China will collect the DNA of every adult in Xinjiang province, where Uyghur people are systematically oppressed

Xinjiang province is the site of intense surveillance and oppression, even by Chinese standards; it’s home to the largely Muslim Uyghur minority, and a combination of racism and Islamaphobia drive a uniquely intrusive grade of policing and surveillance. The Chinese government is undertaking a “Population Registration Program” that involves gathering […]

Drone delivers fried chicken to residents of city in Fukushima

The Asahi Shimbun (Archive) MINAMI-SOMA, Fukushima Prefecture–An experimental project using a drone to deliver fried foods has started in this city affected by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. The joint project by Internet company Rakuten Inc. and convenience store operator Lawson Inc. is aimed at spurring the return of elderly evacuees […]

China says insulting anthem now criminal, punishable by jail

The Associated Press (Archive) BEIJING–China’s rubber-stamp legislature on Saturday made disrespecting the national anthem a criminal offense punishable by up to three years in prison amid rising nationalist appeals from the ruling Communist Party under the leadership of President Xi Jinping. The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress passed […]

No cash accepted at Tokyo eatery to deal with labor shortage

Azusa Ushio The Asahi Shimbun (Archive) FUKUOKA–Restaurant chain operator Royal Holdings Co. has cooked up an innovative solution to overcome the labor shortage problem–eliminating cash payments. Cashless restaurant Gathering Table Pantry will open on a trial basis in Tokyo on Nov. 6 with a “No Cash” sign at its entrance. […]

China Is Creating a Database of Its Citizens’ Voices to Boost its Surveillance Capability: Report

Joseph Hincks TIME The Chinese government has collected tens of thousands of “voice pattern” samples from targeted citizens and is inputting them into a national voice biometric database, according to a Human Rights Watch report published Monday. The idea is that an automated system, thought to still be in development, will use […]