Sunday, April 20, 20:22 (JST)
Cannabis: the healing of the nation
Every summer in Hokkaido and northern Honshu, platoons of police and public servants scour the countryside for cannabis. (Japan Times )
Google puts Kyoto Stn. internal info online
Internal information regarding JR Kyoto Station was made publicly accessible online when the station floor plans, revealing the locations of inactive gas fire extinguishing equipment, were posted on the Google Groups bulletin board service, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned. (The Japan News )
Japan sets up military post on western island
Japan began its first military expansion at the western end of its island chain in more than 40 years on Saturday, breaking ground on a radar station on a tropical island off Taiwan. (Japan Today )
16,000 police mobilized to protect Obama
The National Police Agency will mobilize 16,000 police officers to ensure tight security during U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Japan from April 23 to April 25. (Japan Today )
Radiation exposure estimate for returnees released
The Japanese government on Friday issued estimates of how much radiation residents would be exposed if they return to their homes near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. (NHK )
Japan to continue whaling in Pacific
Japan will go ahead with research whaling in the northwestern Pacific for fiscal 2014, but by reducing catches following an International Court of Justice ruling that ordered the country to stop whaling in the Antarctic Ocean, the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry said Friday. (The Japan News )
Male cross-dresser arrested for assaulting 3 elementary school students
Kanagawa prefectural police said Friday they have arrested an unemployed 42-year-old man on assault charges for allegedly attacked a 10-year-old elementary school boy and two others as they were playing in Yokosuka City in February of this year. (Japan Today )
Japan, U.S. fail to narrow differences in TPP talks
Japan and the United States ended their three-day ministerial talks in Washington on Friday on the Trans-Pacific Partnership multilateral free trade initiative, being unable to narrow differences over Japanese tariffs in key farm product categories. (Jiji Press )

Apr 20 Serial burglar suspected of over 100 thefts
Police in Tokyo have arrested a 41-year-old construction worker on suspicion of stealing over 10 million yen in cash and precious jewels. (Japan Today )
Apr 19 Japan opens Imperial Palace to public
Japan opened the Imperial Palace to the public on Saturday, starting a string of special palace openings to celebrate the longevity of Emperor Akihito who turned 80 last December. (Jiji Press )
Apr 19 Murakami's new book hits shelves amid fan frenzy; more ordered
Haruki Murakami's first collection of short stories in nine years hit store shelves in Japan on Friday with excited fans lining up for the midnight launch. (Japan Times )
Apr 19 Japan virtual star Hatsune Miku to join Lady Gaga tour
Hatsune Miku, a computer-generated Japanese pop star who performs as a hologram, is to support some of Lady Gaga's tour of North America next month, the U.S. songstress has announced on Twitter. (Japan Today )
Apr 18 Police officer arrested for sexually assaulting woman on train
A police officer has been arrested for assaulting a woman on a train car in Tokyo. Police identified the suspect as Akira Inada, 53, who works at the Ushigome Station. (Japan Today )
Apr 19 IKEA Japan plans to overhaul workforce to promote equality among staff
The Japanese division of Swedish furniture chain IKEA recently announced that they will make large changes to their job descriptions including the elimination of fixed-term contracts for part-time workers. ( )
Apr 19 Jimmy Choo creates Fukushima shoe line
Designer Jimmy Choo unveiled a one-off range of shoes in Japan on Friday, made using materials and techniques native to the disaster-hit Fukushima area, in a bid to boost the profile of artisans there. (Japan Today )
Apr 18 Toyota revamps Camry to win midsize car war
Toyota Motor Corp. showed off a reworked Camry that sports deeper-stamped body panels and a modified cabin as the world's largest automaker works to keep its benchmark sedan the U.S. market's best-selling car. (The Japan News )
Apr 18 Itochu reveals embezzlement
Major Japanese trading firm Itochu says a former employee embezzled about 7 million dollars from the company. (NHK )
Apr 17 Japan to secure minimum required power supply capacity in summer
Japan is expected to secure the minimum required power supply capacity when electricity demand peaks in August, even if all the country's nuclear reactors remain offline, estimates by major regional utilities showed Thursday. (Kyodo )
Apr 19 Japan to abolish tariff on Aussie oranges during Summer
Japan's agricultural ministry said Friday that the country will abolish its 16 pct tariff on oranges from Australia during the June-September summer season in stages over 10 years after a bilateral economic partnership agreement takes effect. (Jiji Press )
Apr 18 Tokyo stocks close up 0.68pc, Nikkei 225 index added 98.74 points
Tokyo stocks rose 0.68 percent in quiet trade Friday as a weaker yen boosted exporter shares following a mixed session on Wall Street. ( )
Apr 18 Govt. revises down economic assessment
Japan's government downgraded its assessment for the current state of the country's economy. This is partly due to a downturn in demand after the consumption tax hike. The downward revision is the first in 17 months. (NHK )
Apr 18 Wage hike exceeds Y7,000 for 1st time in 16 years
This spring's labor-management wage negotiations have so far resulted in an average monthly wage increase of ¥7,697 among union members at major companies, according to the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren). (The Japan News )
Apr 17 Asia stocks subdued, Nikkei weak on profit taking
Asian stock markets were subdued on Thursday, with Japan's Nikkei faltering as investors locked in profits after a strong rally. (AP )
Apr 20 Japan sets up military post on western island
Japan began its first military expansion at the western end of its island chain in more than 40 years on Saturday, breaking ground on a radar station on a tropical island off Taiwan. (Japan Today )
Apr 18 Japan to put off foreign minister's visit to Russia
Japan's government on Thursday announced the postponement of Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida's visit to Russia, planned for later this month, amid mounting tensions in Ukraine. (Jiji Press )
Apr 17 Japan, S. Korea remain apart over comfort woman issue
Senior Japanese and South Korean diplomats on Wednesday held discussions on so-called comfort women, a key thorny issue between the two Asian countries, but failed to narrow their differences. (Jiji Press )
Apr 16 Japan's indigenous stealth jet prototype 'to fly this year'
Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera has reaffirmed the nation's plan for a 2014 first flight of the Advanced Technology Demonstrator-X (ATD-X) fighter: a prototype for a future fighter to replace the Japan Air Self-Defence Force's Mitsubishi F-2. ( )
Apr 15 Abe said to have met former Chinese leader's son
Government sources have revealed that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met the eldest son of late Chinese president Hu Yaobang last week. (NHK )
Apr 19 Govt eyes financial aid for school lunch fees
The government plans to provide financial assistance to help households on welfare pay lunch fees, bus fares and the cost of educational materials for their children in nursery school, kindergarten, or other types of authorized preschools, officials said earlier this month. (The Japan News )
Apr 15 Japanese teacher criticized for attending son's entrance ceremony instead of her own school's
Each April, as the new academic year starts, it's customary for schools in Japan to hold an entrance ceremony for incoming students. The new pupils assemble in the auditorium, sit quietly while the principal and teachers make speeches, and often sing the alma mater. ( )
Apr 14 Harumafuji enrolls in university master's course
Yokozuna grand champion Harumafuji has enrolled in a master's course at Hosei University to study economic development. (NHK )
Apr 08 Original text of 1890 Imperial Rescript on Education found
A document believed to be the original text of the Imperial Rescript on Education, issued in 1890 as basic norms of moral education in prewar Japan, has been discovered, the education ministry said Tuesday. (Jiji Press )
Apr 08 Google institute unveils works by Osamu Tezuka
Internet search engine Google has unveiled a collection of works by legendary Japanese manga artist, Osamu Tezuka. (NHK )
Apr 20 Manager at Fukushima plant admits radioactive water leaks embarrassing
The manager of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant admits to embarrassment that repeated efforts have failed to bring under control the problem of radioactive water, eight months after Japan's prime minister told the world the matter was resolved. (Japan Today )
Apr 18 Bird fu in Japan has same virus type as S. Korea flu
Japan's farm ministry said Thursday that the highly pathogenic avian influenza found at a poultry farm in the southwestern Japan prefecture of Kumamoto has been confirmed to be the H5N8 subtype, the same virus strain as the bird flu found in South Korea. (Jiji Press )
Apr 17 Contaminated water leaks from container at Fukushima plant
Just over one ton of water contaminated with radioactive particulates leaked from one of the containment vessels at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant on Wednesday, Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said. (Japan Today )
Apr 16 Experts to study bird flu infection route
Officials in southwestern Japan are trying to contain the bird flu virus that has infected chickens at a poultry farm. (NHK )
Apr 16 Supervisor: STAP cell hypothesis rational
A Japanese scientist who supervised the compilation of disputed papers on a purportedly new kind of stem cell says the hypothesis that STAP cells exist is highly rational and should be verified. (NHK )
Apr 19 Japan opens Imperial Palace to public
Japan opened the Imperial Palace to the public on Saturday, starting a string of special palace openings to celebrate the longevity of Emperor Akihito who turned 80 last December. (Jiji Press )
Apr 18 Station lockers to close for Obama visit
Train operators in Tokyo and surrounding areas will be shutting down coin-operated luggage lockers at main stations before and during US President Barack Obama's visit next week, as a security measure. (NHK )
Apr 17 Tokyo Station platform roof to be replaced
The entire roof of a JR Tokyo Station platform will be removed and replaced for first time since the station opened in 1914, according to East Japan Railway Co. (The Japan News )
Apr 17 Spectacular snow walls
People enjoy viewing the 15-meter snow walls of the Yuki no Otani (Great Snow Valley), along the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route that passes through the Northern Japan Alps to link Toyama and Nagano prefectures. (The Japan News )
Apr 16 Mt. Hiyori regains status as shortest mountain
Mt. Hiyori in Miyagino Ward, Sendai, has regained its status as "the shortest mountain in Japan" for the first time in 18 years. (The Japan News )
Apr 07 Osamu Tezuka documentary
"NHK Tokushu Tezuka Osamu: Sosaku no Himitsu", shot in 1985. (M dot Strange )
Mar 29 The secret to Japan's efficient train system
'Super Japan: On-time Metro', gives an inside look on how trains are run in Tokyo. The video by Discovery Channel Asia is available on YouTube. ( )
Mar 14 Tank-commanding cartoon girls capture fans for Japan's military
Being a soldier in Japan after World War Two was seen as a job for failed police recruits and unemployed youth from depressed rural towns. But as tension with China chips away at Japan's post-war pacifism, the military is regaining its prestige - helped by a blitz of television dramas, movies and cartoons. (Reuters )
Mar 07 Live-action Ghibli remake delivers a new Kiki
When is a remake not a remake? Arguably, Takashi Shimizu's "Majo no Takkyubin (Kiki's Delivery Service)" is less a reworking of the Hayao Miyazaki animation classic (which this reviewer praised on this page in 1989) than his own interpretation of the 1985 Eiko Kadono fantasy novel on which the Miyazaki film is also based. (Encouraged by the novel's success, Kadono later wrote five more in a series.) (Japan Times )
Feb 16 Haru Kuroki wins best actress award at Berlin film festival
Japanese actress Haru Kuroki won the Silver Bear for best actress at the 64th Berlin International Festival on Saturday for her part in director Yoji Yamada's "The Little House." (Kyodo )
Apr 16 Mizuno apologizes for ball defect in pro baseball
Japan's professional baseball league was facing another ball scandal Tuesday as sports equipment giant Mizuno apologized for a defect that turned the nation's top sport into a slugfest. (Japan Today )
Apr 11 Soccer World Cup trophy arrives in Japan
The soccer World Cup trophy has arrived in Japan on an international promotion tour ahead of the start of the games in Brazil in June. (NHK )
Apr 05 IOC coordination team completes Tokyo tour
An advance team for the International Olympic Committee has inspected Tokyo's preparations for the 2020 Summer Olympic and Paralympics Games, and is happy with what they have seen. (NHK )
Mar 29 Kennedy tosses opening pitch in Tokyo
US Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy has opened the Japanese professional baseball season by tossing out the first pitch of the opening game in Tokyo. (NHK )
Mar 28 New Yokozuna Kakuryu practices ring ceremony
Sumo's newly promoted Yokozuna Grand Champion Kakuryu has practiced a ring-entering ritual wearing a new ceremonial rope belt. (NHK )