1) French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius says he expects countries participating in the UN climate change conference, or COP21, to reach a final agreement on Saturday
2) Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will hold talks with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on Saturday. Abe hopes to strengthen cooperative ties in a wide range of areas, including defense and security.
He announced plans to set up a financial scheme totaling about 12.3 billion dollars to help Japanese firms do business in India.
3) Tokyo police say a South Korean man arrested in connection with an explosion at Yasukuni Shrine was carrying what appeared to be gunpowder when he returned to Japan earlier this week.
4) Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui will be returning to Earth on Friday after completing his 5-month mission at the International Space Station.
Yui, a former Air Self-Defense Force pilot, has been on the ISS since July of this year. In August, he played a key role in docking the Japanese unmanned cargo craft Kounotori 5, using a robot arm. Yui is the 10th Japanese astronaut.
5) Japanese researchers warn that if global warming continues at current rates, Japan could experience frequent extreme rainfall and storm surges by the end of this century.
The Meteorological Agency, the University of Tokyo, and Kyoto University jointly ran weather simulations on a supercomputer called the Earth Simulator.
6) A former university law professor has admitted to leaking questions on this year’s national bar examination to one of his former students.
Koichi Aoyagi, a former professor at Meiji University’s law school in Tokyo has been charged with giving away some questions from the exam to a woman student in her 20s.
On Thursday, Aoyagi admitted to the charges at the Tokyo District Court. He said the woman had been his girlfriend, and that he wanted to help her after she’d failed the exam last year.
7) Tokyo (AFP) – A conservation group slammed Japan Thursday for fuelling illegal ivory trading and smuggling by poor law enforcement.
The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) ran an undercover probe. Its findings said: “Japan is clearly being targeted by ivory trafficking syndicates purchasing illegal tusks including via the internet, and arranging illegal export to China without any apparent interference from Japanese authorities.”