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

Amid rivalry with China, Japan is aiming for the moon – and beyond

Tokyo has announced plans to double its current US$11 billion space programme, driven by defence considerations and the quest for resources.

1 Jul 2020 - 10:12PM

Tokyo has announced plans to double its current US$11 billion space programme, driven by defence considerations and the quest for resources.

Amid rivalry with China, Japan is aiming for the moon – and beyond
Japan pushes back against Trump’s plan to include South Korea in G7

Tokyo has reportedly told Washington its dissent over Seoul stems from differences in policy on China and North Korea. They have been at odds over issues stemming from Tokyo’s colonial rule between 1910 and 1945.

29 Jun 2020 - 11:34PM

Tokyo has reportedly told Washington its dissent over Seoul stems from differences in policy on China and North Korea. They have been at odds over issues stemming from Tokyo’s colonial rule between 1910 and 1945.

Japan pushes back against Trump’s plan to include South Korea in G7
In Japan, even fans of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe want him to step down

Time to say sayonara? Two in three voters in Japan want Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to step down after his third term, a poll has revealed.

25 Jun 2020 - 9:48PM

Time to say sayonara? Two in three voters in Japan want Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to step down after his third term, a poll has revealed.

In Japan, even fans of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe want him to step down
Japan’s foreign students struggle with high bar for coronavirus aid

Nearly four in 10 foreign students in Japanese universities are from China, and are among those who must meet extra criteria to qualify for financial aid during the coronavirus pandemic.

24 Jun 2020 - 10:38PM

Nearly four in 10 foreign students in Japanese universities are from China, and are among those who must meet extra criteria to qualify for financial aid during the coronavirus pandemic.

Japan’s foreign students struggle with high bar for coronavirus aid
US troops used Japanese minors to fight in Korean war, documents reveal

US troops took some 60 Japanese civilians to Korea in the opening stages of the Korean war, documents from the US National Archives reveal.

23 Jun 2020 - 10:40PM

US troops took some 60 Japanese civilians to Korea in the opening stages of the Korean war, documents from the US National Archives reveal.

US troops used Japanese minors to fight in Korean war, documents reveal
What’s next for Japan’s defence after scrapping US Aegis Ashore system?

Tokyo’s tracking of a foreign submarine has focused attention on its security plans after it announced the scrapping of a US-developed anti-missile system.

22 Jun 2020 - 11:40PM

Tokyo’s tracking of a foreign submarine has focused attention on its security plans after it announced the scrapping of a US-developed anti-missile system.

What’s next for Japan’s defence after scrapping US Aegis Ashore system?
Japan files diplomatic protest over Chinese ships near disputed Diaoyu Islands

Chinese coastguard vessels have been operating near the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands for 65 consecutive days, and Tokyo says it will respond ‘firmly and calmly’.

19 Jun 2020 - 10:11PM

Chinese coastguard vessels have been operating near the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands for 65 consecutive days, and Tokyo says it will respond ‘firmly and calmly’.

Japan files diplomatic protest over Chinese ships near disputed Diaoyu Islands
Japan police arrest Chinese national after woman’s body found stuffed in suitcase

The victim, identified as 37-year-old Chinese national Wang Mou, was last seen by her brother in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro district last July. Her remains were found three months later.

15 Jun 2020 - 11:24PM

The victim, identified as 37-year-old Chinese national Wang Mou, was last seen by her brother in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro district last July. Her remains were found three months later.

Japan police arrest Chinese national after woman’s body found stuffed in suitcase
Mystery of Japan’s ‘cat island’ deaths may be solved after elderly man accused of poisoning felines

Claws were out on Umashima island after its cat population fell from 100 to about 30. Now an elderly man has been accused of poisoning them.

11 Jun 2020 - 6:16PM

Claws were out on Umashima island after its cat population fell from 100 to about 30. Now an elderly man has been accused of poisoning them.

Mystery of Japan’s ‘cat island’ deaths may be solved after elderly man accused of poisoning felines
A second ‘Japanese Schindler’ uncovered: how a diplomat helped Jews fleeing Nazi Germany

An old travel document shows how a diplomat in Vladivostok helped a Jewish family in 1941, similar to how a ‘Japanese Schindler’ issued visas to fleeing Jews.

7 Jun 2020 - 8:38PM

An old travel document shows how a diplomat in Vladivostok helped a Jewish family in 1941, similar to how a ‘Japanese Schindler’ issued visas to fleeing Jews.

A second ‘Japanese Schindler’ uncovered: how a diplomat helped Jews fleeing Nazi Germany
Japan teen arrested after asking undercover police officer to join sex industry

He told her making adult videos will pay well during Japan’s coronavirus crisis. She turned out to be an undercover cop.

3 Jun 2020 - 7:17AM

He told her making adult videos will pay well during Japan’s coronavirus crisis. She turned out to be an undercover cop.

Japan teen arrested after asking undercover police officer to join sex industry
Coronavirus: Japan to give people discounts of US$190 a day to boost domestic tourism

The Go To Travel Campaign will provide Japanese travellers with discounts for hotels, restaurants, transport and attractions.

2 Jun 2020 - 9:30AM

The Go To Travel Campaign will provide Japanese travellers with discounts for hotels, restaurants, transport and attractions.

Coronavirus: Japan to give people discounts of US$190 a day to boost domestic tourism
1 in 2 urban Japanese want to retire in the countryside, government poll reveals

About half of residents in Japan’s urban areas hanker for a more relaxing life in rural areas, a government survey has revealed.

1 Jun 2020 - 4:07PM

About half of residents in Japan’s urban areas hanker for a more relaxing life in rural areas, a government survey has revealed.

1 in 2 urban Japanese want to retire in the countryside, government poll reveals
Japan looks at new laws after Hana Kimura’s death, but can it stamp out its bullying culture?

Cyberbullying was blamed for the wrestler’s death, but as the government looks at new laws, counselling services say bullying is ingrained in Japanese society.

28 May 2020 - 9:44PM

Cyberbullying was blamed for the wrestler’s death, but as the government looks at new laws, counselling services say bullying is ingrained in Japanese society.

Japan looks at new laws after Hana Kimura’s death, but can it stamp out its bullying culture?
Is this Japan’s weirdest mascot? Meet Hokkaido’s Zushihocky, part rice, part clam

He regularly makes small children cry, but that didn’t stop Hokuto’s mascot from winning the title of Japan’s ‘most unforgettable’ official character.

27 May 2020 - 10:44AM

He regularly makes small children cry, but that didn’t stop Hokuto’s mascot from winning the title of Japan’s ‘most unforgettable’ official character.

Is this Japan’s weirdest mascot? Meet Hokkaido’s Zushihocky, part rice, part clam
As Japan’s Hana Kimura is mourned, Terrace House cast say they also faced online abuse

Professional wrestler Hana Kimura died on Saturday and was a cast member of the popular Netflix reality show Terrace House.

26 May 2020 - 1:28PM

Professional wrestler Hana Kimura died on Saturday and was a cast member of the popular Netflix reality show Terrace House.

As Japan’s Hana Kimura is mourned, Terrace House cast say they also faced online abuse
‘Do not open, I will start a fire!’: Japan’s bars, restaurants targeted by coronavirus ‘vigilantes’

A man was charged with forcible obstruction after threatening restaurants that stayed open. Japan has since lifted the coronavirus state of emergency.

25 May 2020 - 9:52PM

A man was charged with forcible obstruction after threatening restaurants that stayed open. Japan has since lifted the coronavirus state of emergency.

‘Do not open, I will start a fire!’: Japan’s bars, restaurants targeted by coronavirus ‘vigilantes’
In Japan, a second term of ‘foolhardy’ Trump is viewed unfavourably amid US-China rivalry

Just 1 in 10 people believe a second term for US President Donald Trump would be positive for Japan, according to a poll.

23 May 2020 - 10:10PM

Just 1 in 10 people believe a second term for US President Donald Trump would be positive for Japan, according to a poll.

In Japan, a second term of ‘foolhardy’ Trump is viewed unfavourably amid US-China rivalry
Japan unveils new assault rifle, amid rising tensions in East China Sea

The Type 20 assault rifle will replace its predecessor that was introduced 31 years ago. Its launch comes as tensions are rising in the waters of the East China Sea surrounding the disputed islands.

20 May 2020 - 6:20PM

The Type 20 assault rifle will replace its predecessor that was introduced 31 years ago. Its launch comes as tensions are rising in the waters of the East China Sea surrounding the disputed islands.

Japan unveils new assault rifle, amid rising tensions in East China Sea
‘No point in lipstick’: Japan’s cosmetics sales drop as face masks become obligatory

Japan’s cosmetics firms expect sales to rebound when the coronavirus crisis is over, as wearing make-up helps people feel more positive.

20 May 2020 - 8:52AM

Japan’s cosmetics firms expect sales to rebound when the coronavirus crisis is over, as wearing make-up helps people feel more positive.

‘No point in lipstick’: Japan’s cosmetics sales drop as face masks become obligatory
Coronavirus: Japan debates one doctor’s call for younger patients to be treated before older ones

Cardiologist Fuminobu Ishikura wants older patients to carry consent cards so doctors in the world’s oldest country won’t have to make difficult choices.

19 May 2020 - 10:52PM

Cardiologist Fuminobu Ishikura wants older patients to carry consent cards so doctors in the world’s oldest country won’t have to make difficult choices.

Coronavirus: Japan debates one doctor’s call for younger patients to be treated before older ones
Point of no return: the British Raj took his ancestor’s sword, now he wants it back

Jarat Chopra is the great-great-great-grandson of the former ruler of the southern Punjab, who gave the British his ‘talwar’ as a symbol of surrender in the closing days of the Second Anglo-Sikh War.

17 May 2020 - 4:30PM

Jarat Chopra is the great-great-great-grandson of the former ruler of the southern Punjab, who gave the British his ‘talwar’ as a symbol of surrender in the closing days of the Second Anglo-Sikh War.

Point of no return: the British Raj took his ancestor’s sword, now he wants it back
In Japan, funny-looking fruit proves a virtual hit for one farm amid pandemic

After a state of emergency imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus kept his usual customers away, Yoshitomo Yahagi had to get creative to sell his ‘wake ari’ produce.

14 May 2020 - 4:47AM

After a state of emergency imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus kept his usual customers away, Yoshitomo Yahagi had to get creative to sell his ‘wake ari’ produce.

In Japan, funny-looking fruit proves a virtual hit for one farm amid pandemic
Leave China? No thanks, some Japanese firms say to Tokyo’s cash incentives

Toyota is among firms who say they have no plans to change their strategy in China, as Tokyo offers subsidies to encourage supply chain diversification.

13 May 2020 - 8:54AM

Toyota is among firms who say they have no plans to change their strategy in China, as Tokyo offers subsidies to encourage supply chain diversification.

Leave China? No thanks, some Japanese firms say to Tokyo’s cash incentives
Modern kimono designs with contemporary twists: four designers updating the traditional Japanese clothing

From large, graphic prints to blending motifs from East and West, a new generation of designers are taking the traditional Japanese kimono and adding modern, contemporary twists to make them more accessible.

12 May 2020 - 8:00PM

From large, graphic prints to blending motifs from East and West, a new generation of designers are taking the traditional Japanese kimono and adding modern, contemporary twists to make them more accessible.

Modern kimono designs with contemporary twists: four designers updating the traditional Japanese clothing
‘Don’t destroy this country’: Japan celebrities break with tradition to lead anti-Abe protest on social media

Critics say Hiromu Kurokawa, an ally of PM Shinzo Abe who was supposed to retire in February, is being primed to replace Japan’s current prosecutor general.

11 May 2020 - 10:30PM

Critics say Hiromu Kurokawa, an ally of PM Shinzo Abe who was supposed to retire in February, is being primed to replace Japan’s current prosecutor general.

‘Don’t destroy this country’: Japan celebrities break with tradition to lead anti-Abe protest on social media
Japanese decry boomer-era tech as hospitals file coronavirus cases by fax

Hospitals are legally required to send handwritten Covid-19 documents by fax to health centres – a dated practice that has been lambasted on social media.

6 May 2020 - 3:04PM

Hospitals are legally required to send handwritten Covid-19 documents by fax to health centres – a dated practice that has been lambasted on social media.

Japanese decry boomer-era tech as hospitals file coronavirus cases by fax
Japan’s Shinzo Abe says he’s missed goal to amend pacifist constitution by 2020

PM Shinzo Abe planned to amend four elements of Japan’s constitution to give more power to the cabinet in an emergency, and to describe the Self-Defence forces as the nation’s legitimate military.

5 May 2020 - 2:25PM

PM Shinzo Abe planned to amend four elements of Japan’s constitution to give more power to the cabinet in an emergency, and to describe the Self-Defence forces as the nation’s legitimate military.

Japan’s Shinzo Abe says he’s missed goal to amend pacifist constitution by 2020
Coronavirus pandemic good for forcing ‘pretty girls’ into sex work, Japan comedian says

Takashi Okamura told a listener of his radio show that the pandemic’s economic fallout would force more desperate young women to enter Japan’s sex industry.

30 Apr 2020 - 2:00PM

Takashi Okamura told a listener of his radio show that the pandemic’s economic fallout would force more desperate young women to enter Japan’s sex industry.

Coronavirus pandemic good for forcing ‘pretty girls’ into sex work, Japan comedian says
Japan’s military pilots have never encountered UFOs, defence minister says

Defence Minister Taro Kono says he is seeking advice from the US Defence Department after it released videos purportedly showing a UFO encounter.

29 Apr 2020 - 5:09PM

Defence Minister Taro Kono says he is seeking advice from the US Defence Department after it released videos purportedly showing a UFO encounter.

Japan’s military pilots have never encountered UFOs, defence minister says