FRONT PAGE NEWS

4 September 2015
The Diet, Japan's parliament, on Thursday enacted revisions to the My Number law to link the new national identification numbers to bank accounts on a voluntary basis from 2018 and to basic pension numbers by May 2017. (Jiji Press)
Japan's government and ruling camp are considering unifying liquor tax rates on beer and quasi-beer that now depend on the amount of malt the beverages contain, informed sources said Thursday. (Jiji Press)
The North Pacific Fisheries Commission on Thursday agreed to take steps to curb an increase in saury fishing boats to help protect fish stock in northern Pacific waters over the long term. (Jiji Press)
The town of Taiji in Wakayama Prefecture began its controversial dolphin hunt on Thursday after bad weather delayed the start, according to a local fisheries official, while a separate whaling hunt is due to start at the weekend. (Japan Today)
Tokyo police on Wednesday arrested sumo stablemaster Kumagatani, 45, on suspicion of assaulting a male assistant. (Jiji Press)

Sep 04
Police charged 689 people in January-June for the possession, smuggling and use of government-designated "dangerous" drugs, or quasi-narcotics, and related crimes and accidents, the National Police Agency said Thursday. (The Japan News)
Sep 04
Police investigating the murder of a 25-year-old woman in her apartment in Tokyo's Nakano Ward last week, said pieces of a man's skin were found under her fingernails. However, police said a DNA analysis was unable to match it with any of the victim's male acquaintances, Fuji TV reported Thursday. (Japan Today)
Sep 03
Osaka Prefectural Police on Wednesday announced the arrest of a 20-year-old university student for the theft of two sports cars, one of which was used at a racing circuit, reports the Asahi Shimbun (Sep. 3). (Tokyo Reporter)
Sep 03
Police in Saga City have arrested a 66-year-old man on suspicion of abandoning the bodies of a man and woman at a construction surplus soil disposal yard in July. (Japan Today)
Sep 02
After a week of speculation, law enforcement said on Tuesday that Japan's largest crime syndicate has chosen to expel 13 affiliate groups, a move that essentially results in the dissolution of the gang, reports the Kobe Shimbun (Sep. 1). (Tokyo Reporter)
[more society news...]           [society blogs...]

Sep 04
Indonesia scrapped plans for its first high-speed railway and asked China and Japan, who were battling over the multi-billion dollar contract, to submit new proposals to build a slower train, a senior minister said on Thursday. (Japan Today)
Sep 04
Ahead of the October start of the new "My Number" universal numbering system for people and corporations, competition between companies offering system updates and information management services is heating up. (The Japan News)
Sep 03
Shake Shack will open the first Tokyo Shack in Meiji-Jingu Gaien park. This Shack, inspired by the first-ever Shake Shack in New York City's Madison Square Park, is slated to open this winter where it will sit among the ginkgo trees on Icho Namiki Avenue in Aoyama. (Japan Today)
Sep 02
Struggling electronics firm Sharp is in negotiations to sell its head office building to Japan's leading furniture retailer Nitori Holdings. (NHK)
Sep 02
Clearly eager to penetrate a new market, U.S. video streaming giant Netflix Inc. kicked off its online service in Japan on Sept. 1, hours ahead of schedule. (Asahi)
[more business news...]           [business blogs...]
Sep 04
Japanese stocks have been wildly gyrating due to uncertainty over China's economy and as hedge funds have engaged in short-term trading. While the Bank of Japan is expected to buttress sagging stock prices by upping its purchases of exchange-traded funds, it may be running out of money for this purpose. (Nikkei)
Sep 02
Japan's monetary base in August rose to a record high for the 13th straight month. (NHK)
Sep 02
The finance ministers and central bank chiefs of the group of 20 major and emerging economies will chiefly discuss the Chinese economy about which there is much concern, at their upcoming meeting in Ankara, informed sources said Tuesday. (Jiji Press)
Aug 28
The Diet passed a bill Friday aiming to promote the role of women in the workplace, along with greater female participation in the economy at a time when the country's population is expected to shrink further. (Japan Times)
Aug 28
The Nikkei 225 Friday rose 3.03% in a continuing rebound, in concert with a rally in mainland China stocks, and overnight gains on Wall Street. The official unemployment rate in Japan fell to 3.3% from 3.4% it was reported Friday, against a season of good earnings reports. (nasdaq.com)
[more economy news...]
Sep 04
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday implicitly scolded Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's view of Japan's wartime history at a reception following a massive military parade in Beijing to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. (Kyodo)
Sep 03
China on Thursday staged a massive military parade commemorating the 70th anniversary of Japan's defeat in World War II, whipping up nationalist fervor as it faces a host of new challenges both internally and internationally. (Kyodo)
Sep 03
South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed Wednesday to hold a three-way summit also including Japan some two months later. (Jiji Press)
Sep 03
A Liberal Democratic Party panel on Wednesday delayed formally adopting proposed changes to the age at which youngsters can smoke and drink a day after unveiling the radical plan. (Japan Times)
Sep 03
The government and ruling bloc have started arrangements to get national security bills passed as early as Sept. 14, sources said Wednesday. (Japan Times)
[more politics news...]
Sep 04
The nation will try to lure additional highly skilled foreign professionals and exchange students as part of a drive to stimulate the stagnant economy, according to the latest draft of an immigration policy review compiled by the Justice Ministry. (Japan Times)
Sep 02
A school in Indonesia is in hot water for utilizing an image of a popular adult video (AV) star from Japan in teaching materials, reports weekly tabloid Shukan Jitsuwa (Sep. 3). (Tokyo Reporter)
Sep 02
Japan's Foreign Ministry on Tuesday launched an online system to help parents communicate with their children who are now with their estranged spouses under the framework of an international treaty to help settle cross-border child custody disputes. (Japan Today)
Sep 01
Child suicides tend to occur more often around the time summer vacation ends and school is about to start, according to a government survey, despite nationwide efforts to take preventive measures. (The Japan News)
Sep 01
The government plans to promote the export of Japanese-style education systems to emerging nations starting in fiscal 2016 in order to provide them with the know-how to teach discipline, develop high scholastic ability and foster practical human resources for immediate use. (The Japan News)
[more education news...]           [education blogs...]
Sep 04
Tokyo Electric Power Co. started pumping up groundwater from wells at its disaster-stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant on Thursday in an operation to prevent radiation-tainted water from increasing further. (The Japan News)
Sep 04
Sony Corp. in autumn will release the world's first smartphone featuring a 4K-resolution display and a more powerful camera. (Asahi)
Sep 02
Japan's National Museum of Nature and Science has added the world's first robot dog with artificial intelligence to a list of Japanese technologies that have greatly changed people's lives. (NHK)
Sep 02
An investigation into health problems triggered by the 2011 nuclear disaster here turned up a new case of thyroid cancer in a young person who lived near the stricken plant. (Asahi)
Sep 02
Seismologists have downgraded an eruption alert level for Mount Sakurajima in Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan. (NHK)
[more sci-tech news...]           [sci-tech blogs...]
Sep 03
Tokyo police on Wednesday arrested sumo stablemaster Kumagatani, 45, on suspicion of assaulting a male assistant. (Jiji Press)
Sep 02
The organizers of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics have decided to withdraw the controversial emblems designed by Japanese art director Kenjiro Sano. (NHK)
Aug 29
The organizing committee of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on Friday showed the original design of Kenjiro Sano's Olympic and Paralympic Games logo embroiled in a plagiarism dispute, backing the Japanese designer's claim that he did not copy a Belgian theater logo. (Kyodo)
Aug 28
The Japanese government has decided on a new plan for a national stadium to be used in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. (NHK)
Aug 26
Super Rugby's 2016 expansion is under threat because of Japan's slow progress in recruiting players and a coach for a competitive team. (smh.com.au)
[more sports news...]
Sep 04
A 200-year-old castle tower has begun a slow journey of 2 months to a nearby site in the northeastern Japanese city of Hirosaki. (NHK)
Sep 04
The Tokyo Disney resort is to get cheaper--but only if it involves an overnight stay. (Asahi)
Sep 01
Tokyo police introduced the Segway two-wheel electric vehicle Tuesday to strengthen security at Haneda airport ahead of key international events in Japan. (Japan Times)
Aug 30
On an unseasonably cool day, thousands of scantily clad samba dancers marched through Tokyo's Asakusa district in a festival on Aug. 29, warming the crowds packing the roadside there. (Asahi)
Aug 29
Visitors to Tokyo Sea Life Park can now enjoy a clear view of the bluefin tuna in its large tank, following the complete removal Friday of the crash prevention tape attached to the glass. (The Japan News)
[more travel news...]           [travel blogs...]
Sep 4
toilet

It's no secret that Japan's population is graying rapidly. In recent years, both the public and private sectors have been thinking more seriously about a truly barrier-free society. This will benefit not only the elderly, but also those coping wit...

Sep 4
Where would you like to be interred? graph of japanese statistics

Here is a rather interesting survey from Hoken (insurance) Clinic, looking at the diversification of graves and funerals.

Demographics

Over the 4th and 5th of August 2015 500 people, 250 male and 250 female, aged between 40 and 60 years old comp...

Sep 3
Get ready for our monthly water cooler discussion on Asian news with YouTuber Hikosaemon. This month: Japan, WWII, China, and Korea plus a whole lot more.
Sep 2
Improve Your Classes with Better Communication

Recently, I had the good fortune to be invited by my city board of education to give a seminar, along with some of my fellow native English teachers, to Japanese elementary school teachers. The theme of the three day event was: Improving your work...

Sep 2
Comic: A visit to the hospital [click here to finish reading this comic on LINE webtoons] I'm really hoping to get picked up by the LINE webtoons team and become a featured artist. If y'all read, comment, and favorite the comic on the webtoons site, I have a MUCH highe...
Sep 1

My neighborhood association sponsored morning calisthenics for a two week period on weekday mornings that coincided with children's school summer holiday. These simple and light exercises are known as rajio taisō (radio calisthenics) and were ori...
Sep 1
What's going on?

Before arriving in Japan I was always bemused when I saw pictures or news reports of crowds of people walking around wearing surgical masks. What on earth was going on? Had there been an outbreak of a zombie-like virus that I wasn't aware of?

Wha...

Sep 1
As loofahs are often used for washing in a similar manner as a sponge, many people don't release that in fact it's a vegetable. They can be eaten, but after ripening the fruit can be boiled to remove the flesh, leaving the familiar wiry form. In J...
Sep 1
Kirin has made changes to its Ichiban Shibori Beer packaging in Singapore is will give six packs to a few selected followers who spot the four differences. If you live in Singapore, you might want to check out their Facebook feed. There are alread...
Sep 1
An Introduction to Macrobiotic

Living in Japan, especially in Tokyo being under pressure is the norm as we move in and out of our daily activities on super-tight schedules. More than that, we have to do it with grace and poise knowing how much etiquette and mannerism play a cru...

[all blogs...]