FRONT PAGE NEWS

22 January 2017
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent Donald Trump a message celebrating his inauguration as new president of the United States in Washington on Friday. (Jiji)
The number of people who committed suicide in Japan in 2016 fell 9.4 pct from the previous year, its fastest decline on record, the health ministry said in a preliminary report Friday. (Jiji)
The organizing committee of the 2017 Asian Winter Games to be held in Hokkaido, northern Japan, next month has asked a Japanese hotel chain to take appropriate measures amid criticism for its owner's denial of the 1937 Nanjing incident. (Jiji)
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has ordered all of the country's ministries and agencies to check whether their officials helped colleagues secure post-retirement jobs. (NHK)
Seven Cambodian women have been rescued from a restaurant in Japan where they were allegedly forced into sex work after a victim made a desperate Facebook plea for help, an official said on Wednesday. (scmp.com)

Jan 21
The Environment Ministry said Friday that it has punished a 71-year-old part-time worker at Shinjuku Gyoen National Park in central Tokyo for neglecting to collect entry fees from some non-Japanese speakers. (Jiji)
Jan 21
Workers at a maker of fermented kanzuri seasoning scatter red peppers on snow-covered rice paddies in Myoko, Niigata Prefecture, on Friday. (the-japan-news.com)
Jan 20
A female fortuneteller was ordered by a judge on Wednesday to pay nearly 100 million yen in damages to a woman for controlling her mind and coercing her to work as a prostitute. (tokyoreporter.com)
Jan 19
The annual number of criminal offences in Japan has dropped below 1 million for the first time on record. (NHK)
Jan 19
The president of the Japan Shogi Association has officially announced his resignation after a top player of the chess-like game was cleared of allegations of software-assisted cheating. (NHK)

[more society news…]           [society blogs…]


Jan 21
The manufacturer of the Mitsubishi Regional Jet plans to postpone its first delivery until mid-2020. (NHK)
Jan 20
Mori Building, a leading urban landscape developer, will start constructing two new skyscrapers at Toranomon Hills, one for business beginning in February and the other for residences beginning in March. (Japan Today)
Jan 19
Toshiba Corp. has sought financial assistance from the state-owned Development Bank of Japan as it expects an asset impairment loss of up to 700 billion yen ($6.17 billion) from its U.S. nuclear business, sources close to the matter said Thursday. (Kyodo)
Jan 19
Dentsu Inc. decided Thursday to promote Senior Vice President Toshihiro Yamamoto to president, replacing Tadashi Ishii who will step down to take responsibility for the overwork-related suicide of a young employee. (Japan Times)
Jan 19
Three days off per week are increasingly common in Japan's workplaces as employers seek to improve the work-life balance in line with the government's push for labor reform. (Nikkei)

[more business news…]           [business blogs…]


Jan 21
The administration of new US President Donald Trump has announced through the White House website its intention to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement. (NHK)
Jan 19
Stocks gained further ground on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Thursday thanks to the yen's easing, lifting the benchmark Nikkei average to its first finish above 19,000 in three days. (Japan Times)
Jan 19
Japan has maintained its hold for a second month on the No. 1 spot atop China among foreign owners of U.S. Treasury securities. (Japan Today)
Jan 14
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says Japan and Australia should advance free trade and boost collaboration on regenerative medicine, artificial intelligence and other fields. (NHK)
Jan 11
Global economic growth is expected to accelerate 2.7 percent this year, up from an estimated 2.3 percent last year, but uncertainty over the policies of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump cloud the outlook, the World Bank said Tuesday. (Kyodo)

[more economy news…]


Jan 21
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent Donald Trump a message celebrating his inauguration as new president of the United States in Washington on Friday. (Jiji)
Jan 20
The position of the Japan-U.S. alliance as the linchpin of Japanese foreign policy and security is an "unchanging principle," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in a policy speech Friday hours before the inauguration of the next U.S. president. (Kyodo)
Jan 20
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has ordered all of the country's ministries and agencies to check whether their officials helped colleagues secure post-retirement jobs. (NHK)
Jan 19
The first batch of the US military's F-35 state-of-the-art stealth aircraft has arrived in Japan. It's the first deployment of the fighter jet outside the US mainland. (NHK)
Jan 18
Caroline Kennedy stepped down Wednesday after three years as U.S. ambassador to Japan, where she was welcomed like a celebrity and worked to deepen the U.S.-Japan relationship despite regular flare-ups over American military bases on the southern island of Okinawa. (Japan Today)

[more politics news…]


Jan 19
Osaka police have referred the mother of a teenage pop performer to prosecutors on suspicion of allowing her daughter to skip school. (NHK)
Jan 17
A smoking ban inside restaurants is one of the main pillars aimed at preventing damage from passive smoking in a draft revision to the Health Promotion Law, according to sources. (the-japan-news.com)
Jan 16
Students and graduates of high schools across Japan have completed the unified college entrance examinations. (NHK)
Jan 14
The National Center for University Entrance Examinations on Saturday begin two days of tests across the nation. The center said that 575,966 students-12,198 more than last year-are sitting for the exams at 691 test centers nationwide. (Japan Today)
Jan 12
China will bring forward the start date of the country's war with Japan by six years in education textbooks, a move that is expected to "strengthen patriotic education," state media reported. (Japan Times)

[more education news…]           [education blogs…]


Jan 18
The Nuclear Regulation Authority on Wednesday unanimously adopted a screening report concluding that the No. 3 and No. 4 reactors at Kyushu Electric Power Co.'s <9508> Genkai nuclear power station in southwestern Japan meet the country's new safety standards for their restart. (Jiji)
Jan 17
Japanese health officials say a fake product labeled as a drug for hepatitis C was sold in western Japan. (NHK)
Jan 16
A Japanese ship has been caught with a slaughtered whale in the Antarctic in defiance of an international court decision against Tokyo's hunts, activist group Sea Shepherd said Sunday. (Japan Times)
Jan 15
A launch of a Japanese mini-rocket has ended in failure. The flight was aborted because of technical difficulties. (NHK)
Jan 15
Authorities in Gifu Prefecture in central Japan have detected a highly contagious bird flu virus at a poultry farm. This has prompted the prefectural government to cull all 80,000 chickens kept there. (NHK)

[more sci-tech news…]           [sci-tech blogs…]


Jan 19
University rugby, the traditional center of the game in Japan, will no longer have a place in the national championships, the Japan Rugby Football Union decided on Wednesday. (Japan Times)
Jan 18
A 10-year-old boy in Okawa City was killed by a falling soccer goal that wasn't properly secured to the ground, school board officials said on Friday. (tokyoreporter.com)
Jan 09
Sumo's three Mongolian yokozuna had convincing wins on Sunday as the 15-day New Year Grand Sumo Tournament got under way before Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko. (Japan Times)
Jan 07
Japan's oldest professional soccer player says he wants to give fans an enjoyable performance in the upcoming season. (NHK)
Jan 02
Kashima Antlers completed Japan's double on Sunday by beating Kawasaki Frontale 2-1 in the Emperor's Cup final. (Japan Today)

[more sports news…]


Jan 20
Over 9.4 million foreign tourists visited Osaka last year, the largest number ever, Osaka tourism authorities announced earlier this week. (Japan Times)
Jan 18
A drop in per-person spending by foreign tourists in 2016 has highlighted challenges Japan needs to overcome to meet its goal of achieving 8-trillion-yen spending by them, pundits pointed out Tuesday. (Jiji)
Jan 16
Snow continues to fall in many parts of Japan, causing fatal accidents and disrupting traffic. (NHK)
Jan 16
After 17 years in the Japan travel business, you might have thought we'd seen everything there is to see. And it's true – we have explored every inch of Japan, toured every prefecture, eaten in thousands of restaurants and slept at countless hotels. Yet in a country as fast-paced as Japan, there's always something new and exciting happening to make us see our favourite destinations in a different light. So in 2017, where will we be heading? (insidejapantours.com)
Jan 12
Kanto Bus Co. and transport company Ryobi Holdings said Wednesday they will introduce a luxury overnight bus, the Dream Sleeper, to link Tokyo and Osaka on Jan. 18, offering secluded compartments for each passenger. (Japan Times)

2017: What’s hot in Japan for the Year Of The Rooster
After 17 years in the Japan travel business, you might have thought we’d seen everything there is to see. And it’s true – we have explored every inch of Japan, toured every prefecture, eaten in thousands of restaurants and slept at countless hotels. Yet in a country as fast-paced as Japan, there’s always something new and exciting happening to make us see our favourite destinations in a different light. So in 2017, where will we be heading? (insidejapantours.com)

[more travel news…]           [travel blogs…]


Jan 20

One of my favorite things about Japan are onsens (hot springs).

I was introduced to onsens on my first visit here, before I decided to relocate. I came to visit a friend and stayed with him for a couple of weeks. During that time he, his girlfrie...

Jan 20
This is the stuff of adult dreams isn't it? The four-day week. Getting such a schedule often feels like a quest akin to searches for the Holy Grail and yet it can be the product of a reasoning childlike in its simplicity; Why don't we all just ...
Jan 20
In the blink of an eye, we're more than halfway through the first month of the year. We hope that 2017 has been good to you cheapos so far. If you made a New Year's resolution to go out and explore the city, here's your handy guide to Tokyo Februa...
Jan 20

“cm-VEGE” by art student Takuma Kamata

Our industrialized economy has consistently evolved to become more rational and efficient to the point that so much of our food is now processed so that it looks the same, tastes the same and can be ship...

Jan 20
Find out what life was like in the Osaka of old with a free workshop hosted by the Osaka Museum of Housing and Living. Stroll around a full scale model of Edo-era Osaka in kimono. Tenjinbashi is one of the oldest shopping districts in Osaka, but...
Jan 19
worm-and-soft

Now birds keep trying to eat my socks…

Photo courtesy of Mike C.
Found in Okinawa, Japan.
Red text says: “We love a pretty article.
I'm cute and spend it in a pop everyday”

...continue reading
Jan 19

Every January, from the ninth to the eleventh, Imamiya Ebisu Shrine in the heart of Osaka becomes the epicenter of what is known as “Ebessan.” The real name of the holiday is Toka Ebisu, but “Toka” itself stands for the tenth of January ...

Jan 19

a traditional rakugo theater and stage

My kids, 10 and 8, are hooked on rakugo. I never thought I would say that, and it still feels weird that they look forward to watching an ancient (at least for them) form of Japanese comedic storytelling.

Rak...

Jan 16
4 Women's Rights Organizations You Can Support in Japan

When you live in Japan, starry-eyed visions of cherry blossoms and anime settings gradually give way to the real joys and frustrations of living in a real country. Over time, I heard one problem in particular brought up again and again by friends ...

Jan 16
Sesoko Island, Okinawa.瀬底島

Sesoko Island is a small island off the Motubu Peninsula near Nago on the west coast connected by bridge to Okinawa Honto.



Sesoko has a few lovely white sand beaches and a number of guest houses and minsuku that attract budget travelers fo...

[all blogs…]