May 3rd, 2019


1)   Police in Tokyo are investigating reports of drones seen flying Thursday night over the imperial palace, the Akasaka Estate, as well as near the Musashino.

2)   Over 82 percent of voters feel affection for newly enthroned Emperor Naruhito, while nearly 80 percent would support allowing females to ascend Japan’s imperial throne, a Kyodo News survey showed Thursday.

3)   The “Kenji to Shokei no gi” rite marking the emperor’s enthronement was staged as a state occasion financed by public funds, critics pointed to the possibility that it violated the Constitution banning the government from engaging in religious activities.

4)   Ahead of Constitution Day on May 3, a large majority of respondents to an Asahi Shimbun survey said they feel no momentum has developed for amending the nation’s Constitution, despite the efforts of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

When asked to what extent momentum had built up for amending the Constitution, a combined 72 percent said either “only somewhat” or “not at all.”

5)   According to Kyoto officials, 30 people, most of whom were foreign visitors, have been attacked by monkeys since February, with many being bitten or scratched.

6)   One woman who spoke to NHK said she had to take her son to a day-care facility because the nursery school he usually attends is closed for the holidays. She says paying the extra cost of about 90 dollars a day is tough.

And a survey by a private research firm of married women who work part-time found that more than 40 percent of respondents said they were not happy about the 10-day break.

7)   Japan’s chief cabinet secretary says the government will protect the interests of Japanese firms in connection with wartime labor suits in South Korea.

Yoshihide Suga made the comment on a TV program on Wednesday. His remark comes after South Korean plaintiffs started the process of selling off shares seized from two Japanese businesses.

8)   A 110-year-old woman in western Japan, who has already lived through four imperial eras, was visited by her great-great-grandchildren and other young members of her family, as the Reiwa era began. Tsuru Ueda was born on November 22, 1908. She has lived through the Meiji, Taisho, Showa and Heisei eras in Japan.

9)   A United Nations report says that 10 million people in North Korea are suffering from a severe food shortage. It follows the country’s worst harvest in 10 years.

10)   The finance ministers and the central bank governors of Japan, China and South Korea have renewed their opposition to trade protectionism.

11)   The cases in which Chinese companies took part in mergers and acquisitions of Japanese businesses hit a five-year high in Japan’s last fiscal year through March.

12)   The mystery surrounding the beluga whale alleged to have come from a Russian military facility continues with the marine mammal refusing to leave Norwegian waters, leading to jokes the whale has “defected.”

13)   The family of a Chinese student admitted to Stanford University paid $6.5m to the man at the heart of the college admissions scandal, according to reports.

14)   U.S. President Donald Trump said he and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed on Friday the possibility of a new accord limiting nuclear arms that could eventually include China in what would be a major deal between the globe’s top three atomic powers.

15)   The death toll from an Ebola outbreak in Congo rose above 1,000 on Friday, with attacks on treatment centers continuing to hamper efforts to control the “intense transmission” of the second-worst epidemic of the virus on record.