FRONT PAGE NEWS

25 July 2016
Harumafuji defeated fellow Mongolian yokozuna Hakuho on Sunday to win the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament and seize his eighth career championship. (Japan Times)
Japan's main governing Liberal Democratic Party has regained a majority in the Upper House for the first time in 27 years. (NHK)
A traditional summer festival featuring samurai on horseback began in the Soma region of Fukushima Prefecture. (NHK)
Smartphone game "Pokemon Go" made its debut in Japan on Friday morning. The app - which was distributed in Western markets prior to its release in Japan and surged in popularity - is also likely to be a big hit in the country that gave life to Pokemon. (the-japan-news.com)
Japan's Supreme court rejected Thursday an appeal against a lower court decision to give the death sentence to a 31-year-old man for the murder of two family members of a former girlfriend in a high-profile stalking case in 2011. (Jiji Press)

Jul 23
The Japanese land ministry has decided to set up a program to allow vacant homes across Japan to be rented out to older people and low-income child-rearing families, informed sources said Friday. (Jiji Press)
Jul 22
Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested an American youth in the sale of marijuana to students from an international school at a park in Shibuya Ward, reports TV Asahi (July 21). (Tokyo Reporter)
Jul 22
Police in Yuki, Ibaraki Prefecture, said Thursday they have arrested an unemployed 44-year-old man on suspicion of killing his 75-year-old mother at their residence. (Japan Today)
Jul 21
Saitama Prefectural Police have arrested a 49-year-old man for allegedly abducting and raping a female university student in Ageo City, reports the Saitama Shimbun (July 21). (Tokyo Reporter)
Jul 21
Hokkaido Prefectural Police have launched are investigating an incident in which a vehicle rammed the home of a boss of an affiliate gang of the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi in Kita Ward of Sapporo early Thursday, reports TV Asahi. (Tokyo Reporter)

[more society news…]           [society blogs…]


Jul 23
The Japan launch of Pokemon Go on Friday included the game's first partnership with an outside company: fast-food giant McDonald's. (Japan Today)
Jul 22
At least 80 rental condominiums operated by the Urban Renaissance Agency (UR) were misused by tenants as minpaku rental facilities, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned. (the-japan-news.com)
Jul 22
The number of foreign tourists is expected to top 20 million in 2016, but their spending per person is declining. Chinese tourists' "bakugai" shopping sprees for expensive goods have been slowing down, but extended stays in areas other than Tokyo and experiential tours are gaining attention. (the-japan-news.com)
Jul 21
Japanese department stores are looking to stimulate demand from foreign travelers ahead of the summer holiday season, amid a decline in so-called "bakugai" explosive buying, mainly by visitors from China. (Jiji Press)
Jul 21
Yamato Transport and DeNA are joining forces to conduct field trials of a door-to-door parcel delivery service using self-driving vehicles. (Nikkei)

[more business news…]           [business blogs…]


Jul 24
The world's major economies need to deepen cooperation on tax collection as companies seek to minimise the amount they pay to governments, finance ministers said Saturday. (Japan Today)
Jul 22
Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda has ruled out the possibility that the central bank will introduce so-called "helicopter money," a policy in which the central bank would directly buy national bonds from the government. (Kyodo)
Jul 19
Japanese policymakers, who won't go as far as funding government spending through direct debt monetisation, might pursue a mix of aggressive fiscal and monetary expansion to battle deflation, say sources familiar with the matter. (Reuters)
Jul 17
A government survey on living conditions of households in Japan shows that 60 percent of the respondents are having difficulty making ends meet. (NHK)
Jul 17
Former Japanese prime minister Yukio Hatoyama has expressed his willingness to serve on an international advisory committee for the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, AIIB. (NHK)

[more economy news…]


Jul 24
Japan's main governing Liberal Democratic Party has regained a majority in the Upper House for the first time in 27 years. (NHK)
Jul 23
The Japanese government resumed the construction of helipads for the U.S. military in Okinawa on Friday despite local protests, in preparation for the return to Japan of part of a large training area in the island prefecture. (Japan Today)
Jul 21
A longtime resident of Japan appears in a list of 10 high-value suspects issued by the Bangladeshi government in connection with the terror attack in Dhaka earlier this month, The New York Times reported online Tuesday. (Jiji Press)
Jul 21
A Japanese court on Wednesday found constitutional an election law provision denying prison inmates the right to vote in a national election, in the latest ruling in a series of lawsuits filed over the controversial issue. (Japan Times)
Jul 21
A tug-of-war has been intensifying within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party over the selection of candidates for the next president of the House of Councillors. (the-japan-news.com)

[more politics news…]


Jul 21
The government will introduce new rules on running Japanese language schools to eliminate poorly managed ones and keep the educational quality at an adequate level, sources said Wednesday. (Japan Times)
Jul 20
A bilingual guideline designed for sexual minorities during times of natural disasters has been published in a bid to raise public awareness about problems they may face at emergency shelters. (Japan Times)
Jul 20
A 36-year-old part-time convenience store employee has won the 155th Akutagawa Prize, a prestigious literary award, for a book that explores life in and around convenience stores, the selection committee announced. (Japan Times)
Jul 18
Japanese high school students won three gold medals in the International Physics Olympiad, or IphO, the education ministry has said. (Jiji Press)
Jul 18
Japan's Education Minister Hiroshi Hase says the government is pleased that UNESCO has recognized buildings designed by Le Corbusier as important assets from the 20th century. (NHK)

[more education news…]           [education blogs…]


Jul 24
Japanese researchers say 3 pairs of an endangered bird species have successfully hatched chicks in artificial nests for the first time. (NHK)
Jul 23
"Pokemon Go" was launched in Japan on Friday. The government is warning players of the global hit game to be careful to avoid accidents. (NHK)
Jul 22
Is Honda's walking robot Asimo marrying Pepper, the chattering robot from SoftBank? (Japan Today)
Jul 21
Japan's space agency has its sights on unexplored asteroids as far away as Jupiter, a project that at one level draws on centuries of sail science. (Japan Times)
Jul 20
An earthquake with a magnitude of 5 struck the Kanto region at 7:25 a.m. Wednesday. It was the third moderate quake to hit the region since last Sunday. (Japan Today)

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


Jul 24
Harumafuji defeated fellow Mongolian yokozuna Hakuho on Sunday to win the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament and seize his eighth career championship. (Japan Times)
Jul 21
The J.League said Wednesday it has concluded a huge 10-year broadcast rights deal, set to start in 2017, worth about ¥210 billion with major British online sports content distributor Perform Group. (the-japan-news.com)
Jul 16
With less than a month until the track and field competition begins at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, the Japanese delegation for the sport assembled at Tokyo's National Training Center for a send-off event hosted by the Japan Association of Athletics Federations on Friday. (Japan Times)
Jul 14
Ozeki Kisenosato's bid for yokozuna promotion hit a speed bump and yokozuna Hakuho suffered his first loss in four months on Thursday, the fifth day of the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament. (Japan Times)
Jul 11
Former Yomiuri Giants pitcher Shoki Kasahara has admitted to his involvement in illegal gambling at a hearing held at the Tokyo District Court on Monday, Kyodo news agency reported. (Japan Today)

[more sports news…]


Jul 24
A traditional summer festival featuring samurai on horseback began in the Soma region of Fukushima Prefecture. (NHK)
Jul 22
The Kyoto State Guest House in Japan's ancient capital has begun accepting tourists all year round in a bid to draw more people from inside and outside the country. (NHK)
Jul 22
For the first time in half a century, a steam locomotive will travel along Tobu Railway Co.'s Kinugawa Line in Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture, next summer. Japan Railways companies will provide railway cars, while other firms will train operators for the project. (the-japan-news.com)
Jul 21
Luxury hotels are set to open in Tokyo with the aim of attracting an increasing number of tourists visiting Japan and affluent people such as corporate managers who visit the metropolis on business. (the-japan-news.com)
Jul 20
Foreign tourism is on track to break the record set in 2015 after an estimated 11.71 million visited Japan in the first half, up 28 percent from a year ago, the Japan Tourism Agency said Wednesday. (Japan Times)

Step Inside Japan: introducing an amazing interactive map
This isn’t just any old boring map. Scattered throughout the country are a handful of our favourite destinations, marked by animated icons that move when you hover over them. (insidejapantours.com)

[more travel news…]           [travel blogs…]


Jul 23
An exterior view of the Japanese Diet building in Tokyo. (Photo: Reuters).

Author: Walter Hamilton, Sydney

Following the 10 July upper house elections the Abe government now has the two-thirds majority in both houses of the Diet necessary to pass constitutional amendments. So what are the likely consequences?

Four years ...

Jul 23
Summer Getaways: Budget Travel Options for Teachers in Japan

To my fellow English teachers across Japan: congratulations! You made it, term one is finally over.

Depending on the type of arrangement you have, whether it's with a local board of education, a private school or a dispatch company, you may be lo...

Jul 22
|credit| The days of summer are officially upon us. You know what that means— sipping wine on a terrace, pottering on a patio, vegging out on a veranda. Throw on some shades, grab a book or your laptop, and head to one of these Tokyo terrace ca...
Jul 22
Mirin

During my college year abroad I did a homestay with a Japanese family in Takasaki, a city about 100 kilometres from Tokyo. In the evenings I would sit at the table chatting to my homestay mother while she prepared that evening's meal in her small ...

Jul 22
Three pregnant women sitting on sofa and chatting

Hee, Hee, Whoo. Hee, Hee, Whoo. The women with swollen bellies rest between the straddled legs of their partners and self-consciously concentrate on breathing. Breathing. Breathing. The straddle-legged partners sit awkwardly, sheepishly avoiding e...

Jul 22
People_feeding_the_deer_in_Nara

Pigs are sacred in Egypt. Cattle are sacred in India. Goats are sacred in Syria. Elephants are sacred in Thailand. In Nara the animals worshiped are deer.

Deer have been roaming the Kasuga Hills in these parts since before there was a written l...

Jul 22
japanese portable record players (top)

all photos by Chika Takami

The 1960s ushered in the golden age of record players as affordability made them a staple in almost every household. In Japan however, quality stereo sets remained unattainable for most, who then gravitated to a smaller,...

Jul 21
Airport workers prepare to load a shipment of relief supplies into a Japanese government plane at Narita Airport, Japan, 30 March 2003. (Photo: Reuters).

Author: Purnendra Jain, University of Adelaide

Foreign aid is a key instrument of international engagement in Japan's foreign policy toolkit. Although Tokyo is no longer the world's top aid donor that it once was in the 1990s, it still was the wo...

Jul 21







As Japan crawls up the walls over rumours and counter rumours about the possible release of Pokémon Go, the ever safety-conscious overlords of the state have themselves, it seems, been crawling up the walls over the prospect of Pokémon-hunting b...
Jul 21
thanko gadget electric armpit fan cooling

Is this the most original way to stay cool this year? Quite possibly.

New from Thanko, Japan's at times strangest creator of chindogu (everyday gadgets), the Electric Armpit Clip-on Cooler Fan is your new way to ward off perspiration.

It was rel...

[all blogs…]