April 29th, 2017

先生の住む地域が乾燥しててwild fireが近くまで来ているそうな。http://wildfiretoday.com/tag/florida/ 雨が降るといいのだけど。

1)   The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department says internet users were denied access to its website on Friday afternoon in a suspected cyber-attack.

The department said on Friday it is the first time that internet users have been prevented from accessing its website due to a massive amount of data.

2)   More than a dozen journalists in Japan have protested a government-sponsored anti-terrorism bill. They say the law could suppress freedom of thought.

The bill would punish a criminal organization planning a serious crime, such as a terrorist attack, if a member of the group is found to make any preparations. A Diet committee is deliberating the bill.

3)   A Cabinet Minister in charge of rebuilding areas hit by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami has resigned after making a remark seen as offensive to those affected by the disaster.

Reconstruction Minister Masahiro Imamura submitted his letter of resignation to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday morning.

4)    South Koreans are taking issue with US President Donald Trump’s recent call for their country to pay for a missile defense system being deployed there.

Amid rising tensions over North Korea’s accelerated nuclear and missile programs, the United States is deploying the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, in South Korea.

On Thursday, Trump said in an interview with Reuters that he wants South Korea to pay for THAAD, which costs an estimated 1 billion dollars.

5)   The US Navy has unveiled on its website a photo of its aircraft carrier Carl Vinson and destroyers from Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force engaged in joint exercises.

The Carl Vinson strike group was joined by 2 Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyers on Sunday off the coast of the Philippines for the joint drills.

6)   US President Donald Trump says he wants to solve the problem of North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs diplomatically, but it’s very difficult.

Trump spoke with the Reuters news agency at the Oval Office on Thursday, ahead of his 100th day in office on Saturday.
7)   Russian President Vladimir Putin says that if his country and Japan conclude a peace treaty, it must benefit the national interests of both sides.

Putin attended a joint news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after their talks in Moscow on Thursday.

Putin described the meeting as constructive, saying Russia and Japan are ready to solve the most difficult issue facing them.

8)   The Japanese government has released key economic figures for the month of March. They show a mixed picture.

The labor market remains tight, with the unemployment rate at 2.8 percent. That’s unchanged from February.

The ratio of job offers to applicants rose very slightly, to 1.45. This means there were 145 job openings for every 100 people looking for work.

On the downside, industrial output fell 2.1 percent from the previous month. That’s the first decline in 2 months.

The consumer price index was up 0.2 percent from March last year. That was the third consecutive monthly increase.

Household spending was down 1.3 percent from a year earlier, declining for the 13th month in a row.

9)   The Japanese government says the country’s catch of young bluefin tuna has exceeded its annual quota, two months early.

Japan agreed in 2015 to limit its catch of Pacific bluefin weighing less than 30 kilograms, under an international accord aimed at conserving the species.

The country’s quota is 4,007 tons, but the Fisheries Agency said the total catch had reached 4,008 tons as of Thursday. The tuna fishing season ends in June.

It is the first time Japan has failed to keep within its quota. The Agency blamed underreporting of catches and illegal fishing in 9 prefectures.

10)   Executives at struggling electronics maker Toshiba are considering selling the company’s semiconductor business to a Japan-US group.

Sources say the group includes US investment firm KKR and a Japanese government-backed fund, the Innovation Network Corporation of Japan.

Also in the group are the government-affiliated Development Bank of Japan and several other Japanese businesses.

But it remains unclear whether the Japan-US group can come up with the roughly 18 billion dollars needed to cover Toshiba’s massive losses.

April 22nd, 2017


  1. 1)   Investigators say the man barged into a businessman who was carrying a bag containing about 670,000 dollars in cash along a street.The alleged thief was wearing a blue jacket and jeans.
    Police say footage captured by a nearby security camera shows two men fleeing the scene on a black motorcycle.

    Investigators suspect the two men were involved.

  1. 2) Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike has been chosen as one of the world’s 100 most influential people by Time magazine of the US.Koike is listed in the category of Pioneers. The first woman mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, describes her as a governor with both ambitions for Tokyo and an acute awareness of the challenges it faces.
  1. 3)   Japan’s governing Liberal Democratic Party has accepted an offer by a member lawmaker to leave the group over a scandal involving an extramarital affair.  Lower House member Toshinao Nakagawa told the party on Friday that he doesn’t want to cause it any more trouble. A weekly magazine had reported on the affair the day before.
  1. 4)   Japan’s foreign minister says the US must consult with Tokyo before taking military action against North Korea from any bases on Japanese soil. Fumio Kishida made the comment on Thursday during an Upper House committee meeting on foreign affairs and defense.
  1. 5) The number of children in Japan who’ve become victims of crimes through social networking services hit a record high last year. The National Police Agency says 1,736 children up to age 17 were victimized last year. That’s up 84 from 2015.
  1. 6) Japanese and Indian teams taking part in an international competition to send rovers to the Moon have conducted test runs of their vehicles. Japanese team HAKUTO and Team Indus performed the test runs for a media audience in Tokyo on Friday.
  1. 7) A Japanese city plans to collect virtual currency donations to help maintain a popular cherry blossom viewing park. The park in Hirosaki City, Aomori Prefecture is known for its 2,600 cherry trees and 400-year-old castle. The park attracts 2 million people during blossom season each year. But caring for the trees costs hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.
  1. 8) Japan’s Finance Minister Taro Aso has expressed his view that the remaining 11 nations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership will start discussions in May to put the TPP deal into effect. The United States withdrew from the TPP after President Donald Trump took office earlier this year.
  1. 9) China and South Korea have criticized Japanese government leaders and parliament members for their actions relating to Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine.
  1. 10) A US research group has released satellite imagery of what appears to be people playing volleyball at a nuclear test site in North Korea. Researchers say the North’s preparations for a nuclear test may have gone into “stand-by” mode.

April 15th, 2017


1)   The southwestern Japanese prefecture of Kumamoto has held a ceremony to remember the people killed in the earthquakes one year ago.

The quakes killed 225 people. 169 of the deaths have been recognized as related to the quakes, such as falling ill at evacuation shelters. About 200,000 houses were completely or partially destroyed. About 47,000 people are still living in temporary housing.

2)   Orders for commemorative stamps featuring popular figure skater Mao Asada shot up after she announced her retirement from competition. The set of stamps is paired with a small doll dressed in the skater’s costume.

Japan Post last month began accepting orders for the set. The doll is dressed in the dark blue costume Asada wore at the free style in the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games.

3)   Japan’s Board of Audit has found that nearly half of the firms that were granted state subsidies in exchange for making inroads into areas hit by the 2011 disaster have given up their efforts.

The Japanese government earmarked up to nearly 46 million dollars in subsidies to companies that will be building factories and other facilities in the prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima.

Officials say in many cases, the firms were unable to secure land or a workforce due to the slow pace of recovery.

4)   The US military says it struck a stronghold of the Islamic State militant group in Afghanistan with the largest non-nuclear bomb it has ever used in combat.

It said the GBU-43B Massive Ordnance Air Blast, known as “the mother of all bombs,” was used in an air strike in the eastern province of Nangarhar on Thursday.

5)   US President Donald Trump has given assurances that he held constructive talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping over North Korean provocations.

Trump on Wednesday tweeted he “had a very good call last night with the President of China concerning the menace of North Korea.”

6)   Police said Thursday they have obtained arrest warrants for two Chinese women after Meiji Shrine in central Tokyo was vandalized earlier this month with an oily liquid.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Police said Piao Jinyu and Piao Shanai, both 49, are suspected of vandalizing the shrine in Shibuya Ward on the morning of April 3 and were identified from surveillance camera footage.

The police said the two women, who have already left Japan, have been put on a wanted list as they are likely to return to the country.

7)   France and Japan want to recover pieces of a Martian Moon and bring them back to Earth, the head of France’s National Centre for Space Studies (CNES) said Thursday.

The Martian Moons Exploration project would launch a probe in 2024 destined for Phobos, the largest and closest of two moons circling the Red Planet.

8)   The United Fiasco could have happened to (most) any airline and it was a matter of time. The problem is not just with the airlines, but with the decline American customer service levels.

9/11 hurt our country in a number of ways, and its effects are still felt. What was once an industry based on pleasure has become more of a military installation. Airlines have embraced the powers afforded them through 9/11 and instead of treating passengers as customers, they often act as if they are doing the passenger a favor by transporting them.

9)   A misdirected airstrike by the U.S.-led coalition earlier this week killed 18 allied fighters battling the Islamic State group in northern Syria, the U.S. military said Thursday.

U.S. Central Command said coalition aircraft were given the wrong coordinates by their partner forces, the predominantly-Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces.

10)    Japan has a well-deserved reputation as a country with stimulating night life. Every major city has at least one “neon-gai” (entertainment zone), and Tokyo has dozens.

But according to J-Cast News (April 2), the varieties of so-called “fuzoku” (adult entertainment) businesses are showing signs of rapid decline.

11)   Miyako Taxi, which mainly operates in the Kyoto area, has designated a number of cars in its fleet as Silence Taxis. A notice written on the back of the passenger seat headrest informs customers that aside from offering a greeting when they get in and confirming their desired route, the driver will not speak to them unless he is spoken to (excepting, of course, emergency situations where communication is critical).

April 8th, 2017


1)   Swedish media report that a truck drove into a crowd on a shopping street and crashed into a department store in central Stockholm on Friday. The media report at least two people died and several others were injured. They report that police are investigating the incident as a possible terror attack.

2)   US President Donald Trump has ordered a missile strike on a Syrian airbase in response to a suspected chemical attack on rebel-held territory. It’s the first US attack on Syrian government forces since the civil war started in 2011. The Pentagon says 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles were launched from the destroyers USS Porter and USS Ross in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.

3)   Chinese President Xi Jinping has arrived in the United States for his first summit with US President Donald Trump. Xi and his wife flew to Florida on Thursday. He was greeted by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who visited China last month. Trump and his wife also arrived there by Air Force One. The leaders are scheduled to have a dinner together at Trump’s retreat with their wives.

4)   Germany’s cabinet on Wednesday approved a bill that punishes social networking sites if they fail to promptly remove illegal content such as hate speech or defamatory fake news. The cabinet agreed on rules that will impose fines up to 50 million euros, or more than 53 million dollars, on the social media platforms. The bill says social networks need to ensure that obviously criminal content, as defined by German law, will be deleted within 24 hours.

5)   Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Friday that Japan “supports the resolve” of the United States not to allow the proliferation or use of chemical weapons, following a U.S. missile strike on a Syrian air base from which a deadly poison attack was allegedly launched earlier this week.

6)   Japan is struggling to improve English proficiency in public high schools, an education ministry survey showed Wednesday, with students’ performance well behind targets set by the government.

As of December, 36.4% of third-year senior high school students scored “Grade Pre-2” or higher in the Eiken Test in Practical English Proficiency. That was up 2.1 percentage points from the previous year but a long way off the 50% target set by the government for third-year students to achieve by their graduation in March next year.

7)   Japan’s disaster reconstruction minister said Tuesday displaced people yet to return to areas of Fukushima Prefecture deemed safe to live in are “responsible for themselves,” before snapping at the reporter whose question prompted the remark.

Masahiro Imamura made the comment at a press conference explaining the government’s efforts for the reconstruction of areas hit by the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster.

8)   Japanese retail chain operator Seven & i Holdings will acquire convenience stores from a US company.

It says the 3.3-billion-dollar deal will boost its presence in the country.

Seven & i will buy about 1,100 stores in Texas and other states from gas station and convenience store operator Sonoco in August.
9)   In Japan, the number of stalking cases where police identified suspects hit a record high in 2016.

The National Police Agency says there were more than 2,600 cases last year. It also issued warnings in more than 3,500 cases.

Police received over 22,700 inquiries and reports about stalking. That’s the second highest since record-keeping began in 2000.

10)   The city of Osaka has certified a gay couple as foster parents in an apparent first in Japan.

City officials say the men — one in his 30s and the other in his 40s — were approved in December after being vetted by an expert panel. They were also scrutinized by a child consultation center and given an orientation on the foster parent program.

The pair now has a child.


March 23rd, 2017

1)   The head of a Japanese nationalist school at the heart of a swirling political scandal said in sworn testimony in parliament on Thursday that he received a donation of 1 million yen from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s wife in her husband’s name.

2)   Fewer Japanese are taking their own lives, a positive sign in a country with one of the world’s highest suicide rates.

Experts say it’s difficult to pinpoint a reason for the decline, attributing it to a combination of factors. The government has made a determined effort to tackle the issue, starting with national legislation in 2006. Consumer loan laws have been revised to try to keep people from taking on too much debt.

“Now we can talk about suicides,” said Yasuyuki Shimuzu, founder of Lifelink, a nonprofit that lobbies for suicide-prevention measures. “I believe the change in environment has made it easier for the needy to seek help.”

3)   British police arrested seven people in armed raids Thursday linked to the deadly attacks the day before on the symbol of the country’s democracy.

Britain’s top anti-terror officer Mark Rowley also said police have revised down the number of victims from Wednesday’s rampage to three from four. Some 40 people were wounded.

4)   The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has unveiled an outline of a facility designed to boost young people’s communication skills in the English language.

The Tokyo government is planning to open the educational facility called English Village in September next year, in the lead-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. The project is part of Tokyo’s efforts to foster globally-minded talent.

The facility will be named Tokyo Global Gateway and located in Koto ward. It is expected to be operated by a private company. Courses will be offered for fifth-grade students through high-school seniors with priority given to applications from schools.

5)   Writers and film directors in Japan have voiced opposition to a proposed bill to criminalize preparing to carry out terrorism and other organized crimes.

The Japan PEN Club, a group of writers and poets, said in a statement that the legislation would violate freedom of thought and beliefs guaranteed by the Constitution.

The group criticized the government’s argument that the legislation is necessary to host the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. The group says the existing organized crime law is sufficient for taking anti-terrorism measures.
6)   A government survey says abuse of elderly people by family members and others reached 16,384 cases in Japan during the year ending March 2016. That’s a 2 percent increase from the previous year.

7)   An internet-based bank in Japan plans to soon start allowing customers to withdraw cash from ATMs using only smartphones.

Jibun Bank account holders will be able to use the service at more than 23,000 ATMs owned by Seven Bank. The machines are located around the country, mainly in Seven-Eleven convenience stores.

Customers must first enter the withdrawal amount on a smartphone app. The ATM will display a QR code to be scanned with a smartphone camera. The app will then show a number for the transaction.

Once users enter the number and an account password, they’ll be able to get their money.

March 18th, 2017


1)   A court in Japan has found the central government and Tokyo Electric Power Company liable for failing to prevent the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident.

In a ruling on Friday, the Maebashi District Court in Gunma Prefecture ordered the government and TEPCO to pay more than 38 million yen, or about 335,000 dollars, in damages to a group of 137 evacuees.

2)   Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says neither he nor his wife made a donation to build a school for an organization embroiled in a controversy over a state-owned land deal.

Abe was answering a question in a Lower House committee on Friday. One day earlier, Moritomo Gakuen President Yasunori Kagoike suggested that Abe had donated one million yen, or about 8,850 dollars, to build an elementary school.

3)    An upgrade being rolled out this summer to Mastercard’s mobile payments service will let people open, manage and close their tabs at participating bars and taverns completely through their phones, without having to hand over a credit card.

4)   Japan is laying the groundwork for a free education program for some households that will cover a student’s costs from preschool to college to ensure the country maintains a highly-skilled workforce.

The program, still in its early stages, is expected to feature in the government’s economic strategy due sometime around June.

5)   The number of crime syndicate members in Japan fell below the 20,000 threshold for the first time in 2016, as gang groups are struggling to secure financing on the back of stronger police crackdowns and a growing civil movement to eliminate them, a national police report showed Thursday.

6)   The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games on Friday confirmed that the International Olympic Committee Executive Board has approved the Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadium in Fukushima Prefecture as an additional venue for Baseball and Softball events at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

7)   Managers at Japan’s major companies are putting their offers on the table in response to workers’ demands for higher wages.

The outcome so far of annual labor negotiations indicates workers will probably take home higher pay, but their raises will be less than agreed upon last year.


March 11th, 2017


1)   “Radiation! Bang bang!”

Gesturing as if with guns, two boys in Tokyo repeatedly taunted a girl whose family fled to Japan’s capital to escape radioactivity unleashed by the Fukushima nuclear crisis of 2011.

The girl began to skip classes, and switched schools to escape the bullies, her mother told Reuters. But the very radiation that uprooted the family brought more pain in her new home.

“For her to be called ‘radioactive’ was heartbreaking,” said the mother.

Six years after an earthquake and tsunami sparked the Fukushima meltdown, several cases of “nuclear bullying,” as the Japanese media calls them, have prompted discrimination similar to that suffered by survivors of the World War Two atom bombs.

2)   Support for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has plunged after questions were raised in parliament about a murky land deal involving an elementary school to which his wife had ties, according to an online poll published this week.

Abe has said neither he nor his wife, Akie, was involved in the deal for state-owned land purchased by Moritomo Gakuen, an educational body in the western city of Osaka.

3)   In a historic, unanimous ruling Friday, South Korea’s Constitutional Court formally removed impeached President Park Geun-hye from office over a corruption scandal that has plunged the country into political turmoil and worsened an already-serious national divide.

4)   Six years after a huge tsunami ravaged Rikuzentakata, the coastal city in northeastern Japan is moving on to rebuild tourism with a unique home stay program.

The “minpaku” private lodging program organized by the city’s tourism promoting organization Marugoto Rikuzentakata enables visitors to get a taste of the daily lives of local fishermen, farmers, and other residents while learning about the disaster.

5)   Computers of Japanese companies and individuals are becoming the prime target of an attack using “ransomware”—programs that bar victims from accessing their business files or family photos unless they pay money to do so.

A computer gets infected with ransomware typically when its user opens a file attached to a spam email from a sender pretending to be a company, often a parcel delivery company, according to the government-affiliated Information-Technology Promotion Agency.

6)   A 36-year-old truck driver who was playing Pokemon Go when he hit and killed a 9-year-old boy last year, was sentenced to three years in prison Wednesday by the Ichinomiya branch of the Nagoya District Court.

7)   Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Wednesday he plans to visit Germany, France and Italy from March 19 for talks with the countries’ leaders on ways to address security and other challenges facing them.

8)   Rattled by North Korean military advances, influential Japanese lawmakers are pushing harder for Japan to develop the ability to strike preemptively at the missile facilities of its nuclear-armed neighbor.

9)   China is violating its free-trade pledges by pressing foreign makers of electric cars and other goods to give technology under an industry development plan that is likely to shrink access to its markets, a business group said Tuesday.

The report by the European Union Chamber of Commerce adds to  complaints Beijing improperly shields its new developers of robotics, software and other technology from competition.

10)   The top U.S. commander in the Middle East signaled Thursday that there will be a larger and longer American military presence in Syria to accelerate the fight against the Islamic State group and quell friction within the complicated mix of warring factions there.

11)   Japan’s Prime Minister says his administration will end its main UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan. The government will not send another team to replace the current unit. Japan’s top government spokesperson says the country’s withdrawal from a UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan is not due to worsening security there.

12)   The Osaka prefectural government may decide not to approve a plan to open an elementary school in Toyonaka City in April. It is concerned that the school’s operator has failed to give convincing answers to the questions raised over a controversial land deal.

Moritomo Gakuen wants to open the school on a plot it bought from the Japanese government. But the operator has been mired in controversy since it came to light that the site was purchased for a fraction of its market value.

13)   25 Filipino women have arrived in Japan to engage in housekeeping work under the government’s strategic special zone program. They will start working in April in Kanagawa Prefecture, south of Tokyo. At present, foreigners can perform this type of work in Tokyo, Kanagawa, and the city of Osaka.

The women are allowed to work for up to 3 years. Live-in jobs are prohibited in order to protect the workers from possible abuse.

14)   A record 54,000 children in Japan were referred to child welfare centers in suspected abuse cases in 2016. The National Police Agency said on Thursday that reports on 54,227 children were filed last year. The figure was up 46 percent from 2015 and is the highest since comparable data became available in 2004.

March 4th, 2017


1)   Former Tokyo Gov Shintaro Ishihara urged incumbent Gov Yuriko Koike on Friday to relocate the aging Tsukiji wholesale market to a nearby site without further delays, criticizing her reservations about the long-stalled project.

“She should be held responsible for wasting money,” Ishihara told the Japan National Press Club, referring to the running costs for the unused relocation facility in the Toyosu area which used to host a gas production plant.

2)   A bill that would make Saitama Prefecture the first local government in Japan to charge for helicopter mountain rescue operations was submitted to the prefectural assembly Thursday.

3)   In March, housing subsidies run out for those who fled the Fukushima nuclear disaster from areas other than the government-designated evacuation zones, and as the clock ticks down, they have had to decide whether to return or move once again.

Many of these so-called voluntary evacuees are mothers concerned to avoid any risk to their children’s health, with the fathers remaining back in Fukushima Prefecture, according to freelance journalist Chia Yoshida.

4)    Would you support a complete ban on smoking in public places in Japan?

5)   Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Thursday he does not intend to start a probe into the government or his ruling Liberal Democratic Party as questions mount over their possible roles in a controversial sale of government-owned land in Osaka.

6)   The Japanese government pension fund said Friday it posted a record investment profit of 10.50 trillion yen ($91.90 billion) in the October-December period, boosted by a rally in stocks at home and abroad following Donald Trump’s victory in the U.S. presidential election last November.

The Government Pension Investment Fund, the world’s largest pension fund, logged the biggest investment profit for a quarter since fiscal 2001, when it started managing its investments on its own.

7)   With a month to go this fiscal year, Japan’s installation of new wind power capacity in 2016-17 is set to come in almost double that of the previous 12 months, propelled by higher tariffs guaranteed by Tokyo and a rising number of offshore wind farms.

8)   A North Korean envoy rejected a Malaysian autopsy finding that VX nerve agent killed Kim Jong Nam, saying Thursday the man probably died of a heart attack because he suffered from heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. Malaysia dismissed the claim.

9)   Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday it was inappropriate that a kindergarten in Osaka run by a controversial school operator made children cheer for him during a sports event.

“I have no intention whatsoever of making a kindergarten say (such a thing). I think it is inappropriate,” Four preschoolers raised their right hands and shouted twice, “Go fight, Prime Minister Abe.”

Video footage showed the children also saying, “Adults should protect the Senkaku Islands and Takeshima. Chinese and South Korean people who treat Japan as a bad (country) should amend their minds.” They also said, “The passage through the Diet of the security legislation was good.”

10)   Smartphones have become a mine of personal information, holding bank data, credit card information and addresses, making them the preferred target for cybercriminals, experts warn.

“Cybercriminals go where there is value, and they have understood that the smartphone has become the preferred terminal for online shopping and payment,” said Tanguy de Coatpont, Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

11)   SpaceX plans to launch two paying passengers on a tourist trip around the moon next year using a spaceship under development for NASA astronauts and a heavy-lift rocket yet to be flown.

The launch of the first privately funded tourist flight beyond the orbit of the International Space Station is tentatively targeted for late 2018, Space Exploration Technologies Chief Executive Elon Musk told reporters on a conference call.

12)   The Japanese government is planning to reduce penalties for those who plot serious crimes like terrorism but turn themselves in before actually committing them under a contentious anti-conspiracy bill it is preparing, sources close to the matter say.

The government plans to submit the bill to the ongoing Diet session to amend the law on organized crime to criminalize the act of making preparations for terrorism.

13)   Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso says he’s in the process of arranging his first round of economic talks with US Vice President Mike Pence for mid-April.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Donald Trump agreed in February to launch dialogue between their deputies to deepen economic relations.

14)   A campaign to boycott Lotte Group’s products is growing in China in opposition to the planned installation of an advanced US missile defense system in South Korea.

The protest began when the South Korean government said on Tuesday that it officially acquired a golf course in the country’s south from Lotte Group as a site for deployment of the system.

Seoul says it will install the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, system this year to boost its defense against nuclear and missile threats from North Korea.

15)   Police in Japan have arrested an environment ministry official for alleged bribery over decontamination work following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.

Fifty-six-year-old Yuji Suzuki, who works at a ministry sub-branch in the prefecture, is suspected of helping a construction company land such work in exchange for wining and dining.

Fukushima and Tokyo police found that Suzuki was provided entertainment at hostess bars and a free trip worth about 1,750 US dollars from the construction firm in Toyama Prefecture.

Feb 25th, 2017

ハルキの新作はどんな話なの?と聞かれた^^  そのうち買おう。多分文庫になったらかな。

1)   Japan’s prime minister will spend Friday afternoon meditating while staff at some of the country’s biggest firms are also quitting work early—in time for a bit of shopping or maybe a boozy train ride.

Welcome to Premium Friday, Japan’s latest bid to tackle two perennial problems—sluggish consumer spending and notoriously long working hours blamed for a national health crisis known as “karoshi,” or death from overwork.

2)   Residents near the U.S. Kadena Air Base in Okinawa were awarded about 30.2 billion yen ($267 million) in a court ruling Thursday, marking the largest damages payment levied against the Japanese government in a suit over noise from a military installation.

The Okinawa branch of the Naha District Court, however, turned down a request by 22,000 nearby residents to ban nighttime and early morning flights at the biggest U.S. air base in East Asia.

3)   “White-hat” hackers who spot a security vulnerability in a computer system or network may be one of the most sought-after professions in Japan today with technology firms struggling with increasing threats of cyberattacks.

In an effort to strengthen education on system security and train ethical hackers, a state-run Japanese college has launched a bug-hunting contest among its students

4)   Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Friday that his wife Akie has resigned as honorary principal of a soon-to-open elementary school after revelations that its nationalist operator had bought central government-owned land at far below its appraised value.

5)   Workers at Yamato Transport Co have asked the delivery service firm to limit the volume of packages accepted from clients amid labor shortages, sources close to negotiations between management and labor said Thursday.

The two sides will negotiate ways to deal with tough working conditions, particularly delivery truck drivers’ long working hours, in this year’s spring wage talks as the growth of online shopping services has led to a surge in the number of parcels.

6)   U.S. President Donald Trump is yet to name an ambassador to Japan. Which is more important for incoming ambassadors: To be well connected to their head of state or to have a good knowledge of the country where they are being posted?

A)   Top of Form 1

Be well connected to their head of state.

B)   Have a good knowledge of the country he or she is being posted to.

C)   Both, if possible.

7)   The Trump-Abe summit just concluded was, in both formal and informal terms, a ringing confirmation of the U.S.-Japan alliance. It also stressed the transcendent importance of U.S.-Japan relations as a whole in American global diplomacy.

Trump also pointedly thanked Japan for hosting U.S. armed forces, and made no mention of “burden-sharing,” departing markedly from his campaign-trail skepticism of Japan’s contributions to mutual defense.

8)   North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un’s half brother was assassinated with a lethal nerve agent manufactured for chemical warfare, Malaysian police said Friday.

Releasing a preliminary toxicology report on Kim Jong-Nam’s murder at a Kuala Lumpur airport, police said the poison used by the assassins was the odourless, tasteless and highly toxic nerve agent VX

Bottom of Form 1

Feb 18th, 2017


1)   U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Thursday pledged that Washington would use the full range of its arsenal, including nuclear weapons, to defend allies Japan and South Korea against North Korea if needed.

2)    Prosecutors on Thursday released an 88-year-old man whose truck plowed into school children, and he is unlikely to be charged with any crime as it appears he suffers from dementia without realizing it, an investigative source said.

The man was arrested on suspicion of negligent driving resulting in death and injury after a minitruck he was driving struck a group of school children as they were walking to school in Yokohama last October.

3)   Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says he hopes that new government-business initiative, called “Premium Friday,” will boost economic consumption.

Abe met Wednesday with the government’s Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy to discuss the introduction of “Premium Friday,” which allows employees to finish working at 3 p.m. on the last Friday at the end of each month. It is set to begin on Feb 24

4)   Products bearing the image of “Kumamon,” the black bear mascot of quake-hit Kumamoto Prefecture, racked up sales of at least 128 billion yen ($1.1 billion) in 2016, the prefectural government said Wednesday.

5)   The leaks are real. But the news about them is fake. The White House is a fine-tuned machine. Russia is a ruse.

For its stunning moments and memorable one-liners, Donald Trump’s first solo news conference as president has no rivals in recent memory.

6)   Tired of the usual box of chocolates? Try a bug cocktail or a caramel creepy crawly for Valentine’s Day.

A Tokyo bar on Sunday offered courageous couples and curious gourmets a special menu of desserts and drinks made with insects ahead of Tuesday’s holiday.

“They are crispy like the skin of walnuts and go pretty well with chocolate,” Sayumi Makino, 20, told Reuters Television at the Duranbar in central Tokyo.

The menu ranged from a cranberry and water bug cocktail to caramelized worms with almonds and cashews. The whipped cream on some desserts included the internal fluids of giant Thai water bugs, known for their sweet taste.

7)   A 70.2% majority of Japanese people are satisfied with recent talks between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump, while 19.5% said they are dissatisfied, according to a Kyodo News survey conducted Sunday and Monday.

How do you distinguish between real and fake news?

2007-02-10 Fri.

今日は前半に安倍総理がトランプ大統領と会ってるねーって話からまたもトランプ大統領でり上がり時間がなくなってしまったので発音の練習と猫の記事を無理やり入れて終わる^^ 明日大統領たちと一緒にゴルフやってみたら?とふざけて言ったらそんな暇はないよ、まぁ日本の女優さんが来た時ならやるけどね。とアメリカンな答えでした。


Cats are as good as dogs at certain memory tests, according to a new Japanese study published in the journal Behavioural Processes. The study findings suggest that cats are just as smart as dogs, researchers say.

The study was conducted using 49 domestic cats and different bowls of food. The findings shows that cats can recall memories of positive experiences, such as eating a delicious snack. The experiment was a test of episodic memory, or memory of past events and experiences that occur at a particular time and place. It was modeled off of a similar 2012 study conducted on dogs.

Kyoto University psychologist Saho Takagi told BBC News that both cats and dogs may have episodic memory similar to that of humans. “Episodic memory is viewed as being related to introspective function of the mind,” Takagi said. “Our study may imply a type of consciousness in cats.”

A Feline Study 

In one phase of the experiment, cats were led to four open containers of food, and were permitted to eat from two of them. After fifteen minutes passed, the containers were replaced with empty ones, and the same cats returned to the room in search of food. Here, researchers found that they spent more time exploring those containers from which they had already eaten than others.

That cats were able to remember “what” and “where” information about the food bowls suggests they have episodic memory. Still, it’s unclear whether cats can experience past memories in the same depth that humans do.

“It’s hard to know if the cats actually subjectively remember the experience of going to that particular bowl, such as the colors and the sounds,” Nick Diamond told TFK. He is a researcher at the University of Toronto and Rotman Research Institute. “So when we study [episodic memory] in animals, scientists tend to boil it down to the what, the where, and the when without getting into the experience of what the animal is remembering, which is certainly tough to figure out.”

Still, the study’s results may have practical applications. “It opens the door to new studies examining how long cats’ memories can be,” Yale University Professor Laurie Santos told BBC News, “and whether they also remember richer episodes in their own life as humans do.”

Feb 4th, 2017


1)   Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has met with US Defense Secretary James Mattis in Tokyo. Abe said he wants to maintain a strong Japan-US alliance under the new US administration.

Mattis paid a courtesy call to Abe on Friday evening after arriving from South Korea. He was the first member of President Donald Trump’s Cabinet to visit Japan.

Abe said he hopes and also is convinced that together with Mattis and President Trump, the 2 countries will be able to demonstrate the unwavering alliance inside and outside the country.

2)   A traditional bean-throwing festival to invite good luck has been held at a Buddhist temple near Tokyo.

The annual festival held on Friday at Naritasan Shinshoji Temple attracts about 50,000 people each year.

Among the celebrities taking part were sumo wrestler Kisenosato, who recently became a yokozuna, or grand champion, and actor Gin Maeda, who’s appearing in an NHK yearlong TV drama.

3)   Japan, which has a consistent trade surplus with the U.S., is putting the finishing touches on a package that it claims will create 700,000 jobs in the U.S. and help create a $450-billion market.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Trump are expected to meet on Feb. 10. Major Japanese newspapers cited a draft of the proposal that calls for cooperation on building high-speed trains in the U.S. northeast, Texas and California. The two sides would also jointly develop artificial intelligence, robotics, space and Internet technology.


4)   Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says the country needs a law to impose criminal charges on those plotting terror attacks ahead of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020.

Japan’s government is working to narrow the requirements for a plot to constitute a conspiracy, to establish the charge of preparing a terror attack and other organized crimes.

5)   The legal fight over President Donald Trump’s ban on refugees is likely to turn on questions of a president’s authority to control America’s borders and on whether the new immigration policy unconstitutionally discriminates against Muslims.

6)   The organizers of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics plan to urge the scheduled venue for golf to change its membership policy.

The Kasumigaseki Country Club in Kawagoe City near Tokyo does not extend full membership to women.

The Tokyo organizer said at its board meeting on Wednesday that it will work with the sport’s associations and the Japanese Olympic Committee to persuade the country club to change its policies.

7) Buddhist monk Kaichi Watanabe chants sutras to commemorate the one-year anniversary of a woman’s death.

The 41-year-old may look like a traditional holy man in Japan—but he wasn’t dispatched by a temple. Instead, the family ordered him through a fast-growing rent-a-monk business that has angered traditionalists who warn it is commercialising the religion.

Watanabe’s employer, Tokyo-based firm Minrevi, said demand for its monk delivery service has spiked since it started in May 2013, as more and more Japanese lose their ties to local temples—and lose faith in an opaque donation system.

The firm has a roster of about 700 monks nationwide with business on track to grow by 20% this year, he added.

Jan 28th, 2017

トランプ大統領の話は続く….。そして入院の話も。retinal detachmentはもう完全に私の中で語彙が定着してる。^^

1)    The Tokyo metropolitan government is arranging an extra spending measure of around 9 billion yen ($79.43 million) to compensate businesses for losses resulting from its postponement of the Tsukiji fish market relocation amid safety concerns at the new site, a source close to the matter said Thursday.

2)   U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday ordered construction of a U.S.-Mexican border wall and punishment for cities shielding illegal immigrants while mulling restoring a CIA secret detention program as he launched broad but divisive plans to reshape U.S. immigration and national security policy.

3)   A government survey shows that in 2016 the number of foreigners working for Japanese companies within Japan topped one million for the first time.

The labor ministry obliges all Japanese companies to report how many foreign workers they hire domestically.

The ministry says that as of the end of October, there were about 1.08 million foreign residents employed by Japanese firms. That’s up 19.4 percent from a year earlier.

4)   Chinese tourists are pouring into Japan as the week-long Chinese Lunar New Year holiday starts.

New Chitose Airport, the largest airport in Hokkaido, northern Japan, is crowded with travelers from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

On Friday afternoon they formed long lines at the immigration check point.

5)   Fatal car accidents caused by elderly drivers have become an issue in Japan. Government officials are looking for ways to prevent them.

One plan is to encourage more drivers to buy cars equipped with automatic braking and other safety systems.

The officials are considering supporting automakers in the development of technology that assists elderly drivers.

6)   Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has not ruled out the possibility of negotiating a bilateral Free Trade Agreement with the United States instead of the multilateral Trans Pacific Partnership.

Abe was speaking at a question-and-answer session in the Lower House budget committee on Thursday.

US President Donald Trump has decided to withdraw his country from the TPP. The 12-member free trade pact is unlikely to take effect without the nation.
7)   People visited a disabled care home near Tokyo to offer flowers on Thursday to mourn the victims of a mass murder that occurred there 6 months ago.

The attack at the facility in Sagamihara City, Kanagawa Prefecture, left 19 dead and 27 wounded. The suspect is a former worker at the home.

The man suspected of killing 19 intellectually disabled people at a care facility 6 months ago has told investigators his motive for committing the murders. He reportedly said the victims were worse off than any other disabled people he had met before and were a burden to others.

Jan 21st, 2017


1)   Black-clad activists angry about U.S. President Donald Trump’s inauguration smashed store car windows and blocked traffic in Washington on Friday and fought with police in riot gear who responded with tear gas and stun grenades.

About 500 people, some wearing masks, marched through the city’s downtown, using hammers to claw up chunks of pavement to smash the windows of a Bank of America branch and a McDonald’s outlet, all symbols of the American capitalist system.

In Tokyo, several hundred people, most of them expatriate Americans, protested against Trump

2)   Fake News Is Taking Hold In Other Countries In Attempts To Influence Elections And Incite Genocide

The most notable current fake news target in the developed world happens to be Germany.

3)   Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says he hopes to further strengthen the country’s alliance with the United States under its incoming president Donald Trump.

Abe was delivering a policy speech in the Diet on Friday to mark the start of a regular session.

4)   The number of suicides in Japan continued to fall in 2016, marking the 7th consecutive year-on-year decline.

The National Police Agency says 21,764 people killed themselves in Japan last year. That’s 2,261 fewer than in 2015 — a decline of 9.4 percent.

The total fell below the 22,000 level for the first time in 22 years and remained under 30,000 for the 5th year in a row.

Health ministry officials say that people in their 40s accounted for the largest number of suicide deaths, followed by those in their 50s and 60s.

5)   The Tokyo Metropolitan Government plans to clarify whether former Governor Shintaro Ishihara is obliged to pay reparations for the relocation of a wholesale food market to a contaminated site.

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike revealed this to reporters on Friday in connection with a lawsuit filed in 2012 by a group of Tokyo residents.

The plaintiffs are demanding that the metropolitan government should make the former governor pay about 500 million dollars.

6)   Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has ordered all of the country’s ministries and agencies to check whether their officials helped colleagues secure post-retirement jobs.

Abe gave the instruction on Friday to state minister Kozo Yamamoto, who’s in charge of civil service reform.

Education ministry officials had been found to have lobbied to secure a university job for a retiring colleague.
A retired senior official from the education ministry in Japan has given up his post of university professor. He secured it with the help of ministry colleagues.
7)   Osaka police have referred the mother of a teenage pop performer to prosecutors on suspicion of allowing her daughter to skip school.

Police say the 44-year-old woman is suspected of allowing her then 15-year-old daughter to skip junior high school from February to July of last year.

They add the woman told them that her daughter declined to go to school. She said she respected her daughter’s decision to pursue her pop career rather than attend junior high.

Jan 14th, 2017


1)    Officials at Japan’s Meteorological Agency say a strong cold air mass flowing into Japan will continue to bring snowstorms to the north of the country.

Weather officials say strong winds are blowing mainly in the north and that snow is falling heavily along the Sea of Japan coast and in mountainous areas.

In the town of Happocho, Akita Prefecture, maximum wind gusts at one point reached more than 106 kilometers per hour.

Snow has accumulated to 30 to 60 centimeters during the past 24 hours in some parts of the Sea of Japan coast and mountainous areas in the Hokuriku region.

2)    The Japanese government says it will promote efforts to develop and deepen economic ties with the United States, whoever is president.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga spoke to reporters on Thursday, after the news conference by US President-elect Donald Trump.

3)   Japanese cafes, restaurants and similar businesses are protesting a move to ban indoor smoking.
They say they’ll petition ruling parties to reconsider the plan.

Health ministry officials want to apply the ban to all indoor public spaces. They say it will reduce the risk of passive smoking.

But they’re prepared to allow designated smoking rooms that are sealed off by four walls.

Officials are considering penalties for managers and smokers who violate the rule.

4)   Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has announced a trillion-yen aid package for the Philippines, spread over 5 years, to help with the country’s infrastructure projects.

Abe announced the package, worth about 8.7 billion dollars, at a meeting with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in the country’s capital Manila on Thursday.

The money comprises official development assistance and private-sector investments. The 2 countries are to set up a joint committee to ensure that it is spent efficiently.

5)   Eight baby giant pandas in China’s southwestern province of Sichuan have joined celebrations for the New Year.

27 giant pandas were born last year at a breeding base in Chengdu in the province. Giant pandas are feared to be on the verge of extinction.

On Wednesday, 8 of them were taken in the arms of keepers to an area decorated for the New Year. The cubs played with stuffed toy birds symbolizing the Year of the Rooster in the Oriental zodiac, and climbed trees.
6)   One of the more optimistic goals of Tokyo Gov Yuriko Koike is “manin densha zero”—to eliminate crowding on the trains. In November, Nikkei Business (Dec 12) assigned three reporters to board rush-hour commuter trains and present their views on the sources of the problem.

The three were in agreement that it is indeed no exaggeration to describe the morning ordeal undergone by commuters by transposing the word “tsukin” (commuting to work) to another “tsukin,” with characters meaning “painful diligence.”

7)   China’s massive export engine sputtered for the second year in a row in 2016, with shipments falling in the face of persistently weak global demand and officials voicing fears of a trade war with the United States that is clouding the outlook for 2017.

China’s exports fell 7.7% in 2016 from a year earlier, while imports slid 5.5%, leaving the country with a trade surplus of $509.96 billion, official data showed on Friday.

The world’s largest trading nation could be heavily exposed to U.S. protectionist measures if President-elect Donald Trump follows through on campaign pledges to label it a currency manipulator on his first day in office and impose heavy tariffs on imports of Chinese goods.

8)    “He was constantly after me on Facebook – ‘Can we have dinner? Can we get together?’ I said, ‘Please, don’t send me any more messages!’ – but that only made him angry. He started writing about me on (gossip site) 2-Channel, using my real name and occupation.”

A toughening of anti-stalking laws in December is a welcome if belated sign that the government is starting to take the issue seriously. The definition of stalking was broadened to include online harassment.

Jan 7th, 2017


1)   The governor of Niigata Prefecture has voiced his opposition to the restart of Tokyo Electric Power Co’s (TEPCO’s) Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant, adding it may take a few years to review the pre-conditions for restart.

2)   Sushi entrepreneur Kiyoshi Kimura paid top price at the first auction of the new year at Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market on Thursday, bagging a prized bluefin tuna for an eye-watering 74.2 million yen ($636,000).

The head of the Sushizanmai chain is now the proud—if temporary—owner of a 212-kilogram fish.

3)   The Japan Gerontological Society has proposed that a person should be defined as elderly from age 75 instead of 65.

It announced the proposal in Tokyo on Thursday. Currently a person aged 65 or older is defined as elderly.

4)   Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga has announced Tokyo’s countermeasures against the erection of a statue symbolizing those referred to as comfort women in front of the Japanese Consulate General in Busan, South Korea.

Suga announced the temporary return to Japan of its ambassador to South Korea and the Consul General at Busan. He added that Japan will also suspend bilateral talks on the resumption of a currency swap agreement, postpone bilateral high-level economic talks and cancel the participation of Japanese consulate general officials in events linked with Busan City.

5)   The newly-elected US Congress convened on Tuesday. The majority Republicans intend to review President Barack Obama’s health care act.

The Republican Party retains control of both chambers after the election last November.

In the first session Tuesday, the Republican Senate Budget Committee chairperson submitted a bill to repeal what’s known as Obamacare.

6)   US President-elect Donald Trump says Toyota Motor should pay heavy taxes if it goes ahead with its plan to build a factory in Mexico.

Trump released a message on Twitter on Thursday. It reads “Toyota Motor said will build a new plant in Baja, Mexico, to build Corolla cars for US. NO WAY! Build plant in US or pay big border tax.”
7)   Prime Minister Shinzo Abe asked business leaders on Thursday to support a sustainable economic recovery by raising employee wages in the new year, in keeping with their policy of the last few years.

“I thank you for the high-level wage increases over the past three years,” Abe said in a speech at a New Year reception hosted by major business lobbies.

Dec 24th, 2016


1)   Addressing the country on his 83rd birthday Friday, Emperor Akihito thanked the Japanese public for heeding his message earlier in the year indicating his desire to abdicate.

His annual birthday remarks followed his rare video message in which he said his advanced age could one day prevent him from fulfilling his duties as the symbol of the state. Currently, there are no provisions in law allowing an emperor to relinquish the Chrysanthemum throne.

2)   “Overseas, gambling addiction has become a serious social problem,” explains a source who is familiar with casinos. “In South Korea in 2000, the Kangwon Land casino that was previously only open to foreign visitors was also opened to locals. In the area adjacent to the resort, now pawnshops can be seen all over the place, and several hundred people who had lost everything they had to gambling are said to be living on the streets.

3)   Japanese police and firefighters are inspecting the scene of a massive fire in Niigata Prefecture to determine how it started and spread.

The fire broke out at a Chinese restaurant in Itoigawa City on Thursday morning and engulfed about 150 buildings including houses and shops. Six firefighters and two other people suffered injuries.

The restaurant owner claimed to have discovered the fire upon returning after a short absence.

4)   Officials at Japan National Tourism Organization say an estimated 1.9 million foreign visitors came to Japan in November. That’s a record high for the month.

5)   A group of people who evacuated due to the 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has spoken out about the many problems they face, including recent bullying of evacuee children.

A senior official of the group, Mitsuo Sato, said what has been reported about bullying is the tip of the iceberg. He said adults also face harassment and insensitivity.

A woman who voluntarily evacuated from Fukushima Prefecture with her daughter asked people to think about why they had to leave their home. She added that the nuclear accident is far from over.

6)   Japan’s cabinet ministers are to approve on Thursday a record-high budget plan for the next fiscal year.

The draft budget is expected to total about 833 billion dollars. That’s 6 billion dollars more than what was projected for the current year.

One-third of the money will be for social welfare, including ballooning spending on the needs of the country’s aging population.
7)   A senior Russian government official has expressed his willingness to implement deals reached with Japan during President Vladimir Putin’s recent visit.

Russian media report that Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov attended a parliamentary committee on Thursday to report on last week’s summit talks.

Morgulov said President Putin’s visit to Japan was a breakthrough and provided a major boost to the development of bilateral ties in economic, political, humanitarian, and various other areas.

Dec 17th, 2016


1) Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin wrapped up two days of talks on Thursday, with numerous economic deals but no big breakthrough on a territorial row that has over-shadowed ties since World War Two.

2) Emperor Akihito, 82, has a cold and fever and has cancelled morning duties, an official at the Imperial Household Agency said on Friday. The emperor has no planned duties Friday afternoon and this weekend and will rest at the Imperial Palace, the official said.

3) The Bank of Japan is likely to give a more upbeat view of the economy at next week’s rate review, sources say, as a pick-up in emerging Asian demand and positive signs in private consumption improve prospects for a solid, export-driven recovery. Japan surpassed China in October as the largest foreign owner of U.S. Treasury securities, the first time the countries have swapped places in nearly two years. Total foreign holdings fell for a fourth month.

4) Defense Minister Tomomi Inada has received a report from a new Japan Self-Defense Force peacekeeping unit in South Sudan. She urged the group to ensure its safety.

Inada talked with the unit’s commander, Colonel Yoshiro Tanaka, via video phone on Thursday. He said the situation in the capital, Juba, is relatively stable.

5) Japanese police say a street robbery in the spring of this year resulted in gold bullion worth about 600 million yen, or more than 5 million dollars, being stolen by men disguised as police.

The robbery took place near JR Hakata station in downtown Fukuoka City, southwestern Japan.

Investigators told NHK that men carrying attache cases containing gold were stopped for questioning by men wearing what looked like police uniforms.

6) The governor of the southwestern Japanese prefecture of Okinawa is to lodge a protest with the country’s central government over the accident involving a US marine Osprey transport aircraft.

Governor Takeshi Onaga plans to meet Defense Minister Tomomi Inada and other government officials in Tokyo on Thursday.

He also plans to call for determining the cause of the accident and demand the removal of Ospreys from Okinawa.

7) U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on Sunday rejected as “ridiculous” U.S. intelligence reports that Russia intervened in the presidential election on his behalf through targeted hacking, putting him at odds with top lawmakers who vowed to investigate the findings.

Dec 10th, 2016


1)   The number of households on welfare in Japan marked a record high for the second straight month in September, as more elderly people need support.

Welfare ministry officials say the number of households receiving public welfare benefits rose by 266 from August to more than 1.63 million in September.

2)   A black swan at a zoo in Aichi Prefecture, central Japan, has tested positive in preliminary screening for the bird flu virus.

Officials at Higashiyama Zoo in the city of Nagoya say they tested the male swan on Tuesday after it appeared to grow weak. The bird later died. The swan was living in a pond on the zoo grounds until it was moved indoors last week.

3) Communist party chairperson Kazuo Shii took up the issue of new duties assigned to a Self-Defense Forces unit dispatched to South Sudan for UN peacekeeping operations. The new tasks would call on the SDF members to rescue foreign peacekeepers and others under attack using weapons.

4)   Japanese utility Kyushu Electric Power Co (KEPCO) on Thursday night restarted the No. 1 reactor at its Sendai nuclear power plant in Kagoshima Prefecture.  KEPCO said the reactor is expected to achieve criticality by Friday morning and commence power generation on Sunday.

5) Organ transplantation is not only a medical issue that involves patients and doctors. It naturally also involves fundamental ethical questions. The slow progress of organ transplantation in Japan is thought to be connected with the spirituality of Japanese people such as their view of life and death.

6)   The United States on Thursday approved a series of deals worth more than $7 billion to supply military helicopters, planes and missiles to four of its Arab allies. The green light, announced by the State Department, will mark another windfall for plane maker Boeing and other large U.S. defense manufacturers.

7)   Japan’s Foreign Ministry has officially announced Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to the country next week. The ministry said on Thursday that Putin will pay an official working visit from December 15th to 16th and hold meetings with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Document WWW

歌うように記事を読むのって永遠にできない気がするなぁ。^^  一個読めない単語が入るとそこからガタガタになる。でも楽しいし緊張感が脳トレになってるかな。

1)   A top IOC official renewed his demand Thursday that Japanese organizers further reduce their $18 billion budget ceiling for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, saying the figure could scare off cities considering bids for future games.

2)   An elementary school pupil who evacuated from Fukushima in the wake of the 2011 nuclear disaster has skipped school for more than a week since a male teacher added “germ” to his name when addressing him in late November, a local education board in Niigata Prefecture said Friday.

3)   A 68-year-old Japanese man suspected of having been abducted by North Korea in 1985 was found alive in Japan in late November, police said Thursday.

Police officials denied the possibility that Masanori Katsuki, who went missing in Tokyo in February 1985, was abducted by North Korea, saying he was not involved in an accident or criminal incident.

Katsuki went missing after temporarily returning from the United States, where he had worked as a sushi chef. At the time, he was preparing to leave for the United States, the officials said.

4)   A Lower House committee has approved a bill to legalize casino gambling in Japan. Proponents tout the economic benefits of casinos, while opponents say they may fuel gambling addiction.

Friday’s vote came 2 days after the committee began deliberations on the bill, which was sponsored by a cross-party group of lawmakers.

The legislation won majority support from members of the main governing Liberal Democratic Party and the opposition Nippon Ishin Japan Innovation Party.

5)   Japan’s government estimates the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant will end up costing its operator more than 170 billion dollars. The figure includes the costs of decommissioning the facility, as well as compensation and decontamination work.

Tokyo Electric Power Company has said it will secure about 17 billion dollars to decommission the plant’s reactors.

However, government officials now say the total cost will be more than 4 times higher. They estimate about 70 billion dollars will be required for the work, which includes removing melted nuclear fuel and dealing with radioactive wastewater.

6)   U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday warned American firms wanting to relocate abroad that they will face punishment, as he announced a deal with air conditioning manufacturer Carrier to keep jobs in the country.

“Companies are not going to leave the United States anymore without consequences. Not going to happen,” Trump told workers at the Carrier plant in Indianapolis in his first major public remarks since winning the White House.

7)   Thirty-three traditional festivals from across Japan were added to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list on Wednesday, the international body said.

The festivals, most of which date back to the Edo period (1603-1868), are held in 18 prefectures across Japan and feature parades involving floats made with traditional woodwork and metalwork techniques, and decorated with lacquered products and dyed fabrics.

Nov 26th, 2016

昨日はまた英語の予約をし忘れていた。慌てて今朝の枠を予約。^^ 今日は次の枠の予約があるからショートタイムでごめんと言われたけど、それが正しい時間だよ。こちらこそいつも延長ありがとう!

1)   Government narcotics agents have arrested 22 people believed to have formed a “pot community” in depopulated areas in and around Nagano Prefecture, where they hosted music events and allegedly smoked marijuana, the narcotics bureau said Friday.

Narcotics agents from the Kanto-Shinetsu Regional Bureau of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, whose jurisdiction covers Tokyo and nine surrounding prefectures, coordinated with police from Nagano and Kanagawa prefectures Friday to apprehend the male and female suspects ranging in age from 27 to 64.

2)   Japan’s Self-Defense Forces have recalled recruitment flyers that said Defense Minister Tomomi Inada is “not dependable enough,” while highlighting her gender, an SDF provincial office said Friday.

The A4-size advertisement, made by a male SDF member at the office in Odate, Akita Prefecture, said, “Defense Minister Inada is not dependable enough, but we want a dependable person like you to challenge yourself (to a career in the SDF)!” Just after the minister’s name, the word “woman” was inserted in parenthesis.

3)   Japan’s consumer prices fell in October, government data showed Friday, extending the longest string of declines in five years and underscoring its struggles to conquer deflation.

The weak inflation data—core prices excluding fresh food fell 0.4 percent from a year ago—come several weeks after Japan’s central bank pushed back the timeline for hitting its 2.0 percent inflation target.

The BOJ’s target is a key part of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s faltering bid to pump up the world’s number three economy.

4)   Fidel Castro, who led a rebel army to improbable victory in Cuba, embraced Soviet-style communism and defied the power of 10 U.S. presidents during his half century rule, has died at age 90.

With a shaking voice, President Raul Castro said on state television that his older brother died at 10:29 p.m. Friday. He ended the announcement by shouting the revolutionary slogan: “Toward victory, always!”

Castro’s reign over the island-nation 90 miles (145 kilometers) from Florida was marked by the U.S.-backed Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961 and the Cuban Missile Crisis a year later that brought the world to the brink of nuclear war. The bearded revolutionary, who survived a crippling U.S. trade embargo as well as dozens, possibly hundreds, of assassination plots, died 10 years after ill health forced him to hand power over to Raul.

5)   U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has said he is going to pull the U.S. out of any further negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) pact, while the other 11 nations involved want it to be ratified. Are you for or against the TPP?

6)   Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Friday Russia’s deployment of missile systems on islands in the western Pacific isles that are also claimed by Tokyo was “regrettable”.

His comments came less than a month before Russian President Vladimir Putin is to visit Japan for talks aimed at progress on the decades-old territorial row. Moscow has already said it hoped the deployment would not damage efforts to settle the dispute.

7)   The Japan High School Baseball Federation (Koyaren) has submitted a proposal to allow girls to take part in baseball practice sessions at Koshien.

The issue of girls being on the field with boys at the National High School Baseball Championship tournament became the focus of media attention last summer when a female baseball team manager from Oita High was warned by tournament organizers for coming onto the field to help at practice sessions.

Tournament regulations specify that only males are allowed to play on the grounds as part of “hazard prevention” measures. The rules also apply to practice sessions.


Nov 18th, 2016


1)   Actor Tomokazu Miura, 64, and former idol singer Momoe Yamaguchi, 57, have been chosen the most ideal married couple of the year in an annual survey conducted by insurance company Meiji Sumitomo Seimei. The couple, who married in 1980, have been ranked first continuously for the past 11 years, Fuji TV reported.

2)   Following a spate of traffic accidents, some fatal, involving elderly drivers, the National Police Agency is urging senior citizens to drive safely and voluntarily return their driver’s licenses if they don’t feel confident.

This week, police handed out fliers and spoke to senior citizens seen behind the driver’s wheel in parking lots at local hospitals and other places at 97 locations nationwide, Fuji TV reported.

3)   Japan remains one of the world’s worst-performing nations in tackling climate change, think tank Germanwatch says.

Japan was deemed the second-worst performer of 57 countries and Taiwan, this year’s Climate Change Performance Index report showed.

The report said Tokyo’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions center on reactivating nuclear energy as more or less the only alternative to fossil fuels, “instead of sufficiently promoting renewable energy.”

4)   One day before U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s first meeting with a foreign leader, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Japanese officials said they had not finalized when or where in New York it would take place, who would be invited, or in some cases whom to call for answers

5)   With a law change planned to reduce the age of adulthood from 20 to 18 in Japan following the similar lowering of the minimum voting age, the society and those in their late teens seem less prepared for the government’s envisaged step.

In fact, a majority of teens appear not keen on the idea while many said 18- and 19-year-olds lack the ability to make judgment calls or are unable to take responsibility for their own actions.

6)   A police raid on a factory in a small town in Wakayama Prefecture has uncovered a massive haul of cannabis with a street value estimated at 2 billion yen ($18.3 million).

Police said Wednesday they have seized over 10,000 cannabis plants and arrested senior gang member Junichi Kimura, 54, along with three others, all from Osaka, on suspicion of possessing marijuana with intent to sell.

“I only dropped by for a visit,” Kimura was quoted telling police.

According to police, about 11,000 plants in various stages of growth were discovered. Some 4,000 of them, worth about 2 billion yen, were fully grown and ready for distribution.

7)   Prosecutors alleged Tuesday that a 20-year-old man being tried over the murder of a beautician in Hokkaido last year wanted to replicate killings he had simulated in video games.

At the Kushiro District Court, the defendant pleaded guilty to the murder of 31-year-old Erika Konno and the destruction of her body in August last year in Hokkaido’s Tokachi region. The alleged perpetrator’s name is being withheld because he was a minor at the time of the incident.

8)   Hollywood celebrated the life of legendary Japanese actor Toshiro Mifune on Monday, honoring him with a star on its iconic Walk of Fame two decades after his death.

Mifune rose to stardom through Akira Kurosawa’s classics, including “Rashomon” (1950) and “Seven Samurai” (1954), with masculine portrayals of powerful warlords that earned him a reputation as the world’s best samurai actor.

9)   What do you think the Japan-U.S. relationship will be like after Donald Trump takes power?

A)   The relationship will get worse than it is now.

B)    The relationship will improve.

C)    The relationship will generally be about the same as it is now.

10)   Using smartphones to measure how much time people spend looking at those phones confirms that more screentime is tied to poorer sleep, researchers say.

“This is the first study to directly measure actual screen time in natural environments and compare it to sleep quality,” said senior author Dr Gregory M. Marcus of the University of California, San Francisco.

Nov 12th, 2016

当然、トランプさんについて。^^ さてどうなることやら。日本はアメリカ軍を駐留させるために100%の維持費を払った方がいいよ。それ以外の道は核兵器を持つぐらいしか中国と戦えないでしょ。って。きゃー。やっぱりいきなりそうなる?とういうか大方のトランプさん派の意見なのか?というような刺激的な話からトランプタワー前でデモしてるのはお金をもらっている学生ばかりで、バスで運ばれて来るんだよ。って言ってたけど本当?

1)   Japan is now paying “enough” for the cost of stationing U.S. forces in the country, Defense Minister Tomomi Inada said Friday, though she was silent on how the government would respond if the next U.S. administration led by Donald Trump demands an increase in Japan’s budget.

2)   Lady Gaga besieged Trump Tower. Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence penned a thoughtful essay. Miley Cyrus posted a tearful video.

Hillary Clinton’s celebrity supporters were in deep mourning Thursday as Hollywood came to terms with Republican Donald Trump’s stunning election as U.S. president.

Pop princess Katy Perry, whose Twitter followers outnumber the populations of most European countries, urged her fans not to “sit still” or “weep.”

“We are not a nation that will let hate lead us,” she said.

3)   A Japanese journalist deported from Iraq denied on Thursday allegations by Kurdish officials that he is a sympathizer of the Islamic State extremist group.

Kosuke Tsuneoka told reporters in Tokyo that he was in Mosul only to report as a journalist on the battle to retake the IS-held city. Iraqi and Kurdish troops are currently fighting to expel the militant group out of Mosul.

“Let me remind you that I’m not an IS member, not even a supporter,” said the Muslim convert who also goes by Shamil Tsuneoka. “I’m fundamentally against the belief of the Islamic State group … That is not the Islam that I believe in.”

4)   Police are investigating the discovery of 11 cat carcasses found buried in a park in Sagamihara City, Kanagawa Prefecture, earlier this week.

According to police, a park maintenance worker noticed the back part of a cat’s body sticking out of the ground at around 3 p.m. on Nov 7 in Matsugae park in the city’s Minami Ward, Fuji TV reported. An additional five cat carcasses were discovered buried at a depth of 30 cm. Police said another five carcasses were found buried at the root of two trees near the initial discovery site.

5)   Tokyo Olympic organizers agreed Wednesday to hold some of the baseball and softball competition of the 2020 Games in Fukushima, the region devastated by the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster.

While the primary venue for baseball and softball is expected to be Yokohama Stadium, several cities in Fukushima are being considered for games in the preliminary rounds.

6)   Tokyo stocks soared 6% in opening trade on Thursday after diving the previous day on Donald Trump’s shock win in the U.S. presidential election, as global stocks and the dollar rallied.

7)   Do you know who your neighbors are? Probably you don’t. Who cares who they are? Modern urban life liberates us from the neighborhood. Our social and professional ties span the city, span the globe. Next door is another planet.

8)   We will play a leading role in the global community’s efforts to deal with climate change and fulfill our responsibility to safely pass down this precious Earth to our children and their children.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, after Japan ratified the Paris Agreement on fighting global warming. (Kyodo)

9)   Frustrated by the high price of antiviral drugs, thousands of patients from London to Moscow to Sydney are turning to a new wave of online “buyers clubs” to get cheap generic medicines to cure hepatitis C and protect against HIV infection.

While regulators warn that buying drugs online is risky, scientific data presented at a recent medical conference suggest that treatment arranged through buyers club can be just as effective as through conventional channels.

10)   Japan executed a death row inmate Friday, the Justice Ministry said in announcing the 17th execution in about four years since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe returned to power in December 2012.

The ministry said Kenichi Tajiri, 45, was hanged for killing two women in two murder-robbery cases in Kumamoto, southwestern Japan.

Nov 5th, 2016

日本人はヒラリーになった方がいいと思ってるの?って聞かれたがどうなんだろう。むしろオバマさんもう一回でどう?という感じだ。どちらにしてもNeverending electionの空気が漂ってるそうでげんなりだそう。どうなるのかなぁ。

1)   Funeral services and a tomb for Prince Mikasa, uncle of Emperor Akihito, who died Thursday at age 100, will cost an estimated 289 million yen, with the cabinet deciding Tuesday to disburse 209 million yen of the cost from the government’s reserve funds for fiscal 2016.

2)   Japan is set to approve the Paris accord on fighting global warming on Friday, the day the pact will go into force, after the country’s ruling and major opposition parties struck a deal on parliamentary voting schedules.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party and the Democratic Party agreed to vote on approval of the Paris Agreement at a House of Representatives committee Wednesday and at the lower house’s plenary session on Friday. It has already passed the upper house with a unanimous vote.

3)   With the United States set to elect its next president on Nov 8, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton appears to be a better—and safer—choice than her Republican rival Donald Trump for Japan and other U.S. allies, given her deep understanding of the importance of alliances.

4)   A driver in the first vehicle accident fatality in Japan linked to playing the popular smartphone game Pokemon Go was sentenced Monday to 14 months in prison.

A city in Japan will demand the U.S. operator of the popular smartphone application Pokemon Go disable the game while a player is driving after the recent death of a 9-year-old pedestrian.

5)   In an extraordinary display of abject apology during a moment of supreme crisis, South Korean President Park Geun-hye took sole blame Friday for a “heartbreaking” scandal amid rising suspicion that she allowed a mysterious confidante to manipulate power from the shadows

6)   Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike says it could take as long as 15 months to conduct another environmental impact assessment for a new wholesale food market.

The relocation of the market from Tsukiji in downtown Tokyo to Toyosu on the waterfront had been scheduled for this month. But the governor postponed it until test results show whether the new site is safe.

7)   The Environment Ministry on Tuesday urged workers across Japan to wrap up for winter as the energy-saving Warm Biz campaign got under way.

However, the weather didn’t cooperate with much of Japan yet to experience cold temperatures. In Tokyo on Tuesday, the temperature rose to 21 degrees, but is expected to reach only 14 degrees on Wednesday before going up again.

Oct 29th, 2016


1)   Young people dressed in Halloween costumes have started to gather near Tokyo’s Shibuya Station on Friday, 3 days before the actual holiday of October 31st. Tokyo police are deploying officers as crowds of revelers are expected every night through Monday.

Experts say the imported Western custom has become popular in the country as an autumn festival. The total value of spending associated with Halloween in Japan is estimated at more than 1 billion dollars, second to Christmas and surpassing that of Valentine’s Day.

2)   Japanese employees are reporting increased stress in the workplace, with those in their 30s having a high rate of mental disorders due to overwork. The health ministry analyzed more than 2,000 cases of workers’ compensation for mental illness from January 2010 to March last year. At least 368 of the people apparently committed suicide.

Their mental disorders were caused by the type of their work and changes in their workload. Another factor was interpersonal problems, including harassment and bullying at workplaces as well as problems with bosses.

3)   NHK has learned that the Tokyo metropolitan government sees various problems with the proposals for the venue for the rowing and canoeing events of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The proposals include: building a permanent facility in Tokyo’s waterfront area; building a temporary facility in the same place; or using an existing course in Miyagi prefecture.
The officials found that a permanent facility in Tokyo is projected to generate an annual loss of 200 million yen, or about 2 million dollars, after the Olympics.

4)   Japan’s Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida has defended the country’s decision to oppose a UN committee resolution calling for a total ban on nuclear weapons. The United States and other nuclear powers opposed the resolution. Japan also voted against it.

Kishida told reporters in Tokyo on Friday that the resolution would only widen the gap between nuclear and non-nuclear weapons states. He said the 2 sides must work together to achieve results, and a practical approach based on cooperation is needed.

5)   The Okinawa prefectural assembly has adopted a resolution protesting an incident last week in which police officers from another prefecture insulted anti-base protesters with derogatory words.

The Okinawa prefectural assembly adopted the resolution by a majority vote on Friday. It condemns the officers’ remarks for, “trampling on the pride and dignity of Okinawa’s people, and for causing them deep, intractable mental scars”. It demands that the incident never be repeated again.

6)   Police in Ichinomiya City, Aichi Prefecture, have arrested the driver of a truck after he hit and killed a 9-year-old boy on Wednesday afternoon. The driver, Nobusuke Kawai, 36, has admitted he was playing Pokemon Go and did not see the boy.

According to police, the incident occurred at around 4:10 p.m. as the boy, Keita Noritake, was on his way home from school..  The driver, Nobusuke Kawai, 36, was arrested at the scene and charged with dangerous driving resulting in death.

7)   Japan’s estimate of dismantling the Fukushima nuclear plant is ballooning far beyond the utility’s estimate of 2 trillion yen ($19 billion). A government study released Tuesday found decommissioning the Fukushima Daiichi plant already has cost 80 billion yen ($770 million) over the last three years. The ministry overseeing nuclear power said the decommissioning costs will continue at several hundreds of billions of yen a year.

8)   A teacher at Kofu Josai Yamanashi Prefectural High School got angry when a student came to school with the sides of his head shaved. The teacher, a man in his 50s, slapped the boy at least 10 times at an after-school club activity and then ordered three other students to help him forcibly shave the boy’s head, Sankei Shimbun reported.

Another male instructor who was at the scene verbally abused the student, and forced the other three students to shave their hair off as an act of collective responsibility.

9)   Seeking to lash Hillary Clinton to her husband’s sprawling post-presidential empire, Donald Trump accused the couple of turning to corruption to enrich themselves while in public service.

On Thursday, the GOP nominee cited newly released emails from her campaign chairman’s personal account showing Doug Band, a former Bill Clinton aide, describing overlapping relationships between the Clinton Foundation and the family’s private gains

10)      Japanese scientists are getting an up-close lesson on how volcanic islands are formed.

Last week, they landed on Nishinoshima, which was just a rocky outcropping in the Pacific Ocean until two years ago, when spectacular eruptions spewed lava and ash, expanding it to 12 times its size.



もともとは四川省発祥の宮廷料理のメニューにある伝統的な中華料理ので、怪味鶏というメニューが代表的です。 はひと口では説明できない複雑なで、甘味、酸味、塩味、苦味、旨味の5に辛味としびれが加わり7種のが交わっています


写真 2016-10-27 13 31 08




写真 2016-10-22 17 38 26


Huluで久しぶりに「ダビンチ・コード」を見た。「インフェルノ」が公開されるから「天使と悪魔」の配信もある。両方書籍も読んでいて当時 (2006)は映画の内容は随分違うなぁと思っていたが今回は書籍の内容をすっかり忘れているのですっと面白く入って来た。空っぽのが良いこともあるなとこの頃時々思う。^^ あ、「ジェイソン・ボーン」の最新作も見に行きたいな。このシリーズはお気に入り。

October 23rd, 2016


1)   What should be done about the debacle of the new Toyosu fish market which is supposed to replace the 80-year-old Tsukiji fish market, but which has been held up due to contamination issues?

Keep the fish market at Tsukiji and update its facilities if needed.

Relocate the fish market from Tsukiji to Toyosu only after it has been completely decontaminated and given the OK by independent experts.

Find a third location and build a new market.

2)   Japan’s two largest opposition parties refused to show up to parliamentary deliberations Friday on the ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, protesting remarks made by the agriculture minister this week that suggested the ruling parties could steamroll the approval of the pact through the Diet.

3)   A riot police officer dispatched from Osaka to help local police respond to anti-base protests in Okinawa Prefecture hurled an ethnic slur at protesters, calling them “aborigines,” police officials said Wednesday.

The incident came amid intensifying confrontations between riot police and local people over the construction of helipads at a U.S. military training site in the northern part of the prefecture

4)   Hillary Clinton ramped up her pressure on Donald Trump in the election’s most competitive states Friday with an emotional TV ad targeting his criticism of a Muslim-American family. Trump vowed to go all-out in the final three weeks so he’ll have no regrets — even if he loses.

5)   The organizers of a photo contest in northeastern Japan have decided to withdraw their revocation and award a prize for a picture of a teenage girl who apparently committed suicide due to bullying. They had originally revoked the prize after learning the girl had died.

The organizers, including Kuroishi City in Aomori Prefecture, said at a news conference on Wednesday that the top prize will be awarded for the picture of Rima Kasai. She was a second-year junior high student in the city.

6)   What is your opinion of organizations such as Greenpeace and Amnesty International?

7)   So perhaps idol unit i☆Ris (pronounced “Iris”) is on to something. Rather than having fans purchase CDs when what they really want is to spend a few moments connecting with (and possibly proposing marriage to) their favorite member of the group, i☆Ris has streamlined the process with a new promotion that simply lets fans pay money to talk with them.

So how much will these three minutes in conversational paradise set fans back? A cool 10,000 yen. However, CD albums in Japan regularly cost about 3,000 yen, and as we mentioned, passionate idol fans often buy multiple copies. As such, even with 49 time slots per i☆Ris member, reservations are already starting to fill up.

Oct 15th, 2016

ハリケーンマシューの後片付け話とBob Dylanがノーベル賞ってどうよ?(ただ歌で社会への不満を愚痴ってるだけなのに^^って言ってた)、それから大統領戦(もうどちらの候補にも嫌気がさしてるらしい。あれほどトランプを応援していたが)横道にそれすぎて記事は3個くらい読んだだけ。

1)   Major technology firms are racing to infuse smartphones and other internet-linked devices with software smarts that help them think like people.

The effort is seen as an evolution in computing that allows users to interact with machines in natural conversation style, telling devices to tend to tasks such as ordering goods, checking traffic, making restaurant reservations or searching for information.

2)   Japan will lease additional land next year to expand a military base in Djibouti, eastern Africa, as a counterweight to what it sees as growing Chinese influence in the region, three Japanese government sources said.

China is seeking closer ties with African nations that could help it gain access to natural resources and provide new markets. Beijing said late last year it would pump $60 billion into development projects on the continent, cancel some debt and help boost agriculture.

3)   Japan has protested to China over signs it is pressing ahead with maritime gas exploration in the East China Sea despite Tokyo’s repeated requests to stop, Japan’s top government spokesman said on Wednesday.

The exploration platforms are on the Chinese side of the median line between the two countries, but Japan accuses China of ignoring a 2008 agreement to maintain cooperation on resources development in an area where no official border has been drawn.

4)   Lashing back, Donald Trump heatedly rejected the growing list of sexual assault allegations against him as “pure fiction” on Thursday, hammering his female accusers as “horrible, horrible liars” as the already-nasty presidential campaign sank further into charges of attacks on women.

Campaign foe Hillary Clinton said “the disturbing stories just keep on coming” about her Republican opponent, but she let first lady Michelle Obama’s passionate response carry the day. Obama, in battleground New Hampshire, warned that the New York billionaire’s behavior “is not something we can ignore.”

5)   A teacher in her 30s who works at Nihon University’s Third Junior and Senior High School in the Tokyo suburban city of Machida, commenting after the Tokyo District Court rejected her claim that the school operator let her use her pre-marriage surname at work. The court ruled it is reasonable and necessary for an employer to demand employees use their names registered in the family registry.

6)   Try a lychee-flavored coffee infused with jasmine, or a “Chardonnay” espresso served in a wine glass—whatever your taste, Japan’s swashbuckling baristas are bringing some serious sex appeal to the drink.

In a country famous for its tea, the Japanese are increasingly turning to coffee as a quick-fix to help ease the daily grind. Hipster cafés are popping up everywhere, offering exquisitely curated beverages to satisfy even the fussiest of caffeine addicts.

Japan imports over 430,000 tons of coffee a year—behind only the United States and Germany—and boasts some of the world’s top baristas.

7)   Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to refrain from visiting the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine during its autumn festival next week to avoid damaging Japan’s relations with South Korea and China ahead of a summit of the three countries later this year, government sources said Thursday.

The Japanese government is planning to host in early December a trilateral summit of the three countries for the first time in five and a half years, with the aim of deepening cooperation for regional stabilization.

8)   Tokyo’s governor said on Wednesday that now was the last chance to take steps to rein in soaring costs for the city’s 2020 Olympics, projected to cost 3 trillion yen – over four times higher than planned.

Gov Yuriko Koike, who took office in August, ordered a review of Olympic expenses that last month recommended changing three venues to save money, a move criticised by both the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and international sports officials.

9)   Book shops and music stores in Japan on Friday set up special sections devoted to renowned singer-songwriter Bob Dylan after he was awarded the Nobel prize in literature for 2016 on Thursday.

A spokesman for HMV&Books Tokyo said he wants this to be an opportunity for young people to know about the legendary musician, Fuji TV reported.

As in previous years, acclaimed Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami had been anticipated to win the award, and fans were met with a mix of confusion and surprise as it was given to Dylan, media reported.

10)   Kumamoto Prefecture and its neighboring areas Friday marked six months since the first of two powerful earthquakes rattled Japan’s southwestern region, killing a combined 50 people, with rebuilding homes for displaced residents remaining an issue.

Local officials said all evacuation centers in Kumamoto are expected to be closed in the next few weeks, even though there are still 205 evacuees taking refuge at shelters as of Thursday.

11)   On Wednesday morning, the U.S. military fired Tomahawk cruise missiles from the battleship U.S.S. Nitze, destroying three radar sites on the coast of Yemen, on the Red Sea. The sites are controlled by Houthi rebels. The rebels have been fighting pro-government Yemeni forces. The U.S. is an ally of neighboring Saudi Arabia, which is also fighting the Houthi rebels.

Oct 1st, 2016


1)    Police increasingly suspect that the killing of two patients at a hospital in Yokohama may have been conducted by a person connected with the hospital and with some medical knowledge, investigative sources said Thursday.

The person may also have randomly sought to tamper with intravenous drips because some 10 unused drip bags were found with small holes, in a possible sign someone tried to inject into them surfactant compound, which police believe was used to kill the two patients.

2)   The Japanese government approved Friday a proposed contract with a joint venture to build Tokyo’s new National Stadium, the main venue for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics in the capital, at a construction cost of 149 billion yen ($1.47 billion).

3)   Spending among Japanese households tumbled last month and consumer prices fell again, data showed Friday, after the Bank of Japan announced it was overhauling a faltering bid to conquer deflation.

The disappointing data marked the latest red flag for the world’s number three economy.

4)   The Tokyo District Court on Thursday ordered the effective head of the Kyokuto-kai crime syndicate to pay damages over extortion by members of an affiliated gang.

The court ordered Keika So, the 88-year-old former Kyokuto-kai chairman, and other gang members, to pay about 200 million yen in damages to 27 men and women who had filed suit.

5)   Democratic Party leader Renho slammed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic and social policies Wednesday in her first opportunity as leader to directly go up against the premier in a question-and-answer session in the House of Councillors.

Renho, who was elected to lead the main opposition party on Sept 15, took aim at a policy speech Abe gave on Monday to open an extraordinary Diet session set to run through Nov 30. She alleged that the “Abenomics” economic and fiscal policy package has failed to live up to its goal of ending Japan’s long-term deflationary trend.

6)   “Salary thieves!” “Incompetents!”

The old are intolerable. They slow things down, screw things up, deck themselves in impressive titles, draw bloated salaries – and for what? For keeping everybody else – the energetic, quick-witted, well-adapted, competent, idea-generating young – down?

7)   In the quest for globalization, language remains top priority — especially in the medical field. Because non-Japanese have represented a very small percentage of patients in the country’s hospitals, there is a drought in medical support and assistance for non-speakers of Japanese. As the number of non-Japanese residing in and visiting Japan rises, there is an increasing need for multilingual support to make medicine more accessible to the foreign community.

To rectify the situation, Mayumi Sawada founded mediPhone, a medical interpreting service that aims to create a world in which medicine and healthcare is accessible to all.

8)   Demonstration is said to be the most successful form of marketing. Taichi Yamaguchi, Corporate Planning Division General Manager for TBM Co Ltd, puts his business card on the table, pours some water on it, then tries to tear it but can’t. The card is made of LIMEX, an innovative material manufactured from limestone that can be used to make “paper” and “plastic.”

The advantages of LIMEX are that it does not cause deforestation and saves on water and oil resources. Furthermore, limestone supplies are abundant in many countries, including Japan.

9)   Donald Trump abruptly resurrected Bill Clinton’s impeachment on Thursday, adding the former president’s infidelities to the already-rancorous 2016 campaign. Trump warned voters in battleground New Hampshire that a Hillary Clinton victory would bring her husband’s sex scandal back to the White House.

It was Trump’s latest effort to bounce back from Monday night’s debate performance, which has been widely panned as lackluster.

10)   Will the day come, three years from now, when “unagi” (eels) vanish from the dinner table? It appears that the EU is backing a moratorium on eel harvesting and if it passes, an expert tells Yukan Fuji (Sept 27), then three years from now, trade in illegally caught or transported eel fry used for fish farming (aquaculture) will be halted.

Sept 24th, 2016


1)   The Tokyo Prefecture government says that a slight amount of lead was found in water that has accumulated below the site of a proposed new food market. It would replace the aging Tsukuji market.

The results of the analysis of water that was collected on September 14th was made public on Friday.

They show that the amount of lead in the water is about one tenth the level permitted by environmental standards.

2)   Japan’s defense minister has asked the United States to prevent a recurrence after a fighter jet crashed off Okinawa Prefecture.

Tomomi Inada told reporters on Friday that the ministry has received no reports that the crash damaged ships or other property.

The Marine Harrier jet crashed on Thursday in waters about 150 kilometers off Point Hedo. The pilot was rescued.
3)   The mayor of Tsuruga City said on Wednesday the government’s decision to comprehensively review the Monju program is deeply regrettable. The reactor is located in the city.

Takanobu Fuchikami said when he met government officials on Tuesday to ask them to keep the program alive, they told him that they’d decided nothing and that they will consider a broad range of options. He added they hold him in contempt.

Fuchikami also said the officials indicated that they will respect the opinions of host communities.
4)   Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pledged more than 1.1 billion dollars in aid to Syria, Iraq and neighboring countries.

Abe announced the plan at a high-level UN Security Council meeting on Syria in New York on Wednesday.

He said the money will go toward food, water and vaccines, and promoting education and vocational training. He said Japan will work with international aid organizations to put the programs in place.

5)   The US Federal Bureau of Investigation has begun investigating the theft of data from US IT giant Yahoo.

The company announced on Thursday that hackers had stolen information for at least 500 million user accounts in late 2014. Experts say it’s the biggest security breach of the Internet age.

The FBI said in a statement that it takes this type of security breach very seriously and will determine how it occurred and who is responsible.
6)   SMAP, one of Japan’s most popular and longest-lived pop groups, will release a greatest hits album on Dec 21—10 days before its breakup.

The three-CD boxed album, called “SMAP 25 YEARS,” will consist of around 50 songs chosen by fans through online voting, out of about 400 the group has released since its CD debut in 1991, Victor Entertainment Corp said Wednesday.

7)   The FBI is gathering information about an incident involving actor Brad Pitt and his family aboard a private flight last week, the agency confirmed Thursday.

Spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said the FBI is still evaluating whether to open an investigation into allegations Pitt was abusive during the flight toward one of his six children with actress Angelina Jolie Pitt, as several media outlets have reported.