1) Actor Tomokazu Miura, 64, and former idol singer Momoe Yamaguchi, 57, have been chosen the most ideal married couple of the year in an annual survey conducted by insurance company Meiji Sumitomo Seimei. The couple, who married in 1980, have been ranked first continuously for the past 11 years, Fuji TV reported.
2) Following a spate of traffic accidents, some fatal, involving elderly drivers, the National Police Agency is urging senior citizens to drive safely and voluntarily return their driver’s licenses if they don’t feel confident.
This week, police handed out fliers and spoke to senior citizens seen behind the driver’s wheel in parking lots at local hospitals and other places at 97 locations nationwide, Fuji TV reported.
3) Japan remains one of the world’s worst-performing nations in tackling climate change, think tank Germanwatch says.
Japan was deemed the second-worst performer of 57 countries and Taiwan, this year’s Climate Change Performance Index report showed.
The report said Tokyo’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions center on reactivating nuclear energy as more or less the only alternative to fossil fuels, “instead of sufficiently promoting renewable energy.”
4) One day before U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s first meeting with a foreign leader, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Japanese officials said they had not finalized when or where in New York it would take place, who would be invited, or in some cases whom to call for answers
5) With a law change planned to reduce the age of adulthood from 20 to 18 in Japan following the similar lowering of the minimum voting age, the society and those in their late teens seem less prepared for the government’s envisaged step.
In fact, a majority of teens appear not keen on the idea while many said 18- and 19-year-olds lack the ability to make judgment calls or are unable to take responsibility for their own actions.
6) A police raid on a factory in a small town in Wakayama Prefecture has uncovered a massive haul of cannabis with a street value estimated at 2 billion yen ($18.3 million).
Police said Wednesday they have seized over 10,000 cannabis plants and arrested senior gang member Junichi Kimura, 54, along with three others, all from Osaka, on suspicion of possessing marijuana with intent to sell.
“I only dropped by for a visit,” Kimura was quoted telling police.
According to police, about 11,000 plants in various stages of growth were discovered. Some 4,000 of them, worth about 2 billion yen, were fully grown and ready for distribution.
7) Prosecutors alleged Tuesday that a 20-year-old man being tried over the murder of a beautician in Hokkaido last year wanted to replicate killings he had simulated in video games.
At the Kushiro District Court, the defendant pleaded guilty to the murder of 31-year-old Erika Konno and the destruction of her body in August last year in Hokkaido’s Tokachi region. The alleged perpetrator’s name is being withheld because he was a minor at the time of the incident.
8) Hollywood celebrated the life of legendary Japanese actor Toshiro Mifune on Monday, honoring him with a star on its iconic Walk of Fame two decades after his death.
Mifune rose to stardom through Akira Kurosawa’s classics, including “Rashomon” (1950) and “Seven Samurai” (1954), with masculine portrayals of powerful warlords that earned him a reputation as the world’s best samurai actor.
9) What do you think the Japan-U.S. relationship will be like after Donald Trump takes power?
A) The relationship will get worse than it is now.
B) The relationship will improve.
C) The relationship will generally be about the same as it is now.
10) Using smartphones to measure how much time people spend looking at those phones confirms that more screentime is tied to poorer sleep, researchers say.
“This is the first study to directly measure actual screen time in natural environments and compare it to sleep quality,” said senior author Dr Gregory M. Marcus of the University of California, San Francisco.