into timely themes from various perspective in quickest possible manner.


Saisons & épisodes Les résumés de tous les épisodes de Today's Close-Up

S255E00 Okinawa: Untold Suffering 17/06/2016 Last month, police arrested a civilian worker at a US base in Okinawa Prefecture for allegedly murdering
S255E01 Renewable Energy Shift: China Targets Japan 13/01/2018 The shift to renewable energy is accelerating in China, and Chinese firms are expanding their business globally, including in Japan, where renewables have yet to take hold. We take a look at the frontlines of green energy in both countries, and whether Japan is losing ground to Chinese competitors.
S255E02 Cash in Trash: A Surge in Lost Items 20/01/2018 The recent discovery of huge sums of cash at garbage sites across Japan has prompted many to wonder what's behind the mysterious trend. The cases appear to be part of a wider culture of lost and found belongings, with the total number of forgotten items across the country recently surging to new highs. Are these cases a reflection of shifting societal values? We take a closer look.
S255E03 Reducing Pet-culling: Is No-Kill the Answer 27/01/2018 Between 2 and 3 million ownerless dogs and cats used to be killed at public shelters every year in Japan. That number has been falling, and the "No-Kill" movement is spreading throughout the country. But that's creating problems for animal welfare groups and local governments. We take a look at the reality they and ownerless pets are facing.
S255E04 Dash Cams: A Revolution in Road Safety 03/02/2018 Sales of dashboard cameras have risen sharply in Japan following a rash of tailgating accidents. The dash cam records the moments of a traffic accident, providing crucial evidence about the cause. And that's not all. Analysis of dash cam data is helping drivers improve safety. We take a close look at the potential of this trend.
S255E05 530 Million Gone: Reality Check for Cryptocurrencies 10/02/2018 On January 26th, someone hacked a major digital currency exchange in Japan and made off with the equivalent of 530 million US dollars of a cryptocurrency called NEM. Authorities are trying to find out who was responsible and how they got away with it. We consult hackers and other experts for their insight on the matter, and ask them just how secure the world of cryptocurrencies is.
S255E06 Tackling the Problem of Fake News 18/02/2017 Fake news is everywhere. It can do real social harm, and we may be helping to spread it unintentionally on the devices we use every day. Are there ways to stop the proliferation of false information in cyberspace? We take a look at recent efforts and hear from the experts.
S255E07 Rise of the Alt-Right: A New White Supremacism 25/02/2017 A new form of US racist ideology, the so-called alt-right, has been widening social divisions with the emergence of Donald Trump. We interview Richard Spencer, a leader of the movement, and a figure from a minority group that is taking up arms against it.
S255E08 19 Lives That Matter 04/03/2017 Last July, nineteen people with disabilities were killed at a care facility. The suspect, a former member of staff, declared the lives of disabled people to be worthless. With the names of the victims undisclosed for privacy reasons, NHK has set up a website with the approval of their families to shine a light on their lives.
S255E09 Bullying of Fukushima Evacuees: Victims Speak Out 18/03/2017 It's been six years since the Great East Japan Earthquake and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. Harassment of people evacuated from the area has recently come to light, triggered by a memo written by an elementary school pupil. He was bullied severely at school just because he was an evacuee. NHK survey reveals the reality of evacuees' suffering.
S255E10 Costly Drugs Draining Healthcare 23/07/2016 "We should set a limit on healthcare coverage in Japan for the aged". That suggestion by one doctor is having widespread repercussions. He says the universal healthcare system will collapse if it continues to subsidize new, more effective but expensive drug treatments. Questions are arising about the costs of saving a life.
S255E11 Interacting with Robot Avatars 02/07/2016 We are beginning to see robot avatars in shops, workplaces, even schools. These machines are removing physical barriers to communication, and giving some people more confidence to speak their minds. We conduct an interview with Edward Snowden's robot avatar to give you a sense of how technology is transforming the way we interact.
S255E12 Artificial Intelligence: Creative or Copycat? 16/07/2016 Short stories written by AI software recently passed the first round of screening for a literary award in Japan. AI is also creating highly sophisticated paintings and music. Computers conquered humans at board games long ago. Will they soon overtake us at artistic endeavors, too?
S255E13 Obamas Visit to Hiroshima 28/05/2016 On May 27th, Barack Obama visited Hiroshima as leader of the only country that has used atomic bomb in war. He is the first, serving US president to do so. How did he arrive at this decision and what do A-bomb survivors expect of his visit? The president explains his intentions in an exclusive interview with NHK.
S255E14 13 New Snowden Files: US Provided Japan with Spy Tool? 13/05/2017 In April, former NSA contractor Edward Snowden released a batch of classified intelligence files on Japan. One document claimed that the US provided Japan with a mass-surveillance program. For the second installment in our series, we sat down with Snowden for an exclusive interview, as part of a broader discussion about the competing interests of privacy and security.
S255E15 Male Menopause: Risks and Remedies 20/05/2017 If you are a middle-age man and feel tired or irritable for no obvious reason, it may be a condition called male menopause. We enlisted some men who suffer the symptoms and look at the medical advice of a specialist.
S255E16 Telomeres: A Key to Slowing Aging 27/05/2017 Telomeres sit at the ends of the chromosomes in each human cell. They may hold the key to a long, healthy and youthful life. In this week's program, we look at the latest studies on telomeres, and practical methods for maintaining them and leading a healthy lifestyle.
S255E17 Stopping Killer Asteroids 03/06/2017 When an asteroid strikes the Earth, it can destroy an entire city… or more. Astronomers have so far found about 16,000 asteroids that might cross into Earth's orbit. How can we prevent one of them striking our planet? We look at ideas from astronomers at the Planetary Defense Conference, held in Tokyo last month.
S255E18 Terminating Life Support 10/06/2017 It's been a taboo in Japan for doctors to take a patient off life-support. But in the last decade, attitudes have been changing. Doctors now have guidelines to discuss end-of-life options with patients and their families, including stopping life prolonging treatments. We'll report from the medical frontlines.
S255E19 The Widowed Lifestyle: Searching for Happiness 17/06/2017 Japan is a rapidly graying society. The number of widows and widowers is steadily rising. Many of them live by themselves and feel lonely now that their partners are gone. We take a look at how they are trying to recover from their loss and lead positive and happy lives.
S255E20 Slacking on Safety: Another Radiation Blunder 24/06/2017 A bag containing plutonium recently burst at a Japanese nuclear facility, exposing five workers to radiation. Questions are being asked about why such accidents repeatedly occur in a country that keeps almost 11 tons of plutonium. We look at issues of safety management and think about how to prevent future accidents.
S255E21 Graduating from Motherhood 01/07/2017 Famous manga artist and mother of two teenagers Rieko Saibara prompted shock and praise when she declared she was giving up the chores of motherhood, as well as the end of her popular newspaper cartoon, "Kaasan - Mom's Life". At a time when many parents help their children find jobs and even marriage partners, we ask Saibara for her insights into parent-child relations.
S255E22 Dhaka Attack: One Year on 08/07/2017 The latest string of terrorist attacks shows anyone can be a target. One year after members of an Islamic extremist group stormed a Bangladesh restaurant, killing 22 people including seven Japanese, we ask how we can protect ourselves from such incidents.
S255E23 Banning Nuclear Arms: Ideal vs. Reality 15/07/2017 The world's first treaty placing a legal ban on nuclear weapons was passed on July 7th. But nuclear states such as the United States, along with Japan and 27 other countries under the US nuclear umbrella, didn't sign it. Can a "nuclear-free world" be realized? We hear what the head of the UN's disarmament office has to say.
S255E24 Subcontractor Squeeze 22/07/2017 While Japan's big firms enjoy the benefits of an economic recovery, many subcontractors endure unfair and exploitative practices. These small and mid-size companies employ about 70 percent of the nation's workforce. We examine why they're at a disadvantage, and look at the efforts to rectify the problem.
S255E25 1,050 Career Wins! Hakuho Makes Sumo History 29/07/2017 Hakuho has set a new Grand Sumo record in career wins. When he came to Japan from Mongolia 17 years ago, he was a skinny 15-year-old boy. His success is unprecedented in the harsh world of the traditional Japanese martial art. We spoke with him right after the July tournament where he made history, and asked him what his next goal is.
S255E26 Virtual Currency Bubble? 05/08/2017 Cryptocurrencies are becoming popular. A growing number of online traders are making huge profits by trading in them, but the values of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile. What are their merits and demerits? We hear what experts have to say about the potential effect of virtual currencies on our daily lives
S255E27 Unwanted Remains: Ashes or Trash? 02/09/2017 Japan is seeing a rise in unclaimed human remains. Abandoned urns containing ashes have been found in coin-lockers, highway rest stops, and even in a rubbish bin at a race track. We look at factors including economic reasons behind this growing social problem.
S255E32 Rohingya Crisis: The Plight of Stateless Muslims 07/10/2017 A humanitarian crisis is unfolding in Asia. Fleeing clashes with the military in Myanmar, some 500 thousand Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh in just over a month. They are Muslims, denied citizenship by Myanmar's government. What can Aung San Suu Kyi do to resolve the problem? We bring you the latest from the frontline.
S255E33 ICAN Wins Nobel Peace Prize: Teams Up With A-bomb Survivors 14/10/2017 ICAN started with a small number of young people with little experience. How could such an organization become the driving force in achieving an international treaty banning nuclear weapons - something that no one thought was possible? NHK has been following the group for four years. Let's take a look behind the scenes.
S255E34 The Accelerating Shift to Electric Vehicles 21/10/2017 With China investing heavily in electric vehicles, and the UK and France announcing they will ban sales of gas and diesel cars by 2040, automakers worldwide are preparing for a major transition. We take a look at how manufacturers are reacting as the move to electric technology gathers pace.
S255E35 Silent Change: Consumers Face Hidden Risks 28/10/2017 Home appliances can be a source of danger. They can cause accidents such as fires as well as injuries, which has led some people to call them silent time-bombs. We take a look at what's behind this and hear experts discuss possible countermeasures.
S255E36 Japan's Plutonium Stockpile: The World Watches 04/11/2017 As a by-product of its civilian nuclear power generation, Japan has currently piled up 47 tons of plutonium. The US and other countries are concerned at the potential for weaponizing this plutonium stockpile, together with the potential for global proliferation of plutonium concurrent with civilian nuclear power generation. We explore Japan's unique situation from a nuanced perspective, shedding light on the issues.
S255E37 Educational Poverty: The Problem of Hidden Illiteracy 11/11/2017 The government of Japan has said the country's literacy rate is nearly 100%. But a recent NHK survey shows otherwise. For various reasons, there are young people who are not able to finish the nine years of compulsory education. Through interviews with them and discussion with experts, we explore the background to this problem and what can be done about it.
S255E38 Online Shaming: Everyone at Risk 18/11/2017 What if you were falsely declared a murderer online and there was nothing you could do to clear your name? Such was the situation facing a young comedian when he became the innocent victim of internet mob justice. We interviewed him, as well as other victims and their attackers, to find out what drives this growing phenomenon, and how society should respond.
S255E39 Thaler's Magic Nudge: Nobel Prize in Economics 25/11/2017 Richard Thaler has won this year's Nobel Prize in Economics for his contribution to behavioral economics. His ideas have helped people cut household spending and have generated huge economic benefits. Today we introduce you to some of them, which may nudge you into improving your daily life.
S255E40 The Dark Side of Twitter: Interview with CEO Jack Dorsey 02/12/2018 In October, police found 9 dismembered bodies near Tokyo. The murder suspect used Twitter to lure the victims. Hate speech is also rampant on the service. As the social and political impacts of online services increase, how can we manage their use? We speak to Jack Dorsey about the potential of Twitter.
S255E41 Japan Bets Revival on Robots 09/12/2017 Japan has fallen behind the US in information technology and lost out to other Asian countries in manufacturing. But now it has a chance to be a global technological leader once again - through robotics. Today we look at what two firms, Sony and Softbank, are doing to promote artificially intelligent robots in our everyday lives. And we ask: are robots the key to the resurgence of Japanese industry?
S255E42 Abolishing Nuclear Weapons: Can Japan Bridge the Gap 16/12/2017 The UN adopted the Nuclear Ban Treaty this year, and ICAN, which contributed to its adoption, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. But Japan, the only nation attacked by atomic bombs, is against the treaty. How can Japan be a bridge between nuclear and non-nuclear weapons states? We ask atomic bomb survivor Setsuko Thurlow, who gave a speech at the Nobel ceremony, as well as Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono.