SOCIETY – 5

Dec 31
A fire broke out in a four-story building along the busy Center-gai shopping street in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward on Sunday afternoon amid reports that people were trapped inside. (Japan Times)

Dec 29
An unemployed 46-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after he stabbed his 74-year-old mother in the back at their apartment in Kawasaki, Kanazawa Prefecture. (Japan Today)

Dec 29
A pine tree that survived the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in eastern Japan and became a symbol of hope for local residents has been cut down. (NHK)

Dec 29
The number of death row inmates in Japan as of Dec. 31 is expected to stand at 123, having remained above 100 since 2007, Justice Ministry officials said Thursday. (Japan Times)

Dec 29
A 44-year-old male musician from Canada has been sent to prosecutors for attempting to smuggle nearly 10 kilograms of stimulant drugs through Narita International Airport earlier this month, reports Nikkan Sports. (tokyoreporter.com)

Dec 28
Around 9 a.m. on a certain day, reporters belonging to the press club attached to the Ministry of Justice were informed that at 11 a.m. the same morning, the justice minister would hold an unscheduled press conference. (Japan Today)

Dec 27
The Mito District Court on Tuesday handed down a prison term to a 39-year-old man over a crossbow attack of a male cyclist in Toride City two years ago, reports the Yomiuri Shimbun (tokyoreporter.com)

Dec 27
About 10 outdoor surveillance cameras were installed at an Osaka home where a 33-year-old woman was found dead last week after being confined by her parents for around 15 years allegedly due to mental illness, investigative sources said Wednesday. (Japan Today)

Dec 27
Tokyo Metropolitan Police are searching for a man who fled a groping accusation by jumping onto rail tracks at a station in Itabashi Ward on Monday, reports TV Asahi (tokyoreporter.com)

Dec 27
Japan’s Supreme Court has upheld a lower court verdict of acquittal for a former member of the Aum Shinrikyo cult. (NHK)