Hayabusa2 landing postponed until next year
NHK -- Oct 12
Japan's space agency says it will postpone landing its Hayabusa2 probe on the asteroid Ryugu until at least next January. The landing was planned for late October.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, said on Thursday that Ryugu has a rocky surface and further examination is needed to land the spacecraft safely.

In late June, Hayabusa2 reached a point 20 kilometers from the asteroid, which is about 300 million kilometers from Earth.

The probe has been observing Ryugu and carried out tests to approach the asteroid.

JAXA said images of Ryugu captured by robots show that it is a cluster of bumpy rocks. Researchers also found that it has a limited number of flat surfaces.

小惑星「リュウグウ」の地表がでこぼこすぎて着陸の延期が決まりました。 宇宙科学研究所・津田雄一氏:「もう歯が立たないということを判断せざるを得ない」 JAXA(宇宙航空研究開発機構)の探査機「はやぶさ2」は、今月下旬に小惑星「リュウグウ」への着陸を予定していました。
News sources: NHK, ANNnewsCH
Feb 16
Reservations for travel overseas are surging for this year's 10-day Golden Week period, during which the Imperial succession is set to take place, according to a JTB Corp. official. (Japan Times)
Feb 15
The Japanese government has mapped out a bill to officially recognize the Ainu ethnic minority as an indigenous people of Japan. (NHK)
Feb 15
Bullet train ticket machines have stopped working in many parts of Japan. (NHK)
Feb 13
Around the world, people use chocolate treats to express sweet nothings on Valentine's Day. (BBC)
Feb 13
As spring approaches in Japan, the country's weather forecasters face one of their biggest missions of the year: predicting exactly when the famed cherry blossoms will bloom. (straitstimes.com)
Feb 13
A new outbreak of swine fever has been confirmed on a pig farm in Aichi Prefecture, central Japan. It is the third farm in the prefecture to be hit by the highly contagious disease. (NHK)
Feb 12
Convenience store operator Family Mart Co. on Monday announced the dismissal of a male employee after the emergence of a video showing him licking items, the latest of several similar incidents involving a food-related company in the last week, reports TV Asahi (Feb. 12). (tokyoreporter.com)
Feb 12
A man in custody in connection with the death of a female university student whose body was found buried in a field in Kamisu City last month has also been accused in her murder, police said over the weekend, reports the Asahi Shimbun (tokyoreporter.com)
Feb 10
The number of influenza patients per medical institution in Japan in the week through Feb. 3 dropped from the previous week in all of the nation’s 47 prefectures, the health ministry announced. (Japan Times)
Feb 09
People in Sapporo shivered through frigid conditions on Friday as the city recorded a daytime high of minus 10.1 degrees Celsius, making it the first time in 40 years that the mercury has failed to reach minus 10. (NHK)