1) Japan and Iran have sealed a deal to promote investment by Japanese firms in the Middle Eastern nation.
2) Japan’s Foreign Minister has agreed with South Korea’s ambassador to Japan that their countries will urge North Korea to exercise restraint over its announced launch as early as next Monday. Pyongyang calls it a satellite launch.
3) Japan’s government is preparing to let visitors tour the State Guest House in central Tokyo throughout the year as part of its policy of promoting tourism.
Also known as the Akasaka Palace, the facility in Minato Ward has hosted numerous summits and provided lodgings to state guests. The Neo-Baroque-style building is also protected as a national treasure.
4) Japan has about 18 million temporary and part-time workers. But many aren’t happy with their status, preferring to be full- timers.
An estimated 3.3 million staffers would like regular working status. That’s nearly 1 in 5 of all people in temporary jobs.
The government is stepping in with targets to reduce the number of these “unwilling” temps.
5) Tokyo police say former professional baseball star Kazuhiro Kiyohara has tested positive for a stimulant drug.
The 48-year-old slugger was arrested on Tuesday for possession of an illegal drug.
The police say his urine sample tested positive.
Investigators say Kiyohara has admitted to the personal use of the drug. He is quoted as saying he injected the substance with a syringe or inhaled it with a glass pipe.
6) Japan’s health ministry has designated the Zika virus as an infectious disease by law, and plans to require all medical institutions to report patients to the government.
7) Executives of Japan’s major electronics firm Toshiba say they are forecasting a record loss for the year ending in March.
They say their group is likely to incur a net loss of about 6 billion dollars, considerably worse than their initial prediction of 4.6 billion dollars.