1) Three former executives of the Tokyo Electric Power Company are set to face a court trial for the March 2011 nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.
2) Some members of Japan’s largest organized crime syndicate, the Yamaguchi-gumi, split last summer. But while police are concerned, a lawyer who works for the yakuza says the groups have more pressing issues.
On Tuesday, a gang member affiliated with the Yamaguchi-gumi was arrested on suspicion of shooting into the office of a new yakuza gang. The new group is made up of members who split from the Yamaguchi-gumi last August.
3) Japan’s latest census shows its population decreased by nearly one million over a 5-year period.
It is the first population decline recorded in a census since the survey was introduced in 1920.
4) Two of Japan’s main opposition parties have finalized a plan to merge, to better challenge the ruling coalition in an Upper House election this year.
The leader of the largest opposition Democratic Party, Katsuya Okada, and his Japan Innovation Party counterpart Yorihisa Matsuno agreed on Friday that their parties will merge next month.
5) Japanese police have added 10 names to the list of missing people who may have been abducted by North Korea.
The National Police Agency said on Friday that it is looking into what happened to the 6 men and 4 women.
The addition raises the number of people on the list to 886.
6) Railway fans have snapped up tickets for Hokkaido Shinkansen bullet train on its first day of operation.
Tickets sales started on Friday for the new Shinkansen line, a month before service starts.
Officials at East Japan Railway Company say tickets for the first train bound for Tokyo from Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto Station in Hokkaido, northern Japan, sold out in around 25 seconds.
7) A motorist sped onto a sidewalk in downtown Osaka on Thursday afternoon, killing himself, one pedestrian and seriously injuring others.
Witnesses say the car first hit pedestrians crossing a busy intersection in front of Hankyu Railway’s Umeda Station, before ploughing into others on the sidewalk.
8) Japan’s government says it will instruct the operator of the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant to take steps to prevent a recurrence of its failure to swiftly determine that a meltdown occurred.