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Thursday, April 24, 2:19 (JST)
Cannabis: the healing of the nation
Every summer in Hokkaido and northern Honshu, platoons of police and public servants scour the countryside for cannabis. (Japan Times )
Obama on his way to Japan
US President Barack Obama has left the United States for his first trip to Japan in about 3-and-a-half years. Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will hold a summit meeting on Thursday. (NHK )
National school exams held
The education ministry conducted national academic achievement tests on Tuesday for all final-year students at primary and middle schools across the country. About 2.24 million students at about 30,000 schools took Japanese and mathematics exams. (The Japan News )
Japan, U.S. to defer broad trade accord
Japan and the United States are now seen deferring a broad trade agreement until after a summit meeting set for Thursday due to differences over key issues, informed sources said Tuesday. (Jiji Press )
Japan's bird flu virus has same gene type as S. Korea's
The virus strain that caused bird flu at a poultry farm in southwestern Japan has been confirmed to be genetically identical to the one found in South Korea, the National Institute of Animal Health said Tuesday. (Jiji Press )
Lost codes spark airport scramble on eve of Obama's arrival
Airport authorities in Tokyo launched a frantic scramble to change security pass codes, an official said Tuesday, the day before U.S. President Barack Obama arrives, after an airline employee dropped a memo containing the details. (Japan Today )
Japan cabinet minister, lawmakers visit Yasukuni Shrine
A Japanese cabinet minister and some 150 lawmakers on Tuesday visited Yasukuni Shrine, which is seen by critics as a symbol of Japan's past militarism, in a move that could further strain fraught regional ties. (Reuters )
China, S.Korea criticize Abe's Yasukuni offering
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang on Monday criticized Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for making an offering to Yasukuni Shrine. (NHK )


Apr 23 100,000 apply to participate in first public tours of parts of Imperial Palace
The Imperial Household Agency announced this week that it has received over 100,000 applications from individuals seeking to participate in the first ever public opening of parts of the Imperial Palace. (Japan Today )
Apr 23 79-year-old woman stabbed to death in Shizuoka home
Police in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, said Tuesday that a 79-year-old woman was stabbed to death at her home. (Japan Today )
Apr 22 Ex-judge installed camera in women's toilet at Ministry of Justice
A former judge from the Ministry of Justice is alleged to have installed a camera inside a women's toilet inside a ministry building in Kasumigaseki, people with knowledge of the matter announced on Monday, reports Sports Nippon (Apr. 22). (Tokyo Reporter )
Apr 22 Hunters kill bear after it attacks man in Niigata
Hunters shot and killed a bear on Monday after it attacked a man in Murakami, Niigata Prefecture. (Japan Today )
Apr 21 Daughter arrested for killing 83-year-old mother with kettle
Police in Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture, said Monday they have arrested a 55-year-old woman for fatally beating her 83-year-old mother with a kettle at their home. (Japan Today )
Apr 23 H.I.S. eyes island off theme park for casino
H.I.S. Co.'s Dutch-themed Huis Ten Bosch amusement park along the Nagasaki coast is considering buying a deserted offshore island in an expansion to boost its appeal as a possible site for a casino resort. (Japan Times )
Apr 22 Foreign firms want Japan's corporate tax cuts
A report commissioned by the Japanese government says executives of foreign companies in Japan advocate corporate tax cuts to attract more investment from abroad. (NHK )
Apr 22 Hitachi unveils world's fastest elevator
Japanese electronics company Hitachi says it has developed the world's fastest elevator, with a speed of 1,200 meters per minute. The new model can ascend 95 floors in roughly 43 seconds. (NHK )
Apr 22 At Mt Gox bitcoin hub, CEO sought both control and escape
In June 2011, when customers of now-bankrupt bitcoin exchange Mt Gox agitated for proof that the Tokyo-based firm was still solvent after a hacking attack, CEO Mark Karpeles turned to the comedy science fiction novel "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy". (Japan Today )
Apr 22 Crude steel output hits highest since 2009
Japan's crude steel output in the last fiscal year has hit its highest point since 2009, when the figure plunged due to the effects of the global financial crisis. (NHK )
Apr 23 Tokyo stocks close up 1.09pc, Nikkei 225 index closed 157.50 points
Tokyo stocks ended 1.09 percent higher Wednesday, buoyed by another day of gains on Wall Street and as railway and hotels giant Seibu Holdings rose nearly 11 percent on its return to the Japanese market. (brecorder.com )
Apr 23 Japan eyes promoting performance-based pay system
The Japanese government is considering allowing companies to apply a performance-based pay system to a wider range of employees and to stop paying overtime wages, it was learned Tuesday. (Jiji Press )
Apr 23 Weak yen unable to curb ballooning trade deficit
Finance Ministry statistics have cast a dark cloud over government strategy to conquer deflation and improve the balance of trade through depreciation of the yen. The figures show that the weak yen has so far failed to spur Japan's exports as much as expected. (The Japan News )
Apr 22 Nikkei falls in thin trade on caution over earnings, Ukraine
Tokyo shares dropped on Tuesday, unable to maintain earlier gains, on caution over upcoming Japanese corporate earnings reports and tensions in Ukraine. (Reuters )
Apr 22 Labor shortage hits major industries
With the economy appearing to be on the road to recovery, a wide range of industries, from construction and manufacturing to restaurants, are facing labor shortages. (The Japan News )
Apr 23 Satellite images of N.Korea test site released
A US research group has released satellite images of North Korea's nuclear test site. The researchers say the photos show an increase in activities, but the operations have not reached the high level of intensity that occurred before the previous 2 detonations. (NHK )
Apr 22 Japan cabinet minister, lawmakers visit Yasukuni Shrine
A Japanese cabinet minister and some 150 lawmakers on Tuesday visited Yasukuni Shrine, which is seen by critics as a symbol of Japan's past militarism, in a move that could further strain fraught regional ties. (Reuters )
Apr 22 China, S.Korea criticize Abe's Yasukuni offering
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang on Monday criticized Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for making an offering to Yasukuni Shrine. (NHK )
Apr 21 Abe makes ritual offering to Yasukuni
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a ritual offering to war-related Yasukuni Shrine in central Tokyo on Monday for its three-day spring festival that started the same day. (Jiji Press )
Apr 21 Mitsui O.S.K. ship seized in China
Shanghai's maritime court has seized a ship owned by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. <9104> in connection with a wartime contract dispute involving the Japanese shipping company, according to an announcement by the court. (Jiji Press )
Apr 23 National school exams held
The education ministry conducted national academic achievement tests on Tuesday for all final-year students at primary and middle schools across the country. About 2.24 million students at about 30,000 schools took Japanese and mathematics exams. (The Japan News )
Apr 19 Govt eyes financial aid for school lunch fees
The government plans to provide financial assistance to help households on welfare pay lunch fees, bus fares and the cost of educational materials for their children in nursery school, kindergarten, or other types of authorized preschools, officials said earlier this month. (The Japan News )
Apr 15 Japanese teacher criticized for attending son's entrance ceremony instead of her own school's
Each April, as the new academic year starts, it's customary for schools in Japan to hold an entrance ceremony for incoming students. The new pupils assemble in the auditorium, sit quietly while the principal and teachers make speeches, and often sing the alma mater. (rocketnews24.com )
Apr 14 Harumafuji enrolls in university master's course
Yokozuna grand champion Harumafuji has enrolled in a master's course at Hosei University to study economic development. (NHK )
Apr 08 Original text of 1890 Imperial Rescript on Education found
A document believed to be the original text of the Imperial Rescript on Education, issued in 1890 as basic norms of moral education in prewar Japan, has been discovered, the education ministry said Tuesday. (Jiji Press )
Apr 23 Japan's bird flu virus has same gene type as S. Korea's
The virus strain that caused bird flu at a poultry farm in southwestern Japan has been confirmed to be genetically identical to the one found in South Korea, the National Institute of Animal Health said Tuesday. (Jiji Press )
Apr 23 Tsunami test facility completed to assess strength of nuke plant
The Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry unveiled a large-scale experimental facility on Tuesday that can reproduce tsunami waves in order to assess the strength of nuclear plant facilities, such as breakwaters, gas tanks and doors. (Jiji Press )
Apr 20 Manager at Fukushima plant admits radioactive water leaks embarrassing
The manager of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant admits to embarrassment that repeated efforts have failed to bring under control the problem of radioactive water, eight months after Japan's prime minister told the world the matter was resolved. (Japan Today )
Apr 19 Radiation exposure estimate for returnees released
The Japanese government on Friday issued estimates of how much radiation residents would be exposed if they return to their homes near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. (NHK )
Apr 18 Bird flu in Japan has same virus type as S. Korea flu
Japan's farm ministry said Thursday that the highly pathogenic avian influenza found at a poultry farm in the southwestern Japan prefecture of Kumamoto has been confirmed to be the H5N8 subtype, the same virus strain as the bird flu found in South Korea. (Jiji Press )
Apr 23 100,000 apply to participate in first public tours of parts of Imperial Palace
The Imperial Household Agency announced this week that it has received over 100,000 applications from individuals seeking to participate in the first ever public opening of parts of the Imperial Palace. (Japan Today )
Apr 21 Matsushima gull feeding ban to protect pine trees
Feeding black-tailed gulls has been a popular activity on the sightseeing boats that cruise around the Matsushima islets, considered to be one of the three most beautiful spots in Japan, but local authorities banned the practice this month in a bid to protect the islets' famous pine trees from withering as a result of nitrogen in the droppings of the gulls, who have bred in large numbers in the area. (The Japan News )
Apr 19 Japan opens Imperial Palace to public
Japan opened the Imperial Palace to the public on Saturday, starting a string of special palace openings to celebrate the longevity of Emperor Akihito who turned 80 last December. (Jiji Press )
Apr 18 Station lockers to close for Obama visit
Train operators in Tokyo and surrounding areas will be shutting down coin-operated luggage lockers at main stations before and during US President Barack Obama's visit next week, as a security measure. (NHK )
Apr 17 Tokyo Station platform roof to be replaced
The entire roof of a JR Tokyo Station platform will be removed and replaced for first time since the station opened in 1914, according to East Japan Railway Co. (The Japan News )
Apr 23 Stunning 22-year-old HD footage brings Tokyo of the '90s back to life
While camera and monitors have certainly gotten better over the years, the resolution of real life hasn't gone through any upgrades, and the physical world has always been as sharp and vibrant as what we see today. As proof, take a look of these amazing HD videos of Tokyo taken over two decades ago. (rocketnews24.com )
Apr 22 'Frozen' breaks $100 mil. mark in Japan
The US animated feature film "Frozen" has taken more than 100 million dollars at the box office in Japan. It's the first foreign movie to reach that mark in 4 years. (NHK )
Apr 07 Osamu Tezuka documentary
"NHK Tokushu Tezuka Osamu: Sosaku no Himitsu", shot in 1985. (M dot Strange )
Mar 29 The secret to Japan's efficient train system
'Super Japan: On-time Metro', gives an inside look on how trains are run in Tokyo. The video by Discovery Channel Asia is available on YouTube. (insing.com )
Mar 14 Tank-commanding cartoon girls capture fans for Japan's military
Being a soldier in Japan after World War Two was seen as a job for failed police recruits and unemployed youth from depressed rural towns. But as tension with China chips away at Japan's post-war pacifism, the military is regaining its prestige - helped by a blitz of television dramas, movies and cartoons. (Reuters )
Apr 21 Youngest winner Katsu bursts on golf scene
A 15-year-old amateur won the KKT Cup Vantelin Ladies in Kikuyo on Sunday, becoming the youngest-ever winner on the Japan LPGA tour. (The Japan News )
Apr 16 Mizuno apologizes for ball defect in pro baseball
Japan's professional baseball league was facing another ball scandal Tuesday as sports equipment giant Mizuno apologized for a defect that turned the nation's top sport into a slugfest. (Japan Today )
Apr 11 Soccer World Cup trophy arrives in Japan
The soccer World Cup trophy has arrived in Japan on an international promotion tour ahead of the start of the games in Brazil in June. (NHK )
Apr 05 IOC coordination team completes Tokyo tour
An advance team for the International Olympic Committee has inspected Tokyo's preparations for the 2020 Summer Olympic and Paralympics Games, and is happy with what they have seen. (NHK )
Mar 29 Kennedy tosses opening pitch in Tokyo
US Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy has opened the Japanese professional baseball season by tossing out the first pitch of the opening game in Tokyo. (NHK )
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