FRONT PAGE NEWS

22 February 2018
Japanese speed skaters have won gold in the women's team pursuit event at the PyeongChang Olympics. (NHK)
Workers at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have finished installing a new roof covering for the No.3 reactor building. (NHK)
The estimated number of foreign visitors for January rose 9 percent from a year earlier to 2,501,500, a record for the month, the Japan Tourism Agency said Wednesday. (Japan Times)
Japan tops the world as the country with the lowest rate of newborn mortality in 2016, followed by Iceland and Singapore, while Pakistan is the riskiest place to be born according to a new UNICEF report launched on Tuesday. (Japan Today)
Seven South Korean women attempted to smuggle gold into Japan late last month by concealing it in their rectums, officials from Aichi Prefecture’s Chubu Airport said Tuesday. (Japan Times)

Feb 22
A 62-year-old woman has been arrested on suspicion of animal abuse after keeping 23 cats in unsanitary conditions at her apartment in Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture. (Japan Today)
Feb 22
Investigative sources revealed on Tuesday that a 25-year-old man who was shot and wounded by an officer in Miyakojima Ward over the weekend while wielding a knife was actually in possession of two knives, reports NHK (tokyoreporter.com)
Feb 21
In a ruling handed down Tuesday on a high-profile surrogacy case involving a 28-year-old Japanese man, a Thai juvenile and family court accepted his claim for custody of 13 children whom he had through surrogacy in the Southeast Asian country. (Jiji)
Feb 21
A Japanese court has ordered Tokyo Electric Power Company to pay about 142,000 dollars in damages to the family of an elderly man who killed himself amid an evacuation order during the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis. (NHK)
Feb 21
Gangsters seeking to leave organized crime groups --- but who are in dire financial straits --- could soon get free accommodation and help with transportation costs in Fukuoka Prefecture under a unique program aimed at promoting integration back into society and in turn weakening the underworld syndicates. (Japan Times)

[more society news…]           [society blogs…]


Feb 21
Japan's land ministry plans to remove utility poles and bury overhead cables along 1,400 kilometers of roads over the next 3 years. (NHKん)
Feb 21
Uber Technologies Inc. aims to introduce its ride-hailing services across Japan in around 2020 by joining hands with local taxi firms, its chief executive officer said Tuesday. (Kyodo)
Feb 20
It was in December 2016 that casino gambling was first legalised throughout Japan, finally putting an end to a 15-year hiatus during which politicians basically argued with each other. (newsonjapan.com)
Feb 20
The former chairman of Sekisui House was ousted after his attempt to remove a sitting president over a land scam backfired, resulting in a stunning boardroom coup by his protege, The Nikkei has learned. (Nikkei)
Feb 18
A Tokyo-based operator of women-only share houses may have been involved in dubious rent business dealings under its former president amid the rapid expansion of the operation. (Japan Today)

[more business news…]           [business blogs…]


Feb 22
While President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership initially put the deal on life support in January 2017, details released Wednesday revealed that the remaining 11 countries have managed to agree on terms close to the agreement’s original form. (Japan Times)
Feb 21
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday instructed related cabinet ministers to consider measures to prevent a possible fallback of the country's economy after the consumption tax hike planned for October 2019 and the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics and Paralympics. (Jiji)
Feb 19
Amid stalling inflation and ballooning government spending, the Japanese government is growing more dependent on the Bank of Japan's colossal monetary easing policy engineered by Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda. (Nikkei)
Feb 19
Financial market experts foresee little change in the Bank of Japan's policy posture at least for the time being after its new leaders take office in spring. (Jiji)
Feb 17
The Japanese government decided at a meeting of related ministers on Friday to raise the retirement age for national public servants from the current 60 to 65 in stages. (Jiji)

[more economy news…]


Feb 21
The Japanese government says Emperor Akihito's abdication ceremony will be held next year on April 30th, the day he steps down, as a state event. (NHK)
Feb 20
A fighter jet from the US Misawa Airbase in northern Japan developed an engine fire on Tuesday morning and offloaded fuel tanks into a lake. (NHK)
Feb 20
Japan's labor minister has apologized for having provided inaccurate figures to the prime minister in Diet debate on working system reform. (NHK)
Feb 19
Members of the Liberal Democratic Party are proposing that the minimum ages for holding public office be lowered to a uniform 20, it was learned Sunday. (Japan Times)
Feb 17
Demonstrators took to the streets in a dozen cities in Japan on Friday demanding the dismissal of National Tax Agency Commissioner Nobuhisa Sagawa, who is accused of giving false parliamentary testimony over a controversial sale of state land. (Jiji)

[more politics news…]


Feb 22
Japan tops the world as the country with the lowest rate of newborn mortality in 2016, followed by Iceland and Singapore, while Pakistan is the riskiest place to be born according to a new UNICEF report launched on Tuesday. (Japan Today)
Feb 22
An uproar in Japan over the homeland of the "Moomin" storybook characters was elevated to a diplomatic matter on Wednesday, with the Japanese and Finnish foreign ministers assuring each other the issue has been well and truly resolved. (Kyodo)
Feb 21
A total of 213 firms and organizations in Japan were found to have mistreated technical trainees from abroad in 2017, down 10.9 percent from the previous year and falling for the second straight year, the Justice Ministry has said. (Japan Times)
Feb 15
The education ministry released a draft Wednesday of revised curriculum guidelines for high schools, including the introduction of comprehensive history and public affairs as new compulsory subjects. (Japan Times)
Feb 14
Girls in the fifth year of elementary school and the second year of junior high school in Japan posted record highs in overall physical performance in fiscal 2017, a government survey showed Tuesday. (Jiji)

[more education news…]           [education blogs…]


Feb 22
Workers at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have finished installing a new roof covering for the No.3 reactor building. (NHK)
Feb 15
Officials with East Japan Railway Company say a metal part that went missing from a Shinkansen bullet train has been found. They say the problem did not disrupt services or cause any injuries. (NHK)
Feb 10
A green turtle died as oil reached the southern Amami-Oshima Island coast, the local government said Thursday, but it was not clear whether the oil came from an Iranian tanker that sank in nearby waters last month. (Japan Times)
Feb 04
Japan's space agency has successfully test-launched a mini-rocket carrying a microsatellite. (NHK)
Feb 04
Cranial bones of three primitive horned dinosaurs have been found in a Lower Cretaceous stratum in Sasayama, Hyogo Prefecture, western Japan, the Museum of Nature and Human Activities said Saturday. (Jiji)

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


Feb 22
Japanese speed skaters have won gold in the women's team pursuit event at the PyeongChang Olympics. (NHK)
Feb 19
Nao Kodaira won the women's 500-meter speedskating event in the Pyeongchang Olympics on Sunday, becoming the first Japanese woman to win gold in the sport. (Jiji)
Feb 19
Figure skating star Yuzuru Hanyu said he took painkillers while competing to win the men’s singles title at the Pyeongchang Olympics, revealing that he has not yet recovered from his right ankle injury. (the-japan-news.com)
Feb 18
Teen shogi star Sota Fujii has clinched his first title in an official tournament. (NHK)
Feb 18
Japan's Yuzuru Hanyu has won gold in the men's figure skating in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in South Korea. (NHK)

[more sports news…]


Feb 22
Japan has some amazing prison food, which should be no surprise. Inmates are served healthy, nutritious meals of grilled fish, salads, rice and soup - which are actually healthier than most school lunches around the world! Would you like to try what prisoners eat? There's a prison in Hokkaido that serves authentic meals to the public and that is where I went -- Abashiri. (ONLY in JAPAN)
Feb 22
The estimated number of foreign visitors for January rose 9 percent from a year earlier to 2,501,500, a record for the month, the Japan Tourism Agency said Wednesday. (Japan Times)
Feb 22
An increasing number of couples from overseas are having wedding ceremonies in Kyoto, western Japan, attracted by the ancient capital's reputation as symbolizing traditional Japanese culture. (Jiji)
Feb 21
Tokyo Disney Resort operator Oriental Land will roll out a smartphone app in fiscal 2018 to relieve crowding issues that have frustrated guests at the popular theme park. (Nikkei)
Feb 16
Slightly increased volcanic activity has been reported at Mount Io in southwest Japan. (NHK)

[more travel news…]           [travel blogs…]


Feb 21

Recently, I had the opportunity to ask a large group of foreign women living in Tokyo if they research their health information in English (or their native language), Japanese, or both. It was almost unanimous that they research health tips in Eng...

Feb 21
The Only Gaijin in the Village: Comfortably NumbChapter 12: Comfortably Numb

In physics, there is the concept of the observer effect. It states that the act of observation will necessarily alter the thing being observed. You can't check the pressure of a tire without some of the air escaping. ...

Feb 20
Easy Come, Easy Go: 4 Things to Consider if You're Thinking About a Life in Japan

I've lived in Japan for almost 10 years. Yet, of the thousands of foreigners who come here to work every year, most will stay for one or just a few years. Although many of those who come to Japan do so with the clear intention of staying only a ye...

Feb 20
One of the challenges of teaching courses about contemporary Japanese culture at my university is that my students come from a variety of countries, backgrounds, majors and areas of knowledge. I cannot assume all of my international (and local) st...
Feb 20
If you don't mind putting the work in for your cherry blossom viewing this spring, why not try combining your hanami with a hike? |credit| Not only is hiking invigorating (apparently), it also gives you a sense of achievement and means you can s...
Feb 20
The Seishun 18 ticket allows dirt-cheap rail travel across Japan. The Seishun 18 ticket (青春18きっぷ) is a special discount ticket sold by national rail operator JR three times a year—in summer, winter and spring. It allows up to five non...
Feb 19

Although we tend to picture big industries as our largest polluters, the truth is that in Tokyo only, the residential sector was the second-highest carbon-emitting sector in fiscal 2014, standing at 32%, just behind the commercial division at 36%....

Feb 15

As of April 2017, 47,738 children across Japan were on waiting lists to get placed in a certified daycare center, with particularly long lists in Tokyo, Okinawa, Chiba and Oita. In households across Japan, families are tearing their hair out, tryi...

Feb 15
tallest world japan tokyo wooden skyscraper tower w350

You've heard the one about the Tower of Babel. But what the 350-meter wooden tower?

The somewhat cryptically named W350 is set to be the tallest wooden structure in the world, standing 350 meters (1m148 feet) when it is completed in Marunouchi, c...

Feb 14
Be a Teacher and an Ally in your English Classes in Japan

Kids yelled anti-gay slurs at me in the hallway, pushed me, mocked me, stole from my locker and excluded me. I was bullied for being queer. Teachers were sympathetic but rarely stopped bullying unless it happened in front of them.

And that was al...

[all blogs…]