Tokyobling's Blog

Ginza Streets

Posted in Places by tokyobling on July 28, 2012

Nothing blingy today, I just loved the orangey light over these streets of Ginza so I had to take some photos and share with you. Technically the first few photos are of buildings to the south east of Tokyo station, Yaesu. Recently there’s been quite a lot of new construction in the area but there’s a few older building still around to show us what Ginza used to look like as it was rebuilt after the war. One of my favorite areas of Tokyo!

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The Kuril Island Dispute Sign

Posted in Places by tokyobling on December 2, 2011

Sometimes, when you least expect it you can get reminded about the fact that Japan wasn’t always this peaceful and there are still a handful ongoing territorial disputes with other Asian countries over islands around Japan. Probably the biggest dispute is the one about the Kuril Islands, or the Northern Territories as they are sometimes known in Japan, or Sakhalin in Russia. Here’s one old sign that has been stood in front of Tokyo station, at the Yeasu side, for decades, reminding people who pass by not to forget the people who once lived on the Kuril Islands up north off the coast of Hokkaido. The sign reads: 北方の領土 かえる日 平和の日, which loosely translates as “The day the Northern Territories are returned is the day of peace.” The islands were divided between Russia and Japan a century and a half ago but they have changed hands over the course of two major wars and even to this day there are sometimes shots fired over the matter. These signs and sometimes statues are set up by interest groups and more or less tolerated by the government who prefer to handle foreign diplomacy on their own. But apart from the matter with the Northern Territories, Japan and Russia have a very good relationship, which is good since they are very close neighbors and share a lot of history.

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