Sept 19th, 2019


1)   A Tokyo court will hand down a verdict later this week on whether three Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) executives are liable for the 2011 Fukushima disaster, the only criminal case to arise out of the world’s worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl in 1986.

2)   A court on Tuesday ordered a hospital operator in northern Japan to pay 1.65 million yen damages to a man, after it refused to employ him last year for failing to report his HIV infection.

3)   Japanese companies shipped $223,000 worth of beer to South Korea in August, figures from the Korea Trade Statistics Promotion Institute showed — down 97% from $7.57 million last year.

4)   Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Tuesday Japan’s existing Air Self-Defense Force may “evolve into the Air and Space SDF” in the future as he stressed the need to strengthen the country’s defense capabilities in outer space.

5)   U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday said it looked like Iran was behind attacks on oil plants in Saudi Arabia at the weekend that raised fears of a fresh Middle East conflict, but added that he did not want war with anyone.

6)    A Georgia homeowner shot dead three masked teenagers in a possible “stand your ground” case, police say.

The teenagers allegedly tried to rob three people in the front yard of a home in Conyers and fired a handgun, prompting the resident to return fire.

7)   The drone attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil installations are an attack on the “whole world” and its economy, according to the newly appointed Saudi ambassador to London.

8)   A popular giant panda has died unexpectedly in a Thai zoo – prompting China to send experts to investigate. Chuang Chuang had been at the Chiang Mai zoo on loan from China since 2003.

9)   A virus research center in Russia — one of two places in the world that houses the smallpox virus — exploded on Monday, officials said.

10)   French police began clearing around 1,000 migrants from a gymnasium near the northern port of Dunkirk on Tuesday after a court ruled it was a health and security hazard.


August 9th, 2019


1)   U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday dismissed concerns over a protracted trade war with China despite a warning from Beijing that Washington’s decision to label it a currency manipulator would lead to chaos in financial markets.

2)   A UN panel on climate change has warned that global warming could undermine the stability of food supplies and lead to a surge in food prices.

3)   U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents executed search warrants at food processing plants across Mississippi on Wednesday, resulting in the arrest of 680 people.

4)   Hundreds of people have been detained and communications cut off in the India-controlled part of Kashmir. The move follows New Delhi’s decision to strip the region of its special status that granted it a high degree of autonomy for decades.

5)   The body of a missing British scientist has been found in a ravine on the Greek island of Ikaria two days after she disappeared, Greek police said on Wednesday.

6)   Syrian government forces seized ground from insurgents in northwestern Syria on Thursday, sources on both sides said, building on advances since the military declared an end to a brief ceasefire earlier this week.

7)   Russian authorities on Thursday froze a slew of bank accounts linked to jailed opposition politician Alexei Navalny as part of a money laundering investigation that his allies say is a attempt to cripple his political movement.

8)   Russian authorities on Thursday froze a slew of bank accounts linked to jailed opposition politician Alexei Navalny as part of a money laundering investigation.

9)   Britain will relax its immigration rules to attract more top scientists after Brexit by seeking to fast-track visas, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday.

10)   U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents executed search warrants at food processing plants across Mississippi on Wednesday, resulting in the arrest of 680 people.

11)   Influencers on Ugandan social media and others with large, commercialized online followings must henceforth register their activities for monitoring by the state, the country’s communications regulator said on Thursday.

August 3rd, 2019


1)   Japan hanged two death-row inmates Friday morning, the Justice Ministry said, in the country’s first executions this year.

2)   The U.S. has recorded nearly 20 mass killings so far this year, the majority of them domestic violence attacks that receive scant national attention compared to high-profile public shootings in recent years at schools, churches and concerts.

3)   Scientists in Japan will begin trying to grow human organs in animals after receiving government permission for the first study of its kind in the country.

The cutting-edge — but controversial — research involves implanting modified animal embryos with human “induced pluripotent stem” (iPS) cells that can be coaxed into forming the building blocks of any part of the body.

4)   The operator of 7-Eleven convenience stores in Japan said Thursday it will end its mobile payment service 7pay in late September, only three months after its launch, after hundreds of customers suffered as a result of unauthorized access to their accounts.

5)   US President Donald Trump says the US is going to impose an additional tariff of 10 percent on 300 billion dollars’ worth of Chinese products, starting on September 1st. Almost all imports from China would be subject to additional tariffs if the measure goes into effect.

6)   Friday’s expiration of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty is raising concerns about the possibility of a new arms race, as the pact has led the momentum for nuclear disarmament for more than 30 years.

On February 2, the United States notified Russia that it would pull out of the treaty that bans the production, possession and test-firing of ground-based ballistic and cruise missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers. Russia responded that it would also exit the INF.

7)   Poland’s Catholic Church has doubled down on the anti-gay rhetoric that has become the nationalist ruling party’s dominant theme in recent weeks.

8)   U.S. President Donald Trump has described protests in Hong Kong as “riots” that China will have to deal with itself, signaling a hands-off approach to the biggest political crisis gripping the former British colony in decades.

9)   People connected to the government of Saudi Arabia have run a network of fake accounts and pages on Facebook Inc <FB.O> to promote state propaganda and attack regional rivals, the social media giant said on Thursday.

10)   Japan will not send warships to join a U.S.-led maritime force to guard oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz fearing a military response from Iran,

July 27th, 2019


1)   Prosecutors on Friday indicted a 56-year-old man on trespassing and other charges over an incident in April in which knives were found on Prince Hisahito’s classroom desk at a Tokyo junior high school.

2)      As ties between Japan and South Korea have been spiraling downward, a group of 75 citizens worried about the situation criticized the Japanese government Friday for being “hostile and counterproductive” and treating South Korea “almost like an enemy.”

3)   Australia said Friday it would establish the world’s first dedicated office to police Facebook Inc and Google as part of reforms designed to rein in the U.S. technology giants, potentially setting a precedent for global lawmakers.

4)   U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday he was not upset by North Korea’s launching of short-range ballistic missiles earlier this week. “We’ll see what happens, but they are short-range missiles and many people have those missiles … very standard missiles,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

5)   Mass tourism took off after World War Two. Last year there were 1.4 billion tourist arrivals, up from 25 million in 1950, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, with Europe absorbing half of them.

The nation generating the most tourists is China – 143 million trips abroad in 2017, while France and Spain receive the most visits – more than 80 million a year.

6)   A group of top lawyers in Japan called on the government and parliament on Thursday to legalize same-sex marriage by revising relevant laws.

7)   Fifty-two railway companies and several commercial facilities across Japan on Monday began a campaign to promote safety while riding escalators. The initiative, coined “Escalator Riding Reform,” is requesting people to stand still in two lines on escalators in order to prevent accidents and be mindful of the elderly.

8)   he U.S. federal government will resume its use of capital punishment after a 16-year hiatus and have set execution dates for five convicted murderers, U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr announced Thursday. Acting on President Donald Trump’s call for tougher penalties on violent crimes

9)   Japanese weather officials say a tropical storm may bring heavy rain to Pacific coastal areas of Japan from Saturday through Sunday. They are warning people to be on the alert for possible landslides and floods.

10)   Summer forecasts of 43.3 degrees in Tokyo and scores of daily deaths from heatstroke will become the norm in 2100 unless sufficient countermeasures against global warming are taken, according to the Environment Ministry.

To drive home the dangers of climate change, the ministry released videos of mock weather forecasts for August and February 2100 based on simulations conducted by the Japan Meteorological Agency’s Meteorological Research Institute.

11)   In an awkward moment for Japan Broadcasting Corp. (NHK), the public broadcaster announced that a political party, whose campaign rally cry was “destroy NHK,” had won a seat in the Upper House.

“NHK Kara Kokumin wo Mamoru To,” or the party to protect the public from NHK, said almost nothing about constitutional revision, the planned hike in the consumption tax rate in October, or what to do about the pension system during campaigning for the July 21 Upper House election.

Its leader and its candidates instead shouted anti-NHK slogans at their rallies.

12)    Guatemala has signed a migration agreement with the United States that would apply to citizens from Honduras and El Salvador, the Guatemalan government said in a statement on Friday.

13)   Germany is ready to take part in a British plan for a European-led naval mission to ensure safe shipping through the Strait of Hormuz, media group RND reported, citing participants in a meeting of parliament’s foreign relations committee.

14)   The Wall Street Journal said on Sunday that China had reached a secret deal with Cambodia this year to let it place forces at Ream. The report cited U.S. and allied officials.

Cambodia denied any such agreement and said hosting foreign forces would be against Cambodia’s constitution.

“You journalists. Open your eyes and noses. Today we show you everything,” said defense ministry spokesman Chhum Socheat. “We can’t hide anything … because there are satellites.”

June 29th, 2019


1)  A Japanese court ordered the government on Friday to pay 370 million yen in damages to the relatives of former leprosy patients over a segregation policy that severed family ties and caused long-lasting prejudice.

2)   Leaders from the Group of 20 major economies wrapped up the first day of their summit in Osaka on Friday with a kyogen traditional theater performance and local cuisine featuring wagyu beef and deep fried anglerfish.

3)   More than 2,000 doctors at 50 university hospitals in Japan were found to have worked without pay, with many lacking an employment contract or compensation insurance, the education ministry said Friday based on a recent survey.

4)   Self-driving technology startup Monet Technologies Inc said Friday five major Japanese automakers have signed a contract to invest in the joint venture formed earlier this year by Toyota Motor Corp and SoftBank Corp.

5)   Companies with female directors outperform those with only men at the top, according to a study of more than 1,000 Asian firms released on Thursday, as calls grow for more diversity in the region’s boardrooms.

6)   Tokyo Electric Power Co. announced May 22 it was backtracking on plans to use foreign workers at its crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant after the health ministry urged extreme caution. The utility said it will not hire foreign workers at the plant “in the immediate future” as it will need “much more time to put a system in place to ensure their safety.”

7)   Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso and health minister Takumi Nemoto have chaired a meeting with their G20 counterparts to discuss global health issues. The agenda included ways to achieve universal health coverage, or UHC — which would allow anyone in the world to receive medical and health services without worrying about the costs.

8)   Trump said, “If Japan is attacked, we will fight World War Three. We will go in and protect them with our lives. But if we are attacked, Japan doesn’t have to help us at all. They can watch on a Sony television the attack.”

9)  Japanese convenience store chain Familymart is getting set to launch its own smartphone payment system. From July 1, customers will be able to pay for goods using an app.

10)   France registered its highest temperature since records began on Friday as the death toll rose from a heatwave suffocating much of Europe.

11)   The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Friday reported a large soybean sale to China, an apparent goodwill gesture a day before the first meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping in seven months.

12)   Samson Ling may have a British passport, but it offers him no route out of Hong Kong to a life in London as protests grow against an extradition bill that many see as an example of growing Chinese influence in the financial hub.

13)    A quadriplegic French patient, who has been in a vegetative state for more than a decade, should be allowed to die, France’s top court ruled on Friday.



June 22nd, 2019


1)   Dementia patients reported missing in 2018 hit record 17,000′

2)   Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe faced stiff opposition criticism on Wednesday after a report warned that many retirees won’t be able to live on pensions alone, a topic likely to become an issue in an election for the Diet’s upper house.

3)   South Korea said on Wednesday it had proposed a joint fund with Japan to compensate South Koreans forced to work by Japanese companies during World War Two, but Japan rejected the idea out of hand.

4)   Police in Koshigaya, Saitama Prefecture, said Friday they have arrested a 53-year-old unemployed man for not reporting the death of his 86-year-old father so that he could keep collecting the dead man’s pension.

5)   Trump launches re-election campaign, presenting himself as outsider and victim.

6)   US President Donald Trump has acknowledged he approved military airstrikes on Iran, but pulled back just minutes before they were to be carried out.

Trump said he asked his generals how many people might die in the operation. “And they came back and said ‘Sir, approximately 150.’ And I thought about it for a second. I said, ‘You know what? They shot down an unmanned drone … and here we are sitting with 150 dead people.’ … And I didn’t like it. I didn’t think it was proportionate.”

7)   The British science journal Nature has ranked a university in Japan’s southern prefecture of Okinawa in the top ten of institutions. 

The Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University was ranked tenth globally and number one in Japan.

The ranking is calculated based on the number of articles published in 2018 by an institution’s researchers in prestigious scientific journals.

8)    The Tokyo Metropolitan Government says it will use test sporting events starting next month to assess the effectiveness of its planned anti-heat measures for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.

9)   A government report says the number of fatal car accidents has fallen to less than one-third the figure of 30 years ago, but more elderly drivers are now involved in such accidents.

The report calls for developing car safety features to assist elderly drivers. 

10)   “Japan’s nightlife is boring.”

“There isn’t much to do after dark.”

These are the comments by some foreign travelers that have Japanese tourism officials worried. Now they plan to do something about it, and are trying to put a buzz into Japan’s nightlife and promote what’s available.

11)   An influx of foreign tourists has been giving a big boost to the Japanese economy.

A government white paper says the money spent by the visitors surpasses the value of exports of semi-conductors and other electronic parts.

Japan saw more than 31 million people arrive from overseas last year. That was the first time for the number to top 30 million.

12)   NATO aims to recognize space as a domain of warfare this year, four senior diplomats said, partly to show U.S. President Donald Trump that the alliance is relevant and adapting to new threats after he signed off on the creation of a U.S. Space Force.

13)   Flying objects over Kansas City on Thursday night sparked the interest of locals and had stumped people looking for answers. 

14)   Fourth of July fireworks will light up the skies next month. But next year, those displays could glow less brightly for towns and their local economies if the U.S. slaps more tariffs on Chinese imports.

As President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping prepare to meet at the Group of 20 summit next week in Japan to discuss the trade war between the two countries, one item looms in the balance: fireworks.

15)    Missouri health officials on Friday refused to renew the license of the state’s only abortion clinic, but the facility will remain open for now as a judge left in place an injunction blocking its closure.

16)   Madrid’s new rightwing city council has begun rolling back one of the flagship initiatives of the last mayor three days after taking office by in effect shutting down the Spanish capital’s low-emissions zone.

17)   Thousands of people in Hong Kong have surrounded police headquarters, calling for an extradition bill to be scrapped.


May 18th, 2019

1)   The US Commerce Department has put China’s Huawei Technologies and its affiliates on its so-called Entity List.

American firms are barred from doing business with companies on the Entity List without specific approval. The latest move follows a significant decision announced on Wednesday.

2)   A major Japanese convenience store operator says it will launch a new loyalty program this fall in a bid to tackle the industry-wide problem of food waste.

Seven-Eleven Japan says it will encourage customers to buy food that’s nearing its expiry time by rewarding them with points to redeem against other purchases.

3)   Twenty-two brands of sake from Fukushima Prefecture in northeastern Japan have won top prizes in an annual national sake contest. The figure is the highest in the country for a seventh straight year.

4)   The job market for new high school and university graduates in Japan remains solid.

The employment rate for this group was 97.6 percent as of April 1 — 0.4 points lower than last year. This is the second highest rate since the survey began in 1997.

5)   Nissan Motor is set to be the first Japanese automaker to release a car with autonomous lane-change technology for highways. It said on Thursday that the new Skyline model will debut later this year.

The firm says the car can automatically shift lanes when traveling on a predefined route, but only if the driver has both hands on the steering wheel.

6)   Japan’s Diet has enacted a law to severely restrict the use of drones over facilities of the US military and the Self-Defense Forces.

The legislation, which aims to prevent terror attacks using drones, was passed by a majority vote in the Upper House on Friday.

7)   Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has met the visiting top Iranian diplomat and expressed concern over growing tensions in the Persian Gulf.

8)   Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party has created a manual instructing its members how to avoid gaffes after several ministers were forced to resign over verbal blunders.

The manual cautions members about public speeches, saying words may be taken out of context by the media. It advises them to try to speak in short sentences.

9)   Japan’s government plans to set its first-ever targets for reducing the number of people in their 70s with dementia. The government says it aims to delay the onset of dementia in patients by one year over the next 10 years.

10)   Japan’s government has drawn up a plan to enable people to work up to the age of 70.

11)   Japanese researchers say they’ve proven that infection with a type of parasitic worm is effective to control weight gain. They say their discovery is the first of its kind in the world.

Researchers at Gunma University and the National Institute of Infectious Diseases put mice on a high-fat diet and infected some of them with a naturally-occurring type of gastrointestinal roundworm.

12)   A global federation of construction workers has asked the organizers of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games to improve labor conditions at the venue construction sites.

The report is based on interviews with workers at the New National Stadium and the athletes’ village. It says some people have had to work for 28 days in a row without a break. The report says some of the sites are poorly lit. 

13)   A court in Wakayama Prefecture began hearing arguments Friday over whether dolphin hunting violates animal cruelty laws. The plaintiffs are asking the district court to stop the permits from being issued.

14)   Prosecutors asked a court Thursday to sentence a woman to two years in prison as she pleaded guilty to complicity in her husband’s assaults on their 10-year-old daughter who died last January near Tokyo in a case that has attracted international attention.

Nagisa Kurihara, 32, was accused of failing to stop her husband Yuichiro, 41, from assaulting their daughter Mia and following his instructions not to feed her from around Jan. 22. 

15)   Man arrested for beating wife to death because she wouldn’t cook dinner for him

16)   A former economic adviser to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Thursday that an increase in sales tax planned for October should be shelved until the economy puts a decisive end to deflation, or it could trigger an economic crisis.

“Now is not the time for a sales tax hike,” Etsuro Honda, former Japanese ambassador to Switzerland who is close to Abe, told Reuters.

17)   Japan’s government is considering downgrading its assessment of the economy next week as the intensifying Sino-U.S. trade war takes a toll on exports and factory output

A downgrade in the crucial monthly report could fuel speculation that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe may delay once again a planned sales tax increase set for October.


May 3rd, 2019


1)   Police in Tokyo are investigating reports of drones seen flying Thursday night over the imperial palace, the Akasaka Estate, as well as near the Musashino.

2)   Over 82 percent of voters feel affection for newly enthroned Emperor Naruhito, while nearly 80 percent would support allowing females to ascend Japan’s imperial throne, a Kyodo News survey showed Thursday.

3)   The “Kenji to Shokei no gi” rite marking the emperor’s enthronement was staged as a state occasion financed by public funds, critics pointed to the possibility that it violated the Constitution banning the government from engaging in religious activities.

4)   Ahead of Constitution Day on May 3, a large majority of respondents to an Asahi Shimbun survey said they feel no momentum has developed for amending the nation’s Constitution, despite the efforts of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

When asked to what extent momentum had built up for amending the Constitution, a combined 72 percent said either “only somewhat” or “not at all.”

5)   According to Kyoto officials, 30 people, most of whom were foreign visitors, have been attacked by monkeys since February, with many being bitten or scratched.

6)   One woman who spoke to NHK said she had to take her son to a day-care facility because the nursery school he usually attends is closed for the holidays. She says paying the extra cost of about 90 dollars a day is tough.

And a survey by a private research firm of married women who work part-time found that more than 40 percent of respondents said they were not happy about the 10-day break.

7)   Japan’s chief cabinet secretary says the government will protect the interests of Japanese firms in connection with wartime labor suits in South Korea.

Yoshihide Suga made the comment on a TV program on Wednesday. His remark comes after South Korean plaintiffs started the process of selling off shares seized from two Japanese businesses.

8)   A 110-year-old woman in western Japan, who has already lived through four imperial eras, was visited by her great-great-grandchildren and other young members of her family, as the Reiwa era began. Tsuru Ueda was born on November 22, 1908. She has lived through the Meiji, Taisho, Showa and Heisei eras in Japan.

9)   A United Nations report says that 10 million people in North Korea are suffering from a severe food shortage. It follows the country’s worst harvest in 10 years.

10)   The finance ministers and the central bank governors of Japan, China and South Korea have renewed their opposition to trade protectionism.

11)   The cases in which Chinese companies took part in mergers and acquisitions of Japanese businesses hit a five-year high in Japan’s last fiscal year through March.

12)   The mystery surrounding the beluga whale alleged to have come from a Russian military facility continues with the marine mammal refusing to leave Norwegian waters, leading to jokes the whale has “defected.”

13)   The family of a Chinese student admitted to Stanford University paid $6.5m to the man at the heart of the college admissions scandal, according to reports.

14)   U.S. President Donald Trump said he and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed on Friday the possibility of a new accord limiting nuclear arms that could eventually include China in what would be a major deal between the globe’s top three atomic powers.

15)   The death toll from an Ebola outbreak in Congo rose above 1,000 on Friday, with attacks on treatment centers continuing to hamper efforts to control the “intense transmission” of the second-worst epidemic of the virus on record.


Jan 5th, 2019


1)   Japanese stocks retreated on Friday, buffeted on the first trading session of 2019 as Apple Inc’s earnings warning hit technology stocks and signs of slowdowns in the U.S. and Chinese economies soured broader sentiment.

2)   The Japanese government will begin collecting a departure tax on Monday, under legislation enacted by the Diet last April. All travelers leaving Japan by plane or ship must pay 1,000 yen each. Children under the age of 2 and transit passengers will be exempt.

3)   Police in northeastern Ohio say a couple broke into a home, washed their clothes, took a shower and made some coffee before the homeowner’s relative confronted the pair.

4)   Survey: Majority feel they will have to work until at least 70

5)   Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says his government will announce the name of the country’s new era on April 1st. He said the name will take effect on May 1st when Crown Prince Naruhito ascends the throne.

6)   Police suspect a man arrested for driving into pedestrians in Tokyo’s Harajuku district on New Year’s Day had planned to set fire to Meiji Shrine.

7)   A hefty hog has been captured near a school bus stop in Florida. Florida Today reports the nearly 400-pound (181-kilogram) hog was captured over the weekend by a team of dogs and trappers in Palm Bay.

8)   When a Krispy Kreme doughnut truck caught on fire in Lexington, Ky., nobody was injured—except for the hearts of local police officers, that is.

All doughnuts carried by that truck were destroyed in the Dec. 31 fire, the cause of which is currently being investigated, according to local news reports.

9)   An NHK survey shows that nearly 70 percent of respondents say they saw development in their communities during the 30 years of the current Heisei era.

10)   Taiwanese authorities say a dead pig found on a beach on an island near mainland China tests positive for African swine fever. They say the pig originated in mainland China.

11)   US President Donald Trump is sticking to his demand for funds to build a wall on the Mexican border, as a partial US government shutdown enters its 13th day.

Democrats are refusing to include that money in a budget bill. The deadlock has forced some government agencies to close.

12)   The US Department of State is warning Americans travelling to China that they may be detained arbitrarily.

It says Chinese authorities could arbitrarily enforce local laws to detain US citizens without providing any information about the alleged crime.

13)   US President Donald trump says he has received a letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and will be setting up a meeting with him “in the not-too-distant future.”

14)   The CEO of the Chinese telecom giant Huawei says the company will invest two billion dollars over the next five years to bolster cyber-security.

Ren Zhengfei said the company’s top priority is strengthening the security, resilience, and privacy of its products.

15)   U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, a liberal firebrand who has taken on Wall Street and traded barbs with Donald Trump, on Monday became the most prominent Democrat to announce a challenge to the Republican president in 2020.


Dec 29th, 2018


1)   A 65-year-old man was found dead on a road in Yonezawa, Yamagata Prefecture, early Friday morning after he was apparently hit by a snowplow.

According to police, heavy snow hit the region on Thursday and the snowplow was clearing a road during the night, Sankei Shimbun reported. The operator of the snowplow called 110 at around 3 a.m. Friday to report that a man was lying on the road near the snowplow.

2)   Police in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, have arrested a 47-year-old woman on suspicion of attempted murder after she tried to strangle her 19-year-old daughter to death at their home.

According to police, Kaori Harukawa tried to kill her daughter at around 10 p.m. on Wednesday, Sankei Shimbun reported. She then called 119 and said she had strangled her daughter.

3)   Japan’s top government spokesman said on Wednesday his government wants to promote rules that protect free and fair trade for the global economy.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, speaking during a recording of a TV program at Japanese broadcaster BS11, said Japan is ready to explain its stance in trade negotiations with the United States.

4)   The Japanese government is considering sending Maritime Self-Defense Force vessels to the Chinese navy’s fleet review next April, as the two countries are looking to facilitate defense exchanges amid thawing diplomatic ties, a source familiar with bilateral ties say.

5)   He is desperate to accomplish something that will leave his mark on history during his last three-year term as LDP president through 2021, political experts say.

The 64-year-old conservative leader, who has gained core supporters for the hard line he has taken on North Korea, hopes to bring back Japanese citizens abducted by Pyongyang in the 1970s and 1980s.

But this diplomatic agenda is unlikely to move forward anytime soon partly because of stalled nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang.

In May 2017, Abe caused a political stir by proposing to change the war-renouncing Article 9 of the supreme law to put an end to the debate over the constitutionality of the Self-Defense Forces.

6)   Two homeless men have been charged with burglary after a California man said he came home to find them cooking dinner.

Robby Spillman tells KNBC-TV he returned from Christmas shopping last Friday to find the men in his Santa Monica apartment.

Spillman says the men, who stank and wore filthy, ripped clothing, told him they hadn’t expected him home so soon and asked if they could “hang out” for a while.

7)   Authorities say two men were surrounded by customers with guns while attempting to steal tools from a Washington store.

The Daily Herald reports the men, ages 22 and 23, allegedly took four nail guns, each worth more than $400, from the Coastal Farm & Ranch store Saturday in Marysville.

The men walked out of the store and got into a car, only to be surrounded by about six customers with guns raised.

Documents say another customer shot at the driver’s side front tire, while a third fired twice at the rear tire.

Marysville police found the theft suspects’ car unoccupied about three blocks away, with two flat tires and the tools inside. Both men were apprehended after a search.

8)   Investigators say a 61-year-old Wisconsin man was arrested for tearing down a neighbor’s Christmas decorations while drunk and naked.

The Green Bay Gazette reports that Gregory Brannigan faces misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and resisting an officer.

A criminal complaint shows Brannigan’s neighbor called police Wednesday after to report that he was naked, kicking her door and tearing down her decorations. The neighbor told police Brannigan appeared intoxicated.

Officers say the Green Bay man was stumbling and told officers he needed to take care of supposed drug dealers in a neighbor’s apartment.

9)   apanese weather officials say snow is intensifying along the Sea of Japan coast. They are warning of possible transportation disruptions during the year-end holiday season.

10)   apanese weather officials say snow is intensifying along the Sea of Japan coast. They are warning of possible transportation disruptions during the year-end holiday season.

11)   The Japanese government has officially notified the US government of its withdrawal from the International Whaling Commission. The US is in charge of accepting applications for joining or withdrawing from the organization.

The action will allow Japan to officially withdraw from the IWC at the end of June. Japan plans to resume commercial whaling from July.

12)   Authorities in some Chinese cities have banned Christmas decorations and celebrations.

Many reports were posted online before Christmas about moves to strengthen restrictions on Christianity.

In Langfang, Hebei Province, an official notice called for Christmas decorations to be eliminated from streets and shops.

In Hengyang, Hunan Province, authorities last week announced a ban on Christmas celebrations on streets.

13)   An eight-year-old boy from the Central American country of Guatemala has died while in the custody of US Border Patrol agents.

US media reports the boy and his father crossed into the state of Texas from Mexico earlier this month. They were detained by border agents and later moved to a holding facility.

14)   Visitors from Southeast Asia have enjoyed a rare taste of winter, when a blanket of snow covered tourist spots in Gifu Prefecture, central Japan.

Takayama City on Friday was dusted with two centimeters of snow that fell overnight.

Foreign visitors were seen snapping photos in front of a popular bridge, with its red parapets capped in white.

Some children threw snowballs, while the adults helped themselves to warm grilled rice cakes. The treat, called “Gohei mochi,” is a local specialty.


Dec 22nd, 2018


1)   Flights resumed at London’s Gatwick Airport on Friday morning after drones sparked the shutdown of the airfield for more than 24 hours, leaving tens of thousands of passengers stranded or delayed during the busy holiday season.

2)   Japan Airlines Co has found that one of its pilots has evaded breathalyzer tests before flights over 100 times since last year, company officials said Thursday, adding to the series of drinking incidents involving flight crew at the airline.

3)   The top U.S. doctor has called for “aggressive” action against e-cigarette use, which he said has exploded to epidemic proportions among youth and puts their health and brain development at risk.

4)   President Donald Trump is reportedly considering drastically cutting the number of US troops deployed in Afghanistan, following his decision to withdraw them from Syria.

The US government has acknowledged the start of withdrawal of troops from Syria.

President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter on Wednesday that his country has defeated the Islamic State militant group in Syria, and that this is the only reason for being there.

5)   A realtor in northern Japan had reportedly stockpiled a large quantity of aerosol spray cans at the time of a huge blast.

The explosion and ensuing fire in Sapporo City, Hokkaido, on Sunday destroyed a building housing the realtor and injured 42 people, including diners at a restaurant next door.

6)   Former workers and their families in South Korea are suing their own government over compensation for wartime labor in Japan. There are about 1,100 plaintiffs in total.

7)   A large number of Central Americans have gathered near sathe US bocrder swith Mexico in the hope of seeking asylum in the US. The administration of US President Donald Trump is refusing to grant asylum to anyone who illegally enters the country.

8)   okyo stocks tumbled on Thursday, following a plunge in New York. The benchmark Nikkei Average briefly fell more than 700 points and sank to a fresh low for the year.

9)   The Japanese government has decided to withdraw from the International Whaling Commission in a bid to resume commercial whaling. It cites the recovery of some whale species as a reason.

10)   Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn has been re-arrested on fresh charges, Japanese media report, dashing any hopes he could be released on bail.


Dec 15th, 2018


1)   Japan’s central government started main reclamation work Friday at a disputed U.S. military base relocation site on the southern island of Okinawa despite fierce local opposition.

2)   The European Parliament on Wednesday approved an accord with Japan that has been dubbed the world’s biggest trade deal, covering economies that represent a third of the world’s GDP.

3)   A Japanese court on Friday sentenced a 26-year-old man to 18 years in prison in a high-profile road rage case in which he was accused of causing an accident resulting in the death of a couple and the injury of their two teenage daughters.

4)   The Japanese government plans to take measures to make regional labor markets accessible to foreign blue-collar workers to avoid them concentrating in large cities such as Tokyo .

5)   The Tokyo District Court on Thursday sentenced Yuya Takahashi, 39, the youngest son of actress Yoshiko Mita, to 2 1/2 years in prison, suspended for five years for possession of stimulants. It was his fourth arrest on charges related to illegal stimulants.

6)   Japan plans to call for the building of “multidimensional” defense capabilities in the next version of its national defense plan, amid security challenges in new domains such as cyberspace and outer space, government sources said Thursday.

7)   Virgin Galactic’s tourism spaceship climbed more than 50 miles high above California’s Mojave Desert on Thursday, reaching for the first time what the company considers the boundary of space.

8)   The neo-nationalist presence known as the net uyoku (net ultra-rightists) is a fairly well-known phenomenon. Their internet sites specialize in hate speech and the whitewashing of what most Japanese and most of the rest of the world call Japanese war crimes. 

9)   U.S. investigators have so far confirmed that a 78-year-old drifter  is responsible for more than 40 murders, authorities said Thursday. Samuel Little has confessed to 90 murders committed between 1970 and 2005.

10)   A group of Japanese Diet members are calling on South Korean President Moon Jae-in to appropriately handle the recent rulings by South Korea’s Supreme Court on wartime labor. They say the rulings run counter to an agreement between the 2 countries.

11)   Fresh data out of China suggest that the ongoing trade dispute is creating uncertainties for businesses and consumers. Chinese officials will likely step up support efforts as the economy faces increasing downward pressure.

12)   Researchers in Cuba have found that the venom of the blue scorpion  appears to have anti-inflammatory and pain relief properties, and may be able to delay tumor growth in some cancer patients.

13)   A Vermont man who is in an ongoing dispute with his town has let officials know exactly how he feels by erecting a large wooden sculpture of a fist with the middle finger raised on his front lawn.

14)   Expanding Chinese cities are generating more food waste than they can accommodate in landfills, and cockroaches could be a way to get rid of hills of food scraps, providing nutritious food for livestock when the bugs eventually die and, some say, cures for stomach illness and beauty treatments.

15)   Police say a Pennsylvania man released from jail immediately stole a car from its parking lot.a

Prison officials say that moments after 36-year-old Thomas Lee Williams was released, he attacked a woman in the parking lot Tuesday evening and stole her car. The Tribune-Review reports Williams crashed about 15 minutes later and ran into the woods, where he was caught.


Nov 17th, 2018


1)   Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga has dismissed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s remarks on the possible return of 2 of the 4 Russian-held islands at the center of a long-running territorial dispute.

2)   A group from the main governing Liberal Democratic Party has suggested that Japan should start developing its next fighter jet within 2 years. It calls on the government to consider taking the initiative in the expected multilateral development of such an aircraft.

3)   Foreign media have reported Japan’s cybersecurity minister’s admission that he doesn’t use computers.

Yoshitaka Sakurada made the admission during questioning by an opposition lawmaker at a Lower House committee meeting on Wednesday. Sakurada is also the minister in charge of preparing for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

4)   A memorial for Momoko Sakura, a famous Japanese manga artist, has been held in Tokyo.

Sakura’s most popular animated cartoon, Chibi Maruko-chan, has been aired on Japanese TV since 1990. The show also has been broadcast in 60 countries and territories around the world. She died of breast cancer at the age of 53 in August.

5)   A Japanese national research institute will import strains of Ebola and four other deadly viruses to improve detection processes amid a rise in the number of foreign visitors to the country.

The National Institute of Infectious Diseases plans to bring the pathogens to a facility in the western suburbs to Tokyo ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but will not push forward without local support, a health ministry official said.

6)   Women in Tokyo are most in favor of having single-sex carriages on public transport, according to a poll in five of the world’s biggest commuter cities released on Thursday, despite such policies facing growing criticism.

A Thomson Reuters Foundation survey of 1,000 female travelers in Tokyo, London, New York City, Cairo and Mexico City found less than half supported women-only sections on trains and buses to boost safety.

7)   esting by AAA shows that electronic driver assist systems on the road today may not keep vehicles in their lanes or spot stationary objects in time to avoid a crash.

The tests brought a warning from the auto club that drivers shouldn’t think that the systems make their vehicles self-driving, and that they should always be ready to take control.

AAA also said that use of the word “pilot” by automakers in naming their systems can make some owners believe the vehicles can drive themselves.

8)   A US judge has ordered President Donald Trump’s administration to reinstate the White House press pass of a CNN reporter.

A federal district court in Washington handed down the ruling on Friday.

9)   Seven more bodies have been recovered in wildfires in the US state of California, raising the total number of fatalities to 66.

Firefighters continue to battle the blazes a week after they broke out in the northern town of Paradise and in southern Ventura County, near Los Angeles.

10)   Japan Coast Guard officials have confirmed that this year there have been 105 incidents in which wooden boats, presumably from the Korean Peninsula, have washed ashore, or have been found drifting in Japanese waters.

The officials say the number of such cases exceeded last year’s figure of 104 as of Thursday, making 105 the highest since the recordkeeping began in 2013.

11)   Authorities say a pro football fan charged with drunken driving after a crash told police he drank too much because his favorite team isn’t any good.

Wayne police say 57-year-old Christopher Greyshock, of West Milford, was charged after he rear-ended another vehicle about 5:15 p.m. Sunday. The crash came about an hour after his team, the New York Jets, lost 41-10 to the Buffalo Bills.

12)   A British fisherman had to be rescued from a cliff face after fleeing an aggressive colony of more than 50 gray seals and their young pups, the coast guard said Monday.

The fisherman was walking on a beach Friday near Green Stane cliff in southeastern Scotland when he came across the seals, who became agitated and aggressive. He climbed up a cliff face to escape but became trapped before reaching the top and had to call for emergency aid Friday night.

13)   A Goodwill worker collecting clothes and other items at a Texas sorting center was surprised to find an albino python. 

The python was  in a pile of clothes when the worker discovered it Thursday at the center in Fort Worth.


Oct 27th, 2018


1)   Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping have met in Beijing. Both say they’re determined to turn a new page in the relationship between the two countries.

Xi said, “As the international situation changes, China and Japan are becoming increasingly dependent on one another.

2)   Japanese journalist Jumpei Yasuda has now returned to Japan. He had been held hostage by rebel forces in Syria for more than 3 years.

3)   A government survey has found that more than 410,000 cases of bullying were reported at schools in Japan during the 2017 academic year that ended in March. The figure was the highest ever.

4)   The Okinawa assembly has decided to hold a referendum on a plan to relocate a US base within the prefecture. The assembly approved the ordinance on Friday by a majority vote. 

Voters will be asked if they approve the plan to relocate the US Marine Corps Futenma Air Station within the island prefecture.

5)   A UN envoy has urged Japan to halt the return of children and young women to nuclear accident-hit Fukushima, calling the government’s radiation exposure limit too lax. But the Japanese side is refuting the advice.

6)   Farmers in the city of Tome in Miyagi Prefecture have started exporting their own brand of rice to make up for declining sales in Japan.

A ceremony was held on Thursday to mark the first overseas shipment of Hitomebore rice. Trucks left the warehouse with 13 tons of rice that will be shipped to other parts of Asia and the United States from the major rice-producing region.

7)   An extraordinary session of the Diet started on Wednesday. The session is the first since the latest change of the Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe earlier this month.

During the 48-day session that will run until December 10th, the government and the ruling coalition parties hope to pass a  budget bill for this fiscal year that ends in March next year. The bill is focused on funding restoration efforts from severe natural disasters that hit many areas of Japan this year. Constitutional amendments could also be a focus of debate in the upcoming session.

8)   The US economy expanded at an annualized rate of 3.5 percent in the July to September period, higher than the 3 percent targeted by the administration of President Donald Trump.

9)   India’s Supreme Court decided on Tuesday to allow so-called “green” firecrackers to be used during the Hindu festival of Diwali next month. But the ruling is getting a mixed reaction.

The court banned traditional firecrackers in and around the capital of New Delhi amid growing concerns about air pollution.

But people will be able to set off ones that emit less noise and smoke for 2 hours a day during Diwali, and for shorter periods on Christmas and New Year’s eves.

10)   A caravan of migrant Central Americans is continuing its trek north in Mexico toward the United States. US President Donald Trump has hinted at sending troops to block their entry into the country.

The caravan began with about 160 people in Honduras who left a northern town there on October 13th to escape poverty and poor security.

A number of the migrants entered Mexico by swimming across a river along the border. Local authorities say the caravan now comprises about 6,000 people.

11)   Japanese retail giant Rakuten is teaming up with Walmart of the US to start an online grocery delivery service. The move is aimed at taking on rival Amazon as well as other retailers in Japan.

Rakuten will jointly operate the service with Japanese supermarket chain Seiyu, which is a Walmart subsidiary.

12)   Researchers in Austria say they have detected tiny pieces of plastic in human stool samples for the first time.

Plastic garbage that flows out to sea breaks into pieces called microplastics that are smaller than 5 millimeters.

There’s growing concern that these bits of plastic are being consumed by marine life and are affecting the ecosystem.

13)   The Dow Jones Industrial Average in New York has erased all its gains for the year, after another tumble on Wall Street on Wednesday. Uncertainties over the global and US economies sent jitters through the markets.

Market players blame the continuing US-China trade frictions and Saudi Arabia, which is under fire over the death of a journalist.

14)   Authorities say a man apparently set a California home on fire while using a blowtorch to kill spiders.

KFSN-TV reports 29 firefighters were called to a Fresno housing development Tuesday night to put out a two-alarm blaze.

Authorities say a man was house-sitting for his parents when he tried to kill black widow spiders with a blowtorch. He got out safely, but the home’s attic and second story were damaged.

15)   An Arizona man who fell to the bottom of an old abandoned gold mine shaft, broke both his legs, fought off a trio of rattlesnakes and went two days without food or water before a friend heard his cries for help is lucky to be alive, said the head of a rescue team.

“He is a very fortunate individual,” Operations Commander Roger Yensen of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Mountain Rescue Posse said Thursday of 62-year-old John Waddell.


Oct 13th, 2018


1)   Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Friday the government is considering designating May 1 next year, when Crown Prince Naruhito will ascend the throne, as a one-off holiday, in a move that would create a 10-day Golden Week holiday period.

2)   U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday criticized Japan, China and other countries for dumping into oceans a massive amount of garbage that has drifted ashore on the U.S. West Coast.

Trump said a “vast,” “tremendous” and “unthinkable” amount of garbage is floating to the West Coast, causing a “very unfair situation” as the United States is charged with cleaning it up.

Trump cited a trilateral trade deal revised recently with Mexico and Canada as the first U.S. trade agreement ever to include commitments by the parties to cooperate in addressing land- and sea-based pollution and improve waste management.

3)   A man died after he fell, seriously injuring himself, while picking mushrooms in Shiojiri, Nagano Prefecture, on Wednesday afternoon, police said. The man suffered head injuries and was taken to hospital by helicopter where he died about five hours later. 

Since August, 11 people have died and six others have been injured while picking mushrooms on mountain slopes in Nagano Prefecture, Fuji TV reported.  

In the latest case, Shigeya Komatsu, 62, a local farmer, fell about 100 meters down a mountain forest slope. According to the police, he had gone mushroom picking with a male relative, and lost his footing.

4)   Japan plans to expand the scope of foreign nationals who can stay permanently, the government said Friday, as the aging nation seeks to loosen its traditionally strict immigration rules to cope with acute labor shortages.

Under a scheme slated for launch in April, foreign nationals who have Japanese-language proficiency will be given a new resident status to work in sectors deemed short of labor, such as nursing, construction and farming. Depending on their skills and experience, their stays can be extended repeatedly with no preset limits.

Japan, known for its cautious stance on immigration, has mainly accepted highly skilled professionals in such fields as medicine, law, education and research to date.

5)   The possibility of esports joining the Olympics program has gained traction in recent years but not everybody involved in the sport favors it.

Rahul Sood, the CEO of esports betting company Unikrn, believes the benefits for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) far outweigh those for stakeholders already invested in electronic sports gaming.

Last November, the IOC recognized esports as a sporting activity and it is set to be a full medal event at the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou.

6)   Auctioneers take part in a wasabi auction at the greengrocery area on the opening day of the new Toyosu market, which has been relocated from Tsukiji market, in Tokyo, on Thursday.

7)   The US government has announced restrictions on exports of civil nuclear technology to China to prevent its diversion for military or other unauthorized uses.

The Department of Energy issued a statement on the new policy on nuclear technology controls on Thursday.

The policy will in principle ban exports of US civil nuclear technology to China’s state-owned companies.

8)   Hurricane Michael left 6 people dead and many buildings destroyed by strong wind in its path across Florida and other southern US states.

Michael made landfall in Florida on Wednesday.

9)   A US Congressional panel has asked the International Olympic Committee to change the venue of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, citing human rights abuses by the Chinese government.

The bipartisan panel released a letter addressed to IOC President Thomas Bach. The same panel issued an annual report on China, accusing the country of detaining more than one million Uighur Muslims.

10)   The new governor of Okinawa in southern Japan has asked the prime minister to launch new talks on a plan to relocate a US military base in the prefecture.

Denny Tamaki met Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga in Tokyo on Friday. The meeting was their first since Tamaki was elected last month.

11)   Former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has expressed a negative view on a move to revise the Constitution next year. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is aiming to submit amendment proposals at the Diet this fall.

Later, Koizumi told reporters that it is impossible to revise the Constitution next year.

He said approval from more than 2 thirds of the Diet is needed to initiate constitutional amendments.

11)   Australians are up in arms over the use of the iconic Sydney Opera House for advertising.

The New South Wales government decided to allow a horse racing ad to be displayed on the World Heritage building.

Upset citizens gathered in front of the building on Tuesday to protest the move, using flashlights to disrupt the projected ad.



Oct 6th, 2018


1)    The cost of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics has already soared to 2.81 trillion yen ($24.7 billion), more than double the last official estimate, according to calculations by the Board of Audit.

2)   Japanese police referred to child welfare authorities a record-high 37,113 suspected victims of child abuse in the first half of this year, a report released Thursday showed.

The preliminary figure marks an increase of 6,851 children aged 17 or younger being affected, as compared to the same period last year, according to the National Police Agency.

3)   The mayor of Osaka says he’s ending a six-decade sister city relationship with San Francisco to protest a statue honoring women forced to have sex with Japanese soldiers during World War II.

Osaka Mayor Hirofumi Yoshimura this week sent a letter to San Francisco announcing he’s withdrawing from the largely ceremonial relationship, the San Francisco Examiner reported Wednesday.

4)   Japan has decided not to take part in an international fleet review in South Korea next week after Seoul effectively asked Tokyo not to fly its “Rising Sun” flag on a warship, Japan’s defense minister said on Friday, the latest spat between the two sides.

5)   New Okinawa GovDenny Tamaki said Thursday he will dedicate all his strength to trying to block the Japan-U.S. plan to relocate a key American military facility within the southern island prefecture.

The radio personality-turned-politician won Sunday’s gubernatorial election with a pledge to stop the controversial plan to move U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma from a crowded residential area of Ginowan to the less populated coastal district of Henoko in Nago, both in Okinawa.

6)   U.S. President Donald Trump and Abe agreed in a meeting last week in New York to start negotiations for a bilateral trade agreement on goods, or TAG. The move is a concession by Tokyo, which dropped its earlier insistence on a multilateral approach to trade issues.

7)   Kumamoto councilwoman who took baby to work kicked out of conference for using cough drop.

8)   A survey has found that radio was the most useful means of getting information after a powerful earthquake hit the northern Japanese prefecture of Hokkaido a month ago.

9)   Typhoon Kong-rey is battering Japan’s south. At least 10 people have been injured. It’s the second storm to hit the region in less than a week. The typhoon is moving north over the sea. It has caused blackouts in some areas.

10)   An escapee from a police station in Osaka Prefecture carried out a daring deception, purporting to be a cyclist while he was at large. He evaded the police for 48 days.

Junya Hida, indicted for robbery and other charges, escaped from a police station in Tondabayashi City on August 12th. He was apprehended after he was caught stealing food last Saturday in the city of Shunan, Yamaguchi Prefecture.

The police discovered Hida pretended to be a tourist travelling by bicycle, along with another man whom he met.

11)   Japan’s space agency, JAXA, says it has successfully released another landing probe from its Hayabusa2 spacecraft toward the asteroid Ryugu. JAXA made the announcement on Wednesday morning, Japan time.

JAXA says it won’t be able to confirm whether the robot has landed on Ryugu until late Wednesday afternoon at the earliest.

12)   US Vice President Mike Pence has sharply criticized China over a naval incident in the South China Sea last month. He says the US “will not be intimidated” as it counters China’s increasing maritime presence. Pence claims China’s aggression was on display when its warship came within about 40 meters of the USS Decatur that was conducting freedom-of-navigation operations.

13)   A man who made a dramatic escape from a French prison by helicopter has been captured after 3 months on the run. Redoine Faid escaped from a prison in July by jumping aboard a helicopter.

Prosecutor Francois Molins told a news conference on Wednesday that investigators acted on witness reports last month of a man walking around in a burqa, the traditional Muslim women’s wear.

14)   The Japanese government has lodged a protest with China after learning it placed a buoy inside Japan’s exclusive economic zone near the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga spoke to reporters on Wednesday. He said the government protested via a diplomatic channel after it confirmed the buoy was on the Japanese side of a median line that separates the 2 countries’ exclusive economic zones.

15)   The US jobless rate in September declined to its lowest level in nearly 49 years, suggesting a further tightening of the labor market. But employment growth has missed market expectations.

The Labor Department said on Friday that the unemployment rate fell to 3.7 percent. That’s the lowest level since December 1969.


Sept 29th, 2018


1)   Japan’s Meteorological Agency forecasts strong winds, high waves, storm surges and heavy rain in wide areas across the country until Monday.

2)   Japanese travel agency H.I.S. has canceled wedding package tours to Hawaii for 260 couples due to delays in venue construction.

The company says the couples had made reservations for the tours up to September of next year. The tours went on sale last December.

The facility on the island of Oahu was to open on September 1st.

H.I.S. says the operator of the facility gave notice of the delay on August 15th, citing bad weather and other reasons.

3)   U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed on Wednesday to start trade talks in an arrangement that, for now, protects Japanese automakers from further tariffs, seen as a major threat to the export-dependent economy.

4)   Tokyo Medical University has appointed its first woman president following a series of scandals, including the revelation that female applicants were prevented from gaining places at the school by systemically docking their entrance exam scores.

The appointment of Yukiko Hayashi, 56, chief professor of pathophysiology, was approved by the university’s board members Sept. 25. She will assume the post Oct. 1.

5)   The EU and other countries have boosted their contributions to the United Nations agency that supports Palestinian refugees after the US cut off funding.

The UN Relief and Works Agency, or UNRWA, is struggling to support more than 5 million Palestinian refugees.

6)   An Indonesian teenager has made it home safely after spending almost 50 days adrift at sea alone.

18-year-old Aldi Novel Adilang from the island of Sulawesi was fishing on a wooden raft in July when a storm hit.

His raft was swept away after its moorings snapped.

Adilang had only several days’ worth of food and water.

He burned part of his raft to cook fish.

Adilang said; “After the raft that I used snapped from the floating fish traps, I still had water to drink for about a week. Then I drank water by squeezing it from my clothes which were dipped in the sea, because it was impossible to drink sea water directly.”

On August 31st, a large ship rescued him off the western Pacific island of Guam, about 2,000 kilometers away from Sulawesi.

7)   The Tokyo Metropolitan Government will begin using paper straws on a trial basis from October to help reduce the amount of plastic waste.

The paper straws will be provided at 3 cafeterias at the Tokyo government building in the capital’s Shinjuku district.


Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike visited one of the cafeterias on Friday. She says she hopes the use of paper straws will encourage people to think about environmental issues.

The Tokyo government will purchase 20,000 paper straws, which are several times more expensive than plastic ones.


Sept 19th, 2018


1)   The start of a second round of trade talks between Japan and the United States will be delayed until after fresh tariffs imposed on China by the United States come into force on Sept 24, a Japanese government source told Reuters.

2)   The Tokyo Organizing Committee of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government has decided to pay volunteers 1,000 yen a day to cover their transport expenses regardless of the venue they are sent to.

The committee will start accepting applications on Sept 26 for 80,000 volunteers who will assist in the management of the Games and 30,000 volunteers who will guide visitors to and around the event venues.

3)   Shinzo Abe is poised to win a third term as head of his political party on Thursday, putting him on track to become Japan’s longest-serving prime minister and realize his dream of reforming the constitution.

Polls show Abe, 63, is expected to romp to victory in a two-horse race for the leadership of his conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) that will effectively hand him three more years as PM.

4)   Japan’s export growth accelerated in August from the previous month as shipments to the United States grew as Tokyo looks to avert a trade war through talks with Washington expected later this month.

However, the trade data also showed imports from the United States surged 21.5 percent in August, led by aircraft and liquefied natural gas, cutting Japan’s trade surplus with the United States by 14.5 percent year-on-year to 455.8 billion yen ($4.06 billion).

5)   The leaders of North Korea and South Korea have signed a joint declaration after concluding their 3rd summit talks.

The declaration states that North Korea is ready to permanently dismantle its nuclear facility in Nyongbyon, on the condition that the United States takes reciprocal actions.

6)   US spaceflight venture SpaceX says Japanese entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa will become the first private passenger to fly around the Moon on its next-generation rocket.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk made the announcement alongside Maezawa at a rocket factory in Los Angeles on Monday. Maezawa is the CEO of Start Today Company, which operates the major online fashion website ZOZOTOWN.

7)   China’s leading online travel agency says Japan will be the top destination for Chinese travelers during the upcoming holiday week. said on Tuesday that a record of nearly 7 million Chinese are expected to travel overseas during the week, which begins October 1st, the day China commemorates its foundation.

Sept 19th, 2018

Sept. 15th, 2018


1)   Naomi Osaka’s victory in the U.S. Open has added her to a growing list of athletes, Nobel Prize winners, and beauty pageant contestants who have raised the issue of what it means to be Japanese.

The daughter of a Japanese mother and a Haitian father, Osaka was born in Japan but raised in the United States. But she is being lauded in Japan as the first from the country to win a Grand Slam singles tennis title.

2)   Japan is gearing up to accept more foreign workers as its own population is on the brink of a steep decline, Foreign Minister Taro Kono said Thursday.

Kono told a World Economic Forum meeting in Hanoi that Japan gains “value added” by accepting foreigners, especially since its aging population and low birth rate mean the country is shrinking by a half-million people a year.

3)   A week after a powerful quake rocked Japan’s northernmost main island of Hokkaido, people mourned the deaths of 41 people as around 1,600 others remained in shelters as of Thursday.

4)   Japan and Vietnam on Thursday urged the United States to rejoin a sprawling Pacific trade deal, almost two years after President Donald Trump’s withdrawal dealt a major blow to what would have been the world’s largest free trade pact.

Trump pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal in one of his first post-election moves as part of his “America First” clarion call, declaring the 12-nation trade pact a “job killer”.

5)   Facebook says it’s expanding its fact-checking program to include photos and videos as it fights fake news and misinformation on its service.

The company has been testing the image fact-checks since the spring, beginning with France and the news agency AFP. Now, it will send all of its 27 third-party fact-checkers disputed photos and videos to verify — or the fact-checkers can find them on their own.

6)   Apple Inc introduced its largest-ever iPhone and a watch that detects heart problems on Wednesday in an attempt to get customers to upgrade to more expensive devices in the face of stagnant global demand for smartphones.

7)   Automation will soon make millions of low-skilled jobs — from cashiers and machine operators to waiters and drivers — redundant across Southeast Asia, experts said Wednesday, warning the region to upskill fast or face huge employment problems.

The topic was center stage at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Hanoi, where warnings abounded that countries including Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand where manufacturing has driven GDP and employed millions would be among the worst affected.

8)   Russia and China have begun joint military drills in the Russian Far East.

The Vostok military exercises are held every 4 years. Russia’s Defense Ministry says the 2018 drill, which kicked off in Siberia on Tuesday, is the largest since the fall of the Soviet Union. It involves 300,000 soldiers, 36,000 tanks and other vehicles, some 1,000 aircraft and 80 vessels.

9)   British author Kazuo Ishiguro has been bestowed Japan’s Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star, in an award ceremony.

The Japanese government issued the award to the Nobel Prize-winning author, who was born in Japan, in recognition of his contribution to promoting cultural exchange with the UK.

10)   The UN Food and Agriculture Organization says more than 820 million people around the world are going hungry.

The FAO released a report on the state of food security and nutrition on Tuesday.

The agency estimates that the number of undernourished in the world reached 821 million in 2017, or around one out of every 9 people.

11)   The Alipay payment method is simple. Customers use their smartphone to scan a QR code displayed by a business, or the business can scan the QR code in the customer’s phone. Each user’s app is linked to a bank account in China. The transaction goes through Alipay. More than 700 million Chinese people use the service to pay for groceries, public transport, street food, and more. 

12)   Japanese machinery maker Kubota revealed on Wednesday it had tampered with inspection data to sell substandard products.

Officials say the data fixing affected rolls used by steel makers and other companies to produce thin metal plates.

Kubota officials said some of the products had not met the hardness levels or compounding ratio of metals that had been agreed upon with customers.

The officials said an employee first reported the data tampering, and they’ve confirmed nearly 4,400 cases of misconduct out of the more than 20,000 products sold for about 5 years until July.


Sept 8th, 2018


1)   Floods, typhoons, earthquakes and a record-shattering heat wave. The summer of 2018 has been an unusually destructive and deadly one in Japan, even for a country prone to natural disasters:

2)   A group of hackers has been planning to target the American and Japanese public by emailing fake offers of tickets to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in order to steal private information, a Singaporean security firm reported Thursday.

3)   North Korea’s Kim Jong Un has given his first time line for denuclearization, aiming for the end of U.S. President Donald Trump’s first term, Seoul officials said on Thursday, prompting thanks from Trump who said they would “get it done together.”

4)   Burt Reynolds, the handsome film and television star known for his acclaimed performances in “Deliverance” and “Boogie Nights,” commercial hits such as “Smokey and the Bandit” and for an active off-screen love life which included relationships with Loni Anderson and Sally Field, has died at age 82.

5)   A powerful typhoon ripped through western Japan on Tuesday, leaving at least two dead and many injured, while strong winds and high waves closed Kansai International Airport and caused a ship to smash into a bridge linking the airport with the main island.

6)   A powerful earthquake paralyzed Hokkaido on Thursday, killing at least nine people, triggering landslides and knocking out power to its 5.3 million residents.

The death toll from the 6.7-magnitude, pre-dawn quake was likely to rise as rescuers searched houses buried by landslides. About 33 people were missing and 300 were injured, public broadcaster NHK said.

7)   Nauru President Baron Waqa is seeking a formal apology from China for what he calls the insolent behavior of a Chinese official at an international forum.

Waqa said on Tuesday that a Chinese diplomat demanded to speak when another country’s prime minister was due to give a speech. He slammed the move as bullying. He said bigger countries should not disrespect Pacific island nations, adding that China just needs them for its own purposes.

8)   A Russian presidential aide says President Vladimir Putin is considering visiting Japan in June next year.

9)   The US trade deficit with China for July hit a record high. The Commerce Department says the deficit stood at 36.8 billion dollars. That’s up 10% from the previous month and the gap is widening at its fastest pace since 2015.

Washington is expected to announce a third round of additional duties as early as this week. The trade deficit with Japan was 5.4 billion dollars, up 2.9%. Analysts say Tokyo could face more pressure from Washington to boost imports of American farm produce.

10)   The operator of Chinese online payments giant Alipay has revealed his future business plans. They include attracting more tourists to Japan.

 “We want to offer visitors to Japan a cashless experience, and work together with business partners to contribute to the Japanese economy.”

11)   The operator of Kansai International Airport on Sept. 6 apologized for inconveniencing thousands of travelers after being overwhelmed by a powerful typhoon and announced plans to partially resume domestic flights from the next day.

12)   The Tokyo District Court on Sept. 5 accepted the written statement of a former Tokyo Electric Power Co. executive who claimed that his boss abruptly postponed tsunami prevention measures at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in 2008.

Tsunehisa Katsumata, 78, former TEPCO chairman, former TEPCO Vice President Sakae Muto, 68, and Ichiro Takekuro, 72, former TEPCO vice president, are on trial on charges of professional negligence resulting in death and injury from the 2011 nuclear disaster.


Sept 1st, 2018



A 17-year-old boy on a motorcycle crashed and died in Osaka on Thursday night after being chased by police who were searching for a fugitive in a high-profile manhunt.

A patrol car began chasing the teen around 9:20 p.m. after police received a report of a sighting of a man resembling Junya Hida, 30, who escaped from a police station in mid-August .

The high school student, who did not have a driver’s license, driving the wrong way down a one-way road and running a red light before crashing into a roadside pole.

Police said the motorcycle had been stolen two weeks ago.

2)   Six people died and two others were seriously injured in a motorcycle accident in the city of Nara early Friday, police said.

3)   Job availability in Japan rose to a fresh 44-year high in July amid a severe labor crunch, while unemployment edged up as more people newly began seeking work, government data showed Friday.

4)   Uber Technologies Inc said it will choose from five countries including Japan to test its flying taxi services, aiming to launch the commercial operation in 2023.

The other candidate countries are Australia, Brazil, France and India, the company said

Uber picked the five countries based on such criteria as population and lack of extreme weather. The U.S. firm said Japan is one of the countries with the most advanced public transportation systems.

5)   The Okinawa prefectural government has revoked a landfill permit for a new US Marine Corps base in a coastal area of Nago City. The move is aimed at blocking reclamation work by the central government.

6)   Child consultation centers across Japan handled more than 130,000 reported child abuse cases in fiscal 2017, a record high.

The welfare ministry on Thursday released the figures for the year through March 2018 at a meeting of the heads of child consultation centers nationwide.

7)   Many people at a public hearing have criticized a plan to release water containing radioactive tritium into the sea from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

Contaminated water is generated daily at the plant in the process of cooling the damaged reactors. The water is being treated to get rid of radioactive substances, but tritium is difficult to remove. 

Among the possible options to dispose of the tritium-laced water, the government says diluting and releasing it into the sea is the quickest and most inexpensive way.

8)   housands of people gathered in a Spanish town to hurl some 145 tons of tomatoes at each other in an annual summer festival.

La Tomatina festival, also known as the world’s biggest food fight, was held on Wednesday in Spain’s eastern town of Bunol.

9)   A US newspaper is reporting that senior US officials expressed irritation that Japan concealed a meeting with North Korea last month.

The Washington Post reported in Tuesday’s electronic version that the secret meeting took place in July in Vietnam.

It says a top Japanese intelligence official, Shigeru Kitamura, met a senior North Korean official in charge of reunification, Kim Song Hye. They reportedly discussed the North’s abductions of Japanese nationals.

10)   Weather officials suggest a powerful typhoon could come very close to Japan next week.

The country’s Meteorological Agency says Typhoon Jebi turned “violent” in its intensity scale on Friday.


August 25th, 2018


1)   Police in Osaka have arrested a 25-year-old woman on suspicion of abandoning the bodies of three infants in an apartment where she used to live in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture.

2)   Prices in Japan edged up only marginally in July, according to government data on Friday, as the world’s third-largest economy showed little sign of winning its battle with deflation. Inflation stood at 0.8 percent year-on-year in July, unchanged from the previous month.

3)   US President Donald Trump said on Friday he has canceled a planned trip to North Korea by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Trump said on Twitter “I have asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo not to go to North Korea, at this time, because I feel we are not making sufficient progress with respect to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

4)   Scientists say they have “directly observed definitive evidence” of water ice on the Moon’s surface for the first time. The scientists say water ice exists in the south and north polar areas, and that most of it lies in the shadows of craters, where sunlight never reaches.

5)     NHK has learned that there are about half as many people with disabilities employed by the Japanese government’s ministries as figures suggest.

 The labor and welfare ministry has been investigating government offices after it was learned that more than 10 had inflated their numbers.

6)   Authorities in Hawaii are calling on residents and tourists to avoid unnecessary travel and exercise extreme caution as a powerful hurricane churns toward the island state.

7)   Britain’s government is proposing a ban on pet shop sales of puppies and kittens less than 6 months old.

It means those wanting to buy or adopt a pet less than 6 months old will have to go directly to a breeder or a rescue center.

8)   Tokushima Mayor Akiyoshi Endo took the blame for the flop of the city’s Awa Odori dance festival at a news conference on Aug. 23, admitting preparations ended in “chaos” that led to a dancers’ revolt and poor attendance.

9)   Japan’s first female fighter pilot will make her debut on Aug. 24.

1st Lt. Misa Matsushima, 26, will be assigned to the Air Self-Defense Force’s 5th Air Wing, headquartered at Nyutabaru Air Base here.

10)  The trade conflict further escalated on Thursday as the United States and China heaped more tariffs on each other’s goods. Since early July, the world’s two largest economies have slapped each other with tariffs on a combined $100 billion of goods.


July 14th, 2018


1)   Municipal workers struggled on Friday to restore water supply in the flood-hit western region a week after inundation caused by a record downpour killed more than 200 people in the worst weather disaster in 36 years.

Communities that grappled with rising floodwaters last week now find themselves battling scorching summer temperatures well above 30 degrees Celsius, 

2)   Japan risks more severe weather and must find ways to alleviate disasters, a government spokesman said on Thursday, as intense heat and water shortages raised fear of disease among survivors of last week’s floods and landslides.

“It’s an undeniable fact that this sort of disaster due to torrential, unprecedented rain is becoming more frequent in recent years,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference in Tokyo.

3)   Police on Thursday raided the apartment of a nurse who is in custody on suspicion of fatally poisoning at least two elderly patients at a terminal care hospital.

Local media have reported the woman confessed to police she poisoned about 20 patients to have them die when she was off-duty and could avoid the trouble of explaining the deaths to their families.

4)   New Zealand scientists have performed the first-ever 3-D, color X-ray on a human, using a technique that promises to improve the field of medical diagnostics, said Europe’s CERN physics lab which contributed imaging technology.

The new device, based on the traditional black-and-white X-ray, incorporates particle-tracking technology developed for CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, which in 2012 discovered the elusive Higgs Boson particle.

5)   The rise of robots in manufacturing in Southeast Asia is likely to fuel modern slavery as workers who end up unemployed due to automation face abuses competing for a shrinking pool of low-paid jobs in a “race to the bottom”, analysts say.

6)   Britain’s data regulator has said it will fine Facebook half a million pounds ($660,000) for failing to protect users’ data, in an inquiry into whether personal information had been misused by campaigns on both sides of Britain’s 2016 EU referendum.

Evidence emerged that an app had been used to harvest the data of tens of millions of Facebook users worldwide.

7)   Japan’s population, excluding resident foreigners, declined as of Jan. 1 in 2018 from the year before at the fastest pace since the current survey started in 1968, with fewer than 1 million births for the second straight year, government data showed Wednesday.

8)   The torch relay for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will start in Fukushima Prefecture, with an emphasis on areas hit hard by the 2011 quake, tsunami and nuclear accident.

9)   Drone-delivered shopping moved closer to reality when three of Japan’s biggest companies announced they are joining forces for the ambitious “Drone Highway” project on July 12.

TEPCO Ventures Inc., a subsidiary of Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc. (TEPCO), map publisher Zenrin Co. and Internet giant Rakuten Inc. aim to ease the burden of shipping goods on the transportation industry through the project.

Under the plan, goods will be moved off the roads and flown along power grids by drones, cutting distances, journey times and costs.

10)   Teaching materials obtained by NHK show that Aleph, a renamed successor to the Aum Shinrikyo cult, is trying to make its members faithfully follow the teachings of executed leader Shoko Asahara. His real name was Chizuo Matsumoto.


July 7th, 2018


1)   Japanese Justice Minister Yoko Kamikawa, who ordered the executions of Aum Shinrikyo cult founder Shoko Asahara and six of his followers, said Friday capital punishment is “unavoidable” for heinous crimes

2)   Two people were found dead near rain-swollen rivers in Japan on Friday, officials said, as record downpours prompted authorities to order more than 210,000 people to evacuate their homes.

Hundreds of thousands of people across a wide swathe of western and central Japan were evacuated from their homes on Friday as torrential rains pounded the nation, flooding rivers, setting off landslides and leaving at least two people dead.

3)   North Korea has said it will not comply with Tokyo’s demand for a resolution of the issue of Japanese citizens abducted by the North decades ago unless Japan lifts unilateral economic sanctions, sources close to bilateral ties said Thursday.

4)   The Japanese squad that competed at soccer’s World Cup in Russia has tweeted a good-luck message to the 12 members of a youth soccer team trapped with their coach in a cave in northern Thailand. 

5)   Thirty-two pregnant Cambodians were detained on Friday for their suspected involvement in an illegal surrogacy operation, carrying babies for Chinese clients, a court official said on Friday.

Five other people, including a Chinese person, were arrested and charged with human trafficking following raids at two apartments in the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh.

6)   Sumo’s grand champion Kisenosato will sit out the upcoming tournament. He has so far missed all or part of the last 7 tourneys.

7)   China has imposed tariffs of 25 percent on hundreds of American products in retaliation for US duties on Chinese goods.

 Earlier on Friday, US President Donald Trump pulled the trigger on tariffs on billions of dollars-worth of Chinese products.

 This is the first round of Trump’s punishment of China for allegedly stealing US technology.

8)  Independence Day celebrations were held across the US on Wednesday amid increased security for possible terrorist attacks.

 Americans hold parades and firework displays to mark the anniversary of their declaration of independence from Britain on July 4, 1776.

 About 6,000 personnel, including police officers with automatic rifles, stood guard as fireworks lit up the sky.

9)  Greenpeace has crashed a drone into a nuclear plant complex in France. The international environmental group says it wanted to show the vulnerability of such plants to outside attacks.

 Greenpeace claims that it wanted to highlight nuclear plant vulnerability before the French parliament releases a report on the security of such facilities. The group calls for improving the safety of nuclear plants.

10) Japan’s first hotel featuring the cartoon character Snoopy is to open on August 1st in the western city of Kobe.



June 30, 2018


1)   Japan’s unemployment rate fell to the lowest level in more than 25 years in May in the latest sign of a strengthening economy, government data showed Friday, but rising job availability underscored the shortage of workers amid a shrinking population.

The jobless rate stood at 2.2 percent, beating market forecasts to remain unchanged from 2.5 percent in April and hitting a low not seen since October 1992, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.

2)   Fair play, a newly implemented tiebreaker in the group stage of the world’s biggest soccer tournament, was put into use for the first time Thursday and Japan came out as the beneficiary.

Despite losing 1-0 to Poland, the Japanese were able to advance to the round of 16 because they received fewer yellow cards than Senegal, which lost to Colombia by the same score at the same time.

3)  The Tokyo metropolitan government on Wednesday passed strict new anti-smoking rules ahead of the 2020 Olympics, leapfrogging national legislation on lighting up that has been watered down after opposition from pro-smoking MPs.

The city’s new laws ban smoking entirely on school premises from kindergartens to high schools, although a space can be created outside university and hospital buildings for smokers.

Lighting up will be outlawed at restaurants in the capital, regardless of size. Restaurants can set up a separate indoor smoking space but customers cannot eat or drink inside the smoking area.

4)   The Diet on Friday enacted into law a bill aimed at reforming working styles in the country despite opposition concern that the legislation would encourage long working hours.

The legislation consists of three key pillars — setting a legal cap on overtime work, ensuring “equal pay for equal work” for regular and nonregular workers, and exempting skilled professional workers with high wages from working-hour regulations.

The last item, known as the “white collar overtime exemption,” has been a major source of contention between the ruling and opposition parties.

5)   The rainy season has ended in the Kanto and Koshin regions, the earliest conclusion of the wet weather since record-keeping began in 1951, the Japan Meteorological Agency said June 29.

The agency’s declaration came seven days earlier than in 2017 and 22 days earlier than usual. It marked the first end to the rainy season in the regions in June and broke the previous record of July 1 set in 2001.

6)   wo longtime political rivals will cooperate for the first time in decades to promote a single issue–moving Japan away from its dependence on nuclear energy.

Junichiro Koizumi and Ichiro Ozawa are both 76 and former members of the Liberal Democratic Party.

7)   A third-party panel investigating a violent tackle in a college American football game has denounced university officials for engaging in a cover up to protect coaching staff who ordered the hit.

The damning comments are the latest development in an off-field drama over the on-field incident, which occurred in a game in May between Nihon University and Kwansei Gakuin University.

8)   A city mayor in Kyoto Prefecture has returned to work after collapsing in a sumo ring in April.

Manazuru Mayor Ryozo Tatami suddenly collapsed while making a speech at a sumo event in the city.

He said the tradition which bans women from the ring is out of date. He added that providing treatment is the top priority in emergencies, and that it should not matter whether providers are women or men. He said the women who rushed to help him must have felt obliged to do so because they are professional nurses.

9)   Officials in Thailand are still trying to locate and rescue 12 boys and their soccer coach believed to be trapped in a flooded cave network.

As the search stretches into its 6th day, crews are exhausting all available options.

Heavy rainfall has been complicating rescue efforts throughout the week as the situation becomes more desperate by the minute.

10)   number of female reporters covering the FIFA World Cup in Russia have been sexually harassed. The incidents have drawn worldwide rebuke.

Before Sunday’s game between Japan and Senegal in Ekaterinburg, a man rushed up to a Brazilian TV reporter and tried to kiss on the cheek. She was about to give a live report in front of the stadium.

The reporter dodged the man and angrily shouted at him in English, “Don’t do this, I don’t allow you to do this, never, OK?” She added, “This is not polite, this is not right.”

11)   A Japanese electric power company that’s grappling with the aftermath of a nuclear meltdown accident says it will begin a geological survey for a possible new nuclear plant.

Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, said on Friday the survey is planned from the 2nd half of fiscal 2018 through fiscal 2020 in Higashidori in Aomori Prefecture, northern Japan.

13)   Japanese employers can often be heard complaining about the nationwide labor shortage. Some will be taking heart after seeing a successful trial of self-driving trucks near Tokyo.

Researchers put 2 trucks through tests in a convoy led by a manned vehicle. The autonomous trucks used sensors and wireless technology to follow the leader.

There were people on board just in case things didn’t go exactly to plan.

June 23rd, 2018


1)   Police in Tempe, Arizona said evidence showed the “safety” driver behind the wheel of a self-driving Uber was distracted and streaming a television show on her phone right up until about the time of a fatal accident in March, deeming the crash that rocked the industry”entirely avoidable.”

2)   The ruling Liberal Democratic Party is arranging to hold its presidential race on Sept 20, with party president and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe seeking to win a third term to become Japan’s longest-serving leader, party lawmakers said.

Former LDP Secretary General Shigeru Ishiba, the party’s policy chief Fumio Kishida and Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Seiko Noda are viewed as possible candidates.

3)   A powerful earthquake hit Osaka and other parts of Japan’s second-largest metropolitan area Monday morning, leaving at least four people dead and more than 300 injured as concrete walls around buildings crumbled, water pipes burst and power was cut off.

4)   Komeito, the junior party in the ruling coalition, changed its stance and voted in favor of a bill that will legalize casinos.

5)   An elementary school principal revealed on June 21 she was warned in 2015 of the danger of a wall that collapsed in an earthquake on June 18, killing a 9-year-old schoolgirl.

The wall beside the swimming pool of Juei Elementary School here was identified as one of a few safety concerns by a disaster prevention adviser, who was invited by the school and the PTA to give a disaster prevention workshop on Nov. 2, 2015.

Yoshimi Tanaka, the school principal, informed the city education board about the warning and requested a safety inspection.

6)   Six major Japanese companies plan to introduce a new labor system for “highly skilled professionals,” while 31 will not mainly over fears of possible “karoshi” (death from overwork), a survey of 100 companies showed.

Under the proposed “highly skilled professionals system,” employees engaged in certain jobs would be exempted from labor regulations concerning working hours.

7)   The operator of Legoland Discovery Center Tokyo apologized for refusing to allow four hearing-impaired customers, including two children, to enter the amusement facility in April because of their disabilities.

8)   The Japan Coast Guard is alerting ships navigating Tokyo Bay to watch out for a large whale.

Coast Guard officials say they received a report on Friday morning from a ship’s crew that had seen a whale, about 15 meters long, near Tokyo Gate Bridge.

9)   About 150,000 people with intractable diseases lost their financial support at the start of this year after a Japanese government program was revised.

10)   Japanese soccer fans have been celebrating their national squad’s 2-1 win over Colombia in its first group match in the World Cup finals.

11)   The Thai government says it will ban imports of recyclable waste, amid a public outcry over environmental degradation. Government officials say they are prepared to revise existing legislation.

The government says most of the waste the country accepted up to last month came from Japan.

The import ban will likely have an impact on Japan, which exports huge amounts of waste to the Southeast Asian country.

12)   North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reportedly wants denuclearization to be carried out in stages, with the backing of China.

Kim is in China on a 2-day visit, his third in recent months. It comes just one week after the historic summit with US President Donald Trump.

June 16th


1)   The Japanese government says foreign travelers with unpaid medical bills will be denied entry to the country in the future, with the number of foreign visitors set to surge in the run-up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.

2)   Wandering off by people with dementia continues to be a serious problem in Japan’s rapidly aging society, with a record 15,863 such people reported missing in 2017, police data showed Thursday.

3)   A 78-year-old man died after he was shot by a hunter who thought he was shooting at a wild monkey on a mountain slope in Kamogawa, Chiba Prefecture, police said Friday.

Police said Masaru Takahashi, 67, who has a license to use firearms for culling wild animals, has been charged with negligence resulting in death after he shot Hisashi Mori with a shotgun. Sankei Shimbun reported that the incident occurred at around 5 p.m. Thursday. Hunters have been culling wild monkeys in the mountain forest recently.

4)   The Japanese government is looking to arrange a summit between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in September in Russia, with Kim having expressed readiness to meet with Abe during his meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump, a government source said Thursday.

5)   EU countries on Thursday approved a raft of tariffs targeting U.S. goods including whiskey and motorcycles in retaliation against painful duties imposed by President Donald Trump on European metals.

6)   A new law stipulating the rules on operations of “minpaku” private lodgings took effect on June 15.

The “Jutaku Shukuhaku Jigyo-ho” (House stay business law), among other stipulations, compels people or companies to register their properties with prefectural governments and have them approved before they can rent them to tourists for overnight stays.

7)   A railway company in western Japan has partially suspended operations on a Shinkansen bullet train line, after finding evidence that one of its trains hit a person.

West Japan Railway says the driver of a bullet train on its Sanyo Shinkansen line reported seeing a major dent in the nose of another train as they passed each other.

The damage was spotted at around 2 PM on Thursday soon after the Tokyo bound train left Hakata Station in Fukuoka Prefecture.

8)   Japan’s national soccer team has arrived at its training base in the Russian city of Kazan ahead of the start of the FIFA World Cup on Thursday.

9)   An 18th century Chinese vase that was found in an attic in France has sold for about 19 million dollars.

The vase was auctioned in Paris on Tuesday for 16.2 million euros.

It is 30 centimeters tall and depicts deer beside a pine tree with cranes. The neck is decorated with gold.

The auctioneer says the piece was discovered in a shoebox. The owner used public transport to bring it to the auction venue.

10)   Electronics maker Sharp is branching out into a new product area with a so-called smart kitty litter box that helps owners track the health of their pets.

Company officials developed the device together with researchers at Tottori University, and they aim to sell it in Japan and overseas.

The device has 2 sensors that are connected to the Internet —

11)   The head of US electric-car maker Tesla has announced a 9-percent cut of its workforce.

The move is to reduce costs and make the company profitable.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed the plan on Tuesday.
His announcement does not say how many employees would be laid-off. US media reports put the number from 3,000 to 4,000.

June 8th, 2018


1)   Rental site Airbnb said Thursday it had been forced by Japanese authorities to cancel thousands of reservations ahead of a new law regulating short-term rentals, apologising for the “extraordinary disruption.”

2)   Keiichiro Koyama, 34, and Shigeaki Kato, 30, members of popular group News, promoted by Johnny & Associates, are in hot water for allegedly encouraging an underage girl to drink at a party.

The scandal was reported by tabloid magazine Shukan Bunshun in its June 7 edition. The story said the party was organized by Koyama himself, and that a then 19-year-old girl had been urged to drink alcohol in gulps.

3)   A 41-year-old man has been sentenced to 19 years in prison for the arson-murders of his 31-year-old wife and two children aged 3 and 1, last year in Tome, Miyagi Prefecture.

The Sendai District Court handed down its verdict against Yoshiaki Shimaya, who had pleaded guilty to killing his wife Miyu, daughter Mao and son Kyosuke, Fuji TV reported Thursday.

4)   U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday after White House talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that the two leaders were working together to improve trading relations and that Abe promised new Japanese investment in the United States.


5)   The summit of the Group of 7 nations will open in Canada on Friday. But the leaders may struggle to put on a show of unity.

On free trade, Abe is expected to speak out in the G7 summit against retaliatory tariffs, saying they benefit no country. He will also express Japan’s stance of strengthening multilateral trade systems and promoting economic partnership deals.

6)   An NHK crew has been allowed to enter a village engulfed by lava and ash from the Fuego volcano in Guatemala.

The volcano, about 40 kilometers southwest of the capital Guatemala City, erupted violently on Sunday.

Villages at the foot of the mountain were swamped and destroyed by pyroclastic flows.

7)   Nearly 80 percent of respondents to a survey in Japan said they are interested in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but only 15 percent are willing to work as volunteers for the event.

8)   The Reuters news agency reports that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is expected to arrive in Singapore on Sunday. His summit with US President Donald Trump is scheduled to take place on Tuesday in the city-state.

9)   Data from China show that the trade surplus with the United States grew further in May. That’s despite trade talks the 2 countries held last month.

Imports from the US rose more than 10 percent to 14.7 billion dollars. But exports to the US also rose. As a result, China posted a bilateral trade surplus of about 24.5 billion dollars. That’s up more than 10 percent from the level a year earlier.

10)   A record number of foreign tourists came to Japan last year. But a government report says they are spending less these days.

The annual white paper on tourism shows almost 29 million people visited Japan in 2017, marking a record high for the fifth straight year. They spent a total of 40 billion dollars.

May 26th, 2018

モーガンフリーマンが!? ショックだよーと言っていた。

1)   US President Donald Trump says it’s still possible that a summit between him and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un can go ahead on June 12th as originally planned.

2)   Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman is facing multiple allegations of sexual harassment. The 80-year-old movie veteran has apologized to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected.

CNN reported on Thursday that 8 women said they had been subjected to inappropriate behavior or harassment by Freeman.

3)   A US district court has ruled that President Donald Trump cannot block Twitter users from his account because of their political views. Trump has been blocking tweets that criticize him.

On Wednesday, a judge in New York described the president’s Twitter account as a public forum, and said blocking Twitter users for their views violated their right to free speech under the First Amendment of the Constitution. The judge ordered Trump to unblock his account.

4)   The US State Department says an employee stationed in southern China has been diagnosed with a brain injury after hearing strange sounds.

The worker at the US Consulate General in Guangzhou reported abnormal sensations of sound and pressure from last year until April. The employee returned to the US for tests, and was found to have brain trauma.

More than 20 employees at the US Embassy in Havana became ill last year after what the media described as a “sonic attack.”

5)   The former head of an Osaka-based school operator, the central figure in an alleged favoritism scandal, has been released on bail. He says his detention was politically motivated.

Yasunori Kagoike, who ran Moritomo Gakuen, and his wife, Junko, were arrested by prosecutors late last July. They allegedly defrauded the government out of money in connection with the construction of a planned elementary school.

6)   The former head coach of Nihon University’s American football team has been caught on tape praising a player who injured an opponent in a match earlier this month.

In the audio clip recorded just after the game on May 6th, Uchida was questioned by reporters about the player being sent off for a series of fouls. He replied that it was inevitable because he was the head coach, and said the team had always been that way.

7)   Police in Kumamoto Prefecture, southwestern Japan, say at least 10 components believed to have fallen from an airplane have been found around a local airport.

A Japan Airlines Boeing 767 carrying 217 people returned to Kumamoto Airport on Thursday afternoon due to engine trouble. The plane was bound for Tokyo’s Haneda Airport.

8)   Japanese Olympic swimmer Junya Koga has tested positive for substances banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Koga said the banned substances may have been in nutritional supplements he began taking in February of this year.

He claimed he did not take the banned substances intentionally, and said he is ashamed to have tested positive.

9)   US civil rights groups are asking to stop offering its facial recognition services to police and other government agencies.

The services have been used in police investigations, checking IDs at building entrances and searching for lost children at amusement parks.

The group also warned that the services could unfairly target minorities and immigrants in particular.

10)   A self-driving vehicle is being tested on public roads near Tokyo in an initiative led by a Japanese retail giant.

Aeon hopes the technology will make it easier for customers who don’t own cars to get to its supermarkets.

11)   A Japanese government-backed fund and a major Japanese trading house have jointly invested in a venture firm that makes food from algae.

The venture produces spirulina, an algae rich in vitamins. Demand for the so-called superfood has been growing, as it’s a popular addition to fruit juices.

12)   Chinese authorities detained 21 Japanese nationals in the southwestern city of Chongqing and elsewhere this month, a source close to Japanese-Chinese relations said Friday.

The Japanese are said to have been Christian group members and their detention may have been part of the authorities’ efforts to crack down on missionary work, categorizing it as illegal activity.

May 19th, 2018


1)   Nearly all respondents to an internet survey of media workers, prompted by news of a TV reporter being sexually harassed by a top Finance Ministry bureaucrat, say they experienced sexual harassment multiple times.

A total of 103 women and four men responded to the questionnaire, and 102 of the women reported having been sexually haarassed, of whom 51 said they had experienced it 10 or more times and 47 said between two to nine times.

2)   At least 100 bamboo trees in Kyoto’s Arashiyama district have been vandalized by tourists, who apparently engraved their names and initials, a company managing the iconic groves of the popular tourist spot said Thursday.

The engravings carved on tree surfaces are in foreign language letters, including alphabets and Hangul characters.

3)   The Diet on Wednesday passed a law to encourage female candidates to stand for elections in a country where women are vastly underrepresented in politics.

Under the new law, political parties are urged to make the number of male and female candidates as equal as possible and are encouraged to set targets for gender parity.

But the law includes no penalties for parties that fail to do so, nor incentives to encourage them.

4)   To thwart groping and other crimes, train cars equipped with security cameras will run on the Yamanote Line in central Tokyo for the first time on May 19, East Japan Railway Co. (JR East) said.

JR East said it plans to replace all current trains on the line with new “E235 series” trains by spring 2020, a few months before the Tokyo Summer Olympics.

The railway company also intends to install security cameras inside all new trains on other lines from this fiscal year, which started in April.

5)   A vicious and extremely late hit against a defenseless quarterback in an American football game has led to a suspension, boycotted games and a government demand for an investigation.

The Nihon University football player under fire for a vicious cheap shot said his coach ordered him to “break” the quarterback or be benched, a teammate told The Asahi Shimbun on May 17.

6)   Japanese teenage shogi chess sensation Sota Fujii has set a new record. The 15-year-old high school freshman has become the youngest player to achieve the rank of 7th-dan.

7)   The Japanese singer Hideki Saijo has died. He was 63.

His agency said Saijo died of acute heart failure late Wednesday in a hospital in Yokohama, near Tokyo.

Saijo was born in Hiroshima City and made his debut at the age of 17. He won a huge following, especially among young women, for his energetic singing style.

8)   In the United States, Texas Governor Greg Abbott says at least 10 people are dead and 10 others were injured in a shooting at a high school in Santa Fe on Friday morning.

Explosive devices were also found at the school and at another site nearby.

Authorities say gunshots were fired at around 7:30, and that many of the victims are students.

A male suspect believed to be a student at the school has been detained and another is being questioned.

9)   North Korea has demanded that South Korea halt its ongoing joint military drills with the United States as a precondition to resume inter-Korean dialogue.

10)   Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano has erupted explosively, sending a cloud of ash about 9 kilometers into the sky.

The US Geological Survey says the massive eruption took place near the volcano’s summit at 4:17 AM Thursday local time.

11)   The World Health Organization says the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has spread to an urban area.

The WHO said on Thursday that an Ebola case had been confirmed in Mbandaka, a city in the northwest of the country with a population of around a million.

12)   The Japanese government has notified the World Trade Organization that it is prepared to take countermeasures against US tariffs on steel and aluminum.

The government announced that it is ready to implement rebalancing measures worth about 440 million dollars. The tariffs that the US is imposing on Japan come to about that much.

The notification is a procedure required under international trade rules, if Japan actually takes the reciprocal step against the US in the future. Specific items have not yet been mentioned.