Julian Ryall

Julian Ryall

Julian Ryall never expected to still be in Japan 24 years after he first arrived, but he quickly realised its advantages over his native London. He lives in Yokohama with his wife and children and writes for publications around the world.

Latest from Julian Ryall

Notorious ‘Okegawa pop-out guy’ is first in Japan charged under new road rage law

A 33-year-old part-time labourer was charged with repeatedly swerving across a road, coming close to colliding with oncoming cars. The man was already in detention on a charge of assault.

27 Oct 2020 - 3:17PM

A 33-year-old part-time labourer was charged with repeatedly swerving across a road, coming close to colliding with oncoming cars. The man was already in detention on a charge of assault.

Notorious ‘Okegawa pop-out guy’ is first in Japan charged under new road rage law
Japan’s ‘Demon Slayer’ anime trumps ‘Spirited Away’ at box office amid Covid-19 pandemic

Millions of Japanese watched the film, based on a popular manga series, and it earned US$95 million in 10 days, surpassing Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away.

27 Oct 2020 - 10:18AM

Millions of Japanese watched the film, based on a popular manga series, and it earned US$95 million in 10 days, surpassing Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away.

Japan’s ‘Demon Slayer’ anime trumps ‘Spirited Away’ at box office amid Covid-19 pandemic
Brutality and hardships of Japanese internment camp brought to life in British national’s diary

Sydengham Duer was among 1,200 foreigners held in Japanese internment camps during WWII.

25 Oct 2020 - 9:30PM

Sydengham Duer was among 1,200 foreigners held in Japanese internment camps during WWII.

Brutality and hardships of Japanese internment camp brought to life in British national’s diary
Japanese fishing boats told to look elsewhere for catch as Chinese ships take over traditional grounds

Government says thousands of Chinese vessels refuse to leave area rich in flying squid and crabs as some warn that Beijing may be testing Tokyo’s territorial resolve.

22 Oct 2020 - 10:39PM

Government says thousands of Chinese vessels refuse to leave area rich in flying squid and crabs as some warn that Beijing may be testing Tokyo’s territorial resolve.

Japanese fishing boats told to look elsewhere for catch as Chinese ships take over traditional grounds
Japan tests US-built drone to ‘monitor Chinese ships’ near Diaoyu/Senkaku islands

Trials of the SeaGuardian unmanned aerial vehicle coincide with the launch on Wednesday of a new class of advanced diesel-electric attack submarines.

16 Oct 2020 - 11:14PM

Trials of the SeaGuardian unmanned aerial vehicle coincide with the launch on Wednesday of a new class of advanced diesel-electric attack submarines.

Japan tests US-built drone to ‘monitor Chinese ships’ near Diaoyu/Senkaku islands
Japan to sign defence deal with Vietnam amid Beijing’s moves in South China Sea

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will sign the agreement on the export of advanced defence equipment when he visits Hanoi on his first trip as leader.

15 Oct 2020 - 12:07PM

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will sign the agreement on the export of advanced defence equipment when he visits Hanoi on his first trip as leader.

Japan to sign defence deal with Vietnam amid Beijing’s moves in South China Sea
Yakuza, Nepalese among 34 arrested in Japan over coronavirus loans scam

Since the arrests, dozens more people have contacted authorities to inquire about how to return loans they are not entitled to.

14 Oct 2020 - 5:56PM

Since the arrests, dozens more people have contacted authorities to inquire about how to return loans they are not entitled to.

Yakuza, Nepalese among 34 arrested in Japan over coronavirus loans scam
‘Several million yen’ and Botox: married Japanese confess to hiding at least one major secret from their spouse

A new survey by Tokyo-based Matsui Securities Co. shows that 32 per cent of husbands and wives across the country keep at least one issue on the down low, with money matters the most commonly kept secret.

13 Oct 2020 - 10:39PM

A new survey by Tokyo-based Matsui Securities Co. shows that 32 per cent of husbands and wives across the country keep at least one issue on the down low, with money matters the most commonly kept secret.

‘Several million yen’ and Botox: married Japanese confess to hiding at least one major secret from their spouse
East China Sea: Japan protests after Chinese vessels enter waters near Diaoyus

Intrusion follows row over Chinese website promoting Beijing’s territorial claims to the region – and that’s ‘unlikely to be a coincidence’, expert says.

12 Oct 2020 - 11:38PM

Intrusion follows row over Chinese website promoting Beijing’s territorial claims to the region – and that’s ‘unlikely to be a coincidence’, expert says.

East China Sea: Japan protests after Chinese vessels enter waters near Diaoyus
Japanese politician slammed as ‘dinosaur’ after claiming LGBT education would mean ‘no children’

Masateru Shiraishi, 78, warned that if schools were required to teach students about same-sex families the local ward would cease to exist.

8 Oct 2020 - 2:26PM

Masateru Shiraishi, 78, warned that if schools were required to teach students about same-sex families the local ward would cease to exist.

Japanese politician slammed as ‘dinosaur’ after claiming LGBT education would mean ‘no children’
Will Japan PM Suga’s latest moves help Tokyo take Hong Kong’s finance crown?

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga says Japan plans to offer tax and other perks to lure foreign firms and talent to Tokyo. If these become reality, recruitment firms say companies worried about uncertainty surrounding the National Security Law could be persuaded to make the move.

8 Oct 2020 - 10:01PM

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga says Japan plans to offer tax and other perks to lure foreign firms and talent to Tokyo. If these become reality, recruitment firms say companies worried about uncertainty surrounding the National Security Law could be persuaded to make the move.

Will Japan PM Suga’s latest moves help Tokyo take Hong Kong’s finance crown?
Japan home invasion crime wave targets elderly residents ‘too trusting’ of authority figures

Economic hardship connected to the pandemic, with lost jobs and falling incomes, is at least partly to blame for the crime wave, according to one observer.

7 Oct 2020 - 11:24PM

Economic hardship connected to the pandemic, with lost jobs and falling incomes, is at least partly to blame for the crime wave, according to one observer.

Japan home invasion crime wave targets elderly residents ‘too trusting’ of authority figures
East China Sea: Japan’s new PM Suga faces test as China pushes Diaoyu claims with digital museum

Tokyo has lodged an official complaint over a new website detailing Beijing’s sovereignty claims over the disputed islands, known in Japan as the Senkakus.

5 Oct 2020 - 10:40PM

Tokyo has lodged an official complaint over a new website detailing Beijing’s sovereignty claims over the disputed islands, known in Japan as the Senkakus.

East China Sea: Japan’s new PM Suga faces test as China pushes Diaoyu claims with digital museum
Japan PM Suga to skip US, plans to visit Indonesia, Vietnam for first trip abroad

Analysts say Yoshihide Suga wants to reinforce Tokyo’s ties with two Southeast Asian countries that share its concerns about China and support its ‘free and open Indo-Pacific’ plan.

5 Oct 2020 - 10:40PM

Analysts say Yoshihide Suga wants to reinforce Tokyo’s ties with two Southeast Asian countries that share its concerns about China and support its ‘free and open Indo-Pacific’ plan.

Japan PM Suga to skip US, plans to visit Indonesia, Vietnam for first trip abroad
US election: Trump-Biden debate bewilders interpreters, viewers in Japan, Taiwan and Vietnam

In Japan, Taiwan and Vietnam, interpreters and commentators were unable to keep up with the flurry of interjections and interruptions in a session seen as ‘symbolic of how polarised American politics has become’.

17 Oct 2020 - 7:12AM

In Japan, Taiwan and Vietnam, interpreters and commentators were unable to keep up with the flurry of interjections and interruptions in a session seen as ‘symbolic of how polarised American politics has become’.

US election: Trump-Biden debate bewilders interpreters, viewers in Japan, Taiwan and Vietnam
Japan’s entertainment industry reels from Yuko Takeuchi’s suicide, exposing its ‘brutal’ nature

The death of the ‘Miss Sherlock’ star was the latest in a string of high-profile suicides by celebrities, and has prompted calls for the government to reform the industry and introduce mental health initiatives.

9 Oct 2020 - 12:27PM

The death of the ‘Miss Sherlock’ star was the latest in a string of high-profile suicides by celebrities, and has prompted calls for the government to reform the industry and introduce mental health initiatives.

Japan’s entertainment industry reels from Yuko Takeuchi’s suicide, exposing its ‘brutal’ nature
Japan’s new defence minister Nobuo Kishi plans US trip, with Aegis on the agenda

Nobuo Kishi has reiterated the importance of Tokyo’s security alliance with Washington amid an ‘increasingly harsh national security environment’, but analysts say his initial exchanges with American counterpart Mark Esper are likely to be limited.

29 Sep 2020 - 8:01PM

Nobuo Kishi has reiterated the importance of Tokyo’s security alliance with Washington amid an ‘increasingly harsh national security environment’, but analysts say his initial exchanges with American counterpart Mark Esper are likely to be limited.

Japan’s new defence minister Nobuo Kishi plans US trip, with Aegis on the agenda
Can Japan end its reliance on ‘boomer-era’ tech? One minister is waging war on the fax machine

From ‘hanko’ personal seals to the ubiquitous fax machine, much of Japanese corporate and bureaucratic life seems stuck in the 1980s. Veteran cabinet minister Taro Kono has made it his mission to move the country into the 21st century but an army of petty bureaucrats stands in his way.

29 Sep 2020 - 11:03PM

From ‘hanko’ personal seals to the ubiquitous fax machine, much of Japanese corporate and bureaucratic life seems stuck in the 1980s. Veteran cabinet minister Taro Kono has made it his mission to move the country into the 21st century but an army of petty bureaucrats stands in his way.

Can Japan end its reliance on ‘boomer-era’ tech? One minister is waging war on the fax machine
Japan is resuming flights to China, and reopening its borders – but not to tourists

The East Asian nation is looking to allow in up 1,000 business travellers, tertiary students and long-term foreign residents a day from next month, in what is seen as a test run for a wider reopening ahead of the Olympics.

24 Sep 2020 - 8:26PM

The East Asian nation is looking to allow in up 1,000 business travellers, tertiary students and long-term foreign residents a day from next month, in what is seen as a test run for a wider reopening ahead of the Olympics.

Japan is resuming flights to China, and reopening its borders – but not to tourists
Xi, Suga will keep their first call sweet, analysts say – so no talk of Hong Kong, Taiwan or the Diaoyu Islands

Japan’s new prime minister and the Chinese president are also seen as likely to discuss Xi’s planned state visit which was delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic and is facing opposition from politicians in Suga’s party.

5 Oct 2020 - 10:40PM

Japan’s new prime minister and the Chinese president are also seen as likely to discuss Xi’s planned state visit which was delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic and is facing opposition from politicians in Suga’s party.

Xi, Suga will keep their first call sweet, analysts say – so no talk of Hong Kong, Taiwan or the Diaoyu Islands
For Obachaaan, Japan’s grandmother ‘idol group’, the fire still burns

Obachaaan, which means ‘old lady’, was formed by a group of senior citizens as a playful counterpoint to popular teenage boy and girl bands.

24 Sep 2020 - 11:50AM

Obachaaan, which means ‘old lady’, was formed by a group of senior citizens as a playful counterpoint to popular teenage boy and girl bands.

For Obachaaan, Japan’s grandmother ‘idol group’, the fire still burns
Japan’s new PM seen balancing US-China ties, despite calls for closer relations with Beijing

Yoshihide Suga looks likely to follow in his predecessor’s footsteps on international relations – though some in his ruling party would prefer otherwise.

6 Oct 2020 - 1:35PM

Yoshihide Suga looks likely to follow in his predecessor’s footsteps on international relations – though some in his ruling party would prefer otherwise.

Japan’s new PM seen balancing US-China ties, despite calls for closer relations with Beijing
In Japan, plan for dedicated Muslim cemetery in Hiji faces opposition from locals

There are just seven Muslim burial sites in the country, meaning bereaved families must travel far from their homes and at great cost – but Hiji residents claim burials will contaminate the soil and water.

18 Sep 2020 - 5:07PM

There are just seven Muslim burial sites in the country, meaning bereaved families must travel far from their homes and at great cost – but Hiji residents claim burials will contaminate the soil and water.

In Japan, plan for dedicated Muslim cemetery in Hiji faces opposition from locals
Elderly drug mules: are Japan’s yakuza behind wave of arrests across Asia?

When Shunichi Nonaka, 72, was arrested at Phnom Penh airport with 1.7kg of meth in his luggage he apparently became the latest disposable elderly stooge of Japan’s criminal underworld.

17 Sep 2020 - 8:10PM

When Shunichi Nonaka, 72, was arrested at Phnom Penh airport with 1.7kg of meth in his luggage he apparently became the latest disposable elderly stooge of Japan’s criminal underworld.

Elderly drug mules: are Japan’s yakuza behind wave of arrests across Asia?
Taiwan ties of Japan’s new defence minister Nobuo Kishi spark reaction from China

Japan’s new defence minister Nobuo Kishi is the younger brother of ex-PM Shinzo Abe and has met Taiwan’s Tsai Ing-wen on several occasions.

18 Sep 2020 - 8:01PM

Japan’s new defence minister Nobuo Kishi is the younger brother of ex-PM Shinzo Abe and has met Taiwan’s Tsai Ing-wen on several occasions.

Taiwan ties of Japan’s new defence minister Nobuo Kishi spark reaction from China
Japan’s new PM: Yoshihide Suga rises from rural beginnings to replace Shinzo Abe

Suga says he will pursue Abe’s unfinished policies, and that his top priorities will be fighting Covid-19 and turning around the battered economy.

5 Oct 2020 - 10:40PM

Suga says he will pursue Abe’s unfinished policies, and that his top priorities will be fighting Covid-19 and turning around the battered economy.

Japan’s new PM: Yoshihide Suga rises from rural beginnings to replace Shinzo Abe
High-end tourists from China targeted as Japan’s new ‘space port’ prepares for lift-off

PD AeroSpace is developing an airport on an island in Okinawa prefecture for space tourism by 2025, and is eyeing wealth adventure seekers – particularly those from China.

15 Sep 2020 - 9:41AM

PD AeroSpace is developing an airport on an island in Okinawa prefecture for space tourism by 2025, and is eyeing wealth adventure seekers – particularly those from China.

High-end tourists from China targeted as Japan’s new ‘space port’ prepares for lift-off
Bittersweet Suga: Shinzo Abe wanted Japanese women to ‘shine’ in politics. What happened?

Japan’s outgoing prime minister once championed ‘womenomics’, but as he departs the race to succeed him – led by Yoshihide Suga – is a conspicuously male affair.

12 Oct 2020 - 10:47PM

Japan’s outgoing prime minister once championed ‘womenomics’, but as he departs the race to succeed him – led by Yoshihide Suga – is a conspicuously male affair.

Bittersweet Suga: Shinzo Abe wanted Japanese women to ‘shine’ in politics. What happened?
Where to visit in Japan if the travel bubble becomes a reality – lesser known destinations for social distancing

With the country keeping the coronavirus under some degree of control, here are a few suggestions for avoiding the crowds, whether you’re looking for history, adventure or some good old family fun.

12 Sep 2020 - 4:15PM

With the country keeping the coronavirus under some degree of control, here are a few suggestions for avoiding the crowds, whether you’re looking for history, adventure or some good old family fun.

Where to visit in Japan if the travel bubble becomes a reality – lesser known destinations for social distancing
Japan seeks new missile defence plan with eye on China, North Korea

The proposal, if adopted, would mark one of the most significant shifts in Japan’s defence stance since the end of WWII.

12 Sep 2020 - 4:13PM

The proposal, if adopted, would mark one of the most significant shifts in Japan’s defence stance since the end of WWII.

Japan seeks new missile defence plan with eye on China, North Korea