The Monocle Minute

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Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Tuesday 28 June 2016

Image: Thilo Hilberer

Poll position

Voter turnout among Japan’s youth has been abysmal recently, with a mere 33 per cent among voters in their twenties during the last parliamentary election in 2014. Now that the country’s voting age has been lowered to 18 from 20 – a change that went into effect this month – regional governments, universities and high schools are getting involved. Nara prefecture, western Japan, has released a five-minute anime depicting three young women considering the merits of voting in a bid to motivate the 2.4 million 18 and 19-year-olds eligible to vote in the upper house elections on 10 July. Other cities have distributed manga fliers, while universities and high schools have staged mock elections and political debates to fight election-day apathy.

Image: J Brewlet

Putting on a show

Since the Milan Expo wrapped in October, the city has been planning to turn the area that housed the national pavilions into a new scientific-research quarter. Milan’s freshly elected mayor (and former Expo commissioner) Giuseppe Sala maintains that while Brexit might be bad news for Europe, there could be a silver lining in the form of an opportunity to attract big-name investors into the city – and specifically the old expo grounds. In his effort to turn his city into Europe's financial centre, Sala says any companies who face a struggle to stay based in London could look to Milan (with its stock exchange in Piazza Affari) for a new home. As for the former fairgrounds, meetings are already scheduled with Nokia this week, and interest coming from pharmaceutical giant Bayer could bode well for Sala’s project.

Image: Markus Schreiber/PA Images

Unfashionable result

There’s little doubt that the Brexit result dampened the mood at Paris Fashion Week last week, especially after many designers had showed strong support for the Remain campaign. As Berlin’s biannual fashion week gets underway today, it’ll be interesting to see how the UK’s departure is debated. More than 3,500 brands, including Lala Berlin, Odeeh, Dorothee Schumacher and Marina Hoermanseder are set to present their spring/summer 2017 collections until 1 July. Highlights from today’s opener in Berlin-Mitte's Erika-Hess-Eisstadion include shows by Frankfurt-based René Storck and Polish-born designer Dawid Tomaszewski, who studied at London College of Fashion and currently divides his time between Berlin and London. The question some are asking is, for how much longer will that be possible?

Image: In Sappho We Trust

On the up

Mergers are rarely swift affairs but when they occur in a highly unionised industry, such as air travel, they can grind on for years. United Airlines merged with Continental in 2010 but one of the troublesome points of the deal – the status of cabin crews – may finally be fixed. During the intervening six years the 25,000 flight attendants employed by the new larger carrier have only worked on planes owned by one or other of the companies. If a new contract is ratified by the union in Chicago this week then they will be allowed to operate across the combined fleet. Bringing the two crews together will be good for morale and good for passengers, with fewer delays on the ground (the current situation has been blamed for hold-ups) and, you would think, a cheerier service in the air.

From Monocle 24

Image: Calflier001

Haydarpasa Station

A genteel slice of Germania on the Bosphorus, Istanbul’s old Haydarpasa Station is the real junction in Turkey’s modern history.

From Monocle Films

Property Prospectus: Kreis 4

Once a seedy neighbourhood with an air of debauchery, Zürich’s Kreis 4 is now a shiny hub of creativity. Monocle Films pays a visit to the district to discover what all the fuss is about.

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