Jan 27th, 2018


1)   Tokyo’s ambulance service has experienced its busiest day in more than 80 years, officials said Thursday, amid icy conditions as the Japanese capital shivers through its coldest temperatures in decades.

The Tokyo fire department, which runs the ambulance service, said it had responded to 2,826 calls on Wednesday following rare and heavy snow that sparked chaos in one of the world’s most populous cities.

2)   U.S. President Donald Trump’s latest suggestion he may be open to Washington re-entering the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal will not alter Tokyo’s path toward bringing the renegotiated pact into force in March, a Japanese minister said Friday.

3)   Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd said Thursday its U.S. subsidiary has received an order worth $3.7 billion to build up to 1,612 cars for the New York subway.

4)   Japanese consumers are well known for their preference for cash. But a growing number are showing an interest in bitcoin and other digital currencies.
Corporations here are hoping to capitalize on the shift.

Telecom operator Internet Initiative Japan set up a new company earlier this month.

18 major firms will invest in the company to set up a virtual currency exchange. They plan to eventually launch payment services, too.

5)   About 530 million dollars’ worth of crypto-currency has gone missing from a major virtual exchange in Japan due to hacking.

The site operator, Coincheck, announced the currency called NEM disappeared at around 3 AM Friday. It has notified the Financial Services Agency and the police.

It says the assets belonged to customers, and is considering compensation and other measures.

6)      A Japanese research team says that in an experiment it conducted, poorly protected webcams were hacked only one hour after the devices were set up.

The team at Yokohama National University was trying to find out how hackers exploit Internet-linked cameras that people use to remotely monitor their homes and offices.

The team installed 4 webcams not protected with personal passwords and another that used a password but had a security flaw.

In just over one month, 148 unknown sources accessed the webcams. 33 of them manipulated the devices, such as by changing their angles.

7)   Japan’s Prime Minister says he wants to pursue a world free of nuclear weapons from a realistic standpoint, at a time when the imminence of the North Korean threat makes the US nuclear umbrella an absolute imperative.

Shinzo Abe’s comments on Friday before the Upper House were in response to the leader of the ruling coalition partner, Komeito.

8)   Police and firefighters have ended search operations for the day at a ski resort at Mount Kusatsu-Shirane, which erupted on Tuesday, killing one and injuring 11.

More than 40 members combed the Kusatsu ski resort in Gunma Prefecture on Thursday to see if anyone is stranded. They say they have found no one so far. Police plan to keep looking on Friday.

9)   A US decision to freeze in part financial contributions to the UN agency supporting Palestinian refugees is prompting concerns among other UN member states.

US President Donald Trump has threatened to freeze more financial aid to the Palestinians unless they return to peace talks with Israel.

10)   The governor of Okinawa, which hosts most US military facilities in Japan, has severely criticized the US Marine Corps commander over a remark he made regarding emergency landings by military aircraft in the prefecture.

On Thursday, General Robert Neller referred to the situation during a speech in Washington. He said he is glad they were precautionary landings because no one was hurt and the Marines didn’t lose any planes.