Pager service ends in Japan
NHK -- Oct 01
The last remaining pager service in Japan is being terminated on Monday.

The first pager service was launched in Japan in 1968. The number of subscribers peaked in 1996 at more than 10 million.

Young people liked to send messages using numbers. For example, "0840" could be read as "ohayo," or "good morning."

Tokyo Telemessage, the only pager service provider in Japan, says the number of users in the Tokyo metropolitan area had declined to less than 1,500.

The company says the frequencies allocated for pagers will be used by local governments for their disaster radio services.

1990年代に一世を風靡(ふうび)したポケットベルが30日でサービスを終了し、半世紀にわたる歴史に幕を閉じます。 1968年にサービスが始まったポケットベルは、固定電話から特定の番号に電話をすると端末が鳴る仕組みです。「0840」で「おはよう」、「14106」で「愛してる」など、数字の語呂合わせでメッセージを送り合うことができ、若者を中心に人気が広がって、1996年には契約数が1000万件を超えました。しかし、携帯電話の普及とともに利用者数が減少し、今では1500人を下回りました。全国で唯一、ポケットベルの通信サービスを展開していた東京テレメッセージは30日深夜から電波を順次、止める予定です。
News sources: NHK, ANNnewsCH
Oct 20
Long queues for replica shirts, desperate searches for tickets and TV stations showing Japan's wins on a loop: excitement is building ahead of the host nation's historic Rugby World Cup quarterfinal against South Africa. (Japan Today)
Oct 20
The Japanese government says Typhoon Hagibis' damage to farming, forestry and fisheries has reached 57 billion yen, or about 527 million dollars. (NHK)
Oct 18
Two Japanese women, one behind a campaign against women being forced to wear high heels at work under corporate rules and the other a collegiate sumo wrestler, were included in British broadcaster the BBC’s 2019 list of 100 influential women from around the world released Wednesday. (Japan Times)
Oct 18
Japan's education ministry says 332 school children committed suicide in the year through March, the highest number since records began in 1988. (NHK)
Oct 18
The U.S. Marine Corps on Thursday acknowledged an error in the identity of a second Marine pictured lifting the American flag over Iwo Jima in one of the most iconic photographs of World War II. (Japan Times)
Oct 18
The first solar-powered cars to complete a 3,000-kilometer endurance race across Australia reached the finish line in Adelaide on Thursday, with Japan's Tokai University Solar Car Team coming in second place. (Kyodo)
Oct 17
People in areas hit by Typhoon Hagibis are struggling to recover from flooding. NHK has learned the death toll has risen to 77. Rescuers are searching for 10 people who are still missing. (NHK)
Oct 17
The International Olympic Committee is considering moving the marathons and race walking events for the 2020 Summer Games from Tokyo to the northern island of Hokkaido amid concerns about the Japanese capital's stiflingly hot weather. (Nikkei)
Oct 17
Venomous fire ants could spread in Japan, as the recent discovery of about 50 queen ants at a Tokyo port suggests the invasive alien insect from South America has likely taken root, according to an analysis by a national research institute. (Kyodo)
Oct 17
With a rapidly aging and declining population, human capital is one of Japan's most precious resources. Yet despite Japan's need to draw on every individual in the workforce, there is a section of the population whose potential is being overlooked: children in poverty. (Nikkei)