FRONT PAGE NEWS

21 April 2015
Wrong and inappropriate names had temporarily appeared on Google Maps for the Imperial Palace, Tokyo's Metropolitan Police Department and many other places in Japan, it was learned Monday. (Jiji Press)
Looking chipper, Paul McCartney arrived at Kansai International Airport here in a chartered plane on the morning of April 20 for the first time since the ex-Beatle canceled his entire Japan tour in May 2014 because of illness. (Asahi)
The Japan Meteorological Agency lifted a tsunami alert about one hour after it was issued following a 6.6 magnitude earthquake that struck off eastern Taiwan on Monday morning. (Japan Today)
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is planning to attempt Japan's first lunar landing in fiscal 2018, sources close to the project said Sunday. (Japan Times)
A British couple who tied the knot at a Kyoto shrine have become the first to receive a memorial marriage certificate from the city, under a newly created program to attract more foreign visitors. (Asahi)

Apr 21
A teacher who buried five newborn kittens, four of which were still alive, on school grounds in Funabashi, Chiba Prefecture, has been charged with violating the law on welfare and management of animals. (Japan Today)
Apr 21
Tokyo metropolitan government officials use nets to catch mosquitoes Monday at Yoyogi Park in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo, to check whether they have dengue fever virus. (The Japan News)
Apr 21
Police in Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, have arrested a 32-year-old man on suspicion of strangling to death his 32-year-old girlfriend. (Japan Today)
Apr 20
A man broke into an unattended "koban" (police box) at JR Odawara Station in Kanagawa Prefecture on Sunday night and smashed windows before mutilating both his cheeks with a knife, police said Monday. (Japan Today)
Apr 20
A lesbian couple held a symbolic wedding ceremony Sunday as calls grow to legalize same-sex marriage. (Japan Times)
[more society news...]           [society blogs...]

Apr 21
Japan's Toyota Motor has unveiled new hybrid models for the Chinese market that for the first time use locally-developed motors and batteries. (NHK)
Apr 21
Other than a brief trial separation, Disney and Pixar have been working hard together to make some of the best family-friendly movies over the past two decades. (Japan Today)
Apr 20
Kintetsu Department Store's flagship store in Abeno Harukasu, the tallest building in Japan, opened a salon Monday that caters exclusively to tourists from abroad. (Japan Times)
Apr 20
Tokio Marine Holdings, one of Japan's oldest insurers, is joining its Chinese peers in investing in property overseas - but with a twist. (independent.ie)
Apr 18
ANA Holdings Inc. <9202> plans to provide Skymark Airlines with support measures, including investment, as a rehabilitation sponsor for the bankrupt airline, informed sources said Saturday. (Jiji Press)
[more business news...]           [business blogs...]
Apr 21
The government left its basic economic assessment unchanged from the previous month in its April monthly economic report released Monday. (The Japan News)
Apr 20
Tokyo shares ended slightly lower on Monday as sentiment here was punched by concerns over a possible debt default in Greece, but the downturn was held by Japanese earnings reports later in the week. (Global Post)
Apr 20
Japan's minister in charge of TPP negotiations and the US Trade Representative ended their first day talks in Tokyo on Sunday. (NHK)
Apr 18
Consumer confidence in Japan improved in March for the fourth straight month. (NHK)
Apr 17
Japan's Nikkei share average dropped to its lowest in more than a week on Friday after weaker-than-expected U.S. housing data soured the mood, and investors awaited Japanese corporate results coming out from next week. (thehindubusinessline.com)
[more economy news...]
Apr 21
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe suggested Monday that as he plans to issue a statement on the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, he is not concerned about whether key phrases from previous statements will be repeated in it. (Kyodo)
Apr 20
House of Representatives Speaker Nobutaka Machimura announced Monday he will step down after recently suffering a light stroke and will be hospitalized for a complete checkup. (Kyodo)
Apr 20
Japan must repeatedly say sorry to China, Korea and the other countries it invaded in the 20th century until its former victims have heard enough, says novelist Haruki Murakami. (shanghaiist.com)
Apr 17
A Liberal Democratic Party panel on Friday questioned executives of TV Asahi Corp. and Japan Broadcasting Corp., or NHK, about popular news shows. (Jiji Press)
Apr 17
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga on Friday remained apart over the planned relocation of a U.S. air base within the island prefecture. (Kyodo)
[more politics news...]
Apr 20
AONE, Japan - In the historic wooden schoolhouse here, decked out in the kind of bright artwork done by kids the world over, there are two classrooms, each containing three desks that sit marooned in the middle of a space made for many more. At break time, a boy kicks a soccer ball around the yard by himself. (washingtonpost.com)
Apr 18
Japan's government says the country's population continues to decrease and become grayer. (NHK)
Apr 16
A record high number of children were abused after contact via social media last year, with the vast majority becoming victims of underage sex or child pornography. (Japan Times)
Apr 16
Many women of various ages are visiting shops and studios in Kyoto that offer lessons on how to dress and behave like maiko, the young entertainers of Kyoto's hanamachi entertainment districts known for their beautiful clothing, glamorous white makeup and graceful behavior. (stripes.com)
Apr 16
An analysis of the G8 nations has highlighted striking differences in calories and other macronutrients purchased from packaged food in these countries with Mediterranean and Japanese diets being the healthiest, according to Euromonitor. (foodnavigator-asia.com)
[more education news...]           [education blogs...]
Apr 21
Android Aiko Chihira debuts as a receptionist Monday at Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi department store in Chuo Ward, Tokyo, providing information about the store's food floor and events. (The Japan News)
Apr 20
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is planning to attempt Japan's first lunar landing in fiscal 2018, sources close to the project said Sunday. (Japan Times)
Apr 17
Central Japan Railway Co., or JR Tokai, said Thursday its magnetic levitation Shinkansen train achieved the world's fastest train speed of 590 kilometers per hour on a test line in central Japan. (Jiji Press)
Apr 15
The operator of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant resumed a video survey inside a reactor containment vessel on Wednesday, inserting a second robot after an earlier effort left a similar robot stranded inside. (Japan Times)
Apr 15
The world's largest broadcast equipment fair has opened in Las Vegas, giving visitors a chance to see for themselves what next-generation 8K high-resolution technology can do. (NHK)
[more sci-tech news...]           [sci-tech blogs...]
Apr 20
Environment ministry guidelines for trail running (see below) rules have been introduced at national parks amid a growing number of problems and complaints resulting from the sport. (The Japan News)
Apr 16
To say that Canada isn't a major world player in sumo wrestling is an understatement. On a Wikipedia page titled "Canadian sumo wrestlers," there are two entries-and they're just different names for the same guy. (macleans.ca)
Apr 13
Hideki Matsuyama turned in his best round yet at the Masters and a fifth-place finish has him setting his sights even higher at Augusta National. (Japan Times)
Apr 06
"Do it!" "Hang in there!" Cries from spectators echoed in the dimly lit venue as the packed audience watched muscular men pull fast and furious wrestling moves on each other in the ring under a spotlight. (The Japan News)
Apr 06
Japan failed to exploit its strong start to the Tokyo Sevens on Sunday, when it crashed out with two straight defeats in the seventh event of World Rugby's Sevens World Series. (Japan Times)
[more sports news...]
Apr 18
As you might have heard, that little indie film Star Wars is getting a squeal or something like that. And, like Pokemon and Hello Kitty before it, the franchise is getting its own themed plane with the R2-D2 jet, set to start flying international routes this fall. (rocketnews24.com)
Apr 17
Hiroshima Airport in western Japan will provisionally reopen on Friday morning after an Asiana Airlines passenger jet overran the runway on Tuesday to prompt its closure, the transport ministry said Thursday. (Jiji Press)
Apr 16
Ice breaking with a sightseeing boat has started on Lake Akan in Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost prefecture. It's an early-spring ritual that's held before popular cruise tours start later this month. (NHK)
Apr 16
Snow plows finished carving a route through the famed "Yuki no Otani" (great gorge of snow) here for the April 16 start of the sightseeing season. (Asahi)
Apr 16
Tattooed guests have been given the thumbs up to take a dip in the public baths at a chain of luxury resorts--so long as they cover their inked skin with a sticker. (Asahi)
[more travel news...]           [travel blogs...]
Apr 20
Comic: You have a cold? Ok, let's go to the hospital! So I have the flu right now. I'm on, like, day 5 (so it's not that big of a deal – more annoying than anything else). When I first started coming down with something, Ryosuke pushed me to go to the hospital (which is really more like a ...
Apr 19
natto kid

Every culture has some kind of disgusting, weird food item that nobody introduced to it as an adult would even consider putting near their mouth, but since they've been force-fed it as children they've somehow grown to like it. England has black p...

Apr 19
I wanted to make something nice and fun this morning again. Amazing how I can actually find the energy to wake up early to prepare a breakfast bento despite being on night work shift this week. I think it is because making bento cheers up me - a m...
Apr 19
wpid-dsc_4230.jpg

I am in the throes of packing up all the things I don't need right now or won't need in the coming three and a half months before I visit America and move to Korea. Junkyu already took some of my books and clothes and video games with him to Kor...

Apr 19
hirosaki-2

Hirosaki Castle is an ancient castle located in Hirosaki, southwest Aomori Prefecture on the northern tip of the main island of Honshu in Japan. The historic town of Hirosaki was established in the feudal era by the Tsugaru clan and is today one o...

Apr 19
wedding dress

In my life, I´ve been to the weddings only three times in my life. One was my eldest cousin´s where my mum got drunk and I couldn´t even taste my entrée but looking after her instead. No count. The second one was my university friend who got m...

Apr 18
Juuzou_Suzuya_Cosplay_by_RYOYA
Juuzou Suzuya (鈴屋 什造), partner of Yukinori Shinohara. He is childish, careless, enthusiastic, and ridiculous strong. I love his action in Tokyo Ghould series!. This time I present to you Juuzou Suzuya Cosplay by RYOYA. She looks cool, does...
Apr 18


In a random encounter worthy of Pokemon, in the main Dogenzaka alleyway two Aussies appeared. So we chatted, had beer and I got them to embarrass themselves on camera.

I tried searching for the 2nd dude's instagram account but to no avail. If you ...
Apr 18
Casinos: Taking a Gamble on Japan's Future

If you've lived in Japan for any length of time or indeed if you've visited a few times, you will be aware that contrary to the prevailing stereotype, many Japanese love gambling. The “Keiba” (horse racing) regularly pulls in crowds in the ten...

Apr 18
Upon arriving at the convention, we realized that there were so many people! In the exhibition halls, there were lots of television stations and animation studios showing off some behind the scenes of the work they do on their animations, and selling merchandise.

A few weeks ago, my friends and I had the privilege of going to AnimeJapan, the largest convention in the world featuring Japanese animation from all studios and stations across Japan. It was hosted in Tokyo Big SIght, a convention center located ...

[all blogs...]