1) American military officials say they are sending 26 fighter jets from the US mainland to the Yokota Air Base in western Tokyo. The warplanes include state-of-the-art F-22 stealth aircraft.
2) People in a western Japanese city have saved a whale stranded in shallow water. The whale was found in Anan City, Tokushima Prefecture, at around 9 AM on Wednesday.
Police officers and residents sprinkled water on its back and tried to push the whale toward deeper water. But they were not successful. At around 1 PM, fishermen on a boat came to give a hand. They pulled the whale away with a rope.
3) Members of 6 opposition parties stormed out of the Lower House chamber ahead of a speech by Economic Revitalization Minister Akira Amari on Friday. They are demanding that Amari offer a clear explanation about a weekly magazine report that his office received questionable money from a construction firm.
4) A Tokyo court has opened a hearing of a damages suit against 5 former top executives of Japanese electronics maker Toshiba. The company has sued them over an accounting scandal at the firm. The company is claiming the costs of correcting financial statements following the scandal. It’s asking for damages of about 2.6 million dollars.
5) China’s navy chief has told his US counterpart that China will not seek the militarization of the reclaimed islands in the South China Sea, but it will not stop defending them.
6) China says it has agreed with Djibouti to build a military facility in the East African country. The facility will be China’s first military base abroad. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said on Thursday that the base will support Beijing’s anti-piracy missions off the Somali coast and be used to supply Chinese vessels.
7) A Japanese company has developed a luxury grade of rice for export to Asia and other regions. Agricultural competitiveness is a major issue following last year’s broad agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal.
Toyo Rice buys freshly harvested rice from award-winning farmers in Nagano, Yamagata, Niigata, and Kumamoto prefectures.