May 3rd, 2018


1)   Tatsuya Yamaguchi, a member of Japanese all-male pop group Tokio, has expressed his intent to leave the five-member band after coming under fire for kissing a high school student against her will, other group members revealed Wednesday.

2)   Bus drivers in Okayama working with Ryobi Group have taken to the streets in an unusual form of protest. While technically on strike, they are continuing to drive their routes while refusing to take fares from passengers.

3)   Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sought public support Tuesday for his long-cherished goal of revising the country’s war-renouncing constitution amid widening scandals that have hurt his government’s popularity.

4)   Medical Services Law will prohibit such misleading claims as “100 percent safe surgery,” with fines on violators. It will also, in principle, ban the inclusion of patients’ testimonies of their experiences and touting medical treatments that use unapproved drugs.

5)   Dozens of thrill seekers got more than they bargained for when a roller coaster stalled, leaving them hanging face down 30 meters above the ground for up to two hours.

6)   The president of Chisso Corp., whose mercury pollution caused the debilitating Minamata disease that sickened tens of thousands, sparked outrage for saying that redress for the victims has ended.

7)   NHK has learnt that a convicted thief told police he escaped from prison because he wasn’t allowed to be the leader of the inmates.

8)   Tatsuma Hirao escaped from the low-security prison in Imabari City in Ehime Prefecture on April 8th. He was recaptured on Monday in Hiroshima City, after more than 3 weeks on the run.

9)   A government survey suggests Japanese consumers felt negative about the economic outlook in April for the first time in 2 months.

The Cabinet Office monthly survey of 8,400 households asks consumers how they feel about the coming 6 months.

10)   Japan’s annual summertime “Cool Biz” campaign has started, with people across the country encouraged to dress casually to use less air conditioning.

During the 5-month campaign, the Environment Ministry is urging people to set air conditioners to around 28 degrees Celsius at work and home.