April 7th, 2018


1)   Japan’s household spending suffered the biggest annual decline in nearly a year in February as inflation-adjusted wages continued to fall, data showed on Friday, suggesting the economy’s longest run of growth since the 1980s asset bubble has peaked

2)   Police arrested two acquaintances of conservative commentator Susumu Nishibe late Thursday for allegedly helping the 78-year-old in his suicide preparations in January.

3)   A South Korean court jailed former President Park Geun-hye for 24 years on Friday over a scandal that exposed webs of corruption between political leaders and the country’s conglomerates.

4)   Some fans of professional baseball team the Chunichi Dragons have been caught on video chanting “Let the atomic bomb drop” on the Hiroshima Carp, Dragons officials said Thursday.

In the 20-second footage uploaded to YouTube, believed to have been taken during a game last weekend at Mazda Stadium in the city of Hiroshima, several men can be heard chanting, “Go for it. Die. Let the atomic bomb drop (on the) Carp.” Hiroshima was devastated by the first U.S. atomic bombing in 1945.

5)   The Japan Sumo Association chairman has apologized after women who were trying to save the life of the mayor, who suddenly collapsed during a sumo event here on April 4, were ordered to leave the dohyo.

Traditionally, women are barred from entering the sumo ring.

6)   Police said Thursday they noted 68 cases of illegal drone flights in 2017, almost double the previous year’s 36.

Japan’s aviation law bans drone flights in airspace around airports and above densely populated areas. Drones are restricted to flying in daylight hours and need to be monitored at all times.

7)   In an unprecedented move, the Olympic torch will visit three prefectures in the disaster-hit Tohoku region before starting its relay in Okinawa Prefecture, Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics sources said April 5.

The sacred flame, which will be brought from Greece, is to be lit during the three events in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures before being moved to the southernmost prefecture to start the relay in late March, the sources said.

8)   Shohei Ohtani, a two-way baseball star from Japan, hit his first major league homerun at his Los Angeles Angels’ home stadium in Anaheim.

It was the first inning. Ohtani came to the plate as designated hitter against the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday.

9)   US President Donald Trump has signed a presidential memorandum to deploy the National Guard along the border with Mexico.

Trump signed the memo on Wednesday as part of measures to tighten control of illegal immigrants.

10)   Facebook officials are responding to revelations that a major privacy breach went deeper than first thought. They have instructed engineers to remove a search function that could be used to expose personal details.