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a green japan

On a recent visit to the upmarket meat and rice restaurant Matsuya, I couldn't help noticing that, in a step to save the environment from imminent destruction, the food chain has done away with disposable chopsticks in favour of reusable ones that need to be washed at high temperatures with gallons of water and plenty of detergent. It's good to see that at least one company is taking steps towards making the world a greener place.

Disposable chopsticks have been totally abandoned by Matsuya.

And with summer just around the corner, Cool Biz has just kicked off, too. This is where, in order to lessen the negative impact of air-conditioners on the environment, offices across the nation switch them off, leading to a lot of moist patches on office seats. In return, salarymen are permitted to remove their ties and OL's their bras.

It's traditional for the prime minister of the day to kick-off the Cool Biz campaign by calling a press conference in Cool Biz attire. Unfortunately, Prime Minister Fukuda is believed to have misread the memo that was recently sent around government departments by the Environment Agency.

The memo said: "For Cool Biz, lose only the tie." But Fukuda apparently read it as: "For Cool Biz, use only the tie."

This resulted in a slightly embarrassing appearance in front of the nation's press.

For Cool Biz, Koizumi dressed in a neat little blue number.

Abe opted for a pyjama top.

But Fukuda messed up big time.

Fukuda gives Cool Biz the thumbs up.

In Osaka, the municipal government has recently banned neon lights in the Dotonbori area of the city in an effort to save electricity costs and help the environment. Unfortunately the atmosphere there isn't quite what it used to be.

Dotonbori by night.

It's not just local governments that are trying to save the planet. Hobby scientist Mitsufuji Yamomotomoto has developed a car engine that runs only on miso soup. There is one slight problem though - it doesn't work.

A gas guzzling turbo truck tows away Mitsufuji's work in progress.

How a green Japan might look:

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On Sunday, 01 June, 2008, Anonymous Scotty.VOR said:

I love Mr Fukuda's shoes. Very trendy.

Not sure about that ridiculous looking Abe though. Double button shirts are so last week.  

On Sunday, 01 June, 2008, Anonymous Jay said:

Wow the Chairman is looking really young in that photo  

On Sunday, 01 June, 2008, Anonymous Deas said:

Thank goodness his thumb is the only "up" Mr. Fukuda gave wearing that ridiculous tie. I call that a larger
calamity avoided.  

On Sunday, 01 June, 2008, Blogger Contamination said:

Matsuya, up market?? I'd hate to see what you consider slumming it!

And I really didn't need to see Mr Fukuda like that. Now I need some strong alcohol to erase that image from my mind. EWW!  

On Tuesday, 03 June, 2008, Anonymous billywest said:

Abe looks like Kim Jong Il's long lost cousin in that pic.  

On Tuesday, 03 June, 2008, Blogger tornadoes28 said:

Yeah, that last picture really looks like Japan. It looks like some picture form a street in Pittsburgh or Detroit.  

On Tuesday, 03 June, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said:

Maybe Mitsufuji lives in Detroit. There's a large Japanese community there so _i heard.  

On Thursday, 05 June, 2008, Blogger inside said:

Mitsufuji lives in Philly!!! There is no mistaking the rows of brown stones, dirty ass streets, and shitty 10+ year old cars. (pssst, the workvan in the background has the area code 215 on it) It's kinda funny that he chose a Chevy Lumina as a prototype and it got towed away by a Ford F350!  

On Friday, 06 June, 2008, Anonymous Himawari said:

Is it just me or do those chopsticks look more like long crayon sticks. yikes~ Well, better than disposables at least.  

On Friday, 20 June, 2008, Blogger GAPS said:

I always find it hilarious that the old woman serving me at Matsuya becomes really concerned that I don’t take a pack of disposable chopsticks away with me when I take my bento.

All I can do is smile and nod while glancing at the poster next to her, that informs as to their change in chopsticks...  

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