Kumamoto remembers string of strong earthquakes 2 years ago
Jiji -- Apr 15
Kumamoto Prefecture held a memorial service on Saturday for those who died in a string of powerful earthquakes that hit the southwestern Japan prefecture and nearby areas two years ago.

The earthquakes, which occurred from April 14, 2016, directly killed 50 people, including through building collapses, while 214 people have died of indirect causes including disease from prolonged evacuation life, according to prefecture.

The prefectural government's second-anniversary ceremony was attended by a total of 319 bereaved relatives, prefectural officials and others. The participants offered one-minute silent prayers for the victims, and renewed their pledges for reconstruction.

"For my family, the first step of recovery from the earthquakes is to rebuild our house," Ryoko Matsuno, 61, said in a speech during the ceremony.

In the disaster, she lost her mother, Misuko, then 84, and her family's house in the town of Mashiki was destroyed. Matsuno is still living in a temporary housing facility in the nearby city of Koshi.

熊本地震から14日で2年です。熊本県で犠牲者の追悼式が行われました。 熊本県庁で行われた追悼式には遺族や石井国土交通大臣、小此木防災担当大臣、そして、蒲島熊本県知事など約300人が参列し、犠牲者に黙祷(もくとう)を捧げました。
News sources: Jiji, ANNnewsCH
Dec 12
Japan is seeking to possess its first aircraft carrier to allow for the deployment of U.S.-made stealth fighters as it seeks to bolster its arms capability under a new 10-year defense plan. (Japan Today)
Dec 12
A court in Beijing has sentenced a Japanese man in his 70s who was arrested in China in June 2015 to 12 years in prison for spying, sources well-informed about Sino-Japanese relations said Tuesday. (Japan Today)
Dec 11
Major Japanese restaurant chain Gusto on Monday stopped providing plastic straws at its 1,300 locations nationwide. (NHK)
Dec 11
Prosecutors sought a 23-year prison term for a 26-year-old man on Monday over an alleged road-rage incident near Tokyo last year that left a couple dead and their children injured. (Japan Times)
Dec 11
Winter bonuses at Japanese companies averaged an all-time high of 834,391 yen ($7,400) this year, according to a Nikkei survey released Monday, notching a sixth straight year of growth on strong corporate earnings. (Nikkei)
Dec 10
Saitama Prefectural Police have arrested a 39-year-old man over the stabbing of three Cambodian nationals at an apartment building in Hanyu City on Saturday, reports NHK (tokyoreporter.com)
Dec 09
A Chinese court has sentenced a Japanese woman to six years in prison for spying, a source privy to bilateral relations said Saturday. (Japan Today)
Dec 09
Gunma Prefectural Police have arrested a staff member for the National Police Agency over the alleged rape of a 12-year-old girl he met online earlier this year, reports the Sankei Shimbun (tokyoreporter.com)
Dec 07
The US Marine Corps says one of the 2 crewmembers rescued after a mid-air collision between 2 US military aircraft off Japan's western coast is dead. (NHK)
Dec 06
Four men in their 20s were arrested Wednesday for allegedly overturning a small truck during a Halloween event in late October in the busy Shibuya district of Tokyo, police said. (Japan Today)