FRONT PAGE NEWS

1 March 2015
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe joined Britain's Prince William on a visit to Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, on Saturday. (NHK)
Japanese police have arrested three boys on suspicion of murdering a 13-year-old junior high school student in Kawasaki City, near Tokyo. (NHK)
Officials at Japan's Internal Affairs Ministry say consumer prices rose for the 20th straight month in January. But the pace of increase is slowing down. (NHK)
The Supreme Court dismissed Thursday a lower court ruling that nullified suspensions and other disciplinary action against two male members of a company in Osaka due to sexual harassment in the workplace. (The Japan News)
Luxury marque Montblanc is to sell fountain pens made from a "miracle pine" tree that survived the 2011 tsunami, for a hefty $4,400, an official said, with just 20 percent of takings donated to local people. (AFP)

Mar 01
The Duke of Cambridge was transformed into a samurai warlord when he visited the set of a long-running Japanese drama. (westernmorningnews.co.uk)
Feb 28
Police in Kitakyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture, say a man in his 20s killed his 58-year-old mother, called 110 to admit what he had done and then bit his tongue, seriously injuring himself. (Japan Today)
Feb 28
Aya Ueto, 29, was Japan's TV commercial queen for 2014, according to Video Research Co. The actress had the most air time in the Kanto, Kansai and other areas. (Japan Today)
Feb 27
Japan's Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko have welcomed Britain's Prince William for lunch at the Imperial Palace. (NHK)
Feb 27
A Japanese railway company is trying to find out the cause of a glitch that affected ticket vending machines at more than 400 stations in and around Tokyo. (NHK)
[more society news...]           [society blogs...]

Feb 28
Health authorities ordered the Japanese unit of Novartis AG to shut down most operations for 15 days in March, saying the drug maker failed to report side effects from its products in a timely fashion. (wsj.com)
Feb 28
Once again, Japanese snack company Calbee is teaming up with the world's most famous fast food fried chicken outfit. (Japan Today)
Feb 26
Japan has no shortage of U.S.-style fast-food restaurants, from burgers to pizza, but something that hasn't been on the menu is burritos and quesadillas. That is about to change, however, as Irvine, Calif.-based Taco Bell is planning to set up shop in the land of sushi and sashimi. (wsj.com)
Feb 26
MediaMation, a maker of 4D technology, is partnering with Sony Business Solutions Corporation to try to hook Japan on movie theaters that buck, spray and mist along with the onscreen action. (variety.com)
Feb 26
Leading automaker Toyota Motor Corp.'s Lexus ranked top among 28 car brands in the United States for the third straight year in 2015 in both vehicle performance and reliability terms, Consumer Reports magazine said Tuesday. (The Japan News)
[more business news...]           [business blogs...]
Feb 28
Recovering demand in the U.S. and other foreign markets is driving up Japan's output, especially as the weak yen finally starts to benefit businesses here by bolstering profits on exports. (Nikkei)
Feb 28
Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda says expected wage hikes are weakening the country's deflationary mindset despite falling oil prices. (NHK)
Feb 27
Japan's Nikkei share average hit a fresh 15-year high on Friday on upbeat Japanese industrial output data, while the market awaited an announcement from the country's biggest pension fund on its latest asset allocations. (thehindubusinessline.com)
Feb 27
Officials at Japan's Internal Affairs Ministry say consumer prices rose for the 20th straight month in January. But the pace of increase is slowing down. (NHK)
Feb 26
Japan Inc is under pressure to boost pay to keep a fragile economic recovery afloat, but even hefty wages increases from the biggest companies may prove to be a hollow victory for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the bulk of the country's workers. (Reuters)
[more economy news...]
Feb 27
Nuclear Regulation Authority Chairman Shunichi Tanaka criticized Tokyo Electric Power Co. for not disclosing information immediately after rainwater contaminated with high-level radioactive materials leaked from its ruined Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant through a trench into the sea. (The Japan News)
Feb 27
Local government officials in Okinawa Prefecture, southwestern Japan, are surveying coral reefs to assess the impact of preparations to build an air base for the US Marines. Prefectural government officials say giant concrete weights set on the seabed may have damaged the reefs. (NHK)
Feb 27
Japan's House of Representatives Budget Committee on Thursday found that embattled former Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Koya Nishikawa has received a total of 10 million yen from two companies. (Jiji Press)
Feb 27
Japan's Ground Self-Defense Force and the US Marine Corps have carried out a large-scale landing drill that included a rescue operation using an Osprey aircraft. (NHK)
Feb 26
A Communist Party tabloid has slammed Chinese shoppers for splashing out millions of pounds for the privilege of warming their buttocks on Japanese toilet seats, in an unusual sign of worsening ties between the two countries. (telegraph.co.uk)
[more politics news...]
Feb 26
Seiha English Academy may not be as instantly recognizable as Aeon, Berlitz, ECC, and the other major players in Japan's English education industry. (rocketnews24.com)
Feb 25
The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said Tuesday it will extend the stay of nursing and caregiver trainees from Indonesia and the Philippines for an extra year to allow those who failed the qualifying exam another chance to pass it. (Japan Today)
Feb 24
A 13-year-old boy found dead on a riverbank in Kawasaki who may have been the victim of bullying was killed with multiple sharp objects, investigative sources said Tuesday, noting the victim had sustained a deep stab wound to the neck. (Japan Times)
Feb 23
A 16-year-old Saitama high school boy remain unconscious in hospital on Monday after he was hit in the head by a baseball Sunday. (Japan Today)
Feb 23
Japan's education ministry has called on 253 universities and colleges to improve their academic standards. (NHK)
[more education news...]           [education blogs...]
Feb 28
All 300 units of a newly developed robot offered by major Japanese telecom operator Softbank have sold out. The human-like robot can talk and read human expressions. (NHK)
Feb 26
The gentle giant has been designed specifically to assist in caring for Japan's ageing population, taking on heavy-duty tasks such as lifting. (cnet.com)
Feb 25
Fishermen in Fukushima Prefecture criticized Tokyo Electric Power Co. on Wednesday over fresh leaks of radioactive water into the ocean from the crippled nuclear plant and its failure to take immediate measures despite learning of the possibility of leaks last spring. (Kyodo)
Feb 25
Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Tuesday it has failed to disclose leaks into the sea of rainwater containing radioactive substances from a drainage ditch linked to a building at its stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant although it became aware of the leaks in April last year. (Jiji Press)
Feb 25
A remote Japanese island in the Pacific Ocean has grown more than 11 times in size since an underwater eruption started about 15 months ago. (NHK)
[more sci-tech news...]           [sci-tech blogs...]
Feb 28
Organizers of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics have drawn up a basic plan to be used as guidelines to prepare for the events. (NHK)
Feb 28
The Japan Football Association will make a formal offer to former Algeria coach Vahid Halilhodzic, a source confirmed on Friday. (Kyodo)
Feb 24
Record-breaking Mongolian sumo wrestler Hakuho on Monday fanned the flames of a row over sumo etiquette as he denied breaching the ancient Japanese sport's strict protocol with an outburst against officials. (The West)
Feb 23
Dozens of hardworking sled dogs are battling it out in an annual competition in Wakkanai City in Japan's northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido. (NHK)
Feb 23
The Tokyo Marathon on Sunday ended with no major trouble amid tight security that included police officers who ran along with participants. (Jiji Press)
[more sports news...]
Feb 28
Kyushu Railway Co. (JR Kyushu) plans to start a "sweet train" service this summer that will serve custom-made confectioneries on a restored train from the Meiji Era (1868-1912). (Asahi)
Feb 27
For a time, shopping for electronics was just about the only thing to do in Tokyo's Akihabara neighborhood. In recent years though, the area has gone through a renaissance, and it's now packed with restaurants and cafes, too. (rocketnews24.com)
Feb 27
Qantas plans to double service between Australia and Japan in August, part of an effort to shore up its international business. (Nikkei)
Feb 27
Visitors to Kamakura are spoiled for choice. There are more than 1,000 religious structures-many with historical roots in the 13th and 14th centuries when Kamakura was the political capital of Japan-museums, Meiji-period buildings, boutiques, restaurants, beaches and green, hilly hiking trails. (Japan Today)
Feb 27
A Thai Airways passenger plane that left Japan has hit turbulence over northeastern Thailand, injuring 11 people on board. (NHK)
[more travel news...]           [travel blogs...]
Mar 1
hina

Many of the young girls in Japan are now looking forward to celebrate the Doll Festival (Hinamatsuri, ひなまつり、雛祭り)coming up next week, on March 3rd. Every year, on this day, parents along with their daughters celebrate their daught...

Feb 28
Getting Naked at the Hadaka Matsuri

It has been said by greater minds than mine that it is better to regret what you have done than what you haven't. There is perhaps some truth in those words, as I still kick myself to this day for not mustering the courage to ask out Kate Lander w...

Feb 28
Japan Academy Awards 2015 Image

The World War II drama The Eternal Zero was the big winner at the 38th Japan Academy Prize award ceremony taking Picture of the year and best director for Takashi Yamazaki. Another big winner from that film is Junichi Okada who won Best Actor fo...

Feb 28
names

Photo from 阿乃 on flickr.com

What are some typical Japanese names you can think of? Many of you might say, many of the Japanese names for girls and women end with “ko(こ、子, meaning “child”).” This is true, especially for girls who...

Feb 27

Reverse psychology at its finest: “This isn't a game, it's school”

Japanese kids who'd rather stay at home all day and play video games than go to school (i.e. most) now have an option where they can do both. This year Meisei High School, locat...

Feb 27
photo credit: www.pixgood.comThere's a perennial argument in ESL teaching about native versus non-native teachers. There are so many issues and thousands of argument about this it took me almost 10 years to finally write my own piece. Also, becaus...
Feb 27
Enough with the secrecy!

TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power COmpany), the owners of the Fukushima-ken Dai-ichi nuclear reactor facility that nearly went ka-blooie in 2011, has JUST admitted that highly toxic water has once again leaked into the ocean.

Won...
Feb 27
Disrupting Japan: Japan's Coming Startup Boom

No nation changes as quickly as frequently and as completely as Japan. In our launch podcast we destroy the twin myths that Japan changes slowly and that Japan lacks innovative creativity. Japan has already been through two disruptive, transformat...

Feb 27
IMG_8646

On my way home from Kitano Tenmangu Shrine the other day, I stopped by the Imperial Palace Park to enjoy the plum blossom. The trees at Kitano Tenmangu are probably more famous, but the shrine grounds were also a lot more crowded. Though each tr...

Feb 27
Hong Kongers still cling to the hope of universal suffrage, Australia ups its anti-terror monitoring, and Japan’s revisionists at work. These stories and more are on the February 27th edition of Asia News Weekly. Should Hong Kong Stop Pursuing U...
[all blogs...]