1) Japan’s central government and Okinawa Prefecture have reached a settlement in the legal battle over the relocation of a US base within the southern prefecture.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told related Cabinet ministers on Friday of his decision to accept a new court proposal to settle the case over the reclamation work at Henoko in Nago City.
2) The Japan women’s soccer team on Friday lost to China in the final stage of the Asian qualifying matches for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
“Nadeshiko Japan” lost 2-1 in a match held in Osaka.
By losing the game it has become virtually impossible for the team to qualify for the Olympics. The Japan squad has 2 losses and one draw so far.
3) Since late last month Japan has seen a series of incidents related to 2 major organized crime syndicates.
Last August, several groups affiliated with the nation’s largest yakuza syndicate, the Yamaguchi-gumi, formed a new organization called the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi.
Since the breakup, events linked to the 2 syndicates have occurred across the country. The National Police Agency suspects that a rivalry stemming from the split is behind the actions.
The agency says it has confirmed at least 5 such acts in Tokyo and 4 other prefectures for the 3 days through last Saturday. They include a shooting into the wall of a home and a vehicle ramming into a building.
4) A Japanese government survey shows that the number of overweight children in Fukushima Prefecture has decreased to the level before the nuclear disaster in March 2011.
Japan’s education ministry’s annual survey covers children throughout the country from age 5 to 17.
The ratio of children weighing 20 percent more than the standard level had been increasing in Fukushima until last year
5) Japanese students will use “digital textbooks” in class in four years’ time.
An Education Ministry panel has decided on a basic policy for introducing tablet computers and other digital devices into classrooms at elementary schools as well as junior and senior high schools, starting with the 2020 school year.
6) Tokyo Governor Yoichi Masuzoe says the organizers of the 2020 Olympics in the city should decide where to place the cauldron in the new stadium in accordance with how they want to produce the opening ceremony.
Masuzoe made the statement on Friday during a regular briefing.
It has come to light that construction plans for the new stadium for the Tokyo Games had no place for the Olympic cauldron.
Tokyo organizers on Thursday decided to set up a panel to study where to install it and come up with a solution as early as April.
7) Japan’s government is planning legislation to ease the entry of private-sector companies into the space business.
The Cabinet approved two related bills on Friday. One would allow private companies to launch satellites if they meet certain conditions.
Currently, only the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and its contractor, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, are permitted to launch satellites.