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Thursday, April 17, 15:42 (JST)
SDF launches PR campaign to soften image
Pacifist Japan is gradually learning to love its military, with an apparent public relations campaign under way to soften its image, featuring online popularity contests, a much-touted soprano vocalist and dating events. (Japan Today )
Bridgestone executive to plead guilty in price-fixing case
A former Bridgestone Corp. (5108) executive agreed to plead guilty to conspiring to fix prices for auto parts, a day after a grand jury indicted another executive and two former workers at the Japanese tire maker. (Bloomberg )
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 )
Population declines for 3rd straight year
The nation's population has slipped for the third straight year to a 13-year low, the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry said Tuesday. (The Japan News )
Experts to study bird flu infection route
Officials in southwestern Japan are trying to contain the bird flu virus that has infected chickens at a poultry farm. (NHK )
Methane hydrate surveys start in 5 areas in Japan
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said Tuesday that it has started surveys to measure shallow methane hydrate deposits in five marine areas in Japan. (Jiji Press )
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 )
Mt. Hiyori regains status as shortest mountain
Mt. Hiyori in Miyagino Ward, Sendai, has regained its status as "the shortest mountain in Japan" for the first time in 18 years. (The Japan News )


Apr 17 6-year-old boy dead, 3-year-old girl in coma after being swept away in river
A 6-year-old boy died and a 3-year-old girl remains in a coma after they were swept away by a strong current in a river in Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture, on Wednesday afternoon. (Japan Today )
Apr 17 Spectacular snow walls
People enjoy viewing the 15-meter snow walls of the Yuki no Otani (Great Snow Valley), along the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route that passes through the Northern Japan Alps to link Toyama and Nagano prefectures. (The Japan News )
Apr 17 24-year-old man arrested for robbing convenience store
Police in Tokyo said Wednesday they have arrested an unemployed 24-year-old man for robbing a convenience store in Shibuya. (Japan Today )
Apr 16 Anne Frank vandalism suspect to face psychiatric test
Tokyo prosecutors plan to look into whether a man, who has been arrested for allegedly vandalizing copies of Anne Frank's diary, is mentally competent to be held criminally responsible for his actions, informed sources said Wednesday. (Jiji Press )
Apr 16 Young salmon released into river in Fukushima
Fishermen in Fukushima Prefecture have released young salmon into a local river for the first time in 4 years. (NHK )
Apr 17 KDDI, SoftBank voice opposition to loosening NTT regulations
KDDI Corp. and SoftBank Corp. have reiterated their opposition to a possible easing of regulations on NTT Corp. (The Japan News )
Apr 17 Court denies MtGox rehabilitation
A Japanese court has rejected a plan to rebuild the failed Bitcoin exchange MtGox under the civil rehabilitation law. (NHK )
Apr 17 Firms look to 4K TVs for salvation
Major electronic manufacturers are expanding their lineups of so-called 4K ultrahigh-resolution TVs, as the companies look to these new products to be a driving force to stimulate their sluggish TV businesses. (The Japan News )
Apr 17 Australian expansion in store for Uniqlo
Japan's richest person, Tadashi Yanai, has laid out an aggressive expansion strategy for Australia, saying his Uniqlo fashion chain could open as many as 100 stores here, including 50 in the next three years alone. (The Australian )
Apr 14 Japan mulls free provision of maglev technology to U.S.
The government is considering providing Japan's technology for a magnetically levitated train system to the United States without license fees, a government source said Sunday. (Kyodo )
Apr 17 Japan official says differences on TPP narrowing
Negotiators from Japan and the United States haven't been able to make a breakthrough yet at the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade talks. But a Japanese official says the 2-sides have made some progress. (NHK )
Apr 16 BOJ's Kuroda maintains positive view on economy
Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda on Wednesday affirmed the central bank's upbeat view of the economy, even as global financial markets wobble, stressing that growth will pick up around mid-year as the sting of a sales tax hike fades. (Reuters )
Apr 16 Nikkei surges, SoftBank jumps on Alibaba earnings
Japan's Nikkei share average surged on Wednesday after a better performance on Wall Street the day before and comments from Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso that the market took to suggest more stock buying by the government's pension fund. (Reuters )
Apr 16 Survey: Many Japanese firms need fresh capital
Many Japanese companies say they need more capital. That's seen as an indication that they're more positive about expanding their business. (NHK )
Apr 15 BOJ to adjust monetary policy if necessary: Kuroda
The Bank of Japan is ready to adjust monetary policy if necessary, BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said Tuesday. (Jiji Press )
Apr 17 Japan, S. Korea remain apart over comfort woman issue
Senior Japanese and South Korean diplomats on Wednesday held discussions on so-called comfort women, a key thorny issue between the two Asian countries, but failed to narrow their differences. (Jiji Press )
Apr 16 Japan's indigenous stealth jet prototype 'to fly this year'
Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera has reaffirmed the nation's plan for a 2014 first flight of the Advanced Technology Demonstrator-X (ATD-X) fighter: a prototype for a future fighter to replace the Japan Air Self-Defence Force's Mitsubishi F-2. (janes.com )
Apr 15 Abe said to have met former Chinese leader's son
Government sources have revealed that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met the eldest son of late Chinese president Hu Yaobang last week. (NHK )
Apr 14 Japan, S. Korea to discuss comfort women Wed.
Japan and South Korea will hold bureau chief-level talks in Seoul on Wednesday on the issue of so-called comfort women, the two governments said Sunday. (Jiji Press )
Apr 13 Anti-whaling ruling saves face for Japan
The international court ruling against Japanese whaling last week may have given the government a convenient political out. (AP )
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 08 Google institute unveils works by Osamu Tezuka
Internet search engine Google has unveiled a collection of works by legendary Japanese manga artist, Osamu Tezuka. (NHK )
Apr 07 Fukushima schools reopen after evacuation advisory lifting
Two elementary schools and one junior high school reopened Monday in the Miyakoji district of this northeastern Japan city after an evacuation advisory related to the country's worst nuclear accident was lifted earlier this month. (Jiji Press )
Apr 16 Supervisor: STAP cell hypothesis rational
A Japanese scientist who supervised the compilation of disputed papers on a purportedly new kind of stem cell says the hypothesis that STAP cells exist is highly rational and should be verified. (NHK )
Apr 16 Japan fails to get measles-free country status
The World Health Organization has declined to certify Japan as free of measles. (NHK )
Apr 16 Kyoto Univ. develops new shale gas method
A Kyoto University research team developed a new basic technology to extract shale gas trapped deep underground by injecting carbon dioxide into shale bedrock instead of water, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned. (The Japan News )
Apr 16 Japan surpasses Kyoto Protocol emission target
Japan's environment minister says the country has surpassed the target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions that it pledged under the Kyoto Protocol on global warming. (NHK )
Apr 15 TEPCO pressed to probe contaminated water problem
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is under pressure to find out why more than 200 tons of highly contaminated water was mistakenly pumped to a wrong building at the compound. (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 17 Spectacular snow walls
People enjoy viewing the 15-meter snow walls of the Yuki no Otani (Great Snow Valley), along the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route that passes through the Northern Japan Alps to link Toyama and Nagano prefectures. (The Japan News )
Apr 15 Visa waiver eyed for tourists from Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam
The government and the ruling coalition are making arrangements to waive visas for tourists from Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam as one of the initiatives in a revised action plan due out in June to make Japan a tourism-oriented country, government sources said Monday. (Kyodo )
Apr 15 Spring festival in Takayama starts
The Takayama Spring Festival in central Japan kicked off on Monday with its traditional float parade. (NHK )
Apr 13 600 million dreamers
Mickey Mouse and friends celebrate the 600 millionth visitor to Tokyo Disney Resort's two theme parks (The Japan News )
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 )
Mar 07 Live-action Ghibli remake delivers a new Kiki
When is a remake not a remake? Arguably, Takashi Shimizu's "Majo no Takkyubin (Kiki's Delivery Service)" is less a reworking of the Hayao Miyazaki animation classic (which this reviewer praised on this page in 1989) than his own interpretation of the 1985 Eiko Kadono fantasy novel on which the Miyazaki film is also based. (Encouraged by the novel's success, Kadono later wrote five more in a series.) (Japan Times )
Feb 16 Haru Kuroki wins best actress award at Berlin film festival
Japanese actress Haru Kuroki won the Silver Bear for best actress at the 64th Berlin International Festival on Saturday for her part in director Yoji Yamada's "The Little House." (Kyodo )
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 )
Mar 28 New Yokozuna Kakuryu practices ring ceremony
Sumo's newly promoted Yokozuna Grand Champion Kakuryu has practiced a ring-entering ritual wearing a new ceremonial rope belt. (NHK )
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