In Japan these days, the political world seems to be mirroring "Beat" Takeshi Kitano's latest yakuza film, "Outrage Beyond," which depicts Japan's ruling party as being well and truly in bed with the mob.
If you've been paying attention to the news lately, that will sound familiar. Truth may be stranger than fiction, but sometimes fiction tells the truth first.
Certainly this second film in the "Outrage" series, which seems loosely based on the rise and fall of the Inagawa-kai, Japan's third-largest crime group, may be a little too close for comfort for the ruling Democratic Party of Japan. In the first 10 minutes of the film, an underling of the Chief Cabinet Secretary makes a covert visit to the No. 2 in the Sanno-kai crime group, and timidly voices his boss' desire to cut ties to the mob.
The yakuza boss turns the tables and threatens that, if provoked, the Sanno-kai will cut ties with the minister and expose their cozy relationship. He wins the argument.
The government of Japan has bestowed one of that nation's highest honors on a Japanese-American, a former U.S. Soldier and World War II veteran, for his work furthering relationships between the Japanese and Americans. (army.mil )
This Monday, members of the seminal metal band X Japan were in Odaiba rubbing shoulders with the likes of Brad Pitt, Lady Gaga and AKB48′s Yuko Oshima. The catch? They were all made out of wax. (Japan Times )