FRONT PAGE NEWS

10 February 2016
Japanese actor Ken Watanabe was diagnosed with an early-stage stomach cancer, his agent said Tuesday, adding the actor, who starred in a Broadway musical in 2015, has already undergone endoscopic surgery to remove it. (Kyodo)
A humanoid robot is offering boarding information to passengers at Tokyo's Haneda Airport. (NHK)
All Nippon Airways Co. and Japan Airlines Co. will scrap fuel surcharges for their international flights from April to reflect the plummeting cost of jet fuel. (Asahi)
The yield on the 10-year Japanese government bond turned negative for the first time ever Tuesday afternoon amid global financial turmoil, with Japan becoming the second country after Switzerland with a negative benchmark long-term interest rate. (Kyodo)
The Chinatown district of Yokohama, south of Tokyo, has begun events to celebrate the start of the Chinese Lunar New Year. (NHK)

Feb 10
The Japanese government decided at a cabinet meeting Tuesday to withdraw its recommendation of Christianity-related historic facilities and sites in Nagasaki and Kumamoto prefectures for addition to the UNESCO World Heritage List. (Jiji Press)
Feb 10
Officers of the Metropolitan Police Department's special weapons squad subdue a "terrorist" during a counterterrorism drill at Tokyo Dome on Tuesday. (the-japan-news.com)
Feb 09
Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a 39-year-old man for assaulting and robbing a female prostitute inside a hotel in Shibuya Ward last year, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Feb. 9). (Tokyo Reporter)
Feb 09
Following a stabbing incident that left one woman dead and another injured, Hokkaido Prefectural Police announced on Monday that a 30-year-old man is wanted in connection with the crime, reports the Yomiuri Shimbun (Tokyo Reporter)
Feb 09
An armed man dressed as a woman robbed a pedestrian on a street in the city of Ogaki, Gifu Prefecture, but returned some of her cash before fleeing the scene, police said. (Japan Today)
[more society news...]           [society blogs...]

Feb 10
McDonald's Corp.'s Japan business forecast that it will return to full-year profitability for the first time in three years, as the company deploys new measures in an attempt to win back customers after being hit by a series of food crises. (the-japan-news.com)
Feb 10
Toyota Motor will begin tests of hydrogen as a power source at production facilities as early as this year, aiming to tame rising carbon dioxide emissions by expanding on its experience as the developer of the first fuel cell car on the market. (Nikkei)
Feb 09
Whoever said that "cats rule and dogs drool?" Subaru brings back the Barkleys with five new amusing car commercials! (rocketnews24.com)
Feb 08
Take an inside peek into the production process of Pocky, the beloved Japanese snack which has found its way into supermarkets around the world. (rocketnews24.com)
Feb 08
Officials at a railway in northern Japan say more than 300 files may have been stolen from the company's computers. (NHK)
[more business news...]           [business blogs...]
Feb 09
The yield on the 10-year Japanese government bond turned negative for the first time ever Tuesday afternoon amid global financial turmoil, with Japan becoming the second country after Switzerland with a negative benchmark long-term interest rate. (Kyodo)
Feb 09
Japanese government data show that the average monthly salary in 2015 grew from a year earlier, but real wages adjusted for inflation actually fell for a 4th straight year. (NHK)
Feb 09
Just after the Bank of Japan reduced overnight rates one step further, going below zero (joining the ECB), would anybody expect the yen to rise in the coming period? (seekingalpha.com)
Feb 08
Japan's current account surplus grew more than six-fold in 2015 from the previous year to 16.64 trillion yen ($142 billion), boosted by a plunge in crude oil imports and a travel surplus amid the yen's depreciation, government data showed Monday. (Kyodo)
Feb 06
Japan and Iran signed a bilateral investment pact Friday in a move aimed at helping Japanese firms do business in the resource-rich country amid intensifying foreign competition for its market access. (Kyodo)
[more economy news...]
Feb 09
Kensuke Miyazaki planned to take a few weeks off work after his wife gave birth to their first child. Some of his colleagues and superiors are unhappy. (Japan Times)
Feb 09
The U.N. Security Council on Sunday strongly condemned North Korea's latest rocket launch and promised to take punitive steps, while Washington vowed to ensure the 15-nation body imposed "serious consequences" on Pyongyang as soon as possible. (the-japan-news.com)
Feb 09
The Liberal Democratic Party will field Eriko Imai, a singer and member of the female J-pop group SPEED, to run in the Upper House election this summer, officials of the ruling party said Monday. (Japan Times)
Feb 08
North Korea took another step toward its goal of developing an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the U.S. mainland, with the range of the rocket launched Sunday estimated at up to 13,000km. (Nikkei)
Feb 08
North Korea has launched what is widely believed to be a long-range ballistic missile. (NHK)
[more politics news...]
Feb 07
The annual number of accidents during gymnastic formation performances has exceeded 8,000 for four years in a row since fiscal 2011 in primary, middle and high schools, according to the Japan Sport Council (JSC). (the-japan-news.com)
Feb 04
A male teacher at a public junior high school in Kasai, Hyogo Prefecture, burned a student's hair with a lighter during a class in January. (Japan Today)
Feb 04
Japan is the world's third-largest economy and the producer of many of the world's best products, from video games to cars. Yet most Americans don't know much about the country's rich history. (vox.com)
Feb 03
Move over dancing queen, here comes the "Campus Queen"! Last Friday a digital photo book featuring four finalists from the Miss Campus contest was released in Japan. (rocketnews24.com)
Feb 02
All four English skills--reading, listening, writing and speaking--of junior high and high school seniors in Japan failed to meet state-set targets, an education ministry survey showed Tuesday. (Jiji Press)
[more education news...]           [education blogs...]
Feb 10
Japanese researchers have found rare metals on the seabed at a depth of about 5,500 meters to south of the country. (NHK)
Feb 09
JAXA is poised to explain the mystery of why temperatures in the atmosphere above the poles of Venus, in contrast to Earth, are higher than in surrounding areas of the planet. (Asahi)
Feb 08
The National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES) revealed that the total number of sessile species, such as barnacles and snails, has been decreasing significantly along the coast within 10 kilometers south of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant since the accident there in 2011. (the-japan-news.com)
Feb 06
The seasonal flu is now taking its toll on Japan. Researchers estimate that the weekly number of patients has topped one million for the first time this winter. (NHK)
Feb 06
The Meteorological Agency has issued a forecast of volcanic ash from Mount Sakurajima. (NHK)
[more sci-tech news...]           [sci-tech blogs...]
Feb 08
Hideki Matsuyama won an unexpected playoff victory Sunday after Rickie Fowler hit two balls into the water on the par-4 17th hole in the Waste Management Phoenix Open. (Asahi)
Feb 06
Rugby star Ayumu Goromaru has left Japan to join the world's top professional league. (NHK)
Feb 05
Kawasaki Frontale striker Yoshito Okubo was named the 2015 Footballer of the Year on Thursday in a poll of Japan's soccer writers. (Japan Times)
Feb 05
Former Formula One driver Kamui Kobayashi was announced as a full-time driver oi Toyota's World Endurance Championship team on Thursday, marking his first entry into the premier class of endurance road racing. (Japan Times)
Feb 04
Former Japanese professional baseball star Kazuhiro Kiyohara admitted using a stimulant to Tokyo police after his arrest on Tuesday, it was learned Wednesday. (Jiji Press)
[more sports news...]
Feb 10
A humanoid robot is offering boarding information to passengers at Tokyo's Haneda Airport. (NHK)
Feb 09
All Nippon Airways Co. and Japan Airlines Co. will scrap fuel surcharges for their international flights from April to reflect the plummeting cost of jet fuel. (Asahi)
Feb 09
The operator of Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea will raise ticket prices for the third consecutive year to secure money for investing in the parks, based on projections that the solid stream of visitors will continue. (Nikkei)
Feb 08
Beginning in April, a sightseeing boat on the Katsuragawa river will allow passengers to view the Saruhashi bridge from the same angle that ukiyo-e artist Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) depicted it in his work. (the-japan-news.com)
Feb 06
As if accommodating Chinese visitors on their usual shopping sprees weren't enough, major Japanese retailers are now actively working to lure this demographic to their storefronts for the Lunar New Year. (Nikkei)
[more travel news...]           [travel blogs...]
Feb 10
tsutaya

As bookstores all over the United States close their doors, helpless against the onset of ebooks, Japan holds steadfast to the cultural importance of the printed page. Just last month, a new bookstore called Kyoto Okazaki Tsutaya opened in Kyoto...

Feb 9
oolong blend cropped

Oolong tea, originated in China, and has been used for thousands of years by the Chinese for weight management. The Suntory Kuro brand emphasizes the weight loss benefits in that it aids in the metabolism of fat and makes it difficult for fat to b...

Feb 9

We need to start this with a note or sorts; this video post was scheduled on our editorial ‘to do' list. As fate would have it, we've been lucky enough, at around the same time, to have received some blog posts from Rei of Takurei's Room - a re...

Feb 9
otaru-2

Every year in February the streets of the romantic port town of Otaru are illuminated with the glow of candlelight for 10 days to coincide with the famous Sapporo Snow Festival. The Otaru Snow Light Path Festival, called the Otaru Yuki Akari no Mi...

Feb 9
Nobody wants long distance relationship. But if your partner happens to be from different country, it's very likely you have to face it whether you like it or not.
I had a long distance relationship with a Korean girl until just a few years ago. Sh...
Feb 9

Despite Japan making a sakura “cherry blossom” flavored and colored everything, this is actually their first rendezvous with the Pepsi soda. In Japan there's sakura flavored Kit-Kats, cookies, French fries, frappuccino, cake, popcorn, mochi, i...

Feb 8
Chocolate truffles

Valentine's Day is nearly upon us. There's quite a difference between the way this holiday-that-isn't-really-a-holiday is celebrated in Japan vs. elsewhere. In most western countries, V...

Feb 8
chinese tourists bakugai shopping japan tokyo

The cheap yen has helped inbound tourism in Japan sour and nearly 20 million visitors came to Japan last year. Most are Asian, especially Chinese, and while they do come here to sightsee and eat the cuisine, they also come with another objective: ...

Feb 8
Lexus1

For Dr. Greg Story, an attraction of living and working in Japan is the country's love of design and mindfulness of the customer experience.

As country president of a global company providing human resources training, Story has a keen appreciatio...

Feb 8
kimono

When people think of Japan, they invariably think of its traditional garment: the kimono. Worn by men, women and children alike through the ages, “kimono” literally means a “thing to wear” (ki, “to wear,” and mono, “thing”), it has...

[all blogs...]