Shogi prodigy Fujii wins first tourney title
NHK -- Feb 18
Teen shogi star Sota Fujii has clinched his first title in an official tournament.

15-year-old Fujii won the Asahi Cup tournament in Tokyo beating two top players on Saturday. He defeated shogi legend Yoshiharu Habu in the semifinal.

Fujii became the first junior high school student to be promoted to 6th-dan. He also became the youngest champion at an official shogi tournament, rewriting the record set more than 60 years ago.

中学生棋士の藤井聡太五段(15)が朝日杯将棋オープン戦で羽生善治竜王らを破り、優勝しました。15歳6カ月での栄冠となり、史上最年少での六段昇格となりました。 藤井聡太新六段:「望外の結果で、本当に自分もここまで来られると思っていなかった。とてもうれしく思ってます。
News sources: NHK, ANNnewsCH
Dec 18
Police believe an explosion at a Sapporo building that left 42 people injured on Sunday was caused by gas leaking from more than 100 deodorizer spray cans, intended for disposal, at a real estate agency. (Japan Times)
Dec 18
Japanese water is clean and readily available, as evidenced by drinkable tap water and a nearly 100 percent penetration rate. (Japan Times)
Dec 18
PayPay, a mobile payments company backed by SoftBank Group Corp., Yahoo Japan Corp. and India’s largest digital-payments company Paytm, said it’s updating its app to strengthen security after multiple complaints from users of wrongful charges. (Bloomberg)
Dec 18
Toyama Prefectural Police are investigating what is believed to have been a hit-and-run incident after the corpse of a man was found inside a smashed display window at a store in Toyama City, reports Sankei Sports (Dec. 15). (tokyoreporter.com)
Dec 17
More than 40 people were injured on Sunday when an explosion caused a fire at a commercial building housing a pub in Sapporo City on Japan's northern main island of Hokkaido. Police suspect a gas leak may be the cause. (NHK)
Dec 17
A famous hot spa resort is offering an online map showing "onsen" spots available for tattooed tourists traveling to the region for next year's Rugby World Cup in Japan. (Kyodo)
Dec 17
Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga has revealed that the government plans to open about 100 support centers for foreign workers across Japan. (NHK)
Dec 16
Rino Sashihara, a leading Japanese idol singer, will leave the all-girl musical group HKT48, an affiliate of the country's entertainment giant AKB48, next year, she said Saturday. (Kyodo)
Dec 16
The education ministry plans to include ¥1.52 trillion in its budget for fiscal 2019 to cover personnel costs for teachers at public elementary and junior high schools, it has been learned. (Japan Times)
Dec 15
Japan's central government is pushing ahead with a controversial plan to relocate an American military base within the southern prefecture of Okinawa. They've started full-scale land reclamation work despite strong local opposition. (NHK)