1) For the first time in 2 centuries, Japan’s Emperor will be allowed to step down.
The Diet has enacted a bill that allows Emperor Akihito to abdicate, but the law only makes the provision for him. The law is designed to allow him to hand over the throne to his son, Crown Prince Naruhito.
2) The operator of a nuclear research facility near Tokyo says one of its workers may have suffered a high levels of internal radiation exposure.
Five workers at the facility of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency in Oarai Town, Ibaraki Prefecture, were accidentally exposed to radioactive substances on Tuesday.
3) A police officer in southwestern Japan has been arrested for allegedly killing his wife. The couple’s young children were also found dead at their home on Tuesday.
Police arrested Mitsuru Nakata based on forensic evidence at the scene. The 38-year-old works for the Fukuoka prefectural police.
4) Japanese education minister Hirokazu Matsuno says his ministry will reinvestigate the existence of controversial ministry documents.
The documents are alleged to be related to the planned creation of a new veterinary school by Kake Educational Institution, which is run by a close friend of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
One of the documents allegedly mentions the intentions of the highest level of the Prime Minister’s Office in calling for swift approval of the opening of the new school.
5) A man held as a murder suspect in Japan is believed to have been helped by more than 10 members of his radical leftist group while on the run for over 45 years.
Sources with the investigation say members of the Chukaku-ha group gave shelter to Masaaki Osaka and helped him elude the authorities.
Police on Wednesday served Osaka with a fresh arrest warrant in the killing of a police officer during a riot in Tokyo in 1971.
6) Haagen-Dazs Japan has announced a recall of new ice cream products that may contain black pieces of rubber.
Company officials soon received complaints from consumers saying they found black pieces in the ice cream. The officials say they found worn rubber in manufacturing equipment at a factory, and that fragments may have been mixed into the ice cream.
7) Japan’s largest business organization is asking Vietnam to help get the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal back on track after the US withdrawal.
Japan and Vietnam are among the 11 remaining signatories of the TPP.
8) South Korea’s military says it has found small, unmanned aircraft crashed on a mountain in the northern part of the country. The military says the drone’s size and shape are similar to a North Korean drone found on a remote island 3 years ago.
9) The US state of Hawaii has enacted legislation calling for continued efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions across Hawaii in line with the Paris climate change agreement.
10) 67 members have joined a new effort to stop multinational tax avoidance. Members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development have backed a convention that stops companies from exploiting countries with lower taxes.
The move follows claims that firms such as Apple and Amazon were shifting profits to low-tax jurisdictions despite having little presence there.