Sightseeing boat breaks ice on Lake Akan in Hokkaido
Kyodo -- Apr 27
The Mashu Maru excursion boat broke the ice on Lake Akan in Hokkaido's Kushiro ahead of the start of the sightseeing season for the lake, which is known for its rare "marimo" green algae balls.

The ice-breaking operation, which is carried out by Akan Sightseeing Cruise Co. at this time of year, began on April 13. According to the company, the ice is somewhat thicker than last year at about 50 centimeters, due to a spell of cold weather in late March.

On April 17, the boat set sail at 10 a.m., and broke the ice with a booming sound against the background of snow-capped Mt. Oakan.

The boat started a special cruise through the ice on April 21 and will shift to normal operations on April 29.

News source: Kyodo
Aug 24
Japan's government has announced that ballistic missiles are believed to have been launched from North Korea on Saturday morning. (NHK)
Aug 23
Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono has summoned South Korea's ambassador and lodged a protest at Seoul's decision to end an intelligence-sharing agreement between the two countries. (NHK)
Aug 23
The US Department of Defense has expressed its "strong concern" and "disappointment" at South Korea's decision to terminate its intelligence-sharing pact with Japan. (NHK)
Aug 23
Japan's capital is set to lay claim to the country's tallest building in 2023, when developer Mori Building aims to complete a 330-meter tower as part of a major redevelopment. (Nikkei)
Aug 23
Japan's space agency said Thursday its Hayabusa2 space probe returning to Earth late next year will drop its capsule containing asteroid samples in Australia's southern desert. (Kyodo)
Aug 23
To boost the number of male employees taking paternity leave and promote female participation in the workforce, Japan's labor ministry decided to increase government subsidies for companies whose employees do so, sources close to the matter said Thursday. (Kyodo)
Aug 23
Kanagawa Prefectural Police have arrested a woman and a man for allegedly introducing a teenage girl to men for prostitution last year, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Aug. 21). (tokyoreporter.com)
Aug 23
A man affiliated with Japan's largest crime syndicate was shot Wednesday in Kobe apparently in connection with a feud among factions of the Yamaguchi-gumi organization in the western Japan city and surrounding areas, police said. (Japan Today)
Aug 23
Defending champions Naomi Osaka and Novak Djokovic are the No. 1 seeds for singles play in the U.S. Open, it was announced on Wednesday. (Japan Times)
Aug 23
Japan will include sharing activities like Airbnb-style vacation rentals in gross domestic product calculations as early as fiscal 2020, Nikkei has learned, as the government seeks a better picture of the growing sector. (Nikkei)