May 19th, 2018


1)   Nearly all respondents to an internet survey of media workers, prompted by news of a TV reporter being sexually harassed by a top Finance Ministry bureaucrat, say they experienced sexual harassment multiple times.

A total of 103 women and four men responded to the questionnaire, and 102 of the women reported having been sexually haarassed, of whom 51 said they had experienced it 10 or more times and 47 said between two to nine times.

2)   At least 100 bamboo trees in Kyoto’s Arashiyama district have been vandalized by tourists, who apparently engraved their names and initials, a company managing the iconic groves of the popular tourist spot said Thursday.

The engravings carved on tree surfaces are in foreign language letters, including alphabets and Hangul characters.

3)   The Diet on Wednesday passed a law to encourage female candidates to stand for elections in a country where women are vastly underrepresented in politics.

Under the new law, political parties are urged to make the number of male and female candidates as equal as possible and are encouraged to set targets for gender parity.

But the law includes no penalties for parties that fail to do so, nor incentives to encourage them.

4)   To thwart groping and other crimes, train cars equipped with security cameras will run on the Yamanote Line in central Tokyo for the first time on May 19, East Japan Railway Co. (JR East) said.

JR East said it plans to replace all current trains on the line with new “E235 series” trains by spring 2020, a few months before the Tokyo Summer Olympics.

The railway company also intends to install security cameras inside all new trains on other lines from this fiscal year, which started in April.

5)   A vicious and extremely late hit against a defenseless quarterback in an American football game has led to a suspension, boycotted games and a government demand for an investigation.

The Nihon University football player under fire for a vicious cheap shot said his coach ordered him to “break” the quarterback or be benched, a teammate told The Asahi Shimbun on May 17.

6)   Japanese teenage shogi chess sensation Sota Fujii has set a new record. The 15-year-old high school freshman has become the youngest player to achieve the rank of 7th-dan.

7)   The Japanese singer Hideki Saijo has died. He was 63.

His agency said Saijo died of acute heart failure late Wednesday in a hospital in Yokohama, near Tokyo.

Saijo was born in Hiroshima City and made his debut at the age of 17. He won a huge following, especially among young women, for his energetic singing style.

8)   In the United States, Texas Governor Greg Abbott says at least 10 people are dead and 10 others were injured in a shooting at a high school in Santa Fe on Friday morning.

Explosive devices were also found at the school and at another site nearby.

Authorities say gunshots were fired at around 7:30, and that many of the victims are students.

A male suspect believed to be a student at the school has been detained and another is being questioned.

9)   North Korea has demanded that South Korea halt its ongoing joint military drills with the United States as a precondition to resume inter-Korean dialogue.

10)   Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano has erupted explosively, sending a cloud of ash about 9 kilometers into the sky.

The US Geological Survey says the massive eruption took place near the volcano’s summit at 4:17 AM Thursday local time.

11)   The World Health Organization says the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has spread to an urban area.

The WHO said on Thursday that an Ebola case had been confirmed in Mbandaka, a city in the northwest of the country with a population of around a million.

12)   The Japanese government has notified the World Trade Organization that it is prepared to take countermeasures against US tariffs on steel and aluminum.

The government announced that it is ready to implement rebalancing measures worth about 440 million dollars. The tariffs that the US is imposing on Japan come to about that much.

The notification is a procedure required under international trade rules, if Japan actually takes the reciprocal step against the US in the future. Specific items have not yet been mentioned.