1) The Tokyo Prefecture government says that a slight amount of lead was found in water that has accumulated below the site of a proposed new food market. It would replace the aging Tsukuji market.
The results of the analysis of water that was collected on September 14th was made public on Friday.
They show that the amount of lead in the water is about one tenth the level permitted by environmental standards.
2) Japan’s defense minister has asked the United States to prevent a recurrence after a fighter jet crashed off Okinawa Prefecture.
Tomomi Inada told reporters on Friday that the ministry has received no reports that the crash damaged ships or other property.
The Marine Harrier jet crashed on Thursday in waters about 150 kilometers off Point Hedo. The pilot was rescued.
3) The mayor of Tsuruga City said on Wednesday the government’s decision to comprehensively review the Monju program is deeply regrettable. The reactor is located in the city.
Takanobu Fuchikami said when he met government officials on Tuesday to ask them to keep the program alive, they told him that they’d decided nothing and that they will consider a broad range of options. He added they hold him in contempt.
Fuchikami also said the officials indicated that they will respect the opinions of host communities.
4) Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pledged more than 1.1 billion dollars in aid to Syria, Iraq and neighboring countries.
Abe announced the plan at a high-level UN Security Council meeting on Syria in New York on Wednesday.
He said the money will go toward food, water and vaccines, and promoting education and vocational training. He said Japan will work with international aid organizations to put the programs in place.
5) The US Federal Bureau of Investigation has begun investigating the theft of data from US IT giant Yahoo.
The company announced on Thursday that hackers had stolen information for at least 500 million user accounts in late 2014. Experts say it’s the biggest security breach of the Internet age.
The FBI said in a statement that it takes this type of security breach very seriously and will determine how it occurred and who is responsible.
6) SMAP, one of Japan’s most popular and longest-lived pop groups, will release a greatest hits album on Dec 21—10 days before its breakup.
The three-CD boxed album, called “SMAP 25 YEARS,” will consist of around 50 songs chosen by fans through online voting, out of about 400 the group has released since its CD debut in 1991, Victor Entertainment Corp said Wednesday.
7) The FBI is gathering information about an incident involving actor Brad Pitt and his family aboard a private flight last week, the agency confirmed Thursday.
Spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said the FBI is still evaluating whether to open an investigation into allegations Pitt was abusive during the flight toward one of his six children with actress Angelina Jolie Pitt, as several media outlets have reported.
1) Game geeks with a heart for digital romance have something to celebrate as sensual, soft-spoken cyber women are blurring the line between reality and fantasy at the Tokyo Game Show.
Virtual reality took center stage at the annual exhibition Thursday, with Sony Interactive Entertainment showcasing PlayStationVR (PSVR), a much-anticipated head-mounted display debuting next month.
Dozens of software titles for the device are in the pipeline, allowing players to fly like an eagle, drive sports cars in high-speed races, and explore castles.
Gamers can also indulge in fantasy by flirting with virtual females thanks to increasingly realistic VR technology.
2) A Japanese court on Friday ruled against Okinawa Gov Takeshi Onaga’s move to block the relocation of a key U.S. air base within the island prefecture, making the first judicial judgment on the high-profile dispute between Tokyo and Okinawa that is certain to be appealed by the prefectural government.
The Naha branch of the Fukuoka High Court determined that it was “illegal” for Onaga last October to revoke his predecessor’s approval for landfill work required for the controversial plan to move the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma from a crowded residential area to the less populated Henoko coastal area of Nago.
3) The Tokyo Taxation Bureau has imposed about 12 billion yen in additional tax on a Japan subsidiary of Apple Inc in connection with iTunes Store software sales profits, sources familiar with the matter said Friday.
The tax authority says iTunes K.K., located in Tokyo’s Minato Ward, should have paid taxes on some 60 billion yen in software sales profits it transferred over two years to 2014 to an Apple subsidiary in Ireland that holds the software copyright, they said.
4) The number of child abuse cases Japanese police reported to child consultation centers between January and June rose to a record 24,511, with psychological abuse covering nearly 70% of the cases, police data showed Thursday.
The abuse of minors aged below 18 was up 42.3% from the same period last year, exceeding 20,000 for the first time since half-yearly comparable data became available in 2011, according to the National Police Agency.
5) Tokyo Gov Yuriko Koike announced on Wednesday a new plan to reduce overtime work, stating that Tokyo would be the frontier to enhanced working conditions.
Koike called for the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (“Tocho”) staff to aim for zero overtime work, which she said was a long existing issue in Japanese society that leads to not only health problems but also decreased time for workers to to spend with their families, Fuji TV reported.
The governor plans to make 8 p.m. the latest anyone should be working, and in so doing, will be appointing a “Tocho Overtime Prevention Team” in each department and organizing “Overtime Reduction Marathons” where lights will be turned off in order to encourage staff to go home. She said strict monitoring will take place for staff who leave after 8 p.m.
6) The Democratic Party selected acting leader Renho as its new chief Thursday, making the 48-year-old third-term member of the House of Councillors the first woman to head Japan’s main opposition party.
After easily defeating her competitors, the former administrative reform minister pledged to turn around the largest opposition party, which is doing poorly in opinion polls.
Renho edged out former Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara and lower house lawmaker Yuichiro Tamaki despite fumbling questions over her dual nationality toward the end of the two-week leadership race.
7) In Japan, it’s called “shinrin-yoku,” which translates as forest bathing. It’s the practice of immersing yourself in nature to improve your well-being, and interest in the concept is growing, with spas, resorts, retreat centers, gardens and parks offering guided “forest bathing” experiences.
These programs take participants into the woods for a slow, mindful walk to contemplate nature with all the senses. It’s not a hike, because you don’t go far or fast. And while the term forest bathing may lend itself to jokes about nude hot springs, rest assured: You don’t take off your clothes.
8) What do you think of the quality of school education in Japan? If you have a child at school, are you happy with that school?
9) Japan will step up its activity in the contested South China Sea through joint training patrols with the United States and bilateral and multilateral exercises with regional navies, Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada said on Thursday.
10) Japan’s public spending on education ranked the second lowest among 33 comparable member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, an OECD report for 2013 showed Thursday.
Japan narrowly avoided the last place which it saw in 2012 as the ratio of its educational expenditure to gross domestic product stood at 3.2%, a tad higher than Hungary’s 3.1%.
The average ratio of such public spending-to-GDP among OECD countries was 4.5%, with Norway leading the list at 6.2%, followed by Denmark at 6.1% and Belgium, Finland and Iceland tying at 5.6%.
Japan’s total public and private funding on education per child was, however, found to be higher than the OECD average given higher costs on universities and kindergartens in Japan.
コナンを見ていたら「海と携帯と私」という暗号があって、「Sea Tel I」のアナグラムを入れ替えると「あいしてる」だって。小学生が考えた暗号設定だそうだけど、クスとしてしまった。 ただし本日のタイトルは意味なしである。
1) Japan’s nuclear watchdog has decided to make operators of nuclear power plants and other nuclear facilities check the background of their workers to prevent terror attacks.
Following the recommendation of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Nuclear Regulation Authority will introduce the new regulation in late September, although the actual implementation is expected to be from next year or later due to necessary procedures, such a revision of the rules regarding the handling of nuclear materials.
2) Several hundred American service personnel who say they became sick from radiation after participating in relief operations for the 2011 tsunami that set off the Fukushima nuclear disaster are now getting high-profile support in Japan.
Junichiro Koizumi, prime minister from 2001 to 2006, told reporters Wednesday he has set up a special fund to collect private donations for the former service members, with the goal of collecting $1 million (100 million yen) by the end of next March, mainly to help with medical bills.
3) An estimated 541,000 people between the ages of 15 and 39 in Japan avoid social contact and shut themselves in their homes, according to a government survey.
The figure compares with the previous Cabinet Office survey in 2010 that showed an estimated 696,000 such people—known as “hikikomori”—across the country. Despite the decline, the latest survey does not give an overall picture of the full extent of the phenomenon as it did not include those aged 40 or older.
But the survey does highlight a trend in which people who have withdrawn from society have done so for longer periods, as those who have shut themselves in their homes for at least seven years accounted for about 35 percent of the total.
4) Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged 45 billion yen ($440 million) on Wednesday to help Asian countries strengthen counter-terrorism measures, a government spokesman said, as the region sees a surge in large-scale attacks.
Police blamed a bombing last week in Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s home town that killed 14 people on rebels linked to Islamic State, while 22 people were killed in a July attack on a cafe in the Bangladeshi capital.
“As our first ever support for anti-terrorism and anti-extremism steps in Asia, we will carry out an aid program worth 45 billion yen for the next three years,” Japanese Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Koichi Hagiuda quoted Abe telling a meeting of leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) grouping.
5) A British MP slammed Air China for alleged “racist” travel advice offered to clients visiting London.
The airline’s “Wings of China” magazine reportedly provides safety advice to travellers based on the race and nationality of local residents.
“London is generally a safe place to travel, however precautions are needed when entering areas mainly populated by Indians, Pakistanis and black people,” the magazine says, according to a photograph published by CNBC.
“We advise tourists not to go out alone at night, and females always to be accompanied by another person when travelling,” the magazine adds.
6) “Pokemon Go will be the end of Japan!” screams the headline in Jitsuwa Bunka Tabuu (October). Okay, so Nintendo’s share prices briefly shot up by 80% and the 2,900 McDonald’s outlets where the cute characters could be hunted reported their year-on-year revenues up by 26.6%. Big deal.
Soon after the game’s July 22 release in Japan, throngs of people staring at their smartphones could be seen flocking to such parks as Shinjuku Gyoen and Setagaya Koen in Tokyo and Tsuruma Koen in Nagoya’s Showa Ward, to hunt “rare” Pokemon.
It goes without saying that Pokemon Go requires players to engage in the act of so-called “aruki sumaho” (walking while looking at or operating a smartphone). It’s dangerous. In a survey of actual users undertaken by Tsukuba University, 42% of mothers accompanying small children said they had the experience of bumping into someone while texting, and 47% of people over age 70 said they had been jostled by someone using a phone. The same experience was stated by 50% of wheelchair-bound individuals questioned in the survey.
7) Scientific techniques that can wipe out invasive species or alter mosquitoes’ ability to carry disease are pushing ahead, raising concerns about the ethics of permanently changing the natural world, experts say.
This fast-moving field of science—which involves changing the biology of creatures by interfering with their DNA—is increasingly being debated not only for human health purposes, but also in conservation circles.
Perhaps the most controversial type of research is known as a “gene drive,” which ensures that a certain trait is passed down from parent to offspring. It eventually leads to genetic changes throughout the entire species.
8) “If people aren’t marrying and aren’t dating, they must be doing something to satisfy their need for intimacy, whether they are opting for sexual and romantic alternatives such as prostitutes, romantic video games, celebrity obsessions, pornography or pets.”
Masahiro Yamada, a sociologist at Chuo University who coined the term “parasite single,” which refers to people who live with and depend on their parents well into adulthood. (The Economist)
9) A half-Indian beauty queen with an elephant trainer’s license was crowned Miss Japan on Monday, striking a fresh blow for racial equality.
Priyanka Yoshikawa’s tearful victory comes a year after Ariana Miyamoto faced an ugly backlash for becoming the first mixed-race woman to represent Japan.
Social media lit up after Miyamoto’s trail-blazing triumph as critics complained that Miss Universe Japan should instead have been won by a “pure” Japanese rather than a “haafu”—the Japanese for “half”, a word used to describe mixed race.
10) The director of a documentary film introducing the lives and voices of Japanese people who support whaling said Monday she has started a campaign on an international crowd-funding site so she can screen her film in the United States.
The 107-minute movie is touted as a “counter” documentary to the Oscar-winning U.S. film “The Cove,” which threw the Japanese whaling town of Taiji into the international spotlight with bloody scenes of its annual dolphin hunt.
Keiko Yagi, the director of “BEHIND THE COVE – The Quiet Japanese Speak Out!” said she believes it is important to provide the American public with “a chance to hear the other side of the debate on the whaling issue.”
1) The Japanese government plans to lower the age of adulthood under the Civil Code from 20 to 18 by submitting a reform bill to the Diet possibly next year, government sources said Thursday.
The planned amendment would change the entitlements of an adult under the law for the first time since it was enacted in the late 19th century, enabling 18- and 19-year-olds to sign contracts and get married without the consent of their parents and other statutory agents.
2) An approach to seek the initial return of two of four disputed islands which are administered by Russia but claimed by Japan has re-emerged in the Japanese government to advance talks over the decades-old territorial row, bilateral diplomatic sources said Thursday.
The move comes on the eve of planned talks between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of a two-day economic forum through Saturday in the Russian Far East port city of Vladivostok.
3) Japan’s defense ministry requested a record budget on Wednesday, with funds for an anti-ship missile system to defend islands at the center of a territorial dispute with China.
Tokyo is determined to defend the uninhabited islets in the East China Sea—administered by Japan as the Senkakus but claimed by China as the Diaoyus—as Beijing steps up its claim.
4) About 1,600 people are stranded and 17 are unaccounted for in the northeastern prefecture of Iwate Thursday after Typhoon Lionrock battered the area Tuesday.
Local authorities said that some 1,600 people in eight municipalities are stranded. The municipalities include the town of Iwaizumi, where nine bodies were found in a nursing home, with town officials saying they have lost contact with 17 residents, mostly elderly people.
Authorities are unable to approach the affected areas by road due to flooding and damage, they said, adding that members of the Self-Defense Forces and police are trying to assess the situation and mount a rescue operation, according to the prefectural government.
5) A health ministry panel unveiled a report Wednesday calling for a 100% ban on smoking in indoor public spaces including restaurants.
In the report, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare warned that passive smoking definitely increases the risk of lung cancer.
The move comes as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government has expressed eagerness to combat passive smoking in Japan ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics and Paralympics.
6) FamilyMart Co Ltd and UNY Group Holdings Co Ltd merged on Thursday, creating Japan’s second-largest convenience store chain.
FamilyMart, Japan’s No. 3 convenience store chain, and UNY, the owner of fourth-ranked Circle K Sunkus, agreed last October on a merger which will see around 6,250 Circle K Sunkus stores renamed as FamilyMart, Sankei Shimbun reported.
The merged company, called FamilyMart Uny, will operate about 17,000 convenience stores in Japan. 7-Eleven Japan is the industry leader with 18,572 stores. Lawson is third with 12,995 stores in Japan.
7) Japanese household spending fell less than expected in July and the jobless rate hit a two-decade low, offering some hope for policy makers battling to pull the world’s third-largest economy out of stagnation, data by the Internal Affairs Ministry showed on Tuesday.
8) When Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced his new cabinet in August, it was again a primarily male affair. At a time when Abe has been discussing the empowerment of women, just three of the 19 ministers are female.
For Japan to gain a bigger voice in politics, boardrooms and other areas of society, women are going to have to do a lot of the work. In human resources, women from Japan and overseas are beginning to assert themselves in the business world, bringing new and innovative ideas to corporate Japan.