Oct 1st, 2016


1)    Police increasingly suspect that the killing of two patients at a hospital in Yokohama may have been conducted by a person connected with the hospital and with some medical knowledge, investigative sources said Thursday.

The person may also have randomly sought to tamper with intravenous drips because some 10 unused drip bags were found with small holes, in a possible sign someone tried to inject into them surfactant compound, which police believe was used to kill the two patients.

2)   The Japanese government approved Friday a proposed contract with a joint venture to build Tokyo’s new National Stadium, the main venue for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics in the capital, at a construction cost of 149 billion yen ($1.47 billion).

3)   Spending among Japanese households tumbled last month and consumer prices fell again, data showed Friday, after the Bank of Japan announced it was overhauling a faltering bid to conquer deflation.

The disappointing data marked the latest red flag for the world’s number three economy.

4)   The Tokyo District Court on Thursday ordered the effective head of the Kyokuto-kai crime syndicate to pay damages over extortion by members of an affiliated gang.

The court ordered Keika So, the 88-year-old former Kyokuto-kai chairman, and other gang members, to pay about 200 million yen in damages to 27 men and women who had filed suit.

5)   Democratic Party leader Renho slammed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic and social policies Wednesday in her first opportunity as leader to directly go up against the premier in a question-and-answer session in the House of Councillors.

Renho, who was elected to lead the main opposition party on Sept 15, took aim at a policy speech Abe gave on Monday to open an extraordinary Diet session set to run through Nov 30. She alleged that the “Abenomics” economic and fiscal policy package has failed to live up to its goal of ending Japan’s long-term deflationary trend.

6)   “Salary thieves!” “Incompetents!”

The old are intolerable. They slow things down, screw things up, deck themselves in impressive titles, draw bloated salaries – and for what? For keeping everybody else – the energetic, quick-witted, well-adapted, competent, idea-generating young – down?

7)   In the quest for globalization, language remains top priority — especially in the medical field. Because non-Japanese have represented a very small percentage of patients in the country’s hospitals, there is a drought in medical support and assistance for non-speakers of Japanese. As the number of non-Japanese residing in and visiting Japan rises, there is an increasing need for multilingual support to make medicine more accessible to the foreign community.

To rectify the situation, Mayumi Sawada founded mediPhone, a medical interpreting service that aims to create a world in which medicine and healthcare is accessible to all.

8)   Demonstration is said to be the most successful form of marketing. Taichi Yamaguchi, Corporate Planning Division General Manager for TBM Co Ltd, puts his business card on the table, pours some water on it, then tries to tear it but can’t. The card is made of LIMEX, an innovative material manufactured from limestone that can be used to make “paper” and “plastic.”

The advantages of LIMEX are that it does not cause deforestation and saves on water and oil resources. Furthermore, limestone supplies are abundant in many countries, including Japan.

9)   Donald Trump abruptly resurrected Bill Clinton’s impeachment on Thursday, adding the former president’s infidelities to the already-rancorous 2016 campaign. Trump warned voters in battleground New Hampshire that a Hillary Clinton victory would bring her husband’s sex scandal back to the White House.

It was Trump’s latest effort to bounce back from Monday night’s debate performance, which has been widely panned as lackluster.

10)   Will the day come, three years from now, when “unagi” (eels) vanish from the dinner table? It appears that the EU is backing a moratorium on eel harvesting and if it passes, an expert tells Yukan Fuji (Sept 27), then three years from now, trade in illegally caught or transported eel fry used for fish farming (aquaculture) will be halted.