1) Princess Mako, the eldest granddaughter of Emperor Akihito, met with her longtime calligraphy teacher at an exhibition in Tokyo on Friday in her first official duty since the Imperial Household Agency announced she will postpone her marriage until 2020.
2) Japan’s financial regulator has begun on-site inspections of multiple digital currency exchanges to check their risk management systems, following a massive theft of digital money worth 58 billion yen ($533 million) from Coincheck Inc, a minister said Friday.
3) Roughly 260 vehicles remained stranded on a snowy road on the Sea of Japan coast Thursday morning, with many people already having spent two nights there while snow plowing efforts continued.
Heavy snow started to block traffic Tuesday morning and roughly 1,500 vehicles were stuck in a 10-kilometer stretch of Route 8 in Fukui Prefecture.
4) AKB48 has dominated the sales charts and become such a cultural phenomenon, in spite of the fact that some would say they aren’t very good at singing or dancing.
5) Drones can be used to survey crops and take photos of plants, allowing farmers to find insects, pest damage, weeds, diseased plants, and mold. A special feature allows farmers to attach a pesticide bottle to the drone and spray only areas where insects are detected, reducing labor and the amount of chemicals used.
6) The powerhouse Canadian squad, which is expected to challenge the team of Russians for the gold medal, compiled 17 points through the first two disciplines. The U.S. team was second with 14 points, followed by Japan and the Russians with 13 points apiece.
7) A public elementary school in central Tokyo has drawn criticism for its plan to introduce uniforms designed by Italian fashion house Armani.
Taimei elementary school, located in the upscale Ginza shopping district, plans to introduce the new uniforms for first-graders starting in April.
Currently, a boy’s uniform for the school costs just over 155 dollars and a girl’s costs around 180 dollars. The Armani-designed uniforms will cost about two and a half times as much.
8) Japan is to submit 14 items for inclusion in the UNESCO list of intangible heritage of high historical and cultural value.
The cultural agency made the decision on Wednesday.
The 14 submissions include the skills and craftsmanship of people involved in restoring cultural and traditional monuments, such as shrine carpenters and plasterers.
9) US President Donald Trump has told Pentagon officials to plan a large-scale military parade in the nation’s capital this year.
Trump attended the Bastille Day parade in Paris on July 14th, following an invitation from French President Emmanuel Macron. He praised the French military parade and said he may do something like it in Washington.
10) The US government has partially shut down for the second time this year after Congress failed to meet a deadline to vote on a new budget.