Interviews with the figures, both Japanese and foreign, whose thoughts and actions inform the course Japan takes today.

Roar Power: Watanabe Ken Talks Godzilla

Japanese actor Watanabe Ken has become a Hollywood fixture in the past decade. His latest blockbuster role is in Godzilla, directed by Gareth Edwards. Nippon.com recently interviewed the global star, and he shared with us his views on the underlying message of the iconic character Godzilla today—60 years after its screen debut.
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Local Branding in Rural Japan: Justin Potts

Japan’s rural communities today face a difficult task: they must create a local brand to get their unique products noticed. Helping them do this is American Justin Potts, an international business development director at Umari Inc. With an emphasis on connecting people and ideas, Potts works to promote the unique and abundant resources found in rural communities through a variety of innovative projects and events.
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Leading Kyoto’s New Charm OffensiveExclusive Nippon.com Interview with Kyoto Mayor Kadokawa Daisaku

The tradition-rich city of Kyoto has been honing itself in recent years to become an even more desirable tourist destination. Nippon.com sat down with the city’s mayor, Kadokawa Daisaku, to learn more about how Kyoto is changing for the better, while preserving its unique charm.
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Documentary Film Festival Brings the World to YamagataAn Interview with Interpreter Yamanouchi Etsuko

Every two years, the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival attracts cinephiles from all over the world. What draws them to a festival in a small city largely unknown outside Japan? Nippon.com interviews interpreter Yamanouchi Etsuko, who has taken part since the beginning.
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Taiwanese “Kano” Baseball Team Found its Field of Dreams in Prewar Japan Baba Masaki (Interviewer)

The recent film Kano chronicles the inspiring tale of a 1931 Taiwanese baseball team that made it to the championship of Japan’s “Kōshien” high-school tournament. Singer-songwriter Baba Masaki sat down with the producer and director of Kano, Wei De-Shen and Umin Boya, to learn more about the film and the legendary Kano baseball team.
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Shinohara Ushio and Noriko: A Couple Wrestles with the Demon Called Art

The Shinoharas, a Japanese couple pursuing art careers in New York since the 1970s, are the subject of Cutie and the Boxer, a documentary nominated for a 2014 Academy Award. We spoke to them about their art and lives during their recent visit to Tokyo.
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Peruvians Struggling to Find a Place in Japanese SocietyInterview with Peru’s Ambassador to Japan

Peruvians make up one of the largest expatriate communities in Japan. Nippon.com spoke with Elard Escala, Peru's ambassador to Japan, to find out more about these Peruvian expatriates and the ties between the two countries.
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“Hafu” Filmmaker Spotlights Bicultural Japan

The recent film Hafu documents the lives of five bicultural Japanese. Nippon.com spoke to one of the film’s two directors, Nishikura Megumi, to learn more about the film and the motivation behind it.
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Japan Must Engage China, Freeze the Senkaku DebateAn Interview with Former Japanese Ambassador to China Niwa Uichirō

We talk with Niwa Uichirō, Japan’s first ambassador to China from the private sector, about China’s economy and the deterioration of Japan-China relations over the Senkaku Islands. Niwa, who returned to Japan in December 2012, calls for the leaders of both countries to meet soon and put a freeze on the Senkaku issue.
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A More Confident Japan in a Strong Alliance: Michael Green Speaks

The international scene in East Asia remains fluid, but the new government in place in Tokyo is showing an energetic approach to economic policy and a more stable hand on the tiller of diplomacy. We spoke to the international affairs expert Michael Green about his views on Japanese politics and the country’s place in the regional and global picture.
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