FRONT PAGE NEWS

25 May 2016
Japan's Diet, or parliament, enacted Tuesday a set of bills that bring about drastic changes in the ways that criminal investigations and trials are conducted in the country. (Jiji Press)
The Japanese government says it will increase funds for infrastructure exports over the next 5 years to 200 billion dollars. (NHK)
Japan's total fertility rate in 2015 rose 0.04 point from the previous year to a 21-year high of 1.46, aided by indications of economic recovery, the health ministry said Monday. (Kyodo)
Economic damage from the recent strong earthquakes in Kumamoto Prefecture and nearby areas in southwestern Japan stands between some 2.4 trillion yen and 4.6 trillion yen, an estimate by the Cabinet Office said Monday. (Jiji Press)
Two men have been killed in apparent bear attacks over the weekend in the same area of a forest region in Kazuno, Akita Prefecture. (Japan Today)

May 24
Rakugo storyteller Katsura Utamaru has left the "Shoten" television comedy show after 50 years of appearances. (the-japan-news.com)
May 23
A woman was arrested for sneaking into singer Masaharu Fukuyama's apartment in Tokyo, police said on Sunday. (Tokyo Reporter)
May 23
Osaka Prefectural Police have arrested a 77-year-old man in the stabbing death of a man at an apartment building in Nishinari Ward, reports Nippon News Network (May 22). (Tokyo Reporter)
May 23
Hyogo Prefectural Police have arrested a 67-year-old man for attacking a 61-year-old female neighbor and her daughter, who later died, at an apartment building in Amagasaki City, reports NHK (May 20). (Tokyo Reporter)
May 23
A Japanese idol who was stabbed repeatedly by a male fan on Saturday before an event had previously told police of concerns the suspect was a stalker, authorities said. (Tokyo Reporter)
[more society news...]           [society blogs...]
May 24
Struggling Japanese electronics firm Toshiba will cut its capital base by more than 50 percent. (NHK)
May 23
Japanese individual investors are pouring money into real estate as they chase higher returns amid low bond yields and a clouded stock market outlook. (Nikkei)
May 21
Gap Inc.'s Old Navy is pulling out of Japan. The chain will close its 53 stores in the country this year, letting it refocus on North America and China, according to a statement on Thursday. (the-japan-news.com)
May 21
Customers at Resona Bank and Saitama Resona Bank will be able to open deposit accounts and carry out other procedures without using their seals, starting by the end of March 2019, the parent company's chief said in a recent interview. (the-japan-news.com)
May 20
A Japanese government council has proposed allowing private citizens to take in fee-paying lodgers for up to 180 days a year without a hotel operator license, one of dozens of deregulatory steps recommended to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday. (Nikkei)
[more business news...]           [business blogs...]
May 24
The Japanese government says it will increase funds for infrastructure exports over the next 5 years to 200 billion dollars. (NHK)
May 24
Japan's exports fell sharply in April and manufacturing activity suffered the fastest contraction since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe swept to power in late 2012, providing further evidence that the Abenomics stimulus policy is struggling for traction. (the-japan-news.com)
May 23
Economic damage from the recent strong earthquakes in Kumamoto Prefecture and nearby areas in southwestern Japan stands between some 2.4 trillion yen and 4.6 trillion yen, an estimate by the Cabinet Office said Monday. (Jiji Press)
May 20
The Japanese government on Thursday compiled a draft of its new growth strategy featuring the promotion a fourth industrial revolution aimed at boosting productivity through the use of new technologies such as the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence. (Jiji Press)
May 20
Top finance officials from the Group of Seven major industrial nations will meet in Japan this week amid diminishing expectations for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Abenomics growth policy. (Jiji Press)
[more economy news...]
May 24
Japan's Diet, or parliament, enacted Tuesday a set of bills that bring about drastic changes in the ways that criminal investigations and trials are conducted in the country. (Jiji Press)
May 24
A Japanese man in his 50s has been indicted in China after being arrested for his alleged involvement in spying activities, informed sources said Monday. (Jiji Press)
May 23
A suprapartisan organization comprising political parties, companies and civic groups opposing the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma air station within Okinawa Prefecture decided at a meeting Sunday to hold a massive rally to protest against the murder of a local woman believed to be committed by a former Marine. (Jiji Press)
May 23
Barack Obama said on Sunday his visit to Hiroshima, the first city to suffer an atomic bombing, would emphasize friendly ties between former enemies. But the US president reiterated he would not apologize for the devastating attack. (theguardian.com)
May 21
Embattled Tokyo Gov. Yoichi Masuzoe said Friday that he will leave the issue of his allegedly dubious use of political funds to a third-party investigation. (the-japan-news.com)
[more politics news...]
May 24
Only 33.2 pct of people in Japan believe that men and women should share an equal burden in child rearing, lower than the proportions in three European countries, a Japanese government report showed Tuesday. (Jiji Press)
May 23
Japan's total fertility rate in 2015 rose 0.04 point from the previous year to a 21-year high of 1.46, aided by indications of economic recovery, the health ministry said Monday. (Kyodo)
May 21
Japan will accept as students 150 Syrian refugees and Syrians being evacuated within the Middle East country ravaged by civil war, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Friday. (Jiji Press)
May 21
The Japanese government said Friday that 97.3 pct of new university graduates in the country had found jobs by April 1, with the employment rate improving for five straight years to hit the highest level since the survey started in April 1997. (Jiji Press)
May 19
Japan will aim to bring down to zero the number of children on waiting lists for nursery school admissions by the end of fiscal 2017, according to a medium- to long-term plan released by the government Wednesday. (Jiji Press)
[more education news...]           [education blogs...]
May 23
A Japanese satellite has confirmed that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are rising. (NHK)
May 21
The government is planning to form a new agency within fiscal 2017 that will lead and coordinate efforts to develop countermeasures against cyber-attacks that could physically damage operators of important infrastructure like electricity and gas systems, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned. (the-japan-news.com)
May 20
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says the work to freeze soil around the crippled reactors is making progress. It is designed to stop radioactive groundwater from flowing out of the facilities. (NHK)
May 19
SoftBank Robotics Corp. said Thursday it has expanded opportunities for app developers to use Google's Android platform for its humanoid robot Pepper. (Japan Times)
May 19
Crested ibis chicks born in the wild on Sado Island in the Sea of Japan have left their nest. (NHK)
[more sci-tech news...]           [sci-tech blogs...]
May 23
Yokozuna Hakuho capped his dominating run at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament with a final-day victory over fellow yokozuna Kakuryu, finishing the tournament with a 15-0 record on Sunday at Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo. (the-japan-news.com)
May 23
First-choice Sinhalite erased the painful memory of the Oka-sho with a resounding win in the Japanese Oaks on Sunday. (Japan Times)
May 22
Japan World Cup star Ayumu Goromaru faces shoulder surgery next week and will miss the rest of the Super Rugby season with the Queensland Reds, the club said Sunday. (Japan Today)
May 21
Yokozuna Hakuho increased his record total of grand sumo tournament championships to 37 on Saturday, when he won the 15-day summer tourney with a day to spare. (Japan Today)
May 20
Japanese equestrian rider Hiroshi Hoketsu, 75, is to miss out on becoming the oldest ever Olympic athlete after his horse fell ill with a cough, officials said Thursday. (Japan Today)
[more sports news...]
May 24
Foreign visitors to Japan may soon have the option of showing their passports when checking in to their hotels or simply undergoing a fingerprint scan. (NHK)
May 24
A pilgrimage route stretching across Shikoku Island, one of Japan's four main islands, has been recently attracting more foreign visitors with various cultural and religious backgrounds with its unique charms. (Japan Today)
May 23
Seattle-based chain adapts to Kyoto style with summertime seats that offer a taste of traditional culture as you sip your coffee. (rocketnews24.com)
May 23
People who don't mind getting their hands dirty could do worse than visit one of the agricultural theme parks that have opened around the country in recent years. (the-japan-news.com)
May 22
Japan's huge tourism influx is greatly welcomed by politicians and select local service industries that are benefitting from the boom. (Japan Times)
[more travel news...]           [travel blogs...]
May 24

The 1,000 yen, 10 minute haircut is the Japanese equivalent of a short back and sides back home. At a regular place this customer used to go to near my apartment here in Japan, the vibe could best be described as salt of the earth; barbers would ...
May 24
Studio Ghibli have released the trailer for their long-awaited 2016 film The Red Turtle. The first movie to be released following Miyazaki's retirement, fans have been waiting nervously too see what the studio will produce. The movie is a French/J...
May 24
|credit| Japan Rail (JR) Passes are available to anyone visiting Japan on a short-term tourist visa. They provide a fantastic discount on regular rail travel, but if you don't have any experience with Japan's rail transport system, it's difficult...
May 24
raw-rice

As a foreigner living in Japan going to the supermarket can be quite a daunting experience. These 10 ingredients will help you stock up on the basic ingredients in your Japanese store cupboard to allow you to easily cook lots of tasty and time fri...

May 23




News of ATM scams back home are as common as muck. There, lots of ATMs are located street side and offer no protection for users. Hidden cameras, devices that can ‘skim' your card details, card traps, and suspicious bystanders; scams run the g...
May 23
|credit| With its dense jungle of glass, steel and concrete, it's easy to forget that Tokyo prospered upon its proximity to the sea and its many canals and waterways. For a unique view of the metropolis, there is no better way than to jump on one...
May 23
163642848_acb2167cd9_o

Bullying in Japanese schools, or ijime, is an entrenched problem. A study by the Tokyo Metropolitan School Personnel in Service Training Center in 2013 found that 66.2 percent of the more than 9,000 children it surveyed had been bullied. Hinting a...

May 23
joseph tame sakuraman

After dazzling Tokyo with his Running Christmas Tree last year, everyone's favorite gadget-creating foreigner is back with another inventive, gaudy device.

Joseph Tame's latest project is Sakuraman, a superhero-inspired mobile way to ensure you h...

May 23
Please do it at home.

Today we have @nifty's survey into manners, where I'll select two ranking-like questions, on bad manners in trains (by Japanese) and bad manners by foreigners.

For the list of bad foreigner manners, I suspect that a lot is confirmation bias, that...

May 22
etiquette

In Japan, as with anywhere else, there are social rules of conduct that would benefit you to follow. The only thing is, the Japanese tend to be a little shy when confronting people about their behavior. In other words, you may never know that yo...

[all blogs...]