Rieko is my dream. She's the sort of woman who sees in me what others can't. She writes me poetry and sends me sweet gifts. She reassures me that, for all my faults, I've still got whatever it was that I used to have and that wasn't much anyway so I need to accept whatever excitement comes my way.
And that's Rieko.
Like all shy Japanese women, Rieko will be giving chocolates to many men tomorrow, on Valentine's Day. It's a rare chance for the females of Japan to express their innermost feelings.
You see, only women send Valentine's gifts in Japan.
But since the Western celebration took hold in the late 1950s, Japanese teenage girls and later young women have developed a clever system of giving different quality chocolates according to the type of man involved.
For a lover-boy like me, Rieko would direct honmei - ''potential winner'' - chocolates, not unlike those an Australian man would give a female he liked romantically. Kyodo News reports the average outlay on these ''true love'' chocolates in Japan will be ¥3497 ($36) this year.
Should the lucky man approve, he'll return in kind with gifts worth up to three times as much on White Day on March 14.
Just over one ton of water contaminated with radioactive particulates leaked from one of the containment vessels at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant on Wednesday, Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said. (Japan Today )
Japan is expected to secure the minimum required power supply capacity when electricity demand peaks in August, even if all the country's nuclear reactors remain offline, estimates by major regional utilities showed Thursday. (Kyodo )
A former Bridgestone Corp. (5108) executive agreed to plead guilty to conspiring to fix prices for auto parts, a day after a grand jury indicted another executive and two former workers at the Japanese tire maker. (Bloomberg )
Tochigi prefectural police said Thursday that they are questioning a man in his 30s over the murder of a 7-year-old girl in December 2005. Japanese media quoted police as saying that the man, who was arrested for dealing in fake brand-name goods, has hinted at his involvement in the murder. (Japan Today )
People enjoy viewing the 15-meter snow walls of the Yuki no Otani (Great Snow Valley), along the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route that passes through the Northern Japan Alps to link Toyama and Nagano prefectures. (The Japan News )
Tokyo prosecutors plan to look into whether a man, who has been arrested for allegedly vandalizing copies of Anne Frank's diary, is mentally competent to be held criminally responsible for his actions, informed sources said Wednesday. (Jiji Press )
Apparently perplexed but thrilled to find himself in the spotlight, Iwao Hakamada, formerly the world's longest-serving death-row inmate, made his first public appearance Monday in Tokyo since being released from prison and hospitalized. (Japan Times )
Aichi prefectural police are investigating a possible link between the discovery of the bodies of a husband and wife and their eldest son, and the body of a male relative of the deceased family who was found hanging by his neck in a hotel. (Japan Today )