28 wooden boats found on or near Japanese shores
NHK -- Dec 05
The Japan Coast Guard says as many as 28 wooden boats believed to be from the Korean Peninsula were spotted drifting off the Japanese coast or had run aground in November. It is the largest monthly figure since recordkeeping began 4 years ago.

The number of such cases tends to increase in wintertime, when the Sea of Japan often becomes rough.

This year, the figure began to increase sharply in October after leveling off at between 2 and 5 in the previous months. The number reached 63 on Sunday, and is expected to increase further.

Analysts say behind these incidents are North Korea's attempts to catch more fish to make up for an acute food shortage in the country and to gain foreign currencies.

Experts also point out that an increasing number of North Korean fishing boats are now operating in the Sea of Japan instead of near the North Korean coast. They say the North Korean government has sold off the fishing rights near its coast to Chinese fishermen as a way to gain foreign currencies.

News source: NHK
Jul 21
Japan's Diet enacted a bill into law on integrated resorts, which include casinos, despite persistent objections from opposition parties. (NHK)
Jul 20
Japan's ruling coalition passed a casino resort bill through the Cabinet Committee of the House of Councillors on Thursday afternoon. (Jiji)
Jul 19
The Diet, Japan's parliament, on Wednesday passed into law a bill to strengthen restrictions on smoking in public places in the fight against secondhand smoke. (Jiji)
Jul 19
Japan's Diet has enacted legislation to reform the electoral system, including the addition of six seats to the 242-seat Upper House. (NHK)
Jul 18
Japan and the European Union have signed a free trade deal in Tokyo after years of negotiations. The economic partnership agreement covers about 40 percent of the world's trade and 30 percent of its gross domestic product. The EPA calls for Japan and the EU to remove tariffs on most of each other's goods in phases. (NHK)
Jul 16
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says the government will provide financial support to areas in western Japan that were hit hard recently by record-high rainfall. (NHK)
Jul 16
The government has launched a nationwide probe into allegations that foreign residents are abusing the public health insurance system, according to sources familiar with the matter. (Japan Times)
Jul 12
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Okayama Prefecture Wednesday to see firsthand the damage, such as burst dikes and landslides, that recent torrential rain inflicted on the western Japan prefecture. (Jiji)
Jul 12
The House of Councillors passed on Wednesday an amendment bill to the public offices election law calling for increasing the number of seats in the upper chamber of Japan's Diet by six from the current 242. (Jiji)
Jul 11
A Chinese court ordered a 12-year prison term for a Japanese man over spying and other charges, Japanese government sources said Tuesday. (Jiji)