Feb 18th, 2017


1)   U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Thursday pledged that Washington would use the full range of its arsenal, including nuclear weapons, to defend allies Japan and South Korea against North Korea if needed.

2)    Prosecutors on Thursday released an 88-year-old man whose truck plowed into school children, and he is unlikely to be charged with any crime as it appears he suffers from dementia without realizing it, an investigative source said.

The man was arrested on suspicion of negligent driving resulting in death and injury after a minitruck he was driving struck a group of school children as they were walking to school in Yokohama last October.

3)   Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says he hopes that new government-business initiative, called “Premium Friday,” will boost economic consumption.

Abe met Wednesday with the government’s Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy to discuss the introduction of “Premium Friday,” which allows employees to finish working at 3 p.m. on the last Friday at the end of each month. It is set to begin on Feb 24

4)   Products bearing the image of “Kumamon,” the black bear mascot of quake-hit Kumamoto Prefecture, racked up sales of at least 128 billion yen ($1.1 billion) in 2016, the prefectural government said Wednesday.

5)   The leaks are real. But the news about them is fake. The White House is a fine-tuned machine. Russia is a ruse.

For its stunning moments and memorable one-liners, Donald Trump’s first solo news conference as president has no rivals in recent memory.

6)   Tired of the usual box of chocolates? Try a bug cocktail or a caramel creepy crawly for Valentine’s Day.

A Tokyo bar on Sunday offered courageous couples and curious gourmets a special menu of desserts and drinks made with insects ahead of Tuesday’s holiday.

“They are crispy like the skin of walnuts and go pretty well with chocolate,” Sayumi Makino, 20, told Reuters Television at the Duranbar in central Tokyo.

The menu ranged from a cranberry and water bug cocktail to caramelized worms with almonds and cashews. The whipped cream on some desserts included the internal fluids of giant Thai water bugs, known for their sweet taste.

7)   A 70.2% majority of Japanese people are satisfied with recent talks between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump, while 19.5% said they are dissatisfied, according to a Kyodo News survey conducted Sunday and Monday.

How do you distinguish between real and fake news?