Correspondent / behind the news

Tag - Japan

Entries feed - Comments feed

Monday 11 May 2015

Invited to a porn shoot: ‘I'll wait outside’

Japanese porn actor Ken Shimizu, known as Shimiken, posing after an interview with AFP in Tokyo on March 18, 2015 (AFP PHOTO / Yoshikazu TSUNO) Japanese porn actor Ken Shimizu, known as Shimiken, posing after an interview with AFP in Tokyo on March 18, 2015 (AFP PHOTO / Yoshikazu TSUNO)

(AFP / Yoshikazu Tsuno)


"When Japanese porn king 'Shimiken' tweeted that there were more Bengali tigers than male porn actors in Japan, AFP Tokyo felt obliged, nay duty-bound, to launch a forensic investigation into this cause célèbre," writes Alastair Himmer. "But this would be no ordinary assignment. Not by a long chalk."

Continue reading

Wednesday 11 February 2015

Leopard on the loose!

A zoo employee checks the effectiveness of a 'tranquiliser' on another employee wearing a snow leopard suit in an escape drill at Tokyo's Tama zoo on February 10, 2015 (AFP PHOTO / TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA) A zoo employee checks the effectiveness of a 'tranquiliser' on another employee wearing a snow leopard suit in an escape drill at Tokyo's Tama zoo on February 10, 2015 (AFP PHOTO / TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA)

(AFP Photo / Toshifumi Kitamura)


"Tama zoo is on red alert. More than 50 zookeepers, backed up by police and emergency services, are mobilised to contain a terrible threat. A snow leopard has escaped from the Tokyo wildlife park, and must be stopped before it devours a child. Except the children on site are clearly having a great time," writes AFP's Antoine Bouthier. "Unlike the grown-ups who are taking this all very seriously, it’s obvious to them the runaway feline is a zoo employee in a cute costume. Think Pokemon meets Hello Kitty."

Continue reading

Friday 23 January 2015

A traveler comes home

jacques-ivoire-2.jpg jacques-ivoire-2.jpg

(Photo: AFP /Georges Gobet)

"Writing a profile of Jacques Lhuillery is like walking down a winding road, with many forks. Starting from the man I knew and discovering, with each new friend I speak to, with each hilarious or moving anecdote, a new Jacques, another faraway land, another of his lives of which I knew nothing."

The head of AFP’s Japan bureau, who died of cancer aged 61, learned to speak Dutch while living in Saudi Arabia. He was the star of the annual Mardi Gras carnival in a small town in the south Netherlands, and he played petanque with an African head of state over drinks of ‘pastis’. Jacques was devastated by the murder in Ivory Coast of his friend and colleague Jean Helene, and was himself gravely injured in a fire at his home in Nigeria. But he never lost the rambunctious sense of humour, the actor’s talent and brazen nerve that seemed to open doors wherever he went.

Continue reading

Monday 19 January 2015

Welcome to Jacques Lhuillery's Japan

Mount Fuji and Lake Ashinoko, in Hakone near Tokyo in November 2013 (AFP / Toshifumi Kitamura) Mount Fuji and Lake Ashinoko, in Hakone near Tokyo in November 2013 (AFP / Toshifumi Kitamura)

(AFP Photo / Toshifumi Kitamura)


Long-time Agence France-Presse correspondent Jacques Lhuillery, who has died aged 61, was one of the most entertaining, and prolific, contributors to the AFP blogs. After a string of tough postings that took him Iran to Nigeria via Ivory Coast and Lebanon, he found reason to marvel in everything he saw in his final AFP posting as Tokyo bureau chief. From the strange choreography of Tokyo metro workers, to the sounds and silences of the Japanese capital, or its bewildering complex recycling system. Whether sitting out an earthquake in a pseudo-Bavarian tavern, or pondering the likenesses between sumo wrestling and and corrida, here are his collected posts for the blog.

Continue reading

Wednesday 16 July 2014

Reporter short-circuits after interviewing robot

japon-pepper-robot-2_m.jpg japon-pepper-robot-2_m.jpg

(AFP Photo/Toru Yamanaka)


AFP Tokyo reporter Alastair Himmer tried to interview a robot. The robot apparently had other plans.

Continue reading