1) Six of 10 North Korean “fishermen” rescued from a tiny wooden boat drifting off northern Japan will be deported back to their country, an immigration official told AFP Tuesday.
Three of the crew have been arrested on suspicion of theft after they reportedly admitted to “taking out” electronic products from a remote Japanese island where they landed briefly to take refuge.
One of the men is still in hospital, reportedly suffering from a stomach illness, said Tanaka.
2) A metal-framed window fell from a U.S. military helicopter onto a school sports field near a U.S. Marine Corps air base on Okinawa on Wednesday, the Marines said, the latest in a series of accidents that have fanned safety concerns on Japan’s southern island.
3) Japan’s greenhouse gas emissions shrank 0.2% in fiscal 2016 from the previous year to 1.32 billion tons, declining for the third consecutive year, Environment Ministry data showed Tuesday.
The latest figure for the year until March 2017 is 4.6% below fiscal 2005 levels. Japan has already met its goal of a 3.8% cut by fiscal 2020 set in its COP19 commitment,
The fall in greenhouse gas emissions was mainly attributable to the increased use of solar and wind energy resources, with renewables growing about 50% from the previous year.
4) A 33-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of committing an indecent act after he kissed a woman who was sleeping on a train in September.
According to police, the incident occurred at around 2 p.m. in the afternoon aboard a train heading to Kansai Airport from Kyobashi Station in Osaka, Sankei Shimbun reported.
5) Toshiba has settled legal disputes with U.S. production partner Western Digital, both firms said Wednesday, clearing the way for the embattled Japanese conglomerate’s multi-billion-dollar sale of its prized chip business.
Toshiba has been on the ropes after the disastrous acquisition of U.S. nuclear energy firm Westinghouse, which racked up billions of dollars in losses before being placed under bankruptcy protection.
6) For the first time, a Japanese high court has ordered the operator of a nuclear plant not to restart a reactor.
The Hiroshima High Court issued the injunction on Wednesday. It ordered Shikoku Electric Power Company not to restart the No. 3 reactor at its Ikata plant in Ehime Prefecture. It’s currently offline for regular inspections.
7) Members of the International Olympic Committee have enjoyed food from areas of northeast Japan that were hit by the massive earthquake and tsunami 6 years ago.
The head of the IOC coordination commission for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, John Coates, and other officials attended a dinner in Tokyo on Tuesday.
They are making the visit to see how the Japanese capital is preparing for the Games. The recovery from the 2011 disaster will be a key theme for the events.
Food from the 3 prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima was used for dishes and snacks. The diners also sampled sake from these regions.
8) Japan’s government has revised its basic space policy so the country can take part in an international manned exploratory mission to the Moon.
The government held a meeting of its Strategic Headquarters for Space Development on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe chaired the meeting, and Science and Technology Policy Minister Masaji Matsuyama also attended.
The panel decided to start discussions next year on how Japan can contribute its technological expertise to the lunar probe.
9) Japan’s leading construction equipment firm plans to develop a new automatic control system for its machines to offset a labor shortage.
Komatsu officials say the artificial intelligence-controlled machinery will be developed in cooperation with US chip company Nvidia.
The AI would be capable of recognizing people and obstacles in images captured by cameras installed on hydraulic excavators and avoid possible accidents.
AI would also judge the optimum amount of soil to load on a truck.
Komatsu hopes to have construction sites be unmanned in the future.
10) Analysts are predicting that business sentiment at large Japanese manufacturing firms will show a 5th straight quarterly improvement in a forthcoming Bank of Japan report.
Fifteen private-sector institutions have come up with their projections for the BOJ Tankan report to be issued on Friday, covering about 11,000 businesses in Japan.
The quarterly survey measures how executives feel about the economy. The Tankan index represents the difference in the percentage of companies that say business is good and those that say it’s bad. A positive reading means more companies are optimistic.
11) US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has indicated a potential shift of policy, saying that the US is ready to begin talks with North Korea without pre-conditions.
The US has been demanding Pyongyang change its stance and give up its nuclear program before coming to the table. But Tillerson now says that is just not “realistic.”
Tillerson made wide-ranging remarks about the issue at a foreign policy forum in Washington.
He said “I don’t think it’s realistic to say we are only going to talk if you come to the table ready to give up your program.”
12) US President Donald Trump has called for tougher immigration rules after a man from Bangladesh was detained for allegedly setting off an explosion in New York.
Trump said in a statement on Monday, “As I have been saying since I first announced my candidacy for President, America must fix its lax immigration system.”
Trump said the current system allows far too many dangerous, inadequately vetted people to access the United States.
13) The man arrested for exploding a pipe bomb in New York may have been affected by online extremist propaganda.
The Monday morning blast in an underground passage connecting the Port Authority bus terminal and the Times Square subway station wounded 3 people.
Police detained 27-year-old Akayed Ullah from Bangladesh at the site on suspicion of setting off a pipe bomb strapped to his body.
Ullah is thought to be a lone perpetrator identifying with the Islamic State militant group.