Two things have been big in the news this week (not counting the Keystone's capture of suspect #1 as reported on Tuesday).
The first big thing was that on Thursday Japan had a big celebration to mark the fact that it was the 20 year anniversary of the Emperor's enthronement. Actually it was 20 years and a bit because the previous chap, the (never prosecuted but let's face it he was a) war criminal Hirohito died on January 7th 1989, I'm not really sure why Akihito's official accession date is 12th November, 10 months and a week after he actually got the job, but there you go, I'm not Japanese so I could never understand (and I forgot to ask the guru).
Anyway the way they celebrated this great event was to have a big party in the Emperor's front garden, with celebs and idols and carefully vetted flag waving proles. Here's a picture of the chap that is in no way related to what happened
Akihito with his panawave headdress slightly slipped backwards
As you can see he is a happy chap and, let's be honest, getting on a bit - not surprising as he was born in 1933 so that makes him 76 years old. The bit that gets me is that they had this big party for him in the evening, so everyone could watch on the telly. Why did people want to watch on the telly? Because it was bloody cold and may well have been pissing it down all evening (we've had a lot of rain this week). Poor bloke (and the missus as well) probably wanted to be at home, feet up with a cup of cocoa, but no, he has to watch people 'doing stuff' for him so he will be amused, sort of like watching the royal variety performance from his balcony in the middle of winter. And the entertainment was probably one thin bloke with a silly haircut hitting a fat bloke with an inflatable hammer (which, don't get me wrong, has it's place, but probably not here).
But I must admit I didn't really watch enough of it to be able to write with any great authority (not that that has ever stopped me), mainly because royal families are an unnecessary anachronism and I never like the British one so I'm sure as eggs not going to give a toss about the Japanese one. (Also he's the Emperor, right, the Emperor of which empire in particular? Maybe he's the Emperor Without Portfolio...)
The other thing about this week is that nice Mr Obama (nMO) has dropped in for a visit - not to our flat, I hasten to add, though he would be welcome to stop by for a cup of tea, but to Japan. I haven't really followed what he's done,but I think he made speeches about being nice to Japan, about Krazy Kim (remember him?) and probably some other stuff as well. I heard he might be going to Hiroshima or Nagasaki as nuclear weapon cuts seem to be high on his agenda. If he does, good on him, he ought to as should Brown, Sarkozy, Putin (or Medvedev), Ahmadinejad and any other world leader/idiot who thinks nuclear weapons are a good idea.
All this important national eventing has meant that the Keystone's fresh from their success in catching a felon (and thereby hitting their target for the 2000-2009 reporting period) have had to double shift and hang around the streets of Tokyo giving people hard stares in case they start plotting. I personally was given a particularly vicious look by a member of his majesty's finest whilst walking through Shibuya station on my way home on Wednesday night. I don't really know what the bobby was doing there as I was heading away from anyway remotely connected with either the EWP or the nMO, but then again I was (and still am for that matter) a foreigner and therefore probably a nutter so deserve a hard stare.
(BTW sorry for all the pauses in the typing tonight but my left contact lens is giving me gyp)
Last but not least I have been hitting the riverbank as usual.Thursday night was a typical 7.3km run in an untypical 35m 45s, which if memory serves is a new personal best. Then this afternoon it was a 12km run down towards the bay, completed in 1h 02m 50s - I was very happy with this as it is the longest for a long time, a good time and i can still walk now, though the knees are stiff and the achillies hurts (I will see a sports physiotherapist next week - we play football together so I will ask for a bit of professional advice).