Jan 24
Officials at Japan’s labor ministry plan to get tougher on discrimination against working women who are pregnant or have small children. The officials say they will instruct labor bureaus across the country to tighten their oversight. (NHK)
Jan 19
Thousands of history buffs visited the Koyamada ruins here on Jan. 18 to see the recently unearthed burial mound that may have been constructed for Emperor Jomei (593-641). (Asahi)
Jan 19
Japan’s Tourism Agency plans to provide financial assistance to municipalities that promote so-called family time projects for encouraging parents to take time off from work when their children are on school breaks. (Jiji Press)
Jan 18
ISHINOMAKI, Miyagi Prefecture–Nearly four years after the Great East Japan Earthquake, discussion of the fate of a damaged school building that was engulfed by the tsunami finally started between a residents’ association and the bereaved families of students. (Asahi)
Jan 17
The National Center for University Entrance Examinations on Saturday began two days of tests across the nation. The center said that 559,132 students are sitting for the exams at 690 test centers nationwide. (Japan Today)
Jan 17
Sumo wrestlers frequently engage in superstition. For instance, I have heard of wrestlers who drink only one brand of beer simply because its logo is a white star. In sumo jargon, a win is “shiroboshi,” which translates literally as “white star.” (Asahi)
Jan 15
Monday was Coming of Age day in Japan, an annual celebration held on the second Monday of January where those who have turned 20 over the past year come together to celebrate while everyone else gets a day off work. (
Jan 10
On Monday, if you are out and about in Japan, you’ll see many young people dressed in their best; the girls especially will look pretty in their kimono. That’s because Monday is Coming-of-Age Day (成人の日) – when young Japanese who turned 20 during the previous year or will do so before March 31 this year are officially recognized as adults. (Japan Today)
Jan 09
Children at a kindergarten in central Japan have braved the cold at an annual karate practice. (NHK)
Jan 09
Japan’s government is reviewing new social welfare programs now that a hike in the consumption tax has been postponed. Officials are now preparing a draft budget plan for fiscal 2015. (NHK)