Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Japan wins East Asian Cup 2013

Yoichiro Kakitani completed a brace with a dramatic winner as Japan won its first East Asian Cup title by beating host South Korea 2-1 in Sunday's tournament finale.

Kakitani gave Japan the lead in the 25th minute, receiving a pass from Toshihiro Aoyama and beating South Korean goalkeeper Jung Sung-ryong for his second goal of the tournament. 

The hosts leveled in the 33rd on Yun Il-lok's strike from the top of the area past Japan's keeper Shusaku Nishikawa

Kakitani scored again in the first minute of stoppage time, picking up a loose ball after Jung could only parry a shot from Genki Haraguchi

Urawa Reds trio also did a good job throughout the competition. 

Behind the victory, there was a disgusting battle outside the pitch between Japan and South Korea. 

In the early part of the game, the Red Devils, a group of South Korean football supporters, hung a banner that read, "There is no future for people who have forgotten their past." 

The message was apparently aimed at Japan's reluctance to acknowledge its militaristic and colonial past. 

Along with the obviously political statement, large banners of two anti-Japan heroes were also displayed. 

Korean independence activist An Jung-geun who assassinated Japan's first Prime Minister Ito Hirobumi in 1909, as well as Admiral Yi Sun-shin, leader of a successful naval campaign against their colonizers in the late 16th century. 

But there was a nasty point in Japan side, as well. 

Some Japanese fans waved the Rising Sun Flag, which many South Koreans consider a symbol of Japan's past militarism and imperialism. 

The two countries were also at the center of a diplomatic row at the 2012 London Olympics when footballer Park Jong-woo held up a sign referring to a territorial dispute while celebrating South Korea's 2-0 win over Japan in the bronze medal game in August. 

These crucial issues should have been kicked out of the football field, and I hope the two nations will come closer to each other in the near future. 

Then, I'd like to admire South Korea's goal was really fantastic!! 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Arsenal 2-1 Urawa Reds

Lukas Podolski and Chuba Akpom scored in the second-half to give Arsenal a 2-1 victory over Japanese club Urawa Reds at Saitama Stadium last night.

Podolski gave Arsenal the lead in the 49th minute, converting a pass from Theo Walcott, before Yuki Abe leveled 10 minutes later for the hosts.

Akpom sealed the win in the 82nd when he slotted into an empty net after Mitsuru Nagata's crazy pass.

The match was a part of Arsenal's pre-season tour to Asia and also acted as the Saitama City Cup 2013.

Arsène Wenger is really cool!!

Before the match, Nu (left: a mascot of Saitama City), Kobaton (centre: a mascot of Saitama Prefecture) and Gunnersaurus Rex (right: a mascot of Arsenal) appeared and waved hands to supporters.

There was no Redia... (^o^;)

This is a photo I took from my seat line 4.

Walcott is just in front of me!!

It was a perfect position to see Podolski's goal and Nagata's blunder.

Ryo Miyaichi, who scored a penalty against Nagoya Grampus, came on after halftime.

His fitness has got improved, but needs more aggressive.

Lukas Podolski was chosen as the Man Of the Match and given a Japanese doll made in Konosu City. (Why not made in Iwatsuki...?)

It was a fantastic game!!

We always welcome Arsenal!!

Well, I met my friend Meg!! (Photo taken by you know who Meg's girl)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

George, the Little Prince

Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, have named their new son "George Alexander Louis," a day after the little prince had his debut to the world when his mother emerged with him in her arms from St. Mary's Hospital in London.

Both William and Catherine seemed very relaxed when they gave the public its the first view of the new heir to the British throne, even joking that the infant prince had more hair than his father.

People has celebrated the birth of a child in any forms.

London's BT Tower was lit up with the announcement, "it's a boy!"

The official notification stands in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace, announcing the birth of a baby boy.

The London Eye, the Tower Bridge and the fountain in Trafalgar Square were illuminated to celebrate the birth.

Piccadilly Circus' famous Coke sign featured the Duchess' name on the night of the birth announcement.

The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery fired a 41 gun salute in Green Park.

A man reads a copy of British tabloid The Sun, renamed "The Son."

I'd like to say happy birthday to George from Japan.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Pushing Train United

Dozens of Japanese train passengers pushed a 32-ton train carriage away from the platform to free a woman who had fallen into the 20-cm gap between the train and platform during the busy morning rush hour Monday at JR Minami-Urawa Station. 

A public announcement that a passenger was trapped prompted about 40 people to join train officials to push the carriage.

The 32-ton train's suspension system allows it to tilt slightly to either side, allowing the woman to escape.

The unnamed woman in her 30s was then pulled out safe and uninjured.

Everyone in the station applauded the "rescue effort" and operations resumed, with just a slight delay of 8-minutes to the entire Keihin Tohoku Line. 

It was a good news, but in the first place, MIND THE GAP!!

Upper House Election 2013

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) scored a landslide victory in the House of Councillors election on July 21st, enabling the party to control both houses of the Diet with its coalition partner New Komeito and to proceed with the "Abenomics" economic policy mix.

After the convincing victory, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, also LDP president, is likely to ponder implementing his pet project to revise the postwar Constitution. 

With half of the 242 upper house seats up for grabs, the LDP won a record 65 seats, eclipsing the previous record of 64 in the 2001 upper house election, under the current electoral system. 

The New Komeito party garnered 11 seats, giving the ruling coalition a combined total of 135 seats in the chamber to secure a stable majority in the 242-member assembly.

In contrast, the largest opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) suffered a crushing defeat, winning only 17 of the contested seats, down from 44 before the election. 

The Japanese Communist Party (JCP) performed well, winning seats in prefectural constituencies for the first time in 12 years on its way to more than doubling its three contested seats to eight. 

The Japan Restoration Party and Your Party also captured eight seats each, while the Social Democratic Party (SDP) secured one seat. 

The People's Life Party and Green Wind party failed to win any seats. 

The average voter turnout came to 52.61%, hitting the third-lowest level on record. 

The reading was down 5.31 percentage points from the previous 2010 election for the Upper House. 

Beginning with the latest Upper House election, political parties were allowed to conduct online campaigning, but this seems to have had little effect in raising voter turnout. 

Unattractive candidates and policies must have made many of Urawa residents go to Urawa festival rather than vote. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Cool Glass

What's the 'cool guy'?

You must know the answer if you've watched Studio Ghibli's "Porco Rosso", and you can understand how cool this glass is!!

Marks of the Hotel Adriano, the Piccolo S.P.A. and the Mamma Aiuto Gang are printed on the surface of the glass as if they sponsored Porco Rosso and the glass.

Well, you think I'll drink beer from it..?

I'll do when pigs fly!! (^o^)/▼☆

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Brazil Wins the Confederations Cup 2013

Brazil has humbled world and European Champions Spain with a crushing 3-0 win in the Confederations Cup final, ending their opponents' three-year record run of 29 unbeaten competitive matches.

Two goals from Fred, one either side of a stunning left-foot shot from Neymar, gave next year's World Cup hosts their fifth straight win in the competition as they clinched the trophy for a third time in a row. 

Neymar has won the Golden Ball award as the best player of the Confederations Cup, and also won the Bronze Boot as he scored four goals.

There is no doubt that Brazil has a talent scorer on their top, but what made Brazil champion of the Confederations Cup was their aggressive defense. 

All the defenders showed high performances to block any opponents' attack. 

Especially David Luiz's clearance was amazing!! 

Go and see highlights of Confederations Cup 2013.