New bird species found in Ogasawara Islands
NHK -- Jan 30
Researchers say they have found a new seabird species indigenous to the Ogasawara Islands, a UNESCO World Heritage site some 1,000 kilometers south of Japan's main island.

The scientists, including those from the Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, say the seabirds were previously considered a subspecies of Audubon's shearwater.

The shearwaters are widely distributed across the Pacific Ocean. They have black backs and a white underbody. They build nests in crevices in rocks.

The research team studied DNA samples from 10 of the seabirds in question and found that they are a separate species from Audubon's shearwater.

It says the seabirds are confirmed to breed exclusively on two of the Ogasawara Islands.

The finding brings the number of indigenous bird species that inhabit the islands to 4.

One of the researchers, Kazuto Kawakami, says the discovery adds to the value of the Ogasawara Islands as a world heritage site.

News source: NHK
Feb 19
Immigration Bureau's relaxed visa policy has boosted tourism from southeast Asia, but it seems to have come with an unwanted side-effect. (soranews24.com)
Feb 19
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is not saying whether or not he nominated Donald Trump for this year's Nobel Peace Prize, but the question may be moot: the U.S. president has been put forward by others for the prestigious award. (Japan Today)
Feb 19
Police on Monday arrested a truck driver for allegedly driving off with a man clinging to the side of his vehicle following a road rage incident in Miyagi Prefecture last June. (Japan Times)
Feb 19
The health ministry on Monday approved the world's first clinical test in which artificially derived stem cells will be used to treat patients with spinal cord injuries. (Japan Times)
Feb 19
Visitors to a village near Mount Fuji and its residents were rewarded with a dazzling spectacle on Monday. (NHK)
Feb 19
Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a 41-year-old man who while drunk is suspected of gashing more than one dozen luxury automobiles in Ota Ward last month, reports Nippon News Network (tokyoreporter.com)
Feb 19
Ibaraki Prefectural Police believe a male temporary employee at a research center for industrial machinery manufacturer Kubota Corp. stabbed another employee before slashing himself on Sunday, reports TV Asahi (tokyoreporter.com)
Feb 18
A movie by the Japanese director Hikari picked up two awards at the Berlin International Film Festival on Saturday. "37 Seconds" won the Panorama Audience Award and the CICAE Art Cinema Award. (NHK)
Feb 18
A 43-year-old employee of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism has been arrested for allegedly using his smartphone to film up the skirt of a high school girl on a train. (Japan Today)
Feb 18
People are enjoying the first signs of spring at an annual plum flower festival at the Kairakuen garden in Mito City, north of Tokyo. (NHK)