FRONT PAGE NEWS

1 October 2016
Houses toppling over, fires blazing out of control, trains going off their rails and murky water rushing through the streets, sweeping cars away. (Japan Times)
Regional discrepancies in academic achievement among elementary and junior high school students in Japan have narrowed further, an education ministry report said Thursday. (Jiji Press)
Japan is considering a possible bid to host the 2025 world exposition in Osaka Prefecture in order to buoy the economy after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, informed sources said Thursday. (Jiji Press)
Japanese police have arrested a hacker for illegally removing software restrictions on Apple's iPhones and selling the devices. (NHK)
A Tokyo government panel says the cost of hosting the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics could quadruple from the original estimate to over 3 trillion yen, or about 30 billion dollars. (NHK)

Sep 30
Police released security camera footage on Thursday of a man wanted in connection with a case here where a man stalked a high school girl and dumped bodily fluids on her from behind. (Tokyo Reporter)
Sep 30
The Tokyo District Court ordered a former chief of yakuza crime syndicate Kyokuto-kai and two others, including a deaf member of the gang, to pay a total of some ¥197 million in damages to 27 hearing-impaired people for extorting money from them. (the-japan-news.com)
Sep 29
The world is full of amazing street parties, music festivals and carnivals! In Japan, there's this - the AWA ODORI. (ONLY in JAPAN)
Sep 29
A 23-year-old employee of the city of Ota, Gunma Prefecture, lied that he had won an international video game contest, leading to false reports about his victory in two Japanese newspapers, it has been learned. (Japan Times)
Sep 29
A hospital in Yokohama where police suspect two people were murdered earlier in September, apparently through intravenous drips that had been tampered with, has recorded the deaths of 46 more inpatients since July who had stayed on the same floor, sources close to the matter said Thursday. (Kyodo)

[more society news…]           [society blogs…]


Sep 30
The world's largest online music service, Spotify, has launched in Japan. (NHK)
Sep 29
Japan's first domestically produced passenger jetliner in nearly half a century has finally touched down in the United States for flight testing. (NHK)
Sep 29
A U.S. citizen living in southwestern Japan has been arrested for trademark infringement through unauthorized use of a 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics logo, police said Wednesday. (Japan Today)
Sep 28
Yahoo Japan Corp. is considering introducing a four-day workweek for all its 5,800 employees, sources have revealed. (Japan Times)
Sep 27
Japan's agriculture ministry is planning to import another 4,000 tons of butter, as raw milk production may fall in some areas of the country. (NHK)

[more business news…]           [business blogs…]


Sep 30
Overseas investors sold 5.99 trillion yen ($59 billion) more in Japanese shares than they bought from Jan. 1 to Sept. 23, with that figure poised to overtake the record set during the run-up to Black Monday nearly three decades ago. (Nikkei)
Sep 29
National medical expenses in Japan in fiscal 2014 grew 1.9 pct from the previous year to 40,807.1 billion yen, hitting a record high for the eighth straight year, the health ministry said Wednesday. (Jiji Press)
Sep 29
Visiting Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong met his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe on Wednesday in Tokyo to discuss high-speed rail and the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement. (Japan Times)
Sep 28
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed Wednesday to make more efforts to promote his Abenomics economic measures, rejecting top opposition leader Renho's demand for a shift from the policy mix. (Jiji Press)
Sep 28
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called Tuesday for "speed and action" in formulating recommendations for reforming Japan's working practices at the inaugural meeting of a panel on the matter. (Japan Today)

[more economy news…]


Sep 30
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's administration may seek legislation by submission of bipartisan bills to enable 82-year-old Emperor Akihito to retire, rather than bills sponsored by the government, lawmakers in the administration said Thursday. (Kyodo)
Sep 28
Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike has vowed increased transparency, less wasteful spending and other reforms in her first policy speech. (NHK)
Sep 28
Democratic Party leader Renho slammed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's economic and social policies Wednesday in her first opportunity as leader to directly go up against the premier in a question-and-answer session in the House of Councillors. (Japan Today)
Sep 28
Opposition party Nippon Ishin no Kai on Tuesday submitted to the Diet revisions to an election law, seeking to ban lawmakers with dual nationality from taking office, in the wake of the furor caused by the new leader of Japan's main opposition party. (Kyodo)
Sep 26
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed Monday at the start of a 66-day extraordinary Diet session to swiftly ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact and find new avenues for economic growth. (Kyodo)

[more politics news…]


Sep 30
Regional discrepancies in academic achievement among elementary and junior high school students in Japan have narrowed further, an education ministry report said Thursday. (Jiji Press)
Sep 28
Local government chiefs in Japan asked Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Yasuhisa Shiozaki on Tuesday to reform people's work styles as a way to shorten the long waiting lists of applicants for nursery facilities across the nation. (Jiji Press)
Sep 27
Eighteen mistranslated parts have been found in the official Japanese translation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership documents, it was learned on Monday. (Japan Times)
Sep 27
Bronze coins that were dug up at the Katsuren Castle Remains in the city of Uruma in Okinawa Prefecture have been identified as those of the Roman Empire, the city's education board said Monday. (Jiji Press)
Sep 26
Police are hunting for a suspect who flooded a middle school here on Sunday by leaving faucets running in a classroom. (Tokyo Reporter)

[more education news…]           [education blogs…]


Sep 30
Houses toppling over, fires blazing out of control, trains going off their rails and murky water rushing through the streets, sweeping cars away. (Japan Times)
Sep 29
Japanese police have arrested a hacker for illegally removing software restrictions on Apple's iPhones and selling the devices. (NHK)
Sep 29
Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. <9501> has effectively given up replacing tainted water storage tanks at its Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power station with safer ones at an early date, it was learned Wednesday. (Jiji Press)
Sep 28
A Japanese team taking part in an international race to operate a rover on the Moon has begun testing its machine in sand dunes. (NHK)
Sep 28
Six months since the work began, the "ice wall" has failed to produce its intended results as groundwater continues to flow in and out of damaged facilities at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. (Nikkei)

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


Sep 30
David Beckham handed out signed soccer balls Thursday to the players of an under-16 select team from Kumamoto Prefecture, which was hit by two huge earthquakes in April that took the lives of 50 people. (Japan Times)
Sep 29
A Tokyo government panel says the cost of hosting the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics could quadruple from the original estimate to over 3 trillion yen, or about 30 billion dollars. (NHK)
Sep 29
Ace pitcher Shohei Otani struck out 15 in a one-hitter and Brandon Laird homered as the Nippon Ham Fighters clinched the Pacific League pennant on Wednesday with a 1-0 victory over the Seibu Lions. (Japan Today)
Sep 28
A panel tasked by the Tokyo metropolitan government with reviewing the costs for hosting the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics plans to propose that the construction of three venues should be reconsidered, and existing facilities possibly used, a senior Tokyo government official said Tuesday. (Kyodo)
Sep 28
One challenge facing the organizers of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games will be keeping athletes cool in the blazing summer heat. Government officials plan to apply a special coating to roads in Tokyo to reduce surface temperatures. (NHK)

[more sports news…]


Sep 29
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said Wednesday that it will test a service allowing visitors from abroad to make payments only with their fingerprints at popular tourist spots. (Jiji Press)
Sep 28
Japan's previously announced plan to relax visa rules for Chinese visitors, aimed partially at increasing the number of repeat arrivals, will take effect on Oct 17, the Foreign Ministry said. (Japan Today)
Sep 27
The "Yuzushio Ramen" noodle soup of Tochigi Prefecture, eastern Japan, has won the top prize in the country's first popularity contest of local foods sold at "michi no eki" roadside stations serving as rest areas and commercial facilities. (Jiji Press)
Sep 26
A thin layer of snow was observed on the peak of Mt Fuji on Sunday morning, 16 days earlier than last year, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. (Japan Today)
Sep 26
The Tokyo metropolitan government has set up a multilingual call center to help duty-free shops serve foreign shoppers. (NHK)

Step Inside Japan: introducing an amazing interactive map
This isn’t just any old boring map. Scattered throughout the country are a handful of our favourite destinations, marked by animated icons that move when you hover over them. (insidejapantours.com)

[more travel news…]           [travel blogs…]


Sep 29
A Japanese college graduate publicly promises to do her best to find work during a Tokyo job rally, 20 February, 2015. (Photo: Reuters/Thomas Peter).

Author: Nobuko Nagase, Ochanomizu University

According to the latest medium-term Japanese population projections by the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, the number of people aged over 75 is expected to increase by 5.3...

Sep 29
chiji ga nippu ni japanese male governors south japan pregnant woman campaign sexism work-life balance

With the exception of the recently elected Renho, leader of the Democratic Party, and Tokyo's new governor, Yuriko Koike, Japanese politics is a male-dominated affair.

This is so chronic, in fact, that things can be just a short step away from out...

Sep 29
Teaching in Japan: 5 Steps to Handle Nervous Students

If you've ever taught a language class in Japan, you'll probably agree that, in general, Japanese students are somewhat reluctant to speak out. They are quieter, more withdrawn and less likely to voice strong opinions in classes.

The Confucian nat...

Sep 28
Members of the Students Emergency Action for Liberal Democracy in Tokyo's Shibuya district hold a cardboard Instagram frame and placards urging young people to vote in July 2016's upper house election. Young people are more interested in politics but this is not reflected in participation rates. (Photo: Reuters/Toru Hanai).

Author: Nobuhiro Aizawa, Kyushu University

A wave of political activism has animated East Asian politics: Taiwan's Sunflower Student Movement in 2014, South Korean 2015 street protests against President Park's new labour law, and protests in Japan...

Sep 28
Stay home with me

Having lived in Japan for 10 years now, I have had my fair share of dating nightmares and wonderful experiences. In the past decade, I went from a casual dater to engaged idealist to a shocked single with a cheating ex-fiancé. I started dating w...

Sep 28
Surviving the Inaka: Learning Japanese

Moving to the inaka with a low Japanese ability might seem a scary prospect at first, especially if, like me, your vocabulary consists of nothing more than “where”, “toilet” and “water”. However, as I came to realize, living in the ina...

Sep 28
mashikaku-gif

In Edo-era Japan, several lettering styles known as Edomoji were invented for advertising purposes. One of these was Kakuji, a highly graphic style of lettering that was characterized by rectangular-shaped letters made of of only vertical and hor...

Sep 28
In last 5 years, have you had 3+ nights of travel? graph of japanese statistics

This survey conducted by DIMSDRIVE Research for From Planet looked at long holidays, where “long” was defined as three or more nights away from home, excluding returning to one's parents.

It's pretty sad that anything more than a long weeke...

Sep 27
Imperial Palace Park

Kyoto (京都) was once the capital of Japan for an entire millennium. In fact, the name can actually be translated as “capital city,” although that distinction now belongs to Tokyo. During its long reign as the center of Japan, the city acqui...

Sep 27

Service in Japan is the stuff of legend for many. The first time visitor to the country is often bowled over by the attention to detail, the immaculate systems to facilitate customer spending, and the lack of anyone behind that counter letting us...

[all blogs…]