Oct 29th, 2016


1)   Young people dressed in Halloween costumes have started to gather near Tokyo’s Shibuya Station on Friday, 3 days before the actual holiday of October 31st. Tokyo police are deploying officers as crowds of revelers are expected every night through Monday.

Experts say the imported Western custom has become popular in the country as an autumn festival. The total value of spending associated with Halloween in Japan is estimated at more than 1 billion dollars, second to Christmas and surpassing that of Valentine’s Day.

2)   Japanese employees are reporting increased stress in the workplace, with those in their 30s having a high rate of mental disorders due to overwork. The health ministry analyzed more than 2,000 cases of workers’ compensation for mental illness from January 2010 to March last year. At least 368 of the people apparently committed suicide.

Their mental disorders were caused by the type of their work and changes in their workload. Another factor was interpersonal problems, including harassment and bullying at workplaces as well as problems with bosses.

3)   NHK has learned that the Tokyo metropolitan government sees various problems with the proposals for the venue for the rowing and canoeing events of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The proposals include: building a permanent facility in Tokyo’s waterfront area; building a temporary facility in the same place; or using an existing course in Miyagi prefecture.
The officials found that a permanent facility in Tokyo is projected to generate an annual loss of 200 million yen, or about 2 million dollars, after the Olympics.

4)   Japan’s Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida has defended the country’s decision to oppose a UN committee resolution calling for a total ban on nuclear weapons. The United States and other nuclear powers opposed the resolution. Japan also voted against it.

Kishida told reporters in Tokyo on Friday that the resolution would only widen the gap between nuclear and non-nuclear weapons states. He said the 2 sides must work together to achieve results, and a practical approach based on cooperation is needed.

5)   The Okinawa prefectural assembly has adopted a resolution protesting an incident last week in which police officers from another prefecture insulted anti-base protesters with derogatory words.

The Okinawa prefectural assembly adopted the resolution by a majority vote on Friday. It condemns the officers’ remarks for, “trampling on the pride and dignity of Okinawa’s people, and for causing them deep, intractable mental scars”. It demands that the incident never be repeated again.

6)   Police in Ichinomiya City, Aichi Prefecture, have arrested the driver of a truck after he hit and killed a 9-year-old boy on Wednesday afternoon. The driver, Nobusuke Kawai, 36, has admitted he was playing Pokemon Go and did not see the boy.

According to police, the incident occurred at around 4:10 p.m. as the boy, Keita Noritake, was on his way home from school..  The driver, Nobusuke Kawai, 36, was arrested at the scene and charged with dangerous driving resulting in death.

7)   Japan’s estimate of dismantling the Fukushima nuclear plant is ballooning far beyond the utility’s estimate of 2 trillion yen ($19 billion). A government study released Tuesday found decommissioning the Fukushima Daiichi plant already has cost 80 billion yen ($770 million) over the last three years. The ministry overseeing nuclear power said the decommissioning costs will continue at several hundreds of billions of yen a year.

8)   A teacher at Kofu Josai Yamanashi Prefectural High School got angry when a student came to school with the sides of his head shaved. The teacher, a man in his 50s, slapped the boy at least 10 times at an after-school club activity and then ordered three other students to help him forcibly shave the boy’s head, Sankei Shimbun reported.

Another male instructor who was at the scene verbally abused the student, and forced the other three students to shave their hair off as an act of collective responsibility.

9)   Seeking to lash Hillary Clinton to her husband’s sprawling post-presidential empire, Donald Trump accused the couple of turning to corruption to enrich themselves while in public service.

On Thursday, the GOP nominee cited newly released emails from her campaign chairman’s personal account showing Doug Band, a former Bill Clinton aide, describing overlapping relationships between the Clinton Foundation and the family’s private gains

10)      Japanese scientists are getting an up-close lesson on how volcanic islands are formed.

Last week, they landed on Nishinoshima, which was just a rocky outcropping in the Pacific Ocean until two years ago, when spectacular eruptions spewed lava and ash, expanding it to 12 times its size.