FRONT PAGE NEWS

15 December 2017
Emperor Akihito wishes to step down in an abdication ceremony that is "as simple as possible," without inviting foreign guests and holding a parade, the head of the Imperial Household Agency said Thursday. (Japan Today)
Officials from a Japanese train operator say a crack was found near the welded joint of one of the key parts and the undercarriage of a Shinkansen bullet train. (NHK)
For the first time, a Japanese high court has ordered the operator of a nuclear plant not to restart a reactor. (NHK)
The average life expectancy in 2015 for Japanese men was highest in Shiga Prefecture, western Japan, at 81.78 years, a health ministry survey showed Wednesday. (Jiji)
Japan's Supreme Court has upheld a lower court ruling finding the mayor of Minokamo in Gifu Prefecture, central Japan, guilty of receiving bribes. (Jiji)

Dec 14
Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a 72-year-old man over the alleged molestation of a fourth-year middle school girl in a parking lot in Edogawa Ward earlier this year, reports the Sankei Shimbun (tokyoreporter.com)
Dec 14
Kanagawa Prefectural Police have launched a manhunt after a stabbing in Sagamihara City on Tuesday left one man dead, reports TBS News (tokyoreporter.com)
Dec 13
A window from a US military helicopter has fallen onto the grounds of an elementary school in Okinawa, Japan's southern prefecture. (NHK)
Dec 12
The American husband of a former Japanese abductee has died at the age of 77. (NHK)
Dec 10
Kanagawa Prefectural Police have arrested a 38-year-old man from Hiratsuka City for allegedly abducting a middle school student in Aomori Prefecture and confining her at his residence for two months, reports Jiji Press (Dec. 8). (tokyoreporter.com)

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Dec 14
With staff getting harder to come by, nearly 60% of top executives at major Japanese companies are inclined to invest more in training and educating personnel in fiscal 2018, according to a Nikkei Inc. survey. (Nikkei)
Dec 11
Prosecutors investigating Obayashi Corp. suspect the major construction firm rigged a bid for the building of a maglev train station emergency exit, with one of the company's vice presidents brought in voluntarily for questioning about the matter, sources close to the case said Sunday. (Japan Times)
Dec 10
Online retail giant Rakuten wants to help drones navigate safely at a low altitude in Japan, with an eye on future autonomous delivery service. (NHK)
Dec 09
The Justice Ministry is considering relaxing a key requirement that non-Japanese planning to start businesses here must fulfill to obtain resident status in Japan. (Japan Times)
Dec 07
Japan's Supreme Court has ruled for the first time that an article in the country's Broadcast Law that obliges TV owners to sign receiving contracts with NHK does not violate the Constitution. (NHK)

[more business news…]           [business blogs…]


Dec 14
Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner, Komeito, adopted on Tuesday an income tax reform plan that will bring about heavier burdens on salaried employees earning over 8.5 million yen a year. (Jiji)
Dec 06
Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda told reporters after meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday that he did not discuss who will lead the central bank after his term expires in April. (Japan Times)
Dec 02
A survey by professional recruitment company Hays has found that many Japanese female professionals aspire to be corporate directors, but that male bosses do not seem to grasp that reality. (Nikkei)
Nov 26
The Japanese government has come up with measures to support domestic farmers and food makers who are facing increased competition from European rivals. (NHK)
Nov 22
The government will draw up a fiscal 2017 supplementary budget for additional spending of some ¥2 trillion, including for setting up nursery facilities to accept 320,000 children on waiting lists ahead of schedule as pledged by the ruling coalition in the Oct. 22 general election. (Japan Times)

[more economy news…]


Dec 14
Japan's Supreme Court has upheld a lower court ruling finding the mayor of Minokamo in Gifu Prefecture, central Japan, guilty of receiving bribes. (Jiji)
Dec 14
A total of 83 wooden boats apparently from North Korea have been found drifting in the Sea of Japan or to the Japanese coast so far this year, the highest figure since comparable data become available in 2013, the Japan Coast Guard said Wednesday. (Jiji)
Dec 07
The Japanese government is considering designating May 1, 2019, the planned date for Crown Prince Naruhito's rise to the throne, as a national holiday, informed sources said Wednesday. (Jiji)
Dec 06
The Japanese government is weighing a plan to equip fighter jets with long-range cruise missiles amid the North Korean nuclear and missile threat, starting with earmarking research costs in its fiscal 2018 budget plan, government sources said Tuesday. (Japan Today)
Dec 05
The U.N. General Assembly on Monday endorsed a Japanese antinuclear resolution by a wide margin, although fewer countries backed it than in previous years amid perceptions of backpedaling on disarmament. (Kyodo)

[more politics news…]


Dec 14
Osaka University said Wednesday that personal data of around 80,000 students, graduates, staff, former workers and others may have been stolen by hackers. (Japan Times)
Dec 07
The Japanese government plans to provide subsidies to support private high school students from households with annual income of less than 5.9 million yen, stating in fiscal 2020, informed sources said Wednesday. (Jiji)
Dec 02
While it’s become common knowledge that many Japanese talent agencies prohibit idol singers from dating, there are similar rules in place at some Japanese high schools. (rocketnews24.com)
Dec 02
"Insuta-bae," or instagenic, and "sontaku," or acting for someone by guessing his or her intent, were selected in this year's top buzzwords in Japan on Friday. (Jiji)
Dec 01
Princess Aiko, the only child of Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako, turned 16 on Friday, enjoying high school life and striving to better fulfill her role as a member of the imperial family. (Japan Today)

[more education news…]           [education blogs…]


Dec 15
Japan's space agency says its asteroid probe Hayabusa2 is on course to reach its target between Earth and Mars in about 6 months. (NHK)
Dec 06
Fukui Gov. Issei Nishikawa says he's willing to accept the central government's plan to decommission the trouble-prone Monju prototype fast-breeder reactor in the city of Tsuruga. (Japan Times)
Dec 06
Tokyo prosecutors on Tuesday arrested the president of a tech venture known as one of the developers of the world's fourth-fastest supercomputer on suspicion of defrauding a governmental institution of 431 million yen in subsidies. (Japan Today)
Dec 02
With pretty much the busiest mass transit system in the world, Tokyo also has some seriously huge subway stations. Major hubs in the Tokyo area are made up of seemingly endless corridors connecting various lines, shopping centers, and restaurant rows, and some are so complex that they can literally double as RPG dungeon maps. (rocketnews24.com)
Dec 01
Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai has said he will do his best to complete his upcoming mission at the International Space Station. (NHK)

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


Dec 10
The agent representing Japanese baseball star Shohei Ohtani has announced that the ace pitcher-and-slugger has decided to join the Los Angeles Angels in the 2018 season. (NHK)
Dec 07
Police in Tottori Prefecture will file papers with prosecutors next week on the alleged assault by former sumo grand champion Harumafuji. (NHK)
Dec 06
Japanese professional shogi player Yoshiharu Habu has become the first person ever to win lifetime titles in all 7 major title matches. (NHK)
Dec 02
Japan have been presented with a chance for revenge in their opening match of next year's World Cup finals after being drawn against Colombia, Senegal and Poland in first-round Group H on Friday. (Kyodo)
Dec 01
The Japan Sumo Association has reprimanded Yokozuna Hakuho for recent conduct and remarks deemed below the standards expected of a grand champion. (NHK)

[more sports news…]


Dec 07
Narita International Airport near Tokyo is looking to ease congestion at one of its terminals. (NHK)
Dec 03
Inui Street in the Imperial Palace in central Tokyo was opened to the public on Saturday, in time for the autumn foliage season. (Jiji)
Dec 01
Local restaurants, souvenir shops and even some temples and shrines are hoping to cater to foreign guests with an international custom yet to be adopted in Japan: letting customers pay their bills with credit cards instead of cash. (Japan Today)
Nov 29
The latest edition of the Michelin guide for Tokyo is due out on Friday with 82 new restaurants, including five new two-star establishments and 23 entities garnering single stars, Michelin said on Tuesday. (Japan Times)
Nov 28
From a television commercial that gives a humorous twist to a theme park’s impending closure to hotels staffed by robots, tactics to capitalize on company outings, and ads featuring Japanese pop idols and actors — theme parks in Japan are squeezing their creative juices to attract more first-time visitors and repeaters through avant-garde ways. (Japan Times)

[more travel news…]           [travel blogs…]


Dec 15
Annually Asked Questions: Why KFC at Christmas in Japan?

It's a question that many Westerners ask every year around this time, when the iconic red, white and green marketing campaigns go up across the nation: How did Christmas in Japan become synonymous with a fast food joint?

Foreigners may laugh at t...

Dec 14
garinko

Garinko-go II (Hokkaido heritage attraction)
Drift ice tourism has turned a winter plague from the Sea of Okhotsk into a real blessing. Mombetsu City named the icebreaker (originally designed for oil development in Alaska) Garinko-go. With its br...

Dec 14
What Your Japanese Teacher Never Taught You about Kanji

In the beginning, there was spoken language. Certain combinations of sounds represented certain meanings and these were called “words.” Communication was without physical form; there was sound and meaning, and it was good. Then one day, someon...

Dec 13
tsutaya book apartment coworking relaxation shinjuku

The rental DVD and entertain retail chain Tsutaya once had a large branch on the east of Shinjuku Station. This was demolished a few years ago and reopened as a leaner branch with other tenants. Then the Tsutaya completely transferred to another b...

Dec 13

When it comes to choosing their kanji of the year, in 2017, the Japanese chose to look north. The Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing Foundation chose to award 北 (kita or north) as its kanji of the year for 2017.

The announcement was made at a ceremony...

Dec 12

Japan has always believed that spoken words had a certain power, almost magical power. Thus, the word “to curse” aka 呪う (norou/呪う) has a mouth 口 as part of the kanji, as in intoning a prayer or curse and the 兄 part symbolizes a pri...

Dec 11
Ita G Festa

This survey from goo Ranking looks at little things with large pain.

Number 1 is of course a too common pain, but one that doesn't feature is perhaps because the sample size is too young – in cold weather the skin on the back of my hands dry ou...

Dec 10

If you are a foreigner in Japan, you might wonder (or not) what are the best venues to network with your peers.

I will keep this post short as I guess that most of the peoples reading this know where to go and who to meet.

From my experience:

C...

Dec 10
3 Heavenly Hiroshima Ramen Shops 14

For food, the city of Hiroshima is best known for its noodle-filled savory pancakes, or Okonomiyaki. But if you dig a little bit, your shovel will find some legit Hiroshima ramen shops. Many of them are obsessed with the numbing Szechuan pepper.

...
Dec 9
Traveling with multiple devices? Renting a wifi router in Japan is the best way to get connected. If you're wondering how best to stay connected while you're traveling around Japan, a wifi router might be the solution. Easier to set up than SIM c...

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