Jan 15
A launch of a Japanese mini-rocket has ended in failure. The flight was aborted because of technical difficulties. (NHK)

Jan 15
Authorities in Gifu Prefecture in central Japan have detected a highly contagious bird flu virus at a poultry farm. This has prompted the prefectural government to cull all 80,000 chickens kept there. (NHK)

Jan 12
Over two-thirds of Japan’s biggest coral reef is dead, the country’s Environment Ministry has found. (

Jan 12
Levels of radioactive cesium in all fish and seafood sampled in the coastal waters of Fukushima Prefecture last year did not exceed the central government’s safety limit for the first time since the 2011 nuclear crisis, a local fishery laboratory said Wednesday. (Japan Today)

Jan 10
Japan’s space agency has unveiled a relatively cheap mini-rocket that can launch microsatellites into orbit. (NHK)

Jan 09
Japan has a rapidly increasingly number of syphilis patients, including among young women, prompting the health ministry to launch a special research team to find out ways to stop the spread of the sexually transmitted infection. (Kyodo)

Jan 07
On Oct 25, former actress Maya Takagi was arrested on a charge of possession of marijuana. The self-described “naturalist” took up residence on Ishigaki island five years ago. Also arrested was Takagi’s male companion, Shigenari Moriyama, who had been actively promoting the use of the weed, praising its effectiveness for anti-aging. (Japan Today)

Jan 05
A pair of earthquakes with a preliminary magnitude of 5.3 and 5.8 struck Fukushima and Ibaraki prefectures in eastern Japan early Thursday, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. No tsunami warning was issued. (Japan Today)

Jan 05
The average temperature in Japan in 2016 was the highest since the start of such data in 1898, surpassing the previous record, set in 1990, the Japan Meteorological Agency said Wednesday. (Jiji)

Jan 03
Japan is considering expanding the scope of mandatory labeling of ingredients containing genetically modified crops from the current 33 food items, according to Consumer Affairs Agency sources. (Kyodo)