1) A 65-year-old man was found dead on a road in Yonezawa, Yamagata Prefecture, early Friday morning after he was apparently hit by a snowplow.
According to police, heavy snow hit the region on Thursday and the snowplow was clearing a road during the night, Sankei Shimbun reported. The operator of the snowplow called 110 at around 3 a.m. Friday to report that a man was lying on the road near the snowplow.
2) Police in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, have arrested a 47-year-old woman on suspicion of attempted murder after she tried to strangle her 19-year-old daughter to death at their home.
According to police, Kaori Harukawa tried to kill her daughter at around 10 p.m. on Wednesday, Sankei Shimbun reported. She then called 119 and said she had strangled her daughter.
3) Japan’s top government spokesman said on Wednesday his government wants to promote rules that protect free and fair trade for the global economy.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, speaking during a recording of a TV program at Japanese broadcaster BS11, said Japan is ready to explain its stance in trade negotiations with the United States.
4) The Japanese government is considering sending Maritime Self-Defense Force vessels to the Chinese navy’s fleet review next April, as the two countries are looking to facilitate defense exchanges amid thawing diplomatic ties, a source familiar with bilateral ties say.
5) He is desperate to accomplish something that will leave his mark on history during his last three-year term as LDP president through 2021, political experts say.
The 64-year-old conservative leader, who has gained core supporters for the hard line he has taken on North Korea, hopes to bring back Japanese citizens abducted by Pyongyang in the 1970s and 1980s.
But this diplomatic agenda is unlikely to move forward anytime soon partly because of stalled nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang.
In May 2017, Abe caused a political stir by proposing to change the war-renouncing Article 9 of the supreme law to put an end to the debate over the constitutionality of the Self-Defense Forces.
6) Two homeless men have been charged with burglary after a California man said he came home to find them cooking dinner.
Robby Spillman tells KNBC-TV he returned from Christmas shopping last Friday to find the men in his Santa Monica apartment.
Spillman says the men, who stank and wore filthy, ripped clothing, told him they hadn’t expected him home so soon and asked if they could “hang out” for a while.
7) Authorities say two men were surrounded by customers with guns while attempting to steal tools from a Washington store.
The Daily Herald reports the men, ages 22 and 23, allegedly took four nail guns, each worth more than $400, from the Coastal Farm & Ranch store Saturday in Marysville.
The men walked out of the store and got into a car, only to be surrounded by about six customers with guns raised.
Documents say another customer shot at the driver’s side front tire, while a third fired twice at the rear tire.
Marysville police found the theft suspects’ car unoccupied about three blocks away, with two flat tires and the tools inside. Both men were apprehended after a search.
8) Investigators say a 61-year-old Wisconsin man was arrested for tearing down a neighbor’s Christmas decorations while drunk and naked.
The Green Bay Gazette reports that Gregory Brannigan faces misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and resisting an officer.
A criminal complaint shows Brannigan’s neighbor called police Wednesday after to report that he was naked, kicking her door and tearing down her decorations. The neighbor told police Brannigan appeared intoxicated.
Officers say the Green Bay man was stumbling and told officers he needed to take care of supposed drug dealers in a neighbor’s apartment.
9) apanese weather officials say snow is intensifying along the Sea of Japan coast. They are warning of possible transportation disruptions during the year-end holiday season.
10) apanese weather officials say snow is intensifying along the Sea of Japan coast. They are warning of possible transportation disruptions during the year-end holiday season.
11) The Japanese government has officially notified the US government of its withdrawal from the International Whaling Commission. The US is in charge of accepting applications for joining or withdrawing from the organization.
The action will allow Japan to officially withdraw from the IWC at the end of June. Japan plans to resume commercial whaling from July.
12) Authorities in some Chinese cities have banned Christmas decorations and celebrations.
Many reports were posted online before Christmas about moves to strengthen restrictions on Christianity.
In Langfang, Hebei Province, an official notice called for Christmas decorations to be eliminated from streets and shops.
In Hengyang, Hunan Province, authorities last week announced a ban on Christmas celebrations on streets.
13) An eight-year-old boy from the Central American country of Guatemala has died while in the custody of US Border Patrol agents.
US media reports the boy and his father crossed into the state of Texas from Mexico earlier this month. They were detained by border agents and later moved to a holding facility.
14) Visitors from Southeast Asia have enjoyed a rare taste of winter, when a blanket of snow covered tourist spots in Gifu Prefecture, central Japan.
Takayama City on Friday was dusted with two centimeters of snow that fell overnight.
Foreign visitors were seen snapping photos in front of a popular bridge, with its red parapets capped in white.
Some children threw snowballs, while the adults helped themselves to warm grilled rice cakes. The treat, called “Gohei mochi,” is a local specialty.