1) British police suspect a 22-year-old man carried out the bomb attack in Manchester that killed 22 people and injured 59.
2) Japanese police have arrested 6 men in connection with last year’s robbery of gold bars worth millions of dollars near a train station in the city of Fukuoka, western Japan.
3) Some Japanese insurance companies are expanding their policies to cover cyberattacks because of increased risks worldwide.
Officials at Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance have updated their policies for small and medium-size businesses relating to cyberattacks.
4) A pair of melons produced in the northern city of Yubari, Hokkaido, sold for 1.5 million yen in the first auction of this harvest season on Friday.
The price was half the record 3 million yen fetched for a pair of Yubari melons, a type of premium cantaloupe, in the previous year’s auction, but largely in line with prices set in regular years at the Sapporo Central Wholesale Market.
5) Businesses and local authorities in Japan are turning to environmentally friendly bioplastics for shopping and garbage bags, as well as product containers, in a bid to step up their conservation efforts.
Environmentally conscious consumers have responded positively to the use of such materials, viewing it as a practical way of helping conservation.
6) The last Japanese peacekeepers with a United Nations mission have left South Sudan. The team was Japan’s first with an expanded mandate to use force if necessary to protect civilians and U.N. staff.
Japan decided in March to end its peacekeeping mission in the East African nation where civil war is well into its fourth year.
7) Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US President Donald Trump have confirmed that both countries will work closely to tackle the issue of North Korea.
Abe and Trump held talks in Italy on Friday on the sidelines of the Group of Seven countries summit.
At the top of the meeting, Trump said the issue of North Korea is on the global agenda, and that it definitely needs to be resolved.
8) Japan is to increase the number of officials assigned to tourism promotion as it gears toward a target of 40 million visitors from overseas in 2020.
Last year, a record 24 million foreigners visited Japan. The government wants to boost this to 40 million when Tokyo hosts the Olympics and Paralympics.
The ministry in charge of tourism says it will boost the number of personnel at the Japan Tourism Agency, an external agency, by about 50 to 150 by this summer.
9) Japan’s Education Minister has reiterated that he can’t confirm the existence of documents allegedly tying Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to a university operator’s plan to open a school. The operator is run by a close friend of Abe’s.
10) Japan’s Consumer Price Index for April was up for the 4th straight month.
The officials at the Internal Affairs Ministry say the CPI was 0.3 percent higher from the same month last year.
The reading includes oil products, but not fresh food
11) The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and major non-OPEC oil producing nations have agreed to extend their cuts in crude oil output until March of next year.
12) Rural areas in Japan are being hit by severe declines in population. A government-affiliated housing loan provider has decided to offer mortgages with lower interest rates to those moving to the countryside.
The Japan Housing Finance Agency says it will cut the rates on their 35-year fixed mortgage by quarter of a percentage point with certain conditions.