1) The cost of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics has already soared to 2.81 trillion yen ($24.7 billion), more than double the last official estimate, according to calculations by the Board of Audit.
2) Japanese police referred to child welfare authorities a record-high 37,113 suspected victims of child abuse in the first half of this year, a report released Thursday showed.
The preliminary figure marks an increase of 6,851 children aged 17 or younger being affected, as compared to the same period last year, according to the National Police Agency.
3) The mayor of Osaka says he’s ending a six-decade sister city relationship with San Francisco to protest a statue honoring women forced to have sex with Japanese soldiers during World War II.
Osaka Mayor Hirofumi Yoshimura this week sent a letter to San Francisco announcing he’s withdrawing from the largely ceremonial relationship, the San Francisco Examiner reported Wednesday.
4) Japan has decided not to take part in an international fleet review in South Korea next week after Seoul effectively asked Tokyo not to fly its “Rising Sun” flag on a warship, Japan’s defense minister said on Friday, the latest spat between the two sides.
5) New Okinawa GovDenny Tamaki said Thursday he will dedicate all his strength to trying to block the Japan-U.S. plan to relocate a key American military facility within the southern island prefecture.
The radio personality-turned-politician won Sunday’s gubernatorial election with a pledge to stop the controversial plan to move U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma from a crowded residential area of Ginowan to the less populated coastal district of Henoko in Nago, both in Okinawa.
6) U.S. President Donald Trump and Abe agreed in a meeting last week in New York to start negotiations for a bilateral trade agreement on goods, or TAG. The move is a concession by Tokyo, which dropped its earlier insistence on a multilateral approach to trade issues.
7) Kumamoto councilwoman who took baby to work kicked out of conference for using cough drop.
8) A survey has found that radio was the most useful means of getting information after a powerful earthquake hit the northern Japanese prefecture of Hokkaido a month ago.
9) Typhoon Kong-rey is battering Japan’s south. At least 10 people have been injured. It’s the second storm to hit the region in less than a week. The typhoon is moving north over the sea. It has caused blackouts in some areas.
10) An escapee from a police station in Osaka Prefecture carried out a daring deception, purporting to be a cyclist while he was at large. He evaded the police for 48 days.
Junya Hida, indicted for robbery and other charges, escaped from a police station in Tondabayashi City on August 12th. He was apprehended after he was caught stealing food last Saturday in the city of Shunan, Yamaguchi Prefecture.
The police discovered Hida pretended to be a tourist travelling by bicycle, along with another man whom he met.
11) Japan’s space agency, JAXA, says it has successfully released another landing probe from its Hayabusa2 spacecraft toward the asteroid Ryugu. JAXA made the announcement on Wednesday morning, Japan time.
JAXA says it won’t be able to confirm whether the robot has landed on Ryugu until late Wednesday afternoon at the earliest.
12) US Vice President Mike Pence has sharply criticized China over a naval incident in the South China Sea last month. He says the US “will not be intimidated” as it counters China’s increasing maritime presence. Pence claims China’s aggression was on display when its warship came within about 40 meters of the USS Decatur that was conducting freedom-of-navigation operations.
13) A man who made a dramatic escape from a French prison by helicopter has been captured after 3 months on the run. Redoine Faid escaped from a prison in July by jumping aboard a helicopter.
Prosecutor Francois Molins told a news conference on Wednesday that investigators acted on witness reports last month of a man walking around in a burqa, the traditional Muslim women’s wear.
14) The Japanese government has lodged a protest with China after learning it placed a buoy inside Japan’s exclusive economic zone near the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga spoke to reporters on Wednesday. He said the government protested via a diplomatic channel after it confirmed the buoy was on the Japanese side of a median line that separates the 2 countries’ exclusive economic zones.
15) The US jobless rate in September declined to its lowest level in nearly 49 years, suggesting a further tightening of the labor market. But employment growth has missed market expectations.
The Labor Department said on Friday that the unemployment rate fell to 3.7 percent. That’s the lowest level since December 1969.