FRONT PAGE NEWS

27 May 2015
Rie Saito, a member of Tokyo's Kita Ward Assembly, can now join debates after the assembly put into operation Tuesday a speech conversion system for people with hearing difficulties. (The Japan News)
Japan will expand imports of butter to fully meet domestic demand in the current fiscal year through next March, farm minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said Tuesday. (The Japan News)
Japan's Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko have attended a ceremony in Tokyo to pray for the victims of a devastating US air raid during World War Two. (NHK)
A special law that allows municipal governments in Japan to order the demolition of hazardous vacant houses went into force Tuesday, at a time when the number of empty houses is increasing as a result of the country's declining population. (Jiji Press)
Japan's Meteorological Agency has warned of possible strong aftershocks in the Tokyo metropolitan area during the next week. (NHK)

May 26
On May 21, police in Japan's Miyagi Prefecture arrested a woman on swindling charges after the cashier at a local store erroneously handed her an extra 45,000 yen (US$370) in change. (rocketnews24.com)
May 26
In a crackdown on a business believed to be supporting organized crime, Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Tuesday announced the bust of an illegal pornographic DVD business in Shinjuku Ward, reports TV Asahi (May 26). (Tokyo Reporter)
May 26
A "Doraemon" movie will be shown in China from Thursday, becoming the first new Japanese film to be released in the country for nearly three years, diplomatic sources said Monday. (Jiji Press)
May 26
A 39-year-old man on Monday pleaded guilty to fatally stabbing two people at random on a street in Osaka on June 24, 2012. (Japan Today)
May 25
The Fukushima District Court on Monday sentenced a 33-year-old man to 18 months in prison, suspended for three years, for distributing naked photos of a female friend-a practice known as revenge porn. (Japan Today)
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May 27
Japanese toy maker Tomy Co. said Tuesday it will market a toy maglev train that runs like a real one in September. (Jiji Press)
May 26
Japanese households are expected to pay more for earthquake insurance policies starting as early as fall 2016, with premiums to be increased gradually by 20-30% on average. (Nikkei)
May 25
Japan's push to take away overtime from high-paid workers has critics warning it will aggravate a problem synonymous with the country's notoriously long working hours -- karoshi, or death from overwork. (AFP)
May 25
Japanese electrical appliance store chain Yamada Denki Co. will close 46 money-losing stores in Japan by the end of May to focus on urban areas where strong demand from foreign visitors is expected, company officials said Sunday. (Kyodo)
May 23
About 1,000 people lined up for the opening of Starbucks in Tottori City on Saturday morning. Tottori Prefecture was the final frontier for the popular coffee shop chain that now has more than 1,000 stores in Japan's 47 prefectures. (Japan Today)
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May 26
Tokyo stocks climbed 0.74 percent Monday, a seventh successive rise, with the benchmark index ending at a 15-year high as a weak yen boosted exporters. (menafn.com)
May 25
Japan's Nikkei share average rose for a seventh day and closed at a fresh 15-year high on Monday, helped by ongoing optimism for higher shareholder returns and the recovering economy. (Economic Times)
May 25
Japan swung back to a trade deficit in April after the first surplus in almost three years in March, but the shortfall shrank drastically year-on-year thanks to stronger exports and lower energy bills, official data showed Monday. (Japan Times)
May 25
Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda has voiced strong concern over the shrinking of the country's working-age population. (The Japan News)
May 22
Tokyo shares ended higher on Friday with the benchmark Nikkei index logging a sixth straight day of gaining on the Bank of Japan's decision to maintain its ultra- loose monetary policy. (shanghaidaily.com)
[more economy news...]
May 27
Citing an increasingly severe security environment, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stressed the importance of security-related bills to seamlessly respond to every situation, expressing his resolve to pass them in the current Diet session. (The Japan News)
May 26
The Japanese government came up Monday with a draft of new cybersecurity strategy calling for measures to protect Internet-connected devices and systems from cyberattacks. (Jiji Press)
May 25
People who oppose the government's plan to relocate the US Marine Corps Futenma Air Station within Okinawa Prefecture took part in a rally at the Diet building in Tokyo on Sunday. (NHK)
May 23
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pledged an aid package worth about 500 million dollars to help Pacific Island nations tackle natural disasters and the effects of climate change. (NHK)
May 23
The words "a nuclear-weapons-ban treaty" have been deleted from the president's draft text on nuclear disarmament scheduled to be adopted at the ongoing review of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. (The Japan News)
[more politics news...]
May 27
Rie Saito, a member of Tokyo's Kita Ward Assembly, can now join debates after the assembly put into operation Tuesday a speech conversion system for people with hearing difficulties. (The Japan News)
May 25
Only a little over a half of English teachers at public high schools are certified with advanced levels of English proficiency tests, and less than 30 percent of those at junior high schools are qualified likewise, according to an education ministry survey released Monday. (Japan Times)
May 24
E-commerce giant Rakuten has managed to do what the educational system apparently can't - get Japanese people to speak English competently. After years of Rakuten building the English level of its employees, Chief Executive Officer Hiroshi Mikitani noted recently that the effort has finally paid off. (Japan Times)
May 19
An elementary school teacher in Tachikawa, Tokyo, faces disciplinary action after it was learned that he had taken the fingerprints of every child in his sixth grade class. (Japan Today)
May 18
Two Japanese high schools received awards at the 2015 Global Classrooms International Model United Nations Conference held in New York last week. (The Japan News)
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May 26
Volcanic activity continues at Mount Hakone in Kanagawa Prefecture, a hot spring resort area southwest of Tokyo. (NHK)
May 25
An earthquake with an estimated magnitude of 5.6 shook Tokyo and its surrounding areas at 2:28 p.m. on May 25, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage. (Asahi)
May 24
The Tokyo metropolitan government has launched a project to help ayu, or sweetfish, swim up the Tamagawa river, aiming to revive the "Edomae ayu" that once thrived in Tokyo Bay. The fish were once presented to the Tokugawa Shognate family. (The Japan News)
May 23
A rare rainbow-like phenomenon among thin clouds in the sky was seen over part of Japan. (NHK)
May 23
Fugu pufferfish that make beautiful "crop circles" on the seabed off Amami-Oshima island in Kagoshima Prefecture have been chosen as one of the top 10 new species for 2015 by an international research institute, according to the National Museum of Nature and Science. (The Japan News)
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May 25
Sekiwake Terunofuji seemed to be able to move mountains during the 15-day Summer Grand Sumo Tournament in Tokyo, but he was almost moved to tears when it was over on Sunday. (The Japan News)
May 20
Newcomer Homarenishiki wants to do more than just climb the sumo ladder of success. He also intends to learn traditional Japanese culture and someday bring it back to his mother country, Canada. (The Japan News)
May 19
Ichiro Suzuki has tied with US baseball legend Babe Ruth for 42nd place on Major League Baseball's all-time hits list. (NHK)
May 19
Japan plans to scale back the main stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as the government runs short of money and time, the country's sports minister said Monday. (Japan Today)
May 19
"There's no sail; there's no motor." Sonya Baumstein recites the mantra she'll likely be telling herself often over the next 4 to 6 months. "I'm the power; I'm the precision." (CNN)
[more sports news...]
May 25
Amid a surge in customers being overcharged by clubs in Shinjuku Ward, police on Friday announced an intensification of patrols to combat the increase, reports the Sankei Shimbun (May 24). (Tokyo Reporter)
May 23
After disappointing many visitors by blocking access during windy weather, the operator of Tokyo Skytree decided to beef up the elevators to keep the attraction open even when it gets gusty. (Nikkei)
May 22
Jetstar Asia Airways apologized Thursday for refusing to allow a 38-year-old man with cerebral palsy to board a flight from Bangkok to Japan last year. ()
May 21
The estimated number of foreign visitors to Japan in April rose 43.3 pct from a year before to 1,764,700, hitting a monthly record for the third straight month, the Japan National Tourism Organization said Wednesday. (Jiji Press)
May 20
Smoke rises from Mt. Hakone on Wednesday as a bus drives along a road nearby. ()
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May 26
Comic: I see foreign people every day!!! As many of you know, Ryosuke and I moved out of Tokyo in late February. We're still close enough that we can get into the city by train (albeit, a long ride) – but we are very much in the countryside. I didn't realize how countryside it...
May 26

…or rather avoiding confirming Stereotypes.
When planning lessons for my kids these days, I automatically make every effort to avoid or dispel stereotypes and / or illustrate the universality of certain ideas and behaviors that often get assert...

May 26
Reading

This ukiyo e was painted by Utagawa Kuniyoshi 歌川 国芳 (1798-1861), one of the big three woodblock Japanese painters in the Edo period.


Filed under: Japan, Japanese Art Tagged: Art, Japan, Japanese Artists, ukiyo e, Utagawa Kuniyoshi, woodbl...
May 25
Hotoke ga ura

Ohayoo gozaimasu!
Today's photo is Hotoke ga ura, so called Buddha Bay in Aomori prefecture.

Hotoke ga ura

Hotoke(仏)means Buddha in Japanese.
It's named Hotoke bay due to its magnificent shape of rocks along the bay, they looks like stat...

May 25
Situated south of my hometown of Ohtawara-shi, Tochigi-ken, is a very rural village known as Kurobane. That's the hometown of one of my bosses, Kanemaru-san.

It was he that first took myself and fellow AET Ashley (the not-so-secret girlfriend of my...
May 25
Festivals of Japan: Takigi O-Noh

Takigi O-Noh is an annual open-air torchlight festival that is held at the famous Heian Jingu Shrine in Kyoto. This year's event will be the 66th staging of the well preserved traditional art which is organised by Kyoto City to bid goodbye to spri...

May 24
Understanding Japanese Loanwords

Imagine that you went to a foreign country and you were offered a drink. Suddenly a native of that country comes up to you and begins to gesticulate frantically at the fluid you are about to drink. ‘Tonoto,' He keeps saying. What would you think...

May 24
great wall

Would you be surprised if I say Japan is the oldest country in the world? I can almost visualise some of you even stood up the chair. Or some of you may be offended. But don´t worry. I´m also the one having a doubt to see such a news. But this...
May 22
Shrooms-1280

Mushrooms are an essential ingredient in Japanese cuisine, and there are so many varieties to choose from. Hopefully this guide will make things a bit easier on you. It will tell you what a mushroom is, their types and uses, as well as what make...

May 22
Top 3 Night Views in Japan

Japan loves lists, so it's not a surprise that you'll find lists for almost everything.
For visitors this is perfect as it saves a lot of work! There are the “Top 3 Views of Japan“, “Top 3 Gardens in Japan” etc.

Today, I want to introduc...

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