1) Do you think Russia should have been banned from the Rio Olympics over allegations of state-sponsored doping?
2) Sarah Takeda thought she had a good little business renting a traditional tatami-mat room in her house on Airbnb.
But she and other hosts in Japan are learning the hard way that the home-sharing site’s fastest-growing market is also becoming the next flashpoint in a global battle over the sharing economy.
Hoteliers are up in arms, local residents complain that outsiders are invading their neighborhoods, and Japanese officials say renting out private homes is illegal.
3) Executives at Hokkaido Railway Company are drastically reviewing their business in the face of losses caused by falling passenger numbers.
JR Hokkaido has posted an operating loss of more than 380 million dollars at current rates for the business year ended in March. It was one of the firm’s biggest losses in about 20 years.
Officials are reviewing money-losing train services. They are expected to announce later this year which lines the company cannot maintain on its own.
They are considering abolishing unprofitable lines and replacing them with bus services.
4) The new governor of Kagoshima Prefecture in southwestern Japan says he plans to request, possibly next month, for a temporary halt of the only nuclear plant in the country currently in operation.
Satoshi Mitazono took office as governor on Thursday following his election victory on July 10th. During his election campaign, he called for a halt of the Sendai nuclear power plant in the prefecture. The two reactors at the plant are currently online.
At a news conference, the new governor said people in Kagoshima are worried about the Sendai nuclear plant after the series of powerful earthquakes in neighboring Kumamoto in April.
5) A probe using an X-ray-like detector has found that a large amount of melted nuclear fuel apparently remains at the bottom of one of the damaged reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company released images of the No. 2 reactor on Thursday. One of the images shows a large black shadow at the bottom of the reactor. In photos taken by a muon detector, black shadows represent heavy metals such as uranium.
TEPCO says the image suggests that most of molten fuel mixed with structural objects within the reactor and accumulated at the bottom. It estimates the amount of the accumulated materials at 160 tons.
6) Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has ordered a review of the current state system for compulsory hospitalization of people considered at risk of harming themselves or others. The request comes after the recent knife attack at a facility for people with intellectual disabilities.
Abe instructed his ministers at a meeting on Thursday. 19 people were killed in Tuesday’s attack at the facility in Sagamihara. Twenty six others were injured.
The Prime Minister said it was deplorable that so many innocent, defenseless people were killed and injured. He said he offers his deepest condolences to the families of the victims.
7) Pokemon Go has become a global phenomenon. But managers at many public and private facilities around Japan are telling the developers of the augmented-reality game that they don’t want to play along.
Officials at several Japanese railway companies are worried that players absorbed in the game will bump into passengers or fall off platforms. So they’ve asked the developer to exclude their properties from the game.
But they say many of the game’s characters have appeared at major stations or on rail tracks…despite the developer’s promises to keep them away.
8) Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga says Japan’s Self-Defense Forces will continue with its peace-keeping operations in South Sudan despite the general deterioration in security in the country.
Suga on Thursday mentioned a recent incident in which a vehicle carrying staff of a Japanese aid agency was shot at.
He said that the Japan International Cooperation Agency, or JICA, reported that a vehicle carrying 4 staff members came under gunfire on July 8th, at around 6 PM, local time. The members were on their way back to their hotel. He said the vehicle was bullet-proofed, and nobody was injured.
金曜日は話題のPokemon GoをDLしたもののゲームに慣れていないしモンスターの種類も分からないので若い人たちの話をなるほどなるほどと聞いて勉強した^^ ポケモンドストライク世代の同僚はモンスターを見ただけで「あ、それXXXXですね」と分かるようだ。会社の隣に観光スポットがあるのでそこで誰かが課金アイテムのルアーというものを使ったようで会社の中で桜舞うところをタップして何匹かのモンスターがゲットできそれでもう満足した私である。そして家に帰ってそのことはすっかり忘れ夕飯の支度をしていたら家人が「モンスターがいない！」と帰ってきた。昨日まで一言もお互いPokemon Goの話をしていなかったのにまさかの夫婦でDLしたのか・・・・恐るべしPokemon Go効果….。
1) The wait is over for Pokemon Go fans in Japan.
Players began tweeting about it as soon as it was available Friday morning, and the Pokemon Co and the developer of the augmented reality game, U.S.-based Niantic Inc, confirmed its launch.
Pokemon Go is expected to be a huge hit in Japan, the country of the character’s birth.
2) When Saori Ito went on maternity leave last year and stopped getting a regular paycheck from her cosmetics company, she became worried about her future – and wondered if this kind of anxiety is what awaits her after retirement.
The 34-year-old married mother of a one-year-old girl had doubts about the government’s ability to fund retirement for Japan’s growing ranks of elderly in the world’s oldest population.
So she set up a private, self-managed pension account.
Japan’s government loosened laws on pensions in May, allowing almost all working-age Japanese to join private defined-contribution retirement plans – similar to individual retirement accounts (IRAs) in the United States that allow workers to make regular contributions to an investment fund with tax breaks.
3) Declaring America in crisis, Donald Trump pledged to cheering Republicans and still-skeptical voters Thursday night that as president he will restore the safety they fear they’re losing, strictly curb immigration and save the nation from Hillary Clinton’s record of “death, destruction, terrorism and weakness.”
4) Is Honda’s walking robot Asimo marrying Pepper, the chattering robot from SoftBank?
Automaker Honda Motor Co. and internet company SoftBank said Thursday they will work together on artificial intelligence to develop products with sensors and cameras that can converse with drivers.
Asimo, first shown in 1996, walks, runs, dances and grips things.
Pepper, which went on sale last year, doesn’t have legs but is programmed to recognize mood swings in people it interacts with.
Major automakers and technology companies are interested in robotics to improve driving safety and comfort.
5) The number of criminal cases detected by police in Japan in the January-June period fell 9.3% from a year earlier to 488,900, the lowest since 1989 when data for the half-year period became available, a preliminary report from the National Police Agency said Thursday.
The figure is well below that of the first half of 2015 when the police detected 538,778 crimes. The number of crimes for the whole of 2015 hit a postwar low of 1,098,969.
NPA chief Masahito Kanetaka told a press conference, “I believe a wide range of measures taken by the public and private sectors together for crime prevention are achieving effects.” An agency official attributed the decline also to measures taken against street crimes including installations of security cameras.
6) The European Central Bank has decided not to alter its monetary policy while it waits to observe the longer-term impact of Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.
The bank’s policy board members met on Thursday in Frankfurt.
They opted to leave the main interest rate at 0 percent, and the bank deposit rate at minus 0.4 percent.
7) Executives at Japanese telecom operator Softbank and Honda Motor say they are going to start joint research on artificial intelligence for vehicles.
Softbank Group officials say the companies will develop voice interaction technology that enables AI-equipped cars to understand the driver’s emotions.
8) Japan’s central government has filed a fresh lawsuit against the Okinawa prefectural government over the planned relocation of a US base within the southwestern prefecture. The move is likely to intensify the clash over the relocation.
The central government plans to move the US Marine Corps Futenma Air Station from a densely populated area in the city of Ginowan to the less-populated Henoko district in Nago City. The Okinawa prefectural government opposes the plan.
9) North Korea says it has carried out a firing drill of ballistic rockets, simulating preemptive strikes on South Korea.
The North’s state-run media reported on Wednesday that the nation’s leader Kim Jong Un ordered the drill by the Strategic Force of the Korean People’s Army.
10) IEC Corp has officially announced that the Samurai Studio will open again in Asakusa, Tokyo, for a limited time this summer, following a successful project in the spring.
IEC, which has been providing educational services to the business community in Japan for the last 60 years, says the idea of the Samurai Studio is to provide an authentic cultural experience for foreign tourists. This time, the price has been reduced to 30,000 yen from 36,000 yen (not including tax) for two persons.
Guests will be able to dress up in samurai armor and pose for photos. The armor the studio will offer is authentic and used in TV period dramas on NHK.
Police in Dazaifu, Fukuoka, said Friday they have arrested a 34-year-old man on suspicion of theft after he was seen rummaging through the mailbox of an empty house on July 1.
The man, who was wearing wearing a Playboy bunny girl costume when he was seen at the house, is also believed to be the same man seen wearing a Spider-Man costume and loitering outside empty houses earlier this year, Sankei Shimbun reported.
According to police, a woman witnessed the man looking through the mailbox of an unoccupied house at around 12:30 p.m. on July 1. She called a nearby police koban and said a strange man wearing black fishnet tights and high heels was loitering outside the house. When the “bunny girl” spotted the woman, he fled in a car.
Police identified the suspect, Tetsuya Fujisawa, from his car license plate; however, he has denied the charge and said he has no idea what they are talking about.
“Pokemon Go” has established a new US record as the most popular smartphone game.
The augmented reality game was developed by Japan’s Nintendo and other companies. A US research firm says “Pokemon Go” has about 21 million active daily users, surpassing the previous record of 20 million set by Candy Crush.
Players can visit real-life locations to capture virtual pocket monsters, or Pokemon.
Since its US release on July 6th, the number of free downloads has increased at a substantial speed and the game has topped the app charts.
A government survey on living conditions of households in Japan shows that 60 percent of the respondents are having difficulty making ends meet.
The welfare ministry conducted the survey in June and July of last year. More than 46,000 households responded.
Police on Saturday said a Chinese man, who was arrested earlier this month for overstaying his visa, has admitted to putting the body of a Chinese woman in a suitcase and dumping in a canal in Tokyo.
The body of Yang Mei, 34, was found in the suitcase floating in the canal near Tennozu Isle Station in Shinagawa Ward on June 27. Yang had been missing for more than two years.
Police quoted the suspect, in his 30s, was quoted as saying he used to live with Yang. Police said he will be charged with abandoning a corpse.
The corpse, clad in a camisole and short pants, was not badly decomposed when discovered. Reports said the woman had not been dead for long.
Yang came to Japan in September 2013 as a trainee to participate in the government’s Industrial Trainee and Technical Internship Program (TTIP). She was working at an auto-parts plant in Kyoto but disappeared from her dormitory after being seen in its cafeteria in March 2014. She was placed on a missing persons watch list by police in Kyoto.
1) Reports that Japanese Emperor Akihito intends to abdicate within a few years could re-open debate about female succession, but any such move is likely to provoke strong opposition within the current conservative ruling party.
The 82-year-old monarch, who has had heart surgery and been treated for prostate cancer in recent years, expressed his intention to abdicate in a few years to the Imperial Household Agency, public broadcaster NHK said on Wednesday.
No reason was cited and agency officials later denied the earlier reports.
2) A gunman at the wheel of a heavy truck plowed into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in the French city of Nice on Thursday night, killing at least 84 people and injuring scores more in what President Francois Hollande called a terrorist act.
The attacker, identified by a police source as a 31-year-old Tunisian-born Frenchman, also opened fire before police shot him dead. He had been known to the police for common crimes but not to the intelligence services, the source said.
3) Police in Tokyo said Thursday have arrested an Air Self-Defense Force officer for using his smartphone to film up the skirt of a woman on a train.
According to police, Yukifumi Fujita, 50, a major at an ASDF academy in Meguro Ward, used a smartphone camera inside a bag to film up the skirt of a woman in her 20s on a train on the JR Yamanote line between Shibuya and Ebisu stations at around 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sankei Shimbun reported.
A male passenger saw what Fujita was doing and detained him, police said.
4) Twenty-one candidates have started official 17-day campaigning for the Tokyo gubernatorial election to be held at the end of this month.
Voters will go to the polls on July 31st to choose a successor to Yoichi Masuzoe. He resigned last month following a scandal over alleged misuse of political funds.
Masuzoe’s predecessor, Naoki Inose, also stepped down because of a political funds scandal.
5) The Kansai Electric Power Company has appealed against a court injunction that blocks the restart of 2 reactors at its Takahama nuclear plant in central Japan.
On Tuesday the Otsu District Court in Shiga Prefecture issued a fresh injunction to suspend the operations of the No. 3 and No. 4 reactors at the plant in neighboring Fukui Prefecture.
In March, the Otsu District Court issued an injunction to suspend the operations of the 2 reactors. It was the first injunction for reactors in operation. Residents in Shiga Prefecture sought the injunction.
5A) Japan’s state minister for industry has ruled out the option of sealing off disabled reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant with a Chernobyl-style sarcophagus.
Yosuke Takagi met Fukushima Governor Masao Uchibori in Tokyo on Friday.
Uchibori said he was shocked to hear the word “sarcophagus” and called the option unacceptable.
6) Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to use an upcoming summit to urge China to accept a recent ruling by an arbitration tribunal in The Hague regarding its claims in the South China Sea.
Abe will attend the 2-day Asia-Europe Meeting, or ASEM, that opens in the Mongolian capital, Ulan Bator, on Friday.
Abe plans to join other leaders in calling on China to accept the tribunal’s decision for a peaceful settlement of territorial disputes in the South China Sea. The tribunal ruled on Tuesday that there is no legal basis for China’s claims.
7) People in southwestern Japan are still trying to find places to stay and rebuild their lives 3 months after the first in a series of earthquakes hit the region.
The jolts killed 49 people in Kumamoto Prefecture. An additional 6 were confirmed to have died due to the effects of the quakes, such as physical fatigue from the evacuation. One person remains unaccounted for.
Authorities say that as of Wednesday, 4,692 people remain in shelters. Many others are said to be spending the night in their garages or tents.
Officials say the quakes have affected more than 157,000 houses in the prefecture. More than 34,000 homes were fully or partially damaged.
8) Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has suggested that he will seek approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal at an extra session of the Diet this year.
Abe was speaking to business leaders including Sadayuki Sakakibara, the chair of Japan’s largest business federation, Keidanren.
Japan and 11 other countries signed the TPP last year but none has completed domestic procedures needed for the deal to take effect.
9) US government officials have launched a challenge against China at the World Trade Organization.
They say China’s export duties on key raw materials impose higher costs and substantial disadvantages on US manufacturers.
US Trade Representative Michael Froman has criticized China for imposing export duties of 5 to 20 percent on 9 raw materials including cobalt, copper and lead.
The USTR says these duties give Chinese manufacturers a competitive advantage by making the materials more expensive for US automakers and aircraft makers.
US trade officials hope to eliminate the duties by first aiming for a negotiated settlement with China.
10) Japanese automaker Nissan Motor has introduced driver-assist features that enable its new minivan model to handle congested highway traffic on its own.
Nissan showed the minivan equipped with limited autonomous driving technology to media on Wednesday.
The firm said the model has an advanced camera that can recognize other vehicles and white lines between lanes.
The car can accelerate, brake and navigate highway traffic in one lane.
1) A major Japanese IT firm says it will launch a driverless bus service at a park near Tokyo next month.
DeNA got help on the project from a French venture company that develops self-driving technology.
2) A Russian Soyuz spacecraft with three astronauts including Japanese Takuya Onishi on board has been successfully launched from Kazakhstan for a mission to the International Space Station.
The Soyuz was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 1:36 Thursday UTC.
9 minutes later, the spacecraft detached from the rocket and entered Earth’s orbit as scheduled at an altitude of around 200 kilometers.
3) Much of Japan sweltered on Thursday. Temperatures above those of the human body were recorded in some places in central Japan.
A high-pressure system covering the country brought clear skies and a blazing sun to a wide area from east to west.
Koshu City in Yamanashi Prefecture recorded a high of 38.8 degrees Celsius. Kawane-hon-cho in Shizuoka Prefecture had 38.6 degrees, and Tokyo’s Nerima Ward was at 37.7 degrees. Normal human body temperatures are below 37 degrees Celsius.
4) Tens of thousands of people in a western Japanese city enjoyed a night view of a river lit up by LEDs to mark the traditional star festival called Tanabata on July 7th.
Legend has it that 2 deities who are in love with each other are separated by the Milky Way and allowed to meet only once a year on that date. People in Japan celebrate the day by making wishes.
5) A Japanese district court has given a former prefectural lawmaker a suspended prison term for fraud involving misuse of taxpayers’ money.
The Kobe District Court on Wednesday sentenced former Hyogo Prefectural assembly member Ryutaro Nonomura to 3 years in prison, suspended for 4 years.
Nonomura was accused of misusing more than 9 million yen, or about 89,000 dollars, over 3 years until his resignation in July 2014. Prosecutors said he claimed expenses for 344 fictitious day trips.
6) A Japanese man on a 10 meter yacht has completed the first half of a round-trip solo voyage across the Pacific Ocean.
66-year-old Shinkichi Shoji who runs a billboard business, left Japan almost 2 months ago, from the port of Sakai in Tottori Prefecture. He was bound for San Francisco in the United States.
His local yacht club said on its website that he completed the journey of about 12,000 kilometers on Tuesday.
7) The number of scrambles by Japanese Air Self-Defense Force fighter jets against Chinese aircraft surged between April and June.
The Defense Ministry says Japanese fighters made 281 emergency takeoffs to intercept unidentified jets in the 3-month period.
Of those, 199 scrambles were against Chinese aircraft. That’s up 70 percent from a year ago.
Ministry officials say Chinese military planes are increasing activities near the Japanese side of areas between the 2 countries.
8) Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker Yuriko Koike has announced she will run for Tokyo governor without her party’s recommendation.
Koike is a former defense minister. She met on Tuesday with Economic Revitalization Minister Nobuteru Ishihara, who heads the ruling party’s Tokyo chapter.
She sought the party’s recommendation and asked the chapter to quickly decide its position.
Ishihara said the chapter will make its decision after the Upper House election on Sunday.
9) Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda has once again said he will pump more money into the financial markets if it is necessary to support the economy.
Kuroda told the chiefs of the central bank’s 32 regional bureaus on Thursday that exports and production are sluggish due to slowdowns in emerging economies.
10) Britain’s central bank has taken steps to support the economy, whose outlook has worsened since the vote to leave the European Union.
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said on Tuesday that the UK has entered a period of uncertainty and significant economic adjustment.
He announced that the bank had lowered the amount of capital that lenders must hold in reserve.
1) As the death toll from the Istanbul airport attack rose Thursday to 44, a senior Turkish official said the three suicide bombers who carried it out were from Russia, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, and Turkish police raided Istanbul neighborhoods for suspects linked to the Islamic State group.
2) An all-female reboot of Ghostbusters” hits theaters this summer amid a savage backlash by Internet trolls that has thrown the spotlight back onto Hollywood’s gender discrimination problem.
The film’s first trailer has become the most reviled in YouTube history, having amassed almost 900,000 dislikes, while director Paul Feig and his cast have been bombarded with death threats and misogyny on social media.
3) A top Singapore bank said Thursday it has suspended loans to anyone wanting to buy property in London, citing uncertainty from Britain’s vote to quit the EU but dealing a blow to investors looking to make the most of the weak pound.
United Overseas Bank (UOB), one of the city-state’s three homegrown lenders, said it was monitoring the market closely to determine when the loans would resume.
4) Porfirio Guerrero has grown increasingly frustrated as a decade-long recession has sapped business from his tailor shop in the Puerto Rican capital. He now feels the only way for the island to recover is to become a full-fledged part of the United States, a sentiment that is gaining force in the territory.
Puerto Ricans have been divided for decades on whether to remain a semi-autonomous commonwealth, push for statehood or break away entirely from the United States. The island’s economic crisis — including a $70 billion debt and looming default — have pushed many like Guerrero toward statehood.
6) The number of scrambles by Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force fighter jets in reaction to the flight paths of Chinese aircraft was up sharply for the 3 months through June of this year.
Admiral Katsutoshi Kawano, the chief of staff, Joint Staff of the Self-Defense Forces, made the announcement at a news conference on Thursday.
Kawano said the number of scrambles against Chinese aircraft for the April-June period increased by more than 80 sorties from the 114 the ASDF made during the same period of last year.
7) Japanese government officials say tax revenues for the last fiscal year were lower than earlier estimates.
This is the first time since the 2008 global financial crisis that Japan’s tax revenue has fallen below the government’s forecast.
The officials say national tax revenues in fiscal 2015 that ended in March came in at 56.3 trillion yen, or about 550 billion dollars. That’s up around 22 billion dollars from the previous fiscal year. But it’s nearly 1.3 billion dollars lower than the estimate the government made last December.
8) A government survey shows that over a quarter of Japan’s population is now aged 65 or older.
The Internal Affairs Ministry says the estimate is based on preliminary figures from last year’s national census.
The survey says about 33.4 million people are 65 or older, or 26.7 percent of Japan’s population.
9) Japanese lawmakers are discussing ways to minimize the impact of Britain’s decision to leave the EU.
Members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party met on Tuesday to consider extending financial support to small and medium-sized businesses.
A senior LDP official asked for a second supplementary budget of about 98 billion dollars for the current fiscal year.
Some members called for doubling that, to about 195 billion dollars including fiscal investment and loans. They said the negative aftereffects of Brexit may become prolonged.July 1st, 2016
1) An election to pick the successor to Tokyo Gov Yoichi Masuzoe, who is resigning over a political funds scandal, will be held July 31, the local election commission said Friday.
The official campaigning period is set to begin on July 14, just days after the July 10 House of Councillors election.
Among the high-profile names floated as possible candidates are two women: Yuriko Koike, a well-known lawmaker of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party; and Renho, a lawmaker and acting president of the main opposition Democratic Party. Both have previously served in Cabinet posts.
Kenji Utsunomiya, a lawyer and former head of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations, is also said to be considering running in the election.
2) A Japanese man who stabbed his father to death with a chopstick was arrested on Thursday, police said.
Michikazu Ikeuchi, 51, admitted that he stabbed his 80-year-old father in the throat with a 30-centimeter-long wooden, cooking chopstick on Wednesday night after a quarrel at their home in Osaka, according to police.
3) Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso on Friday fired off a warning shot against a recent rise in the yen, saying he was deeply concerned about “one-sided, rapid and speculative” currency moves and would respond urgently if necessary – a hint at possible yen-selling market intervention.
The latest jawboning – official comment intended to influence markets – comes as the yen surged across the board after the Bank of Japan (BOJ) left monetary policy unchanged on Thursday, despite market fears of global turmoil if Britain votes to exit the European Union in the June 23 referendum.
4) Nearly four decades later, another Japanese star has surpassed a lofty mark set by one of baseball’s most famous players — with the help of stats accumulated overseas. On Wednesday night , Ichiro Suzuki reached 4,257 hits in the Japanese and North American major leagues, passing Pete Rose’s total from Major League Baseball. Although the accomplishment was met with admiration around the sport, it’s not easy to put Suzuki’s feat in context.
Rose remains the MLB hit leader with 4,256. Suzuki had 1,278 hits for Orix in Japan’s Pacific League (1992-00), and on Wednesday he increased his total to 2,979 with the Seattle Mariners, New York Yankees and Miami Marlins. Rose was quoted recently by USA Today as saying: “I’m not trying to take anything away from Ichiro, he’s had a Hall of Fame career, but the next thing you know, they’ll be counting his high-school hits.”
5) A pro-EU British lawmaker was killed in a shock daylight street attack, halting campaigning for the referendum on Britain’s membership in the bloc just a week before the crucial vote.
Jo Cox, a 41-year-old mother-of-two from the opposition Labour Party, was shot in the face while lying on the ground by a lone attacker in the village of Birstall in northern England, according to witnesses quoted by local media.
6) The death sentence given to a man convicted of murdering two women and seriously injuring another man in 2010 when he was 18 is set to be finalized after the Supreme Court on Thursday upheld lower court rulings.
The case of Yutaro Chiba, now 24, marks the first time capital punishment has been given to a minor under Japan’s lay judge trial system that began in 2009.
In handing down the ruling, the top court’s first petty bench said the defendant committed the crime based on a “very selfish motive” as he was determined to kill anyone who sabotaged his plan to run away with his former girlfriend.
7) The Japanese government on Wednesday launched a special patrol unit in Okinawa to enhance security in response to the rape and murder in April of a young woman allegedly by a former U.S. Marine.
Around 20 vehicles began patrolling downtown areas and school roads in Okinawa which hosts the bulk of U.S. military facilities in Japan, with officials from the Okinawa bureaus of the Defense Ministry and the Cabinet Office participating in the patrols for the time being.
8) Nissan says it is developing fuel-cell technology that can power cars using plant-based ethanol, a first for the auto industry, and hopes to launch the system in time for Tokyo’s 2020 Olympics.
Japan’s number-two automaker said its experimental technology would let vehicles drive more than 600 kilometers on a single fill, similar to gasoline-powered cars.
Fuel cells work by combining hydrogen and oxygen in an electrochemical reaction, which produces electricity.
9) Social media has emerged as a leading source of news among online users who increasingly access it on their smartphones, a think tank said on Wednesday, warning that the embrace of free news was becoming a challenge for publishers of quality news.
More than half of online users get their news from Facebook and other social media platforms, refusing to pay for news and using ad-blocking, which hurts publishers’ revenue, the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (RISJ) said.
10) Embracing grieving Orlando families and appealing anew for national action, President Barack Obama claimed a threat to all Americans’ security Thursday as a strong reason to tighten U.S. gun laws. Counterterror campaigns overseas, he declared, can never prevent all “lone wolf” attacks like the one that killed 49 people in Orlando.
11) It’s an unwritten rule for Florida residents: Keep your kids away from ponds and lakes because alligators are everywhere.
But after a gator killed a 2-year-old Nebraska boy at a Walt Disney World resort, attention soon turned to tourists. In a state with an estimated 1 million alligators, how should theme parks and other attractions warn visitors, and did Disney do enough?
12) Further investigations will be conducted to learn why the operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant did not use the term “meltdown” soon after the March 2011 accident.
It took more than 2 months for Tokyo Electric Power Company to admit that the cores of 3 of the reactors had melted down.
A panel set up by TEPCO reported on Thursday that the utility’s former president, Masataka Shimizu, had instructed employees not to use the term “meltdown.”
The panel said this came after what the president said were instructions from the prime minister’s office.
But the panel did not carry the investigation to the prime minister’s office. It is not known who in the office issued the instructions.
13) Officials in Tottori Prefecture, western Japan, say a large metal object found washed ashore there could be from a North Korean missile.
The officials told the central government on Friday that a prefectural employee patrolling a coast in Yurihama Town found the object on the previous day.
They say the piece is shaped like a cylinder sliced vertically. They say it’s 1.8 meters long and 1.2 meters wide, with something like cables inside.
The officials say the object resembles what South Korean media reported in February as suspected debris from a North Korean missile.
14) The Japanese government has decided to extend the Maritime Self-Defense Force’s anti-piracy mission off the coast of Somalia by another year.
The current mission will expire on July 23rd.
Japan has deployed escort ships and patrol aircraft to guard commercial ships in the area since 2009.
The cabinet approved the extension on Friday because piracy remains a threat, although there have been no incidents during the past year.
Japanese government officials say poverty in Somalia is the root cause of the problem and pirates will return to the area if the international community lowers its guard.
15) Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and a close aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin have agreed that they will prepare for a still-unscheduled visit by Putin to Japan.
Abe and Russian Lower House Speaker Sergei Naryshkin met in Tokyo on Thursday, reaffirming the importance of bilateral cooperative ties in a wide range of areas.
16) The number of confirmed or suspected dementia sufferers who went missing in Japan has surpassed 10,000 for the third straight year.
The National Police Agency says 12,208 elderly people were reported missing in 2015 — up more than 1,400 from the previous year. 98 percent of them were found before the year-end, but 150 remain unaccounted for.
17) Mitsubishi Motors says fuel economy data on14 models marketed over the past 10 years was manipulated.
Mitsubishi held a news conference at the Transport Ministry on Friday to announce the results of an in-house probe into the series of fuel-data scandals.
The auto firm said the fuel data on the 14 models came from calculations rather than from actual measurements. In all, the company marketed 20 models during that time.
Mitsubishi officials say they manipulated data on 5 of the 14 models to make their fuel economy look better even though they failed tests.
They add that tests on 17 models did not follow standards, and the company falsified data on such factors as weather, date, and time at test runs of all 20 models.
18) NHK has learned that the sender of the email that caused the leak of personal data of travel agency customers pretended to be an airline company employee.
JTB officials have admitted that data for nearly 8 million customers may have been leaked due to a computer virus.
A JTB group company received an email in March that appeared to have been sent by All Nippon Airways. The sender’s email address included the letters “ana” and the title of the message suggested that air ticket data was attached to the email.
19) Tokyo stocks fell across the board on Thursday, with the benchmark index dropping more than 400 points after the Bank of Japan decided to maintain its current monetary policy.
Shares on the Tokyo Stock Exchange were sold almost across the board, as the yen surged against the dollar following the central bank’s decision.
The Nikkei index closed 485 points down from Wednesday’s finish, at 15,434, marking its lowest point in about 4 months. The broader TOPIX index ended at 1241, down 35 points.
Market analysts say the fall of the dollar was triggered by the US Federal Reserve’s decision on Wednesday not to raise interest rates, and was accelerated by the Bank of Japan’s decision.
20) France has ratified the Paris Agreement on curbing global warming.
President Francois Hollande signed a document to ratify the agreement on Wednesday. Both houses of parliament had previously approved the result of UN climate talks in December.
Hollande said the ratification process realizes the hope to stop global warming, which emerged at the COP 21 conference.
The agreement is a new international framework to fight global warming beyond 2020, replacing the Kyoto Protocol.
The Paris deal takes effect when it is ratified by at least 55 countries accounting for 55 percent of total global greenhouse gas emissions.
Only 17 nations, mainly island countries like the Maldives and Tuvalu, have ratified it. They represent 0.04 percent of the emissions.
21) One of 5 Hong Kong booksellers who disappeared last year has lambasted mainland Chinese authorities for his detention. The 5 are linked to a bookstore that sells titles critical of the Communist Party.
Lam Wing-kee held a news conference in Hong Kong on Thursday, 2 days after returning from mainland China.
Lam explained he was held by Chinese authorities after he arrived in Guangdong Province for a visit last October. He said he was confined for 5 months in a room about 30 square meters.
22) Shanghai Disneyland, the first one in mainland China, has celebrated its official opening.
The gates opened before noon on Thursday, slightly earlier than scheduled. Long lines of visitors had formed in front of the gates since early in the morning. Pre-order tickets for the opening day were sold out.
Visitors were seen taking pictures of themselves with Disney characters, and enjoying rides and other attractions.
Construction of the 390-hectare Shanghai Disney Resort with hotels and shopping areas cost about 5.5 billion US dollars.
23) A robot escaped from a science lab and caused a traffic jam in one Russian city, it’s reported.
Scientists at the Promobot laboratories in Perm had been teaching the machine how to move around independently, but it broke free after an engineer forgot to shut a gate, says the local edition of the Argumenty i Fakty newspaper. The robot found its way to a nearby street, covering a distance of about 50m (164ft), before its battery ran out, the daily says.
An eyewitness video posted online shows a vaguely humanoid machine standing in the middle of a busy road, guarded by a traffic policeman. It is then wheeled off by a human, presumably an engineer from the company that developed the robot.
24) Germany’s military is facing criticism after photos emerged of young children handling firearms during an open day.
Images shared by the German Peace Society show youngsters holding a range of weapons, including an assault rifle and a sub-machine gun, Spiegel Online reports. While the guns weren’t loaded and the children appear to have been supervised, the military’s own rules say under-18s must not be allowed to handle weapons, after a similar scandal occurred in 2011, the website notes.
25) A horde of giant spider crabs has amassed in waters near the Australian city of Melbourne.
Hundreds of thousands of the crabs migrate to Australia’s southern shores each year as ocean waters cool.
Australian aquatic scientist Sheree Marris filmed an enormous gathering of the crustaceans in Port Phillip Bay.
Ms Marris said she hoped to raise awareness of the diversity of sea life in Australia’s southern waters.
“Who would have thought something like this, that is so spectacular, could be happening in Australia on the southern shore,” she said.
1) The body of a woman who had been missing since Wednesday in a forest in Kazuno, Akita Prefecture, was found on Friday morning.
Police said the woman, who is believed to be 74-year-old Tsuwa Suzuki, was badly mauled most likely by a bear. However, a positive identification has yet to be made.
Fuji TV reported that Suzuki had come from Towada in neighboring Aomori Prefecture.
There have been several bear sightings recently. Three men have been killed by bears in the same area since May 21.
3) A Lenovo smartphone unveiled Thursday will be clever enough to grasp your physical surroundings — such as the room’s size and the presence of other people — and potentially transform how we interact with e-commerce, education and gaming.
Today’s smartphones track location through GPS and cell towers, but that does little more than tell apps where you are. Tapping Google’s 3-year-old Project Tango , the new Phab2 Pro phone will use software and sensors to track motions and map building interiors, including the location of doors and windows
11) We’re putting emphasis on individuals’ lives as the way to lead to the entire economy’s growth.
Democratic Party President Katsuya Okada, after four opposition parties signed a policy accord with an alliance of civil groups, aiming to frame the upcoming House of Councillors election as a battle between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration and civil society. (Jiji Press)
13) Tennis star Kei Nishikori is set to represent Japan at his third straight Olympics after being picked to play at the Rio de Janeiro Games in August.
The Japan Tennis Association said on Friday it had received notification of the selection by the International Tennis Federation earlier in the day.
15) Japan’s government task force for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo will start to collect data on temperature and humidity in and around venues next month.
Officials of the task force plan to use the data to work out measures to prevent athletes and visitors from experiencing severe summer heat and humidity.
16) A Japanese researcher says he’s thrilled that “nihonium” has been endorsed as the name for a new atomic element discovered by his group.
Kyushu University Professor Kosuke Morita led a team at Japan’s RIKEN institute that found the element.
19) Animal rights activists calling for an end to the slaughter and eating of dogs at a Chinese festival delivered a petition with 11 million signatures to authorities in Beijing on Friday.
The two dozen activists were accompanied by dogs and unveiled banners with pictures of the animals above the message “I’m not your dinner” as they presented the petition at the representative office of Yulin city, where the festival is held.
The annual festival, which is set to begin on June 21, sees residents of the southern city consume dog meat with thousands of dogs expected to be slaughtered.
一度着たら柔らかい素材と襟ぐりの開き具合が気に入ったらしく、今日もこれ！と連続して母の日のプレゼントを着てくれている。久々の大ヒットだ（ここ数年は惨敗だった）。友人Bちゃんが教えてくれたお店で買ったのだが来年も同じお店で買うとしよう。ありがとう！ ^^ デイサービスでもスタッフやお友達に「素敵ね！」「似合ってるわ！」とか褒められたらしくそれが気に入った一番の理由かもしれない。
1) A boy who had been missing since Saturday was found Friday morning in a town in Hokkaido, northern Japan.
Yamato Tanooka was found at a Self-Defense Force exercise range in Shikabe Town, about 4 kilometers from the spot where he went missing 6 days ago.
When an SDF member found the boy inside a rest facility on the range, the 7-year-old said his name was Yamato. Police say his parents later confirmed his identity.
2) Japan’s government has decided on a new growth strategy aimed at boosting the country’s gross domestic product to 600 trillion yen, or about 5.5 trillion dollars.
The strategy aims to stimulate a 4th industrial revolution by creating a new growth market making full use of artificial intelligence.
It aims for the use of self-driving vehicles on highways by 2020, and goods delivery by drones within 3 years.
The government plans to promote technology development to make better use of robots and drones for search and rescue operations in disasters.
3) Mitsubishi Materials Corp, one of dozens of Japanese companies that used Chinese forced laborers during World War II, reached a settlement covering thousands of victims Wednesday that includes compensation and an apology.
The deal was signed in Beijing with three former workers representing the company’s more than 3,000 Chinese victims of forced labor, Mitsubishi Materials said in a statement.
4) Groups of residents from remote mountainous areas in Japan and Taiwan plan to work together on projects to lure tourists by promoting local ghost stories, those involved on the Japanese side said.
A group in Miyoshi, Tokushima Prefecture, western Japan, and the other in Nantou County in central Taiwan signed a cross-promotion agreement in February, allowing each to sell the other’s souvenirs and attend events with their sister organization.
5) Cafes are nice relaxing places. Cats are cute cuddly animals. Sooner or later – with hindsight it seems almost inevitable – an entrepreneur would come along, put the two together and launch a “cat cafe” boom. It happened about eight years ago, and now there are some 200 cat cafes nationwide, most of them doing a brisk business premised on the joys – innocent joys, you’d think – of interacting with cats over coffee.
Actually not so innocent, Spa! (May 31) finds. There is a dark side to the business which is not, in fact, limited to cats or cafes. The disposal each year of roughly 100,000 cats and dogs suggests too many pets being bred and sold to too many people with too little knowledge of what’s involved in raising a pet. Nor are cats the only cafe mascots – there are rabbit cafes, reptile cafes, monkey cafes, owl cafes and so on.
6) Leaving the European Union would be an act of “economic self-harm,” British Prime Minister David Cameron said Thursday during a televised grilling that saw him challenged on the emotive topic of immigration and accused of scaremongering about the impact of quitting the 28-nation bloc.
7) A Japanese comedian will run the marathon for Cambodia at the Olympics in Brazil this summer, an official said Thursday, a second attempt by the funnyman to go to the Games for the Southeast Asian sporting minnows.
1) US President Barack Obama on Friday afternoon laid a wreath at the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima. He’s the first sitting US president to visit the atomic-bombed city.
2) Presumptive US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has won more than half the delegates — enough to secure the party nomination.
3) Japan’s health ministry has decided to conditionally approve pig cell transplants for people with diabetes.
4) Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga says the government is aware of the seriousness of a resolution that condemns an alleged crime by a US military base worker.
5) Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has hinted that he may postpone an increase in the consumption tax, from 8 to 10 percent, which is scheduled for next April.
6) Taiwan’s new government says it takes no specific legal position on the status of Japan’s southernmost island, Okinotorishima. The position marks a reversal of the previous administration’s policy.
7) World Bank President Jim Yong Kim says he intends to work together with other global organizations to step up measures against international tax evasion.