May 12th, 2018

1)   An elementary schoolgirl was attacked by a man as she walked to school in Tokyo’s Koto Ward on Friday morning.

According to police, the incident occurred at around 7:50 a.m. in Ogibashi, Fuji TV reported. The girl, a 4th-grade student, told police that a man suddenly came up behind her, grabbed her left wrist and slashed the palm of her left hand with a box cutter, and then ran away without saying a word.

2)   Shoei Sugita, a biology professor at Utsunomiya University, went so far as theorize that the Tickt crow was “almost definitely” kept as a pet at some point in its life, as it appears to be especially relaxed around humans, even occasionally perching on the arm or shoulders of people in the area.

3)   U.S. President Donald Trump said Thursday he will meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on June 12 in Singapore for what will be the first-ever summit between the two countries.

4)    U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday pulled the United States out of an international nuclear deal with Iran, raising the risk of conflict in the Middle East, upsetting European allies and casting uncertainty over global oil supplies.

5)   Days before President Trump was to decide whether to pull out of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, Mr. Netanyahu presented records from a secret warehouse in Tehran, making the case that Iranian leaders had deceived the international nuclear agency when they insisted their nuclear program was for peaceful purposes. Israeli spies seized the documents in an overnight raid in January, a senior Israeli official said.

6)   Japan’s golf venue for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics has granted full membership to women for the first time, after lifting a ban under pressure from Games authorities.

The upscale Kasumigaseki Country Club told AFP it had upgraded three women to full membership after agreeing last year to admit female members, following criticism from the International Olympic Committee.

7)   With international attention long focused on North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, Kim Jong Un’s relatively unknown economic reforms could be behind his power at home and his recent diplomatic moves, experts say.

Nuclear arms development and economic reforms make up Kim’s “pyongjin” dual-track policy that he announced during a Central Committee meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea on March 31, 2013.

Pyongyang has declared it has accomplished its military objectives, namely completing its nuclear program and developing intercontinental ballistic missiles to deter the threat of attack from the United States.

In the meantime, Kim has steadily introduced market mechanisms to the country’s economy.

8)   A former top aide to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on May 10 testified before committees of both chambers of the Diet about his meetings with officials of the Kake Educational Institution, whose successful bid to open a veterinary medicine faculty has raised suspicions of Abe’s political involvement.

Tadao Yanase appeared as an unsworn witness in a session of the Lower House Budget Committee in the morning. His testimony came one month after it was revealed that a document compiled by an Ehime prefectural government employee quotes him as saying that the project planned by the institution was “a matter related to the prime minister.”

9)   A ruling party lawmaker reluctantly retracted his remarks about telling young women to have at least three children or else the taxes paid by other people’s offspring will cover their care in nursing homes.

Kanji Kato, 72, made the comments on May 10 at a meeting of the Hosoda faction of the Liberal Democratic Party.

“I always tell brides and grooms at wedding parties that I would like them to have three or more children,” he said. “We need three or more children from those people to make up for couples who cannot bear a child no matter what they do.”

10)   Couples in de facto marriages have sued the government over a legal provision that requires either the wives or husbands to give up their surnames.

The seven men and women filed their lawsuits against local authorities and the central government on May 10 with the Tokyo District Court, its Tachikawa Branch and the Hiroshima District Court. They are represented by the same group of lawyers, led by Tokyo-based Fujiko Sakakibara.

The plaintiffs argue that inequality exists in the current legal system that recognizes marriages of couples with one surname but denies that status to couples who want to keep separate surnames.