'World's fastest bullet train' starts test runs in Japan
Nikkei -- May 10
The newest shinkansen bullet train from Japanese rail operator JR East begins test operation Friday, with its top speed expected to exceed the fastest now in service by at least 40 kph.

Green stripes grace the Alfa-X's bluish-silver body, featuring a 22-meter nose on the front car -- the longest for a shinkansen. JR East, formally East Japan Railway, previewed the full 250-meter, 10-car version for the media Thursday at a Miyagi Prefecture facility.

The 360 kph top speed bests the 320 kph of E5 series shinkansen currently running in Japan and TGV bullet trains in France.

The Alfa-X will be tested on the Tohoku shinkansen line between the cities of Sendai and Aomori in northeastern Japan. The trials will take place late at night approximately twice a week. The first phase, to gauge the feasibility of a 360 kph cruising speed, will run until fiscal 2021. Second-phase trials geared toward launching commercial operation will kick off the following year.

世界最速の時速360キロを目指し、試験走行が始まる次世代新幹線の車両が公開されました。 JR東日本が開発した次世代新幹線の試験車両「ALFA-X」の最大の特徴は先頭車両の「長い鼻」です。
News sources: Nikkei, ANNnewsCH
May 26
Temperatures rose across Japan on Saturday to highs usually not seen until the height of summer, causing hundreds of people to be taken to hospitals and prompting the weather agency to issue heatstroke warnings. (Japan Today)
May 26
Japan's top trade negotiator with the United States has said both sides continue to differ on negotiations for a trade deal, adding that they need to work further to narrow the gap. (NHK)
May 26
US President Donald Trump is scheduled to spend a full day with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday, ahead of their summit on Monday. (NHK)
May 26
In sumo, rank-and-file wrestler Asanoyama has clinched his first tournament title. (NHK)
May 25
All Nippon Airways debuted flights of a double-decker Airbus A380 from Narita Airport north of Tokyo, bound for Hawaii on Friday. (NHK)
May 24
The government will no longer use the term "lifelong singles" as a label for people who have not married by age 50, deeming the term inaccurate as Japanese are increasingly tying the knot later in life, officials said Thursday. (Japan Today)
May 24
Many parts of Japan saw the mercury top 30 degrees Celsius on Thursday. Weather officials are warning of unseasonal high temperatures over the weekend. (NHK)
May 24
Police in Japan are stepping up security for an upcoming visit by US President Donald Trump. (NHK)
May 24
Japan's new supercomputer Fugaku is set to begin operations around 2021 with the country aiming to regain the title of building the world's fastest computer, replacing its current supercomputer K, government-backed research institute Riken said Thursday. (Japan Times)
May 23
Kyoto Prefectural Police have arrested a 23-year-old male Australian national who is suspected of scrawling graffiti in dozens of locations in Kyoto City, reports Fuji News Network (May 22). (tokyoreporter.com)