1) Municipal workers struggled on Friday to restore water supply in the flood-hit western region a week after inundation caused by a record downpour killed more than 200 people in the worst weather disaster in 36 years.
Communities that grappled with rising floodwaters last week now find themselves battling scorching summer temperatures well above 30 degrees Celsius,
2) Japan risks more severe weather and must find ways to alleviate disasters, a government spokesman said on Thursday, as intense heat and water shortages raised fear of disease among survivors of last week’s floods and landslides.
“It’s an undeniable fact that this sort of disaster due to torrential, unprecedented rain is becoming more frequent in recent years,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference in Tokyo.
3) Police on Thursday raided the apartment of a nurse who is in custody on suspicion of fatally poisoning at least two elderly patients at a terminal care hospital.
Local media have reported the woman confessed to police she poisoned about 20 patients to have them die when she was off-duty and could avoid the trouble of explaining the deaths to their families.
4) New Zealand scientists have performed the first-ever 3-D, color X-ray on a human, using a technique that promises to improve the field of medical diagnostics, said Europe’s CERN physics lab which contributed imaging technology.
The new device, based on the traditional black-and-white X-ray, incorporates particle-tracking technology developed for CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, which in 2012 discovered the elusive Higgs Boson particle.
5) The rise of robots in manufacturing in Southeast Asia is likely to fuel modern slavery as workers who end up unemployed due to automation face abuses competing for a shrinking pool of low-paid jobs in a “race to the bottom”, analysts say.
6) Britain’s data regulator has said it will fine Facebook half a million pounds ($660,000) for failing to protect users’ data, in an inquiry into whether personal information had been misused by campaigns on both sides of Britain’s 2016 EU referendum.
Evidence emerged that an app had been used to harvest the data of tens of millions of Facebook users worldwide.
7) Japan’s population, excluding resident foreigners, declined as of Jan. 1 in 2018 from the year before at the fastest pace since the current survey started in 1968, with fewer than 1 million births for the second straight year, government data showed Wednesday.
8) The torch relay for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will start in Fukushima Prefecture, with an emphasis on areas hit hard by the 2011 quake, tsunami and nuclear accident.
9) Drone-delivered shopping moved closer to reality when three of Japan’s biggest companies announced they are joining forces for the ambitious “Drone Highway” project on July 12.
TEPCO Ventures Inc., a subsidiary of Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc. (TEPCO), map publisher Zenrin Co. and Internet giant Rakuten Inc. aim to ease the burden of shipping goods on the transportation industry through the project.
Under the plan, goods will be moved off the roads and flown along power grids by drones, cutting distances, journey times and costs.
10) Teaching materials obtained by NHK show that Aleph, a renamed successor to the Aum Shinrikyo cult, is trying to make its members faithfully follow the teachings of executed leader Shoko Asahara. His real name was Chizuo Matsumoto.
1) Japanese Justice Minister Yoko Kamikawa, who ordered the executions of Aum Shinrikyo cult founder Shoko Asahara and six of his followers, said Friday capital punishment is “unavoidable” for heinous crimes
2) Two people were found dead near rain-swollen rivers in Japan on Friday, officials said, as record downpours prompted authorities to order more than 210,000 people to evacuate their homes.
Hundreds of thousands of people across a wide swathe of western and central Japan were evacuated from their homes on Friday as torrential rains pounded the nation, flooding rivers, setting off landslides and leaving at least two people dead.
3) North Korea has said it will not comply with Tokyo’s demand for a resolution of the issue of Japanese citizens abducted by the North decades ago unless Japan lifts unilateral economic sanctions, sources close to bilateral ties said Thursday.
4) The Japanese squad that competed at soccer’s World Cup in Russia has tweeted a good-luck message to the 12 members of a youth soccer team trapped with their coach in a cave in northern Thailand.
5) Thirty-two pregnant Cambodians were detained on Friday for their suspected involvement in an illegal surrogacy operation, carrying babies for Chinese clients, a court official said on Friday.
Five other people, including a Chinese person, were arrested and charged with human trafficking following raids at two apartments in the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh.
6) Sumo’s grand champion Kisenosato will sit out the upcoming tournament. He has so far missed all or part of the last 7 tourneys.
7) China has imposed tariffs of 25 percent on hundreds of American products in retaliation for US duties on Chinese goods.
Earlier on Friday, US President Donald Trump pulled the trigger on tariffs on billions of dollars-worth of Chinese products.
This is the first round of Trump’s punishment of China for allegedly stealing US technology.
8) Independence Day celebrations were held across the US on Wednesday amid increased security for possible terrorist attacks.
Americans hold parades and firework displays to mark the anniversary of their declaration of independence from Britain on July 4, 1776.
About 6,000 personnel, including police officers with automatic rifles, stood guard as fireworks lit up the sky.
9) Greenpeace has crashed a drone into a nuclear plant complex in France. The international environmental group says it wanted to show the vulnerability of such plants to outside attacks.
Greenpeace claims that it wanted to highlight nuclear plant vulnerability before the French parliament releases a report on the security of such facilities. The group calls for improving the safety of nuclear plants.
10) Japan’s first hotel featuring the cartoon character Snoopy is to open on August 1st in the western city of Kobe.
1) Japan’s unemployment rate fell to the lowest level in more than 25 years in May in the latest sign of a strengthening economy, government data showed Friday, but rising job availability underscored the shortage of workers amid a shrinking population.
The jobless rate stood at 2.2 percent, beating market forecasts to remain unchanged from 2.5 percent in April and hitting a low not seen since October 1992, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.
2) Fair play, a newly implemented tiebreaker in the group stage of the world’s biggest soccer tournament, was put into use for the first time Thursday and Japan came out as the beneficiary.
Despite losing 1-0 to Poland, the Japanese were able to advance to the round of 16 because they received fewer yellow cards than Senegal, which lost to Colombia by the same score at the same time.
3) The Tokyo metropolitan government on Wednesday passed strict new anti-smoking rules ahead of the 2020 Olympics, leapfrogging national legislation on lighting up that has been watered down after opposition from pro-smoking MPs.
The city’s new laws ban smoking entirely on school premises from kindergartens to high schools, although a space can be created outside university and hospital buildings for smokers.
Lighting up will be outlawed at restaurants in the capital, regardless of size. Restaurants can set up a separate indoor smoking space but customers cannot eat or drink inside the smoking area.
4) The Diet on Friday enacted into law a bill aimed at reforming working styles in the country despite opposition concern that the legislation would encourage long working hours.
The legislation consists of three key pillars — setting a legal cap on overtime work, ensuring “equal pay for equal work” for regular and nonregular workers, and exempting skilled professional workers with high wages from working-hour regulations.
The last item, known as the “white collar overtime exemption,” has been a major source of contention between the ruling and opposition parties.
5) The rainy season has ended in the Kanto and Koshin regions, the earliest conclusion of the wet weather since record-keeping began in 1951, the Japan Meteorological Agency said June 29.
The agency’s declaration came seven days earlier than in 2017 and 22 days earlier than usual. It marked the first end to the rainy season in the regions in June and broke the previous record of July 1 set in 2001.
6) wo longtime political rivals will cooperate for the first time in decades to promote a single issue–moving Japan away from its dependence on nuclear energy.
Junichiro Koizumi and Ichiro Ozawa are both 76 and former members of the Liberal Democratic Party.
7) A third-party panel investigating a violent tackle in a college American football game has denounced university officials for engaging in a cover up to protect coaching staff who ordered the hit.
The damning comments are the latest development in an off-field drama over the on-field incident, which occurred in a game in May between Nihon University and Kwansei Gakuin University.
8) A city mayor in Kyoto Prefecture has returned to work after collapsing in a sumo ring in April.
Manazuru Mayor Ryozo Tatami suddenly collapsed while making a speech at a sumo event in the city.
He said the tradition which bans women from the ring is out of date. He added that providing treatment is the top priority in emergencies, and that it should not matter whether providers are women or men. He said the women who rushed to help him must have felt obliged to do so because they are professional nurses.
9) Officials in Thailand are still trying to locate and rescue 12 boys and their soccer coach believed to be trapped in a flooded cave network.
As the search stretches into its 6th day, crews are exhausting all available options.
Heavy rainfall has been complicating rescue efforts throughout the week as the situation becomes more desperate by the minute.
10) number of female reporters covering the FIFA World Cup in Russia have been sexually harassed. The incidents have drawn worldwide rebuke.
Before Sunday’s game between Japan and Senegal in Ekaterinburg, a man rushed up to a Brazilian TV reporter and tried to kiss on the cheek. She was about to give a live report in front of the stadium.
The reporter dodged the man and angrily shouted at him in English, “Don’t do this, I don’t allow you to do this, never, OK?” She added, “This is not polite, this is not right.”
11) A Japanese electric power company that’s grappling with the aftermath of a nuclear meltdown accident says it will begin a geological survey for a possible new nuclear plant.
Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, said on Friday the survey is planned from the 2nd half of fiscal 2018 through fiscal 2020 in Higashidori in Aomori Prefecture, northern Japan.
13) Japanese employers can often be heard complaining about the nationwide labor shortage. Some will be taking heart after seeing a successful trial of self-driving trucks near Tokyo.
Researchers put 2 trucks through tests in a convoy led by a manned vehicle. The autonomous trucks used sensors and wireless technology to follow the leader.
There were people on board just in case things didn’t go exactly to plan.