1) Police increasingly suspect that the killing of two patients at a hospital in Yokohama may have been conducted by a person connected with the hospital and with some medical knowledge, investigative sources said Thursday.
The person may also have randomly sought to tamper with intravenous drips because some 10 unused drip bags were found with small holes, in a possible sign someone tried to inject into them surfactant compound, which police believe was used to kill the two patients.
2) The Japanese government approved Friday a proposed contract with a joint venture to build Tokyo’s new National Stadium, the main venue for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics in the capital, at a construction cost of 149 billion yen ($1.47 billion).
3) Spending among Japanese households tumbled last month and consumer prices fell again, data showed Friday, after the Bank of Japan announced it was overhauling a faltering bid to conquer deflation.
The disappointing data marked the latest red flag for the world’s number three economy.
4) The Tokyo District Court on Thursday ordered the effective head of the Kyokuto-kai crime syndicate to pay damages over extortion by members of an affiliated gang.
The court ordered Keika So, the 88-year-old former Kyokuto-kai chairman, and other gang members, to pay about 200 million yen in damages to 27 men and women who had filed suit.
5) Democratic Party leader Renho slammed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic and social policies Wednesday in her first opportunity as leader to directly go up against the premier in a question-and-answer session in the House of Councillors.
Renho, who was elected to lead the main opposition party on Sept 15, took aim at a policy speech Abe gave on Monday to open an extraordinary Diet session set to run through Nov 30. She alleged that the “Abenomics” economic and fiscal policy package has failed to live up to its goal of ending Japan’s long-term deflationary trend.
6) “Salary thieves!” “Incompetents!”
The old are intolerable. They slow things down, screw things up, deck themselves in impressive titles, draw bloated salaries – and for what? For keeping everybody else – the energetic, quick-witted, well-adapted, competent, idea-generating young – down?
7) In the quest for globalization, language remains top priority — especially in the medical field. Because non-Japanese have represented a very small percentage of patients in the country’s hospitals, there is a drought in medical support and assistance for non-speakers of Japanese. As the number of non-Japanese residing in and visiting Japan rises, there is an increasing need for multilingual support to make medicine more accessible to the foreign community.
To rectify the situation, Mayumi Sawada founded mediPhone, a medical interpreting service that aims to create a world in which medicine and healthcare is accessible to all.
8) Demonstration is said to be the most successful form of marketing. Taichi Yamaguchi, Corporate Planning Division General Manager for TBM Co Ltd, puts his business card on the table, pours some water on it, then tries to tear it but can’t. The card is made of LIMEX, an innovative material manufactured from limestone that can be used to make “paper” and “plastic.”
The advantages of LIMEX are that it does not cause deforestation and saves on water and oil resources. Furthermore, limestone supplies are abundant in many countries, including Japan.
9) Donald Trump abruptly resurrected Bill Clinton’s impeachment on Thursday, adding the former president’s infidelities to the already-rancorous 2016 campaign. Trump warned voters in battleground New Hampshire that a Hillary Clinton victory would bring her husband’s sex scandal back to the White House.
It was Trump’s latest effort to bounce back from Monday night’s debate performance, which has been widely panned as lackluster.
10) Will the day come, three years from now, when “unagi” (eels) vanish from the dinner table? It appears that the EU is backing a moratorium on eel harvesting and if it passes, an expert tells Yukan Fuji (Sept 27), then three years from now, trade in illegally caught or transported eel fry used for fish farming (aquaculture) will be halted.
1) The Tokyo Prefecture government says that a slight amount of lead was found in water that has accumulated below the site of a proposed new food market. It would replace the aging Tsukuji market.
The results of the analysis of water that was collected on September 14th was made public on Friday.
They show that the amount of lead in the water is about one tenth the level permitted by environmental standards.
2) Japan’s defense minister has asked the United States to prevent a recurrence after a fighter jet crashed off Okinawa Prefecture.
Tomomi Inada told reporters on Friday that the ministry has received no reports that the crash damaged ships or other property.
The Marine Harrier jet crashed on Thursday in waters about 150 kilometers off Point Hedo. The pilot was rescued.
3) The mayor of Tsuruga City said on Wednesday the government’s decision to comprehensively review the Monju program is deeply regrettable. The reactor is located in the city.
Takanobu Fuchikami said when he met government officials on Tuesday to ask them to keep the program alive, they told him that they’d decided nothing and that they will consider a broad range of options. He added they hold him in contempt.
Fuchikami also said the officials indicated that they will respect the opinions of host communities.
4) Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pledged more than 1.1 billion dollars in aid to Syria, Iraq and neighboring countries.
Abe announced the plan at a high-level UN Security Council meeting on Syria in New York on Wednesday.
He said the money will go toward food, water and vaccines, and promoting education and vocational training. He said Japan will work with international aid organizations to put the programs in place.
5) The US Federal Bureau of Investigation has begun investigating the theft of data from US IT giant Yahoo.
The company announced on Thursday that hackers had stolen information for at least 500 million user accounts in late 2014. Experts say it’s the biggest security breach of the Internet age.
The FBI said in a statement that it takes this type of security breach very seriously and will determine how it occurred and who is responsible.
6) SMAP, one of Japan’s most popular and longest-lived pop groups, will release a greatest hits album on Dec 21—10 days before its breakup.
The three-CD boxed album, called “SMAP 25 YEARS,” will consist of around 50 songs chosen by fans through online voting, out of about 400 the group has released since its CD debut in 1991, Victor Entertainment Corp said Wednesday.
7) The FBI is gathering information about an incident involving actor Brad Pitt and his family aboard a private flight last week, the agency confirmed Thursday.
Spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said the FBI is still evaluating whether to open an investigation into allegations Pitt was abusive during the flight toward one of his six children with actress Angelina Jolie Pitt, as several media outlets have reported.
1) Game geeks with a heart for digital romance have something to celebrate as sensual, soft-spoken cyber women are blurring the line between reality and fantasy at the Tokyo Game Show.
Virtual reality took center stage at the annual exhibition Thursday, with Sony Interactive Entertainment showcasing PlayStationVR (PSVR), a much-anticipated head-mounted display debuting next month.
Dozens of software titles for the device are in the pipeline, allowing players to fly like an eagle, drive sports cars in high-speed races, and explore castles.
Gamers can also indulge in fantasy by flirting with virtual females thanks to increasingly realistic VR technology.
2) A Japanese court on Friday ruled against Okinawa Gov Takeshi Onaga’s move to block the relocation of a key U.S. air base within the island prefecture, making the first judicial judgment on the high-profile dispute between Tokyo and Okinawa that is certain to be appealed by the prefectural government.
The Naha branch of the Fukuoka High Court determined that it was “illegal” for Onaga last October to revoke his predecessor’s approval for landfill work required for the controversial plan to move the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma from a crowded residential area to the less populated Henoko coastal area of Nago.
3) The Tokyo Taxation Bureau has imposed about 12 billion yen in additional tax on a Japan subsidiary of Apple Inc in connection with iTunes Store software sales profits, sources familiar with the matter said Friday.
The tax authority says iTunes K.K., located in Tokyo’s Minato Ward, should have paid taxes on some 60 billion yen in software sales profits it transferred over two years to 2014 to an Apple subsidiary in Ireland that holds the software copyright, they said.
4) The number of child abuse cases Japanese police reported to child consultation centers between January and June rose to a record 24,511, with psychological abuse covering nearly 70% of the cases, police data showed Thursday.
The abuse of minors aged below 18 was up 42.3% from the same period last year, exceeding 20,000 for the first time since half-yearly comparable data became available in 2011, according to the National Police Agency.
5) Tokyo Gov Yuriko Koike announced on Wednesday a new plan to reduce overtime work, stating that Tokyo would be the frontier to enhanced working conditions.
Koike called for the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (“Tocho”) staff to aim for zero overtime work, which she said was a long existing issue in Japanese society that leads to not only health problems but also decreased time for workers to to spend with their families, Fuji TV reported.
The governor plans to make 8 p.m. the latest anyone should be working, and in so doing, will be appointing a “Tocho Overtime Prevention Team” in each department and organizing “Overtime Reduction Marathons” where lights will be turned off in order to encourage staff to go home. She said strict monitoring will take place for staff who leave after 8 p.m.
6) The Democratic Party selected acting leader Renho as its new chief Thursday, making the 48-year-old third-term member of the House of Councillors the first woman to head Japan’s main opposition party.
After easily defeating her competitors, the former administrative reform minister pledged to turn around the largest opposition party, which is doing poorly in opinion polls.
Renho edged out former Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara and lower house lawmaker Yuichiro Tamaki despite fumbling questions over her dual nationality toward the end of the two-week leadership race.
7) In Japan, it’s called “shinrin-yoku,” which translates as forest bathing. It’s the practice of immersing yourself in nature to improve your well-being, and interest in the concept is growing, with spas, resorts, retreat centers, gardens and parks offering guided “forest bathing” experiences.
These programs take participants into the woods for a slow, mindful walk to contemplate nature with all the senses. It’s not a hike, because you don’t go far or fast. And while the term forest bathing may lend itself to jokes about nude hot springs, rest assured: You don’t take off your clothes.
8) What do you think of the quality of school education in Japan? If you have a child at school, are you happy with that school?
9) Japan will step up its activity in the contested South China Sea through joint training patrols with the United States and bilateral and multilateral exercises with regional navies, Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada said on Thursday.
10) Japan’s public spending on education ranked the second lowest among 33 comparable member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, an OECD report for 2013 showed Thursday.
Japan narrowly avoided the last place which it saw in 2012 as the ratio of its educational expenditure to gross domestic product stood at 3.2%, a tad higher than Hungary’s 3.1%.
The average ratio of such public spending-to-GDP among OECD countries was 4.5%, with Norway leading the list at 6.2%, followed by Denmark at 6.1% and Belgium, Finland and Iceland tying at 5.6%.
Japan’s total public and private funding on education per child was, however, found to be higher than the OECD average given higher costs on universities and kindergartens in Japan.
コナンを見ていたら「海と携帯と私」という暗号があって、「See Tel I」のアナグラムを入れ替えると「あいしてる」だって。小学生が考えた暗号設定だそうだけど、クスとしてしまった。 ただし本日のタイトルは意味なしである。
1) Japan’s nuclear watchdog has decided to make operators of nuclear power plants and other nuclear facilities check the background of their workers to prevent terror attacks.
Following the recommendation of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Nuclear Regulation Authority will introduce the new regulation in late September, although the actual implementation is expected to be from next year or later due to necessary procedures, such a revision of the rules regarding the handling of nuclear materials.
2) Several hundred American service personnel who say they became sick from radiation after participating in relief operations for the 2011 tsunami that set off the Fukushima nuclear disaster are now getting high-profile support in Japan.
Junichiro Koizumi, prime minister from 2001 to 2006, told reporters Wednesday he has set up a special fund to collect private donations for the former service members, with the goal of collecting $1 million (100 million yen) by the end of next March, mainly to help with medical bills.
3) An estimated 541,000 people between the ages of 15 and 39 in Japan avoid social contact and shut themselves in their homes, according to a government survey.
The figure compares with the previous Cabinet Office survey in 2010 that showed an estimated 696,000 such people—known as “hikikomori”—across the country. Despite the decline, the latest survey does not give an overall picture of the full extent of the phenomenon as it did not include those aged 40 or older.
But the survey does highlight a trend in which people who have withdrawn from society have done so for longer periods, as those who have shut themselves in their homes for at least seven years accounted for about 35 percent of the total.
4) Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged 45 billion yen ($440 million) on Wednesday to help Asian countries strengthen counter-terrorism measures, a government spokesman said, as the region sees a surge in large-scale attacks.
Police blamed a bombing last week in Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s home town that killed 14 people on rebels linked to Islamic State, while 22 people were killed in a July attack on a cafe in the Bangladeshi capital.
“As our first ever support for anti-terrorism and anti-extremism steps in Asia, we will carry out an aid program worth 45 billion yen for the next three years,” Japanese Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Koichi Hagiuda quoted Abe telling a meeting of leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) grouping.
5) A British MP slammed Air China for alleged “racist” travel advice offered to clients visiting London.
The airline’s “Wings of China” magazine reportedly provides safety advice to travellers based on the race and nationality of local residents.
“London is generally a safe place to travel, however precautions are needed when entering areas mainly populated by Indians, Pakistanis and black people,” the magazine says, according to a photograph published by CNBC.
“We advise tourists not to go out alone at night, and females always to be accompanied by another person when travelling,” the magazine adds.
6) “Pokemon Go will be the end of Japan!” screams the headline in Jitsuwa Bunka Tabuu (October). Okay, so Nintendo’s share prices briefly shot up by 80% and the 2,900 McDonald’s outlets where the cute characters could be hunted reported their year-on-year revenues up by 26.6%. Big deal.
Soon after the game’s July 22 release in Japan, throngs of people staring at their smartphones could be seen flocking to such parks as Shinjuku Gyoen and Setagaya Koen in Tokyo and Tsuruma Koen in Nagoya’s Showa Ward, to hunt “rare” Pokemon.
It goes without saying that Pokemon Go requires players to engage in the act of so-called “aruki sumaho” (walking while looking at or operating a smartphone). It’s dangerous. In a survey of actual users undertaken by Tsukuba University, 42% of mothers accompanying small children said they had the experience of bumping into someone while texting, and 47% of people over age 70 said they had been jostled by someone using a phone. The same experience was stated by 50% of wheelchair-bound individuals questioned in the survey.
7) Scientific techniques that can wipe out invasive species or alter mosquitoes’ ability to carry disease are pushing ahead, raising concerns about the ethics of permanently changing the natural world, experts say.
This fast-moving field of science—which involves changing the biology of creatures by interfering with their DNA—is increasingly being debated not only for human health purposes, but also in conservation circles.
Perhaps the most controversial type of research is known as a “gene drive,” which ensures that a certain trait is passed down from parent to offspring. It eventually leads to genetic changes throughout the entire species.
8) “If people aren’t marrying and aren’t dating, they must be doing something to satisfy their need for intimacy, whether they are opting for sexual and romantic alternatives such as prostitutes, romantic video games, celebrity obsessions, pornography or pets.”
Masahiro Yamada, a sociologist at Chuo University who coined the term “parasite single,” which refers to people who live with and depend on their parents well into adulthood. (The Economist)
9) A half-Indian beauty queen with an elephant trainer’s license was crowned Miss Japan on Monday, striking a fresh blow for racial equality.
Priyanka Yoshikawa’s tearful victory comes a year after Ariana Miyamoto faced an ugly backlash for becoming the first mixed-race woman to represent Japan.
Social media lit up after Miyamoto’s trail-blazing triumph as critics complained that Miss Universe Japan should instead have been won by a “pure” Japanese rather than a “haafu”—the Japanese for “half”, a word used to describe mixed race.
10) The director of a documentary film introducing the lives and voices of Japanese people who support whaling said Monday she has started a campaign on an international crowd-funding site so she can screen her film in the United States.
The 107-minute movie is touted as a “counter” documentary to the Oscar-winning U.S. film “The Cove,” which threw the Japanese whaling town of Taiji into the international spotlight with bloody scenes of its annual dolphin hunt.
Keiko Yagi, the director of “BEHIND THE COVE – The Quiet Japanese Speak Out!” said she believes it is important to provide the American public with “a chance to hear the other side of the debate on the whaling issue.”
1) The Japanese government plans to lower the age of adulthood under the Civil Code from 20 to 18 by submitting a reform bill to the Diet possibly next year, government sources said Thursday.
The planned amendment would change the entitlements of an adult under the law for the first time since it was enacted in the late 19th century, enabling 18- and 19-year-olds to sign contracts and get married without the consent of their parents and other statutory agents.
2) An approach to seek the initial return of two of four disputed islands which are administered by Russia but claimed by Japan has re-emerged in the Japanese government to advance talks over the decades-old territorial row, bilateral diplomatic sources said Thursday.
The move comes on the eve of planned talks between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of a two-day economic forum through Saturday in the Russian Far East port city of Vladivostok.
3) Japan’s defense ministry requested a record budget on Wednesday, with funds for an anti-ship missile system to defend islands at the center of a territorial dispute with China.
Tokyo is determined to defend the uninhabited islets in the East China Sea—administered by Japan as the Senkakus but claimed by China as the Diaoyus—as Beijing steps up its claim.
4) About 1,600 people are stranded and 17 are unaccounted for in the northeastern prefecture of Iwate Thursday after Typhoon Lionrock battered the area Tuesday.
Local authorities said that some 1,600 people in eight municipalities are stranded. The municipalities include the town of Iwaizumi, where nine bodies were found in a nursing home, with town officials saying they have lost contact with 17 residents, mostly elderly people.
Authorities are unable to approach the affected areas by road due to flooding and damage, they said, adding that members of the Self-Defense Forces and police are trying to assess the situation and mount a rescue operation, according to the prefectural government.
5) A health ministry panel unveiled a report Wednesday calling for a 100% ban on smoking in indoor public spaces including restaurants.
In the report, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare warned that passive smoking definitely increases the risk of lung cancer.
The move comes as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government has expressed eagerness to combat passive smoking in Japan ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics and Paralympics.
6) FamilyMart Co Ltd and UNY Group Holdings Co Ltd merged on Thursday, creating Japan’s second-largest convenience store chain.
FamilyMart, Japan’s No. 3 convenience store chain, and UNY, the owner of fourth-ranked Circle K Sunkus, agreed last October on a merger which will see around 6,250 Circle K Sunkus stores renamed as FamilyMart, Sankei Shimbun reported.
The merged company, called FamilyMart Uny, will operate about 17,000 convenience stores in Japan. 7-Eleven Japan is the industry leader with 18,572 stores. Lawson is third with 12,995 stores in Japan.
7) Japanese household spending fell less than expected in July and the jobless rate hit a two-decade low, offering some hope for policy makers battling to pull the world’s third-largest economy out of stagnation, data by the Internal Affairs Ministry showed on Tuesday.
8) When Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced his new cabinet in August, it was again a primarily male affair. At a time when Abe has been discussing the empowerment of women, just three of the 19 ministers are female.
For Japan to gain a bigger voice in politics, boardrooms and other areas of society, women are going to have to do a lot of the work. In human resources, women from Japan and overseas are beginning to assert themselves in the business world, bringing new and innovative ideas to corporate Japan.
1) Actor Yuta Takahata, 22, also famous for being the son of popular actress Atsuko Takahata, has been arrested for allegedly raping and assaulting a woman in her 40s in Maebashi, Gunma Prefecture.
According to police, the incident occurred at around 2 a.m. on Tuesday at a business hotel, where Takahata was staying for the filming of his latest movie “Ao no Kaeri michi.”
Police said Takahata assaulted the victim, an employee at the hotel, after returning from a night out drinking with colleagues.
2) A man playing the smartphone game Pokemon Go while driving hit 2 people in western Japan, leaving one dead and the other seriously injured.
The accident took place in Tokushima City on Tuesday evening. The 39-year-old man driving a compact car hit 2 women crossing a street.
The 72-year-old woman died. The 60-year-old woman was seriously injured.
The police arrested the driver on the spot.
The police say the man told them that he was playing Pokemon Go
3) Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told African leaders on Saturday that his country will commit $30 billion in public and private support for infrastructure development, education and healthcare expansion in the continent.
Resource-poor Japan has long been interested in tapping Africa’s vast natural resources, even more so since dependence on oil and natural gas imports jumped after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster shut almost all of Japan’s nuclear reactors.
4) Russia has invited Japan to join a humanitarian mission in civil war-hit Aleppo in northern Syria, the Russian Defense Ministry said Friday.
Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov invited Japanese participation during a meeting with Japanese Ambassador to Russia Toyohisa Kozuki on Thursday, the ministry said.
In the meeting, Antonov showed readiness to deepen military cooperation between Japan and Russia through joint exercises.
5) Three years of so-called Abenomics, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s bold stimulus program, has failed to dislodge a deflationary mindset among businesses and consumers.
As the world’s third-largest economy falters again – with a stronger yen gnawing at overseas profits and domestic consumption sapping companies’ confidence to invest or sufficiently raise wages – firms that increased their prices in the hope of a sustained recovery are rethinking their strategy.
Many consumers, with little extra to go around, are opting for cheaper products – welcome news for the discount retailers who flourished during two decades of economic stagnation.
6) While swimming at the wave-generating “Cobalt Beach,” one of the most popular pools at the Tokyo Summerland complex in Akiruno City on August 21, nine women between the ages of 18 to 24 were slashed on their buttocks or torsos by a person or persons unknown. The Tokyo Metropolitan Police have been poring over security camera recordings, but have yet to collar a suspect.
As a result, Yukan Fuji (Aug 26) reports that other swimming pools in the greater Tokyo area are taking extra security precautions over the upcoming weekend.
7) Burkinis banned on dozens of beaches, no veils in schools, no niqabs in the neighbourhood: in secular France, the law imposes restrictions on anything connected religious affiliation.
In 2010, France became the first country in Europe to ban the full-veil with a law banning “the covering of the face in public spaces” which was adopted in October 2010 and applied in April a year later.
8) Officials in several states are scrambling to deal with a series of heroin overdose outbreaks affecting dozens of people and involving at least six deaths.
The spikes in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia over the past few days have seen rescue workers rushing from scene to scene to provide overdose antidote drugs.
While it’s unclear if one dealer or batch is responsible for the multistate outbreak, the spikes reflect the potency of heroin flooding the Midwest.
In Cincinnati, police on Friday asked for the public’s help in identifying the source of the heroin behind an estimated 78 overdoses in two days.