FRONT PAGE NEWS

8 December 2016
A mysterious donor who posed as a cartoon wrestler hero and triggered a wave of similar donations for underprivileged children in Japan several years ago outed himself Wednesday at a pro wrestling event in Tokyo and called for sustained support for youngsters. (Japan Today)
Japanese defense officials say a US FA-18 fighter jet has crashed off the coast of the southwestern prefecture of Kochi. (NHK)
Bird flu is spreading across Japan, with a black swan at an Aichi Prefecture zoo being the latest to become infected. (Japan Times)
US President-elect Donald Trump says Japanese telecom giant Softbank Group has agreed to invest 50 billion dollars and create 50,000 jobs in the United States over the next 4 years. (NHK)
An international survey shows that Japanese high school students are among the world's top achievers in science, but it seems they do not particularly enjoy their studies. (NHK)

Dec 08
A 10-year-old donation box to support guide dog training was stolen from a community center in Sapporo, and later found emptied and destroyed at a nearby park, police said. (tokyoreporter.com)
Dec 08
Iwate Prefectural Police have arrested a 49-year-old man in a stabbing incident at a hospital in Ofunato City that left one female nurse seriously injured, reports the Mainichi Shimbun (tokyoreporter.com)
Dec 07
Japanese musician Ryuichi Sakamoto has received his third Grammy nomination. (NHK)
Dec 07
Tokyo Metropolitan Police have formally arrested a 58-year-old man who injured himself while attempting to evade capture after he allegedly stole multiple pairs of women's underwear from a residence, reports TV Asahi (tokyoreporter.com)
Dec 07
A drunk man threatened residents of his apartment with a knife and stole money from them, claiming to be the "apartment god," police said on Tuesday. (tokyoreporter.com)

[more society news…]           [society blogs…]


Dec 08
Ramen has come a long way in terms of earning respect in the international culinary world, but even in Japan, it's still largely considered cheap, fortifying comfort food. It's a quick meal to fill your belly and warm your body, and not exactly the Mercedes-Benz of the Japanese dining scene. (Japan Today)
Dec 07
Japan Broadcasting Corp.'s Board of Governors decided Tuesday to appoint Ryoichi Ueda, former senior executive vice president of major trading house Mitsubishi Corp. <8058>, as the next president of the public broadcaster, better known as NHK. (Jiji)
Dec 07
Chinese car companies are building big factories in Southeast Asia, weaponizing low prices in an attempt to encroach on Japanese rivals' 70%-plus share in the region. (Nikkei)
Dec 07
A group of lenders including major Japanese banks are preparing a joint loan for Russia's government-backed energy giant Gazprom. (NHK)
Dec 06
Nintendo Co. might have scored a hit with the explosive debut of "Pokemon Go" this year. On its home turf, however, Sony Corp. has quietly dispatched its rival with a popular mobile game called "Fate/Grand Order." (Japan Times)

[more business news…]           [business blogs…]


Dec 07
The number of households on welfare in Japan marked a record high for the second straight month in September, as more elderly people need support. (NHK)
Dec 07
For now, the global winds are at Japan's back. (Japan Times)
Dec 07
Japan's price-adjusted real wage index in October stayed flat from a year before, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said Tuesday. (Jiji)
Dec 02
Japan's parliament enacted Friday a bill to open the way for the use of so-called dormant deposits left intact for at least 10 years for public-interest activities. (Jiji)
Dec 02
The Japanese government will return to paying interest on new 10-year bonds, after essentially getting paid to issue debt for the past 10 months. (Nikkei)

[more economy news…]


Dec 07
Japan's Lower House has passed a bill to legalize casino gambling in the country. (NHK)
Dec 06
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday he will visit Hawaii on Dec. 26-27, to remember the victims of the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor together with outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama. (Jiji)
Dec 05
Shinzo Abe became the fourth-longest serving prime minister in Japan's post-World War II history on Monday, marking his 1,807th day in office including his first tenure. (Jiji)
Dec 04
Japan's Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida has held a meeting in Moscow with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to make the final preparations for a Japan-Russia summit later this month. (NHK)
Dec 04
Finance Minister Taro Aso was the top political fundraiser in the cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in 2015, according to reports submitted to the government by political parties and groups. (the-japan-news.com)

[more politics news…]


Dec 08
A mysterious donor who posed as a cartoon wrestler hero and triggered a wave of similar donations for underprivileged children in Japan several years ago outed himself Wednesday at a pro wrestling event in Tokyo and called for sustained support for youngsters. (Japan Today)
Dec 07
An international survey shows that Japanese high school students are among the world's top achievers in science, but it seems they do not particularly enjoy their studies. (NHK)
Dec 06
Kanagawa Prefectural Police have arrested a 21-year-old male university student following the confiscation of a mixture of cocaine and other drugs from a teenager, reports TBS News (tokyoreporter.com)
Dec 05
Gursewak Singh is a 17-year-old teen living in a suburban town in Chiba Prefecture, where he was born and has lived his entire life. (rocketnews24.com)
Dec 02
An elementary school pupil who evacuated from Fukushima in the wake of the 2011 nuclear disaster has skipped school for more than a week since a male teacher added "germ" to his name when addressing him in late November, a local education board in Niigata Prefecture said Friday. (Japan Today)

[more education news…]           [education blogs…]


Dec 07
Leading Internet retailer Amazon has started operating Japan's first distribution center equipped with robots. (NHK)
Dec 05
NHK has obtained previously unreleased segments of a video that reveal for the first time how Japan's World War Two battleship Musashi was sunk. (NHK)
Dec 01
An international chemistry organization has officially decided to name a new element "nihonium," as proposed by the Japanese research group that discovered it. The word "Nihon" means "Japan" in Japanese. (NHK)
Nov 30
The Japanese government plans to scrap the prototype fast-breeder reactor Monju, which has been hit by a number of safety problems. (NHK)
Nov 29
A highly contagious avian flu outbreak has been confirmed at poultry farms in Niigata and Aomori prefectures, forcing local governments to cull more than 300,000 chickens and ducks on Tuesday. (Japan Times)

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


Dec 04
Kashima Antlers claimed their record eighth J. League title after coming from behind to stun Urawa Reds 2-1 in the championship final second leg on Saturday and win on away goals after a 2-2 aggregate draw. (Japan Times)
Dec 04
Japan's table tennis governing body is planning to launch a new league with the goal of turning it professional. (NHK)
Dec 02
Since his appointment two years ago, Kenji Hasegawa has firmly developed the Japan men's national team. (Japan Times)
Nov 30
Leaders of 4 groups reviewing some of the venues for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games with an eye to cutting costs have agreed to build new facilities for 2 sports in Tokyo as initially planned. (NHK)
Nov 29
Officials of 4 groups preparing for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games are studying proposals to relocate some venues. (NHK)

[more sports news…]


Dec 07
The Japanese government said Tuesday that it will pay people who go sightseeing in the earthquake-hit western prefecture of Tottori up to 10,000 yen per head. (Jiji)
Dec 07
The town of Toei in the central Japan prefecture of Aichi has fully started "beauty tourism," an initiative aimed at attracting tourists taking advantage of locally produced materials for cosmetics. (Jiji)
Dec 05
"Big" is looking to be the operative word for next year's Japanese pop culture themed attractions. (rocketnews24.com)
Dec 04
Hundreds of thousands of people gathered for a traditional night festival featuring floats in Chichibu City, near Tokyo. (NHK)
Dec 04
The famous scramble crossing in Tokyo's Shibuya's district will go vehicle-free on New Year's Eve, informed sources said Saturday. (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…]


Dec 8
hermes-gion-kyoto-1

photos by Takumi Ota

Last month Hermès, the French luxury goods maker, appeared in Kyoto along Gion's historic Hanamikoji street. They had renovated an old residence into a pop-up shop that will remain open for 9 months, serving as a hub for a s...

Dec 7
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (2nd L) touches hands with Russia's President Vladimir Putin as they walk with Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, after a G8 summit group photograph was taken at the Lough Erne golf resort in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom, 18 June 2013. (Photo: Reuters/Andrew Winning).

Author: James D. J. Brown, Temple University Japan

President Vladimir Putin will finally visit Japan on 15 December. While Putin was originally expected to visit in 2014, the meeting was repeatedly delayed due to the Ukraine crisis and the resulti...

Dec 7
Numata Castle Ruins, Japan.My daughter and I have been enthusiastic and faithful viewers of this year's NHK Taiga drama, “Sanada Maru.” We looked forward to visiting the Numata Castle ruins in Gunma Prefecture and, most of all,

At the Numata Castle ruins we had to imag...
Dec 7
Taro Okamoto is one of the few modern artists who has managed to earn mainstream acceptance. His playful abstract art is instantly recognizable, and his catch phrase “Art is an explosion!” is a perfect description of his vibrant, avant-garde p...
Dec 7
matcha-5

This is one of my favorite cakes to bake all year around but it works particularly well as a Christmas-themed dessert. The vibrant green from the matcha powder and the red from the strawberries turn this simple roulade recipe into an immediate fes...

Dec 7
moominvalley park theme japan saitama metsa-village hanno miyazawa lake

A Moomin theme park will open in Saitama, on the outskirts of Tokyo, in spring 2019.

Moominvalley Park will join a “Scandinavian village” theme park set to open in autumn 2018 as part of metsä, a new development in the picturesque Lake Miyaza...

Dec 7
The National Diet Building (Kokkai-gijido) in the Chiyoda ward is the center of political activity in Japan. It houses the two main decision-making branches of the Japanese government, the House of Councillors and the House of Representatives. The...
Dec 7
Retro heaven: A visit to the golden age of video games

Brett Plotz is a tour leader for InsideJapan – and a bona fide video game nerd. He spent several years living in rural Yamaguchi Prefecture, and is now based in Yokohama, from where he leads some of our fantastic group tours. For many p...

Dec 6

Spending my weekday days-off is a difficult task especially because I can't just drag someone I know and hang out with that person. So, what would I do to keep myself entertained? I'd take my camera with me and go somewhere different without havin...
Dec 6
man sleeping in the office after a christmas party

I've often heard it said by friends and colleagues here in Osaka that: “Japan doesn't really do Christmas.” However, I tend to disagree with this notion. There is a Christmas of sorts in Japan, but it's very different from what you might be us...

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