FRONT PAGE NEWS

4 May 2016
Seven people were injured after a car jumped the curb and hit pedestrians in Kobe on Tuesday morning. (Japan Today)
Japan's foreign minister announced a $7 billion initiative Monday to promote development in Southeast Asia's Mekong region, which encompasses parts of Vietnam, Laos and Thailand through which the river flows. (Japan Today)
Japan's chief justice has apologized for the practice of trying people suffering from leprosy, or Hansen's disease, in isolated facilities over a period of about 25 years. (NHK)
Japan on Monday began its annual "Cool Biz" campaign, which encourages workers to dress more casually to help reduce energy use, with government offices allowing polo shirts, Hawaiian-style aloha shirts and similar attire. (Japan Times)
NHK has learned that at least one-quarter of the people who died as a result of the earthquakes that hit Japan's southwest had gone home from temporary shelters before the second major tremor. (NHK)

May 03
Police said Monday they are looking for a man who stole 1 million yen from a Pizza Hut store in Tokyo, and injured two employees in the process. (Japan Today)
May 01
Police in Chofu, Tokyo, have arrested a 47-year-old part-time worker on suspicion of assaulting a 13-year-old girl as she walked home in February. (Japan Today)
May 01
The Osaka District Public Prosecutor's Office has filed charges of drug trafficking against a 40-year-old woman who left a large quantity of illegal drugs inside a fast-food outlet, reports the Asahi Shimbun (April 30). (Tokyo Reporter)
May 01
An increasing number of people are using the "furusato nozei" hometown donation program to support Kumamoto Prefecture, southwestern Japan, which has been hit hard by a recent series of strong earthquakes. (Jiji Press)
May 01
Kanagawa Prefectural Police are investigating what is believed to have been a murder-suicide in an apartment in Kawasaki City, reports the Sankei Shimbun (April 30). (Tokyo Reporter)
[more society news...]           [society blogs...]

May 03
Average occupancy at 18 major Tokyo hotels edged up 0.1 percentage point to 83.8% in the year ended in March -- staying in the 80% range seen as near full occupancy -- even as hotels hike rates, though recent data shows signs of a downtrend. (Nikkei)
May 02
Mitsubishi Motors Corp.'s fuel economy testing fraud has hit its partner Nissan Motor Co. in domestic showrooms, with the latter automaker posting a steeper plunge in April minicar sales and overall market share. (Japan Times)
May 02
Japan's top companies are increasingly moving to give foreign people permanent contracts, judging that the benefits of diversification are well worth the challenges. (Japan Times)
Apr 30
HAMBURG, Germany -- A giant cruise liner constructed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries opened its doors here Friday ahead of its entry into regular service. (Nikkei)
Apr 28
Nintendo Co. is easing into its newfound role as a mobile game publisher, but not fast enough for investors expecting a Mario-scale hit. (Japan Times)
[more business news...]           [business blogs...]
May 03
Japan's foreign minister announced a $7 billion initiative Monday to promote development in Southeast Asia's Mekong region, which encompasses parts of Vietnam, Laos and Thailand through which the river flows. (Japan Today)
May 03
The Bank of Japan has developed a new index that tracks private consumption monthly, saying a gauge that eschews household surveys will be more accurate. (Nikkei)
May 02
Japan's Finance Minister Taro Aso expressed strong concerns on Saturday over the recent surge in the Japanese yen against the dollar. He warned against one-sided, speculative movements in the foreign exchange market. (NHK)
Apr 30
Japan and China were among five economies put on a new U.S. government list used to monitor what it calls possible "unfair" practices in foreign exchange policy, according to a Treasury Department report released Friday. (Kyodo)
Apr 29
Though Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda played up the positive at Thursday's news conference, economic indicators point to a foundering economy that calls his strategy and his unshakable confidence into question. (Nikkei)
[more economy news...]
May 03
The leaders of Japan and France have agreed to announce a counterterrorism action plan during the upcoming G7 summit. (NHK)
May 03
The Diet enacted a law Monday to boost benefits for second and later children in low-income households headed by single parents by up to double the current levels. (Japan Times)
May 02
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is considering setting this summer's House of Councillors election for July 10 and the announcement of the poll for June 22, when the official campaign period starts, government sources said Sunday. (Jiji Press)
May 01
Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida conveyed Tokyo's concerns over the situations in the East China Sea and the South China Sea to his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, during their meeting in Beijing on Saturday. (Jiji Press)
Apr 29
NHK has learned a North Korean cargo-passenger vessel was operating in the same waters as a submarine when the North fired what appeared to be a submarine-launched ballistic missile, or SLBM, last weekend. (NHK)
[more politics news...]
May 02
Police in Saitama said Sunday they have arrested a 23-year-old elementary school teacher on suspicion of attempting to steal a man's wallet on a train. (Japan Today)
May 02
Casualty statistics can give a misleading impression of the havoc inflicted by natural disasters. For instance, the most recent updates for the magnitude-6.5 and 7.3 earthquakes that hit Kumamoto and Oita prefectures on April 14 and 16 give casualty figures of 49 killed and more than 2,000 injured. It may be tempting to add "only." (Japan Times)
Apr 30
In light of increased numbers of visitors travelling to Japan, the government is overhauling many of the regulations that rule the tourism sector. (insidejapantours.com)
Apr 26
Kumamon, a popular black bear mascot for Kumamoto Prefecture, is in strong demand for use in soliciting donations for people afflicted by a series of powerful earthquakes in southwestern Japan. (Jiji Press)
Apr 25
Some public schools, including elementary schools, reopened in Kumamoto Prefecture on Monday following a suspension caused by a series of strong earthquakes that rocked the southwestern Japan prefecture and nearby areas. (Jiji Press)
[more education news...]           [education blogs...]
Apr 30
An earthquake with an estimated magnitude of 4.5 rocked southwestern Japan on Friday afternoon, registering upper 5 on the seismic intensity scale of 7 in Yufu, Oita Prefecture. (Jiji Press)
Apr 29
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, said Thursday it has given up attempts to restore control of the Hitomi X-ray astronomy satellite with which the agency lost communication. (Jiji Press)
Apr 28
A panel of scientists has presented to Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority an assessment that says a fault under a reactor in central Japan could slip sometime in the future. (NHK)
Apr 25
Telecom giant Softbank and a venture firm have jointly established a company that will work to sell an automated navigation system for buses by 2018. (NHK)
Apr 23
A prototype of Japan's first domestically developed stealth jet made its 26-minute maiden flight in central Japan on Friday. (the-japan-news.com)
[more sci-tech news...]           [sci-tech blogs...]
May 02
The number of foreign tourists participating in citizen marathons has increased dramatically. With host cities seeing a significant economic impact due to increased demand for accommodations and meals, local governments and the tourism industry are noticing the potential for "running tourism". (the-japan-news.com)
Apr 30
In the latest development in the gambling scandal involving Yomiuri Giants players, the Metropolitan Police Department on Friday arrested restaurateur Satoshi Saito, 38, on suspicion of running gambling operations for the purpose of gain and former Giants pitcher Shoki Kasahara, 25, on suspicion of assisting the operations. (the-japan-news.com)
Apr 27
Japan's ski competition governing body has suspended the membership of 2 teenage snowboarders for their use of marijuana. They used the banned drugs on their tours of the United States in December. (NHK)
Apr 27
The new emblem designs chosen by the organizing committee of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games appear to have impressed people with their simplicity and distinctly Japanese sensibility. (the-japan-news.com)
Apr 25
A pair of logos for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games has officially been chosen. (NHK)
[more sports news...]
May 03
The information center at the 5th station of Japan's iconic Mount Fuji has opened, kicking off the 2016 tourist season. The center offers information in 7 languages. (NHK)
Apr 30
West Japan Railway Co. opened the nation's largest railway museum to the public in Kyoto on Friday. (the-japan-news.com)
Apr 30
It's the first day of spring holidays in Japan, when people travel in droves to more leisurely destinations. But this year, many were seen heading southwest for the quake-hit area of Kumamoto Prefecture. (NHK)
Apr 30
The Tokyo metropolitan government is planning to make the capital's busiest rail station more user-friendly ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. (NHK)
Apr 29
The annual "Golden Week" holiday exodus has begun in Japan. (NHK)
[more travel news...]           [travel blogs...]
May 2
JAPAN-LIFESTYLE-HEALTH

goo Ranking does seem to conduct a large percentage of their surveys on odd toilet-related topics, for which I thank them! Today's is about what guys answering the survey wish they hadn't just learnt about women's toilets.

In the answers below, a...

May 1




I read something in the news today about Norwegian whaling and it reminded me of my ALT days, and school lunches. More specifically, ...



... the first time whale meat turned up on the school lunch menu.



I was blissfully ignorant to it. Lunch trays...
May 1
laughing-got-tired

Bamboo leaves again?

Photo courtesy of ASV.
Shirt found in Japan.

...continue reading
May 1
We're almost halfway through the year! This spring was unusually cold, but the weather's finally getting warmer, and soon, it will be summer. Yet before the hot and humid days of summer begin in around July, get ready for an uncomfortable period o...
May 1

Photo from *masa on flickr.com

When writing letters or emails, it is nice to add some intro or ending with some seasonal comments. I have covered the topic of “writing business emails in Japanese” in the past. Check out here if you would l...

Apr 30

This Chinese gameshow bear sure looks a lot like that of Japan's super loveable Kumamon bear. Could it be? Why China, whyyyyyyy? Despite having my own personal, highly unfortunate experiences with counterfeit Chinese products, I'm not pointing an...

Apr 29
What is your opinions on machine intelligence? graph of japanese statistics

Here's a short yet interesting (I especially have high hopes for Deep Learning) survey from Gartner Japan into machine intelligence.

I'm pretty sure many of my readers will have heard about Deep Learning, computing's new Silver Bullet that will s...

Apr 29
frorida

We're going to Disney Word!

Photo courtesy of Eric Luna.
Shirt spotted in Osaka, Japan.

...continue reading
Apr 29
Golden Week starts today, April 29 in Japan with Showa Day (昭和の日). What is Golden Week? It is basically a collection of four national holidays closely grouped together in the space of seven days from late April to early May. This year in 2...
Apr 29
Japan by bike

Toby, a travel consultant in our Bristol office, recently returned from a trip to Japan – on which he cycled the country's most impressive cycle path: the Shimanami Kaido. Here, he shares his experiences and gives some advice on how to ...

[all blogs...]