FRONT PAGE NEWS

28 February 2017
The Japanese government is planning to reduce penalties for those who plot serious crimes like terrorism but turn themselves in before actually committing them under a contentious anti-conspiracy bill it is preparing, sources close to the matter said Monday. (Kyodo)
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday sought to deny allegations that he is linked to an Osaka-based ultranationalist kindergarten as the public outcry over the operator and its alleged efforts to indoctrinate children with xenophobia and pre-war militarism grows. (Japan Times)
The Cabinet is set to approve a bill next month to impose longer prison terms on rapists, and cover male rape victims for the first time, government sources said Monday. (Japan Times)
A Tokyo zoo's hopes for a new baby panda grew Monday as it confirmed that its pair of giant pandas had mated for the first time in four years. (Japan Times)
The Lower House on Monday approved a record ¥97.45 trillion budget for fiscal 2017 designed to finance ballooning social security costs and enhance Japan's defense capabilities. (Japan Times)

Feb 28
Car-bicycle collisions accounted for about 40 pct of fatal traffic accidents in Japan last year in which passenger cars bumped into other vehicles as they encountered at intersections or other parts of the road, a National Police Agency survey has revealed. (Jiji)
Feb 27
Manhole covers are trending high in Japan and for good reason -- they're stunning! Only in Japan are manholes to cover sewage designed so beautifully that they now make MANHOLE TRADING CARDS! (ONLY in JAPAN)
Feb 27
A fire broke out in a restaurant at the luxury hotel Grand Hyatt Tokyo at Roppongi Hills on Sunday night. (Japan Today)
Feb 27
A female zoo attendant in Nagano Prefecture, central Japan, was attacked by a lion and seriously wounded on Sunday. (Jiji)
Feb 26
A New Zealand man who died after an avalanche swept him away at a ski resort yesterday in Japan has been remembered as a guy with a "massive heart" who had an "infectious energy". (tvnz.co.nz)

[more society news…]           [society blogs…]


Feb 27
Some Japanese banks have recently launched services allowing customers to pay for their shopping abroad using debit or prepaid cards linked to foreign currency deposits. (the-japan-news.com)
Feb 27
Japan's trade ministry will seek to expand the domestic aircraft industry by boosting ties with France-based Airbus. (NHK)
Feb 26
Game maker Nintendo is suing a Tokyo-based rental go-cart company on copyright infringement. (NHK)
Feb 25
Many employees across Japan will be leaving work at around 3 pm on the last Friday of each month, starting this week. (NHK)
Feb 25
Corporate workers in Japan were divided in their responses to the start on Friday of the public-private "Premium Friday" campaign encouraging people to leave work early on the last Friday of each month. (Jiji)

[more business news…]           [business blogs…]


Feb 23
Japanese women's wages hit an all-time high last year, but they continued to earn far less than men. (Nikkei)
Feb 22
The Japanese government compiled a plan Tuesday to ease visa restrictions for foreign workers in designated special economic zones to address the growing need for services amid a rise in the number of visitors to the country. (Kyodo)
Feb 21
The price of new condominiums in Japan hit the second highest level on record last year, fuelled by rising costs in personnel and materials. (NHK)
Feb 20
The introduction of negative interest rates a year ago by the Bank of Japan is prompting listed companies here to funnel the money they save on borrowing costs toward takeovers and capital investment. (Nikkei)
Feb 20
Japan posted its first trade balance deficit in 5 months in January. Higher oil prices pushed up the costs of imports. (NHK)

[more economy news…]


Feb 27
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday sought to deny allegations that he is linked to an Osaka-based ultranationalist kindergarten as the public outcry over the operator and its alleged efforts to indoctrinate children with xenophobia and pre-war militarism grows. (Japan Times)
Feb 27
The Cabinet is set to approve a bill next month to impose longer prison terms on rapists, and cover male rape victims for the first time, government sources said Monday. (Japan Times)
Feb 27
The Lower House on Monday approved a record ¥97.45 trillion budget for fiscal 2017 designed to finance ballooning social security costs and enhance Japan's defense capabilities. (Japan Times)
Feb 26
A smoking ban that Japan's health ministry plans to impose on restaurants in the country with some exceptions will cover small "izakaya" eateries and "yakitori" skewered chicken restaurants, informed sources said Saturday. (Jiji)
Feb 24
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Friday that his wife Akie has resigned as honorary principal of a soon-to-open elementary school whose nationalist operator bought state-owned land at far below appraised value. (Kyodo)

[more politics news…]


Feb 26
Anxious students across Japan are sitting the annual entrance examinations for public universities. (NHK)
Feb 26
A medical university in Kyoto, western Japan, is requesting its president to resign over alleged ties with the head of an organized crime group. (NHK)
Feb 25
Third-year students in junior high schools in Japan achieved a state-set goal for writing in English while failing to meet targets for listening, speaking and reading skills, an education ministry survey showed Friday. (Jiji)
Feb 22
A man who taught English at a well-known chain of foreign language schools in Japan pleaded guilty Tuesday to defrauding his students out of more than $230,000. (Japan Today)
Feb 22
A kindergarten known for its nationalist curriculum has apologized after coming under fire for hostile comments about Korean and Chinese parents. (Japan Times)

[more education news…]           [education blogs…]


Feb 24
Smoke emerged at a service building of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture on Thursday but it quickly dissipated after a firefighting effort by workers, its operator said. (Japan Times)
Feb 23
Five Japanese companies have teamed up to re-create legendary comic book robot Astro Boy in toy form. The product marks the 90th anniversary of the birth of comic and animation master Osamu Tezuka. (NHK)
Feb 23
The government's Headquarters for Earthquake Research Promotion newly added 16 faults to a list of major active fault zones in which a magnitude-7 or larger earthquake could occur. (the-japan-news.com)
Feb 22
Ueno Zoo halted public viewing of two giant pandas on Wednesday because female panda Shin Shin appears to be in heat. (Japan Times)
Feb 22
Tired of waiting in a long line to use the bathroom? The internet may offer a solution. (Japan Times)

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


Feb 27
Hideki Matsuyama moved up a place to fourth in the world golf rankings released Sunday, matching the highest-ever position by a Japanese male player. (Japan Times)
Feb 27
The Asian Winter Games drew to a close Sunday marking the end of an event which brought together some 1,200 athletes from a record 32 nations and regions for nine days of hotly contested continental competition. (Kyodo)
Feb 27
More than 36,000 runners took to the streets of Tokyo on Sunday for Japan's largest marathon event. (NHK)
Feb 24
Japan cruised past Kazakhstan 17-0 in the women's curling bronze-medal match on Thursday at the Asian Winter Games. (Japan Times)
Feb 21
Well, there is now a new Internet sensation breaking down those stereotypes and he comes from the comparatively not-so-popular sport of professional pool. His name is Naoyuki Oi, and you may want to remember the name because it may be popping up a bit more often in the future. (rocketnews24.com)

[more sports news…]


Feb 27
A 28.5-kilomater section of the Kenoudo Expressway in Ibaraki Prefecture opened on Sunday, allowing the belt highway to link the six major expressways stretching from the Tokyo metropolitan area to various other regions in Japan. (Jiji)
Feb 26
With over 3 million visitors from abroad visiting the ancient capital of Kyoto in fiscal 2015, getting around with an official interpreter would have meant relying on government-qualified guides. (Japan Times)
Feb 26
An event marking the start of the whirlpool-watching season has been held in the Naruto Strait in western Japan. (NHK)
Feb 24
A Japanese railway operator has unveiled a luxury sleeper train. Operation of Twilight Express Mizukaze will begin in June. (NHK)
Feb 24
Japanese officials are testing a smart card system that would allow shops and other tourism-related companies to tailor their services to individual foreign travelers. (NHK)

[more travel news…]           [travel blogs…]


Feb 27
(My Home)This is a phenomenon that happens all over the non-native English speaking world, in many varieties. Of course there are tons of words loaned to the English language that are pronounced or used incorrectly, for example, the way we pronoun...
Feb 27
high tech cocomi undershirt detects drowsiness drivers japan 4

At a glance, Japan's roadways would seem plenty dangerous: a high pedestrian count, non-existent bike lanes, an increasingly elderly population behind the wheel, Pokémon Go. But despite the slew of danger-making variables, the nation's streets ar...

Feb 27
The thing that I enjoy most about Japan is the harmonious co-existence of contradictions. While contradictions often create disagreement and chaos in many places, that is not quite the same in Japan. There seems to be this huge invisible force ...
Feb 25
Each year on March 3rd girls become the center of attention in every Japanese household during a festival called Hinamatsuri—while boys have to wait a bit longer until May 5th. Who run the world (on March 3rd)? Girls! The name Hinamatsuri, or ...
Feb 24
What would I have like to have known before I arrived in Japan? Well...There's this crazy idea floating around – kind of like when you step in dog poop and the smell lingers with you all day… It's that nasty. The idea is that living in Japan m...
Feb 24

When the bell rings after 4th period, it's time for lunch.

I need to bring my brimming tray from the staffroom to the class I'm eating with today. A whirlwind of activity threatens my careful ascent up the stairs: kids chase each other to the sink...

Feb 24
Infographic by Chavarom Chongulia The Japan archipelago runs on a roughly southwest to northeast axis, therefore the spring warmth—and the cherry blossoms—travel up the country from bottom to top. According to the people at weather research co...
Feb 23
I used to run. I used to run two hours nearly everyday along the river by my old apartment. Before I met my husband,I ran anywhere I needed to go and could get to on foot. This was not something I would have ever done in my home town. For one, eve...
Feb 23
Dear Japan,

We have to talk about your weather.

Let's start with the rainy season (coming soon to a sky near you).

I come from the UK. Everybody knows that it rains a lot in England and that's why we all wear bowler hats and say things like “Sp...

Feb 23
In the depression of the 1930s Kamishibai took center stage, pun intended, in cheering up the crowds. At that time Kamishibai was a street performing act, where the story teller would use a mobile mini "stage" to display illustrations that s/he wo...

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