FRONT PAGE NEWS

1 August 2014
While tropical downpours bring the threat of flooding through this weekend to Japan and South Korea, the danger of a typhoon looms for next week. (accuweather.com)
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chile's President Michelle Bachelet agreed here Thursday to seek stronger cooperation on developing the Andean nation's abundant mineral resources. (Nikkei)
The average life expectancy of Japanese men topped 80 years in 2013 for the first time ever, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said Thursday. (Jiji Press)
An independent judicial panel of citizens said Thursday it has decided that three former executives of Tokyo Electric Power Co. merit indictment over the 2011 nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant. (Kyodo)
Osaka police said Wednesday they failed to report roughly 81,000 criminal cases to the National Police Agency between 2008 and 2012, or nearly 10 percent of the total reported by the prefectural police force during the five-year period. (Kyodo)

Aug 01
This week the annual charity event known as the Sumo Run took place in London's Battersea Park. To raise money for education in sub-Saharan Africa, participants don inflatable sumo suits and run the 5km course around the park, no doubt delighting passersby in the country that gave us Monty Python. (rocketnews24.com)
Jul 31
On Tuesday evening, commuters at Urawa Station in Saitama Prefecture were in for a bit of a shock when an abandoned piece of corrugated cardboard suddenly burst into flames. (rocketnews24.com)
Jul 31
On July 16, Kanagawa Prefectural Police arrested Koichi Yokoyama, a former Liberal Democratic Party member of the Kanagawa Prefectural Assembly, for allegedly possessing stimulant drugs at his apartment in Yokohama last month. (Tokyo Reporter)
Jul 31
Japan's smoking rate in 2014 fell below 20 pct for the first time since such statistics began in 1965, Japan Tobacco Inc. said Wednesday. (Jiji Press)
Jul 31
Police in Japan say that a 16-year-old girl has admitted to slaying her classmate because she "wanted to kill someone" and "dissect" the body, according to Japanese news agency Kyodo News. (huffingtonpost.com)
[more society news...]           [society blogs...]

Aug 01
The Consumer Affairs Agency has issued a warning to consumers to be careful when using topical coolant skin sprays after a number of cases in which people sustained serious burns after the spray ignited. (Japan Today)
Aug 01
Panasonic has been scaling back investment under President Kazuhiro Tsuga but seems ready for a reversal, as suggested by its plans announced Thursday to build a lithium-ion battery plant in collaboration with U.S. electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors. (Nikkei)
Aug 01
Japan's Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry issued a business improvement order on Thursday to Novartis Pharma K.K. for its failure to report serious side effects of its leukemia treatment drugs. (Jiji Press)
Aug 01
Japan-based messaging app Line Corp saw second-quarter revenue jump by more than half, fuelled by growth outside its home market, in a boost to the service's plans for an initial public offering that could value the firm at up to $20 billion. (Reuters)
Jul 31
Hokkaido Electric Power Co. <9509> applied for government approval Thursday of its plan to raise electricity rates for households by 17.03 pct on average, the first hike since September last year. (Jiji Press)
[more business news...]           [business blogs...]
Aug 01
Japan must raise its sales tax again to conquer one of the world's heaviest public debt burdens, the International Monetary Fund said Thursday, as it called for deep economic reforms. (Japan Today)
Jul 31
Japan's Nikkei share average rose to a fresh six-month high on Thursday after solid US growth buoyed sentiment and as the weakening yen lifted exporters, while Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group's earnings boosted the banking sector. (brecorder.com)
Jul 31
Japan could be flirting with recession after the weakest factory output since 2011, which, following a surprising fall in exports last week, could pressure the central bank to ease policy and complicate a decision on whether to raise taxes. (Japan Today)
Jul 30
Tokyo stocks rose slightly on Wednesday as market sentiment was lifted by a weaker yen and strong corporate results. (china.org.cn)
Jul 30
A record high 13.5 percent of existing housing units in Japan were vacant as of last Oct. 1, up 0.4 percentage point from five years earlier when the survey was last conducted, the government said Tuesday. (Kyodo)
[more economy news...]
Aug 01
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Thursday that he plans to reshuffle his Cabinet and Liberal Democratic Party leadership in the first week of September. (Kyodo)
Jul 31
Japan has been practicing storming beaches with the U.S. and other countries in Hawaii this month. The amphibious landing exercises, which are relatively new to Japan's military, come as Tokyo tries to boost its ability to defend small islands it controls but China claims as its own. (abcnews.go.com)
Jul 29
Russia criticized Japan on Tuesday for imposing new sanctions against Moscow over the recent shooting down of a Malaysian Airlines passenger jet in eastern Ukraine. (Jiji Press)
Jul 29
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hopes to replace Shigeru Ishiba, secretary-general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, when his cabinet and the LDP leadership team are reshuffled in early September, informed sources said Tuesday. (Jiji Press)
Jul 29
The government says it will allow landowners to keep their property rights for the land where it will build temporary storage facilities for radioactive debris in Fukushima Prefecture. It had originally planned to buy the land for the facilities. (NHK)
[more politics news...]
Jul 31
A Japanese university has taken the step of evicting all 105 residents of a school dormitory for breaching its no-drinking rule, according to media reports. (The West)
Jul 31
A belief widely held in Japan that blood type is linked to personality has no scientific basis, according to a recent statistical analysis conduced by a Kyushu University lecturer. Kengo Nawata, who specializes in social psychology, analyzed survey results encompassing more than 10,000 people from Japan and the United States to draw the conclusion. (The Japan News)
Jul 31
Yasuda Kodo auditorium, a symbol of University of Tokyo, is undergoing reconstruction to restore it to its original 1925 exterior. (The Japan News)
Jul 30
A total of 741 smartphone users under 18 became victims of sex crimes in Japan in 2013 as a result of the use of social networking sites, up 4.6-fold from the previous year, the National Police Agency said Tuesday. (Jiji Press)
Jul 29
A British court has ordered the return of a child to Japan under the Hague convention on child abduction, in the first case applied to a Japanese child since Japan ratified the treaty to help settle international child custody disputes, people involved in the case said Tuesday. (Kyodo)
[more education news...]           [education blogs...]
Aug 01
Yahoo Japan Corp. launched a car navigation app Thursday, hoping the Japanese-language features and access to Japan-specific data will help it compete with the likes of Apple Inc. and Google Inc. (Wall Street Journal)
Aug 01
Gearing up for the upcoming release of its household robot, Pepper, Softbank has established a new company and plans to set up two locations for collaborating with outsiders to create applications. (Nikkei)
Jul 31
Airborne radioactive materials released during debris-clearing work at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant were found in a town 60 kilometers away on seven occasions since December 2011. (Asahi)
Jul 29
Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata says the pressure he felt while serving as the commander of the International Space Station was like nothing he had experienced before. (NHK)
Jul 29
A maternity clinic in Nagano Prefecture has overseen the birth of 118 babies to 79 married couples using sperm from the husbands' fathers, it has been learned. (The Japan News)
[more sci-tech news...]           [sci-tech blogs...]
Jul 31
Brazil and Barcelona striker Neymar says he is almost back to full fitness after the serious back injury he sustained at the World Cup. (foxnews.com)
Jul 28
Grand champion Hakuho defeated his Mongolian compatriot, Harumafuji, on Sunday to win his 30th career title at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament, edging closer to the all-time championship record in Japan's ancient sport. (AP)
Jul 27
Ozeki Kotoshogiku has changed an improbable script into his moment of truth ahead of the final day of the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament. (Japan Times)
Jul 27
Derek Jeter stood on the dugout steps, stone-faced as a statue, when Ichiro Suzuki approached after rounding with the bases with his first home run since last August. (Japan Times)
Jul 26
Yokozuna Hakuho suffered a stunning defeat on Friday to fall back into a three-way tie for the lead with an 11-2 record at the 15-day Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament. (Japan Times)
[more sports news...]
Jul 31
Tokyo sightseeing bus operator Hato Bus Co. said Wednesday it will offer more of its popular bus and boat tours to famous "haunted" places with a professional storyteller. (Japan Times)
Jul 29
People prayed for good health as they walked through a giant wreath at a temple in the ancient capital of Nara. (NHK)
Jul 28
Japanese officials plan to call on local banks and convenience store chains to install automated teller machines that accept bank and credit cards issued abroad. (NHK)
Jul 27
An express train service from Narita International Airport to Kawaguchiko Station in Yamanashi Prefecture near Mount Fuji began on Saturday. (Japan Today)
Jul 27
A tank re-creating the conditions in the sea near the Kerama Islands in Okinawa Prefecture is now on display in front of the Sony Building in Tokyo's Ginza district. (The Japan News)
[more travel news...]           [travel blogs...]