FRONT PAGE NEWS

19 July 2019
Police have confirmed 25 people have died in a suspected arson attack in Kyoto. They say 36 others were injured and five others are still unaccounted for. (NHK)
Johnny and Associates Inc., one of the most powerful talent agencies in Japan, is suspected of having pressured commercial broadcasting television stations to stop inviting three former members of popular boy band SMAP on their shows after they left the office in 2017, sources familiar with the matter said Wednesday. (Kyodo)
A Japanese policeman stabbed another officer by mistake during training when he used a real knife instead of a replica. (NHK)
Tokyo DisneySea will launch a new flight simulator attraction Tuesday that promises to make visitors feel as if they are soaring over famous landmarks such as the Great Wall of China and the Egyptian pyramids. (Japan Times)
School-related matters led to more suicides last year among youth aged between 10 and 19 than any other issue, the government said Tuesday in its annual paper on the topic. (Japan Times)




Jul 18
Japan is struggling to cope with hundreds of thousands of middle-aged social recluses across the country, with municipalities reporting they are critically short of social workers and other personnel needed to help them return to society. (Japan Times)
Jul 18
Johnny and Associates Inc., one of the most powerful talent agencies in Japan, is suspected of having pressured commercial broadcasting television stations to stop inviting three former members of popular boy band SMAP on their shows after they left the office in 2017, sources familiar with the matter said Wednesday. (Kyodo)
Jul 18
A Japanese policeman stabbed another officer by mistake during training when he used a real knife instead of a replica. (NHK)
Jul 18
Police in Tokyo disclosed Wednesday they are looking for a man who poked another man in the eye with what is believed to be an umbrella tip after an argument outside JR Meguro Station earlier this month. (Japan Today)
Jul 17
Former Emperor Akihito briefly suffered from cerebral anemia last week, forcing him to postpone his regular health checkup, the Imperial Household Agency said Tuesday. (Japan Today)

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Jul 17
Over two weeks of cloudy and rainy days in Tokyo and nearby areas has resulted in higher vegetable prices and sluggish sales of summer clothing. (Japan Times)
Jul 17
U.S. investment firm Blackstone Group will spend over 100 billion yen ($926 million) to buy distribution centers in Japan, seeing room for growth in the country's relatively small e-commerce market, Nikkei has learned. (Nikkei)
Jul 15
Japan's 100-yen shops are stepping up store openings as they continue to gain ground among thrifty consumers, with supermarkets and drugstores seeking them out as tenants to draw customers, shifting the dynamic in the nation's retail landscape. (Nikkei)
Jul 13
Japanese cryptocurrency exchange operator Bitpoint has lost 3.5 billion yen ($32 million) in a hacking attack, parent company Remixpoint announced on Friday. (Nikkei)
Jul 12
Japan's national mint has begun making the first coins featuring the new era name Reiwa. (NHK)

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Jul 15
Russia has rejected starting talks with Japan on the return of two disputed islands despite an agreement last year, in a move that could further delay the signing of a peace treaty between the two countries, diplomatic sources said Sunday. (Japan Today)
Jul 13
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday offered an apology to family members of leprosy patients for their suffering, after the government decided not to appeal a court ruling ordering the state to pay compensation. (Japan Times)
Jul 13
Princess Mako paid a visit to Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra on Thursday in Lima during her trip to mark the 120th anniversary of the start of Japanese immigration to the South American country. (Japan Times)
Jul 10
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Tuesday that the government will not file an appeal against a recent court ruling in Kumamoto awarding damages to former leprosy patients’ kin. (Japan Times)
Jul 09
Lawmakers’ income averaged ¥26.57 million in 2018, the highest in 16 years and up ¥2.45 million from a year before, parliamentary data showed Monday. (Japan Times)

[more politics news…]


Jul 17
School-related matters led to more suicides last year among youth aged between 10 and 19 than any other issue, the government said Tuesday in its annual paper on the topic. (Japan Times)
Jul 15
Japan's Princess Mako has visited the ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu in Peru and a village that once had a Japanese immigrant as its chief. (NHK)
Jul 11
The population of Japanese nationals has fallen for the 10th straight year, while the ratio of foreign residents topped 2 percent for the first time. (NHK)
Jul 10
Princess Mako left Japan on Tuesday for Peru and Bolivia, where she will attend ceremonies marking the 120th anniversary of the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants. It is the first time for the princess to visit the two South American countries. (NHK)
Jul 09
Miyagi Prefectural Police have arrested a 30-year-old male middle school teacher over the alleged possession of marijuana in Sendai City, reports the Sankei Shimbun (July 7). (tokyoreporter.com)

[more education news…]           [education blogs…]


Jul 17
Toyota Motor Corp. and Japan's space exploration agency said Tuesday they have signed a three-year agreement to jointly research and develop a rover to be sent to the Moon in 2029. (Kyodo)
Jul 16
The Tokyo metropolitan region experienced another cloudy and rainy day on Monday, marking the 18th straight day in which the country’s capital has seen less than three hours of sunshine per day. (Japan Today)
Jul 13
The aroma of vanilla extract can help to ease muscle pain and tension and may eventually factor into a treatment for stress headaches, a team of Japanese researchers has concluded. (Japan Today)
Jul 12
Japan's Hayabusa2 probe made a "perfect" touchdown Thursday on a distant asteroid, collecting samples from beneath the surface in an unprecedented mission that could shed light on the origins of the solar system. (Japan Today)
Jul 10
Numerous plastic bags were found in the stomachs of more than half of the 14 wild deer that have died in Nara Park in western Japan since March, prompting the local government to take action to protect them. (Japan Today)

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Jul 15
Shintaro Mochizuki became the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam junior boys' title by beating Carlos Gimeno Valero of Spain 6-3, 6-2 in the Wimbledon final. (Japan Today)
Jul 14
With just about two months to go before the Rugby World Cup kicks off in Japan for the first time, excitement is in the air in Higashiosaka, where the holy land of Japanese rugby -- Hanazono Rugby Stadium -- is located. (Kyodo)
Jul 11
3D slot games are the future of online casino. It's come a long way from the old penny slot machines that were available over a century ago. (newsonjapan.com)
Jul 09
Elementary schoolgirl Sumire Nakamura, who in April became the youngest professional go player, has claimed her first career win. (Japan Times)
Jul 05
Overwhelmed by unprecedented demand, Tokyo Olympic organizers said Thursday they hope to run another ticket lottery next month for residents of Japan who got nothing the first time. (Japan Today)

[more sports news…]


Jul 18
Ornately decorated floats paraded through Japan's ancient capital Kyoto on Wednesday at the climax of the annual Gion Festival. (NHK)
Jul 18
Tokyo DisneySea will launch a new flight simulator attraction Tuesday that promises to make visitors feel as if they are soaring over famous landmarks such as the Great Wall of China and the Egyptian pyramids. (Japan Times)
Jul 16
The sounds of chanting men carrying huge, decorated floats signaled the climax of the Hakata Gion Yamakasa festival. Each float weighs more than one ton. (NHK)
Jul 15
Five years ago, residents of Tomioka, Gunma Prefecture, believed that the registration of a local historical landmark as a World Heritage site would reinvigorate the typical Japanese regional city facing a constant decline in population. (Japan Times)
Jul 12
Premium travelers on Japan's All Nippon Airways will soon have the option of reclining in their own personal, closed-off space during international flights. (Nikkei)

[more travel news…]           [travel blogs…]


Jul 17
Totoro - Exploring the Studio Ghibli Museum

The Studio Ghibli Museum in Mitaka of west Tokyo was designed by none other than Hayao Miyazaki. Miyazaki is the famed director behind the films My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, Princess Mononoke, and more. This isn't a typ...

Jul 17
View of a Kyoto temple in autumn

Kyoto is easily one of the most FOMO-inducing cities in the world. Packed with so much to see/do/taste/try/fall in love with, you might be unsure of what should be on your Kyoto-do list. That's why we've done it for you! Here are the 15 things you...

Jul 16
Japan ranks no.2 in asia for study abroad

Japan has been ranked second best in a list of top countries in Asia in which to study abroad, according to data released by higher education search portal educations.com. It's great news for anyone who's thinking of studying in Japan, with applic...

Jul 16

It's the winter of 2007, and I'm hiking along an isolated track called the Kogumotori-goe in southern Wakayama Prefecture with my newlywed wife Kanako. The faint, poorly-marked trail leads up to a viewpoint flanked by a large weather-beaten jizō ...

Jul 16
copy fax print konbini machine

In Japan, you can't walk a single block without passing at least one convenience store, or “konbini” (コンビニ) in Japanese. Japan has over 55,000 convenience stores, with close to 10,000 just in Tokyo alone! Chances are you've already hea...

Jul 15
6 Things You Didn't Know About Kimonos

Recently, we've seen US influencer and entrepreneur Kim Kardashian-West trademark the word “kimono” for her line of shapewear and then swiftly backtrack when social media criticized her lack of cultural sensitivity. Nobody doubted why it was s...

Jul 15
The 8 Hells of Beppu, Japan's incredible hot-spring experience Visiting the 8 Hells of Beppu – An Introduction Visit Beppu - home to hot-springs and the 8 hells, a unique tourist attraction only found in Japan!

No visit to Kyushu would be complete without a stop in the famous spa city of Beppu. Beppu is a place that appears as if it's about ready to blow at any moment, as steam ri...

Jul 14
A man walks past a poster board erected in Tokyo with candidates' posters for the July 21 Upper House election (Photo: Rodrigo Reyes Marin/AFLO/Reuters).

Author: Corey Wallace, Free University Berlin

The last three Upper House elections Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has faced as leader of the Liberal Democratic Party have been symbolic. In 2007 he suffered a devastating, seemingly career-endi...

Jul 14
Kodo Horikawa (front left) with Kazuto Ishida (right)
Ishida was the 5th Chief Justice of Japan,
the second chairman of the All Japan Kendo Federation
and 5th Soke of Yamaoka Tesshu's Itto Shoden Muto-ryu
Ishida's wife (front center) and daughter (b...
Jul 13
Japanese Prime Minister and leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Shinzo Abe shakes hands with his supporters after he delivered a campaign speech for his party candidate Keizo Takemi for the 21 July Upper House election in Tokyo on Sunday, 7 July 2019. (Photo: Yoshio Tsunoda/AFLO).

Author: Gregory W. Noble, University of Tokyo

Members of the House of Councillors, Japan's upper house, serve six-year terms — and half of those seats are up for election every three years. 124 seats will be contested on 21 July, 74 from the 47 ...

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