FRONT PAGE NEWS

21 July 2017
Japan has expanded the list of standardized pictograms used in signboards and posts as part of an effort to better serve foreign visitors in the run-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. (Kyodo)
An informed source in the sumo world says Mongolian Yokozuna Grand Champion Hakuho is considering the option of acquiring Japanese citizenship. The move would allow him to become a stablemaster after retirement and train younger wrestlers. (NHK)
A male worker for a construction company engaged in a project to construct Japan's new National Stadium, the main venue for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, committed suicide in March, a lawyer representing his bereaved relatives revealed Thursday. (Jiji)
Policymakers at the Bank of Japan have decided to continue with their easing program in a bid to achieve a 2-percent inflation target. But the officials have revised the forecast date for meeting the target. They say an extra year is needed. (NHK)
The United States is bracing for the possibility of another ballistic missile launch by North Korea. (NHK)

Jul 21
The Tokyo District Court on Thursday handed a homeless man a prison sentence extending for three years and six months for starting a fire that damaged a number of buildings in the historic Golden Gai last year, reports Jiji Press. (tokyoreporter.com)
Jul 20
The number of criminal offenses reported to police in Japan in January-June fell 7.7 pct from a year earlier to 450,887, on track to hit an annual postwar low, a National Police Agency report showed Thursday. (Jiji)
Jul 20
A 49-year-old woman had been arrested after camera footage showed that she had been adding dishwashing detergent to her husband and son's tea, local police said. (Japan Today)
Jul 20
The Yokohama District Court on Wednesday sentenced a former elementary school teacher to three years in prison on sexual abuse and child pornography charges. (Japan Today)
Jul 20
A group set up by psychiatric patients, their families and lawyers has called for strict rules on the use of physical restraints at hospitals in Japan. (NHK)

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Jul 20
Officials at the Japan Fair Trade Commission are investigating major department stores in Osaka. They suspect the firms colluded on increasing delivery fees. (NHK)
Jul 20
Japan's Consumer Affairs Agency on Wednesday accused GungHo Online Entertainment Inc. of running unfair advertising on its mobile games, including the popular Puzzle & Dragons, in violation of the law against misleading representations. (Jiji)
Jul 19
IT firm Yahoo Japan has announced a new web-based platform that enables people to play games just by connecting to the internet. (NHK)
Jul 19
Thirteen Japanese bitcoin exchange operators said Tuesday they will suspend deposits and withdrawals of the virtual currency from midnight July 31 (3 p.m. GMT) in order to prevent possible turmoil stemming from an expected separation of the trading system. (Japan Times)
Jul 18
Taiwan has decided in principle to lift a ban since 2001 on beef imported from Japan, action taken following the discovery there of cattle with mad cow disease, the Food and Drug Administration said in a statement posted Monday on its website. (Japan Today)

[more business news…]           [business blogs…]


Jul 20
Policymakers at the Bank of Japan have decided to continue with their easing program in a bid to achieve a 2-percent inflation target. But the officials have revised the forecast date for meeting the target. They say an extra year is needed. (NHK)
Jul 19
Even unrealistically robust economic and productivity growth would not be enough to bring Japan's primary balance into the black by fiscal 2020, government estimates released Tuesday show. (Nikkei)
Jul 19
Japanese manufacturers' and service providers' business confidence held steady at high levels in July, a Reuters poll found on Wednesday, underlining the central bank's upbeat view on the economy. (Reuters)
Jul 15
Japan's gross domestic product in fiscal 2018 is forecast to increase 1.4 pct from the previous year in price-adjusted real terms, the Cabinet Office said Friday. (Jiji)
Jul 12
Chief negotiators from the 11 Trans-Pacific Partnership countries met Wednesday in the hot-spring resort town of Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture, to discuss how to breathe fresh life into the massive free trade deal after the U.S. withdrew. (Japan Times)

[more economy news…]


Jul 20
The United States is bracing for the possibility of another ballistic missile launch by North Korea. (NHK)
Jul 19
Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada has denied media reports that she agreed to hide the fact that the records relating to the Ground Self-Defense Force's peacekeeping activities in South Sudan were at the GSDF command. The ministry once said they had been destroyed. (NHK)
Jul 18
Renho, leader of Japan's main opposition Democratic Party, on Tuesday disclosed personal documents as evidence that she has resolved the issue of her Japanese-Taiwanese dual citizenship and is now a Japanese citizen. (Jiji)
Jul 18
Japan on Monday pledged $1 billion over the next two years to back the UN's development agenda, raising its profile as one of the world's largest foreign aid donors. (digitaljournal.com)
Jul 18
Japan Coast Guard officials say 2 Chinese patrol ships have entered Japanese territorial waters off the country's northeast. (NHK)

[more politics news…]


Jul 20
Students at a junior high school in Tochigi Prefecture’s Takenazawa town have felt ill after eating cheese at the school cafeteria, local board of education representatives said. (Japan Today)
Jul 20
Hiroshima District Court rejected Wednesday a petition calling for the reversal of a Japanese government decision to exclude a Korean school from its tuition-free high school education program. (Jiji)
Jul 19
Japan will set aside roughly 4 trillion yen ($35.6 billion) in the next fiscal year's state budget for measures that focus on education as part of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's strategy to spur growth, government sources told Reuters on Tuesday. (Reuters)
Jul 19
The number of female researchers at private companies and other institutions in Japan reached the highest level ever last year, government data showed, although it remained low by international standards. (Japan Times)
Jul 19
A public elementary school teacher in eastern Japan told a fourth grader to jump out of a third-floor classroom window last week, prompting the boy to stay away from school, a local education committee said Tuesday. (Kyodo)

[more education news…]           [education blogs…]


Jul 20
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant says the metal scaffolding right below the damaged No.3 reactor appears to have gone missing after the 2011 disaster. (NHK)
Jul 20
Major Japanese electronics maker NEC is introducing an innovative verification system that is based on an ordinary glitter pen. (NHK)
Jul 20
Japanese electronics maker Fujitsu has developed a wristwatch sensor that warns the wearer of the risk of heatstroke. (NHK)
Jul 19
IT firm Yahoo Japan has announced a new web-based platform that enables people to play games just by connecting to the internet. (NHK)
Jul 17
Japanese authorities will expand their search for poisonous fire ants following recent discoveries of the insect at ports and elsewhere in the country. (NHK)

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


Jul 21
Japan has expanded the list of standardized pictograms used in signboards and posts as part of an effort to better serve foreign visitors in the run-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. (Kyodo)
Jul 20
The number of tourists coming to Japan hit a record high in the first half of 2017. The Japan National Tourism Organization says more than 13.75 million people visited Japan in the 6 months. (NHK)
Jul 18
If you want to visit the Nagoya amusement park on a Tuesday or Wednesday, you'd better go soon. (rocketnews24.com)
Jul 17
Spectators, including many tourists, enjoyed a parade of colorfully decorated floats at the annual Gion Festival in Japan's ancient capital of Kyoto on Monday. (NHK)
Jul 17
The health ministry will launch a survey to look into medical expenses paid by foreign tourists to deal with an apparent increase in unpaid cases, a source close to the matter said recently. (Japan Today)

[more travel news…]           [travel blogs…]


Jul 19
Sipping on matcha and enjoying traditional Japanese sweets while sitting on tatami and looking out onto Japanese gardens—could it get any more, well, Japanese than that? |credit| A tradition stretching back over 1000 years, Japan's tea ceremon...
Jul 18
If you want to share your Tokyo fireworks photos with the Tokyo Cheapo audience, use hashtag #cheaposummer on Twitter or Instagram. Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival (Jul. 29, Asakusa Station) |credit| If you only go to one fireworks festival, make it...
Jul 17
Unifying Power of KaraokeI'm usually against stereotypes. I do not like the idea of judging an individual before getting the chance to interact with them properly. However, there is one stereotype that even I, a Japanese-American, am powerless against... Japanese love kar...
Jul 17
Marine Day, or Umi no Hi (海の日) in Japanese is a National Holiday that is celebrated on the third Monday in July. The holiday is also known as “Ocean Day” or “Sea Day” with the purpose of giving thanks to the sea and to consider the i...
Jul 16
I grew up near the beach in a tropical country. When I moved here, I almost gave up on seeking new adventures with water. I was already aware that Japan doesn't have the pristine white beaches (except Okinawa and a few islands) we had back home in...
Jul 14
201308051117590cc89fc8fc6a6280c40d497e505e6e80c17ec79d.jpg

While there's plenty to see in Kyoto, it's also nice to get out of the city and explore the Kansai region to find new experiences and sights. With only just a short train ride, you can arrive in a city or region that offers culture, food, architec...

Jul 14

“I can't believe we're doing this!”

While living in Japan has many benefits, one of the things I find most frustrating is the lack of spontaneity. But, a chance conversation with a friend about the Kiso Valley, a serendipitous half-day off an...

Jul 13
meriyasu kataoka fashion show exhibition 5

You don't often hear the words stuffed animal and artist together, but that's what Meriyasu Kataoka is, a stuffed animal artist, and she has quite a following in Japan. Her following is so passionate, in fact, that Kataoka has already drawn hundre...

Jul 13
Laundry Day: Mastering Your Washing Machine

One of the hardest things for foreign people living in Japan can be doing simple things. When I first arrived in the tiny backwater town of Asanogawa — a place so insignificant, the Ishikawa Prefecture tourist information office thought I'd made...

Jul 12

It will warm you if we're cool, cool you if we're hot, and cheer you if feeling blue — and that's just the start of a long list of positive effects this popular drink can have on you. It goes without saying that tea has been a staple drink in Ja...

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