1) Japanese Justice Minister Yoko Kamikawa, who ordered the executions of Aum Shinrikyo cult founder Shoko Asahara and six of his followers, said Friday capital punishment is “unavoidable” for heinous crimes
2) Two people were found dead near rain-swollen rivers in Japan on Friday, officials said, as record downpours prompted authorities to order more than 210,000 people to evacuate their homes.
Hundreds of thousands of people across a wide swathe of western and central Japan were evacuated from their homes on Friday as torrential rains pounded the nation, flooding rivers, setting off landslides and leaving at least two people dead.
3) North Korea has said it will not comply with Tokyo’s demand for a resolution of the issue of Japanese citizens abducted by the North decades ago unless Japan lifts unilateral economic sanctions, sources close to bilateral ties said Thursday.
4) The Japanese squad that competed at soccer’s World Cup in Russia has tweeted a good-luck message to the 12 members of a youth soccer team trapped with their coach in a cave in northern Thailand.
5) Thirty-two pregnant Cambodians were detained on Friday for their suspected involvement in an illegal surrogacy operation, carrying babies for Chinese clients, a court official said on Friday.
Five other people, including a Chinese person, were arrested and charged with human trafficking following raids at two apartments in the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh.
6) Sumo’s grand champion Kisenosato will sit out the upcoming tournament. He has so far missed all or part of the last 7 tourneys.
7) China has imposed tariffs of 25 percent on hundreds of American products in retaliation for US duties on Chinese goods.
Earlier on Friday, US President Donald Trump pulled the trigger on tariffs on billions of dollars-worth of Chinese products.
This is the first round of Trump’s punishment of China for allegedly stealing US technology.
8) Independence Day celebrations were held across the US on Wednesday amid increased security for possible terrorist attacks.
Americans hold parades and firework displays to mark the anniversary of their declaration of independence from Britain on July 4, 1776.
About 6,000 personnel, including police officers with automatic rifles, stood guard as fireworks lit up the sky.
9) Greenpeace has crashed a drone into a nuclear plant complex in France. The international environmental group says it wanted to show the vulnerability of such plants to outside attacks.
Greenpeace claims that it wanted to highlight nuclear plant vulnerability before the French parliament releases a report on the security of such facilities. The group calls for improving the safety of nuclear plants.
10) Japan’s first hotel featuring the cartoon character Snoopy is to open on August 1st in the western city of Kobe.