June 8th, 2018


1)   Rental site Airbnb said Thursday it had been forced by Japanese authorities to cancel thousands of reservations ahead of a new law regulating short-term rentals, apologising for the “extraordinary disruption.”

2)   Keiichiro Koyama, 34, and Shigeaki Kato, 30, members of popular group News, promoted by Johnny & Associates, are in hot water for allegedly encouraging an underage girl to drink at a party.

The scandal was reported by tabloid magazine Shukan Bunshun in its June 7 edition. The story said the party was organized by Koyama himself, and that a then 19-year-old girl had been urged to drink alcohol in gulps.

3)   A 41-year-old man has been sentenced to 19 years in prison for the arson-murders of his 31-year-old wife and two children aged 3 and 1, last year in Tome, Miyagi Prefecture.

The Sendai District Court handed down its verdict against Yoshiaki Shimaya, who had pleaded guilty to killing his wife Miyu, daughter Mao and son Kyosuke, Fuji TV reported Thursday.

4)   U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday after White House talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that the two leaders were working together to improve trading relations and that Abe promised new Japanese investment in the United States.


5)   The summit of the Group of 7 nations will open in Canada on Friday. But the leaders may struggle to put on a show of unity.

On free trade, Abe is expected to speak out in the G7 summit against retaliatory tariffs, saying they benefit no country. He will also express Japan’s stance of strengthening multilateral trade systems and promoting economic partnership deals.

6)   An NHK crew has been allowed to enter a village engulfed by lava and ash from the Fuego volcano in Guatemala.

The volcano, about 40 kilometers southwest of the capital Guatemala City, erupted violently on Sunday.

Villages at the foot of the mountain were swamped and destroyed by pyroclastic flows.

7)   Nearly 80 percent of respondents to a survey in Japan said they are interested in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but only 15 percent are willing to work as volunteers for the event.

8)   The Reuters news agency reports that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is expected to arrive in Singapore on Sunday. His summit with US President Donald Trump is scheduled to take place on Tuesday in the city-state.

9)   Data from China show that the trade surplus with the United States grew further in May. That’s despite trade talks the 2 countries held last month.

Imports from the US rose more than 10 percent to 14.7 billion dollars. But exports to the US also rose. As a result, China posted a bilateral trade surplus of about 24.5 billion dollars. That’s up more than 10 percent from the level a year earlier.

10)   A record number of foreign tourists came to Japan last year. But a government report says they are spending less these days.

The annual white paper on tourism shows almost 29 million people visited Japan in 2017, marking a record high for the fifth straight year. They spent a total of 40 billion dollars.