SOCIETY – 8

Dec 25
French police are trying to locate a foreign student who they believe met a Japanese woman shortly before she went missing 3 weeks ago in the eastern city of Besancon. (NHK)

Dec 25
The government of Minato Ward, Tokyo, plans to allow its residents to take their pets to evacuation shelters in the event of natural disasters, sources said. (the-japan-news.com)

Dec 24
Visitors to Hiraoka Jinja Shrine in Higashi-Osaka, Osaka Prefecture, joined a laughing ceremony on Friday to welcome a more joyous new year. (newsonjapan.com)

Dec 24
Two people, including a 41-year-old member of the popular Japanese boy band Exile, were severely injured in an auto accident near Hakodate, Hokkaido, shortly after midnight Friday, police said. (Japan Times)

Dec 24
Residents of the city of Itoigawa on the Sea of Japan coast say a fire there spread extensively due to strong winds scattering sparks and embers in an overcrowded area. (NHK)

Dec 24
SMAP has turned down a request from NHK to appear on the public broadcaster’s famous year-ending music program as they opt for their signature variety show aired by a commercial broadcaster for their final appearance before breakup, their agent said Friday. (Kyodo)

Dec 24
Fifteen diners suffered a parasitic disease after eating bear roast at an Italian restaurant in Mito City, the first such case in 35 years, prefectural officials said on Friday. (tokyoreporter.com)

Dec 24
A 68-year-old woman was found dead in the bathtub in her apartment in Hamura, Tokyo, on Thursday night, police said Friday. The woman’s son, who is in his 40s, was found unconscious beside the bathtub after apparently having stabbed his mother and then himself in a suspected murder-suicide attempt. (Japan Today)

Dec 23
Japanese Emperor Akihito turned 83 on Friday. At a press conference held prior to the birthday, he expressed his gratitude for national discussions on his possible abdication. (Jiji)

Dec 22
Caroline Kennedy’s holiday cheer is going viral in the land of the rising sun. (stripes.com)