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18 December 2017
A Russian Soyuz spacecraft was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 1:21 PM, local time, on Sunday. (NHK)
A ski resort opened in western Japan's Hyogo Prefecture on Saturday, with its operator and the local government saying it is the country's first new facility to be opened to skiers and snowboarders in 14 years. (Japan Today)
The operator of Japan’s only “baby hatch” said Saturday that the nation should allow women to give birth anonymously at hospitals in cases of unwanted pregnancy, while ensuring the children’s right to learn their mother’s identity after they grow up. (Japan Times)
A funeral home set to open soon in Japan plans to provide the country's first-ever drive-through service. (NHK)
Japan's Coast Guard has released video footage of North Korean boats illegally fishing in Japan's exclusive economic zone. (NHK)

Dec 18
A fire broke out at a three-story reinforced concrete building housing an adult entertainment shop in the eastern Japan city of Saitama on Sunday afternoon, leaving four people dead and one person unconscious and in critical condition, local police and fire authorities said. (Jiji)
Dec 17
Police in Abashiri, Hokkaido, have arrested a 78-year-old man on suspicion of assault after he choked a 62-year-old taxi driver. (Japan Today)
Dec 17
A 27-year-old man was arrested Saturday on suspicion of kidnapping a 14-year-old girl in Fukui Prefecture and taking her to his home in Aichi Prefecture, police said. (Japan Today)
Dec 16
At the opening of his trial on Friday, an 18-year-old boy admitted to stabbing a woman to death before dumping her body in Ryugasaki City last year, reports Jiji Press (tokyoreporter.com)
Dec 16
Police said Friday that two glass windows and a glass door on train cars on the JR Musashino Line were shattered by stones thrown through them on Wednesday and Thursday nights. (Japan Today)

[more society news…]           [society blogs…]


Dec 16
A funeral home set to open soon in Japan plans to provide the country's first-ever drive-through service. (NHK)
Dec 14
With staff getting harder to come by, nearly 60% of top executives at major Japanese companies are inclined to invest more in training and educating personnel in fiscal 2018, according to a Nikkei Inc. survey. (Nikkei)
Dec 11
Prosecutors investigating Obayashi Corp. suspect the major construction firm rigged a bid for the building of a maglev train station emergency exit, with one of the company's vice presidents brought in voluntarily for questioning about the matter, sources close to the case said Sunday. (Japan Times)
Dec 10
Online retail giant Rakuten wants to help drones navigate safely at a low altitude in Japan, with an eye on future autonomous delivery service. (NHK)
Dec 09
The Justice Ministry is considering relaxing a key requirement that non-Japanese planning to start businesses here must fulfill to obtain resident status in Japan. (Japan Times)

[more business news…]           [business blogs…]


Dec 16
The latest Tankan survey by the Bank of Japan shows the country's labor shortage is the worst that it has been in over a quarter of a century. (NHK)
Dec 14
Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner, Komeito, adopted on Tuesday an income tax reform plan that will bring about heavier burdens on salaried employees earning over 8.5 million yen a year. (Jiji)
Dec 06
Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda told reporters after meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday that he did not discuss who will lead the central bank after his term expires in April. (Japan Times)
Dec 02
A survey by professional recruitment company Hays has found that many Japanese female professionals aspire to be corporate directors, but that male bosses do not seem to grasp that reality. (Nikkei)
Nov 26
The Japanese government has come up with measures to support domestic farmers and food makers who are facing increased competition from European rivals. (NHK)

[more economy news…]


Dec 16
Japan's Coast Guard has released video footage of North Korean boats illegally fishing in Japan's exclusive economic zone. (NHK)
Dec 16
The Japanese government is planning to revise steps that local governments should take to protect residents in case of armed attack. The move is in response to North Korea's continued development of ballistic missiles. (NHK)
Dec 16
The Japanese government has decided to add more entities to its sanctions list for North Korea, which is continuing its nuclear and missile development. (NHK)
Dec 15
Emperor Akihito wishes to step down in an abdication ceremony that is "as simple as possible," without inviting foreign guests and holding a parade, the head of the Imperial Household Agency said Thursday. (Japan Today)
Dec 14
Japan's Supreme Court has upheld a lower court ruling finding the mayor of Minokamo in Gifu Prefecture, central Japan, guilty of receiving bribes. (Jiji)

[more politics news…]


Dec 17
The operator of Japan’s only “baby hatch” said Saturday that the nation should allow women to give birth anonymously at hospitals in cases of unwanted pregnancy, while ensuring the children’s right to learn their mother’s identity after they grow up. (Japan Times)
Dec 14
Osaka University said Wednesday that personal data of around 80,000 students, graduates, staff, former workers and others may have been stolen by hackers. (Japan Times)
Dec 07
The Japanese government plans to provide subsidies to support private high school students from households with annual income of less than 5.9 million yen, stating in fiscal 2020, informed sources said Wednesday. (Jiji)
Dec 02
While it’s become common knowledge that many Japanese talent agencies prohibit idol singers from dating, there are similar rules in place at some Japanese high schools. (rocketnews24.com)
Dec 02
"Insuta-bae," or instagenic, and "sontaku," or acting for someone by guessing his or her intent, were selected in this year's top buzzwords in Japan on Friday. (Jiji)

[more education news…]           [education blogs…]


Dec 18
A Russian Soyuz spacecraft was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 1:21 PM, local time, on Sunday. (NHK)
Dec 15
Japan's space agency says its asteroid probe Hayabusa2 is on course to reach its target between Earth and Mars in about 6 months. (NHK)
Dec 14
For the first time, a Japanese high court has ordered the operator of a nuclear plant not to restart a reactor. (NHK)
Dec 06
Fukui Gov. Issei Nishikawa says he's willing to accept the central government's plan to decommission the trouble-prone Monju prototype fast-breeder reactor in the city of Tsuruga. (Japan Times)
Dec 06
Tokyo prosecutors on Tuesday arrested the president of a tech venture known as one of the developers of the world's fourth-fastest supercomputer on suspicion of defrauding a governmental institution of 431 million yen in subsidies. (Japan Today)

[more sci-tech news…]           [sci-tech blogs…]


Dec 10
The agent representing Japanese baseball star Shohei Ohtani has announced that the ace pitcher-and-slugger has decided to join the Los Angeles Angels in the 2018 season. (NHK)
Dec 07
Police in Tottori Prefecture will file papers with prosecutors next week on the alleged assault by former sumo grand champion Harumafuji. (NHK)
Dec 06
Japanese professional shogi player Yoshiharu Habu has become the first person ever to win lifetime titles in all 7 major title matches. (NHK)
Dec 02
Japan have been presented with a chance for revenge in their opening match of next year's World Cup finals after being drawn against Colombia, Senegal and Poland in first-round Group H on Friday. (Kyodo)
Dec 01
The Japan Sumo Association has reprimanded Yokozuna Hakuho for recent conduct and remarks deemed below the standards expected of a grand champion. (NHK)

[more sports news…]


Dec 17
A ski resort opened in western Japan's Hyogo Prefecture on Saturday, with its operator and the local government saying it is the country's first new facility to be opened to skiers and snowboarders in 14 years. (Japan Today)
Dec 07
Narita International Airport near Tokyo is looking to ease congestion at one of its terminals. (NHK)
Dec 03
Inui Street in the Imperial Palace in central Tokyo was opened to the public on Saturday, in time for the autumn foliage season. (Jiji)
Dec 01
Local restaurants, souvenir shops and even some temples and shrines are hoping to cater to foreign guests with an international custom yet to be adopted in Japan: letting customers pay their bills with credit cards instead of cash. (Japan Today)
Nov 29
The latest edition of the Michelin guide for Tokyo is due out on Friday with 82 new restaurants, including five new two-star establishments and 23 entities garnering single stars, Michelin said on Tuesday. (Japan Times)

[more travel news…]           [travel blogs…]


Dec 17

Gym life is more than just the basics of nutrition and exercise. People who love the gym call everything surrounding their health a “lifestyle” for a reason. Just how you can get creative with healthy recipes you try and new styles of exercise...

Dec 15
With ten branches and counting, this popular chain knows how to deliver a cat-cafe experience to a mass audience. This particular branch seems even larger than average, with plenty of seating so that it doesn't seem crowded even when there are ...
Dec 15

Tatami (畳) is one of the most common design elements in traditional Japanese homes along with sliding shoji doors and the tokonoma with hanging scrolls. Tatami mats are dried, woven rushes which are wrapped around and sewn to a core. They are id...

Dec 15
Annually Asked Questions: Why KFC at Christmas in Japan?

It's a question that many Westerners ask every year around this time, when the iconic red, white and green marketing campaigns go up across the nation: How did Christmas in Japan become synonymous with a fast food joint?

Foreigners may laugh at t...

Dec 14
garinko

Garinko-go II (Hokkaido heritage attraction)
Drift ice tourism has turned a winter plague from the Sea of Okhotsk into a real blessing. Mombetsu City named the icebreaker (originally designed for oil development in Alaska) Garinko-go. With its br...

Dec 14
What Your Japanese Teacher Never Taught You about Kanji

In the beginning, there was spoken language. Certain combinations of sounds represented certain meanings and these were called “words.” Communication was without physical form; there was sound and meaning, and it was good. Then one day, someon...

Dec 13
tsutaya book apartment coworking relaxation shinjuku

The rental DVD and entertain retail chain Tsutaya once had a large branch on the east of Shinjuku Station. This was demolished a few years ago and reopened as a leaner branch with other tenants. Then the Tsutaya completely transferred to another b...

Dec 13

When it comes to choosing their kanji of the year, in 2017, the Japanese chose to look north. The Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing Foundation chose to award 北 (kita or north) as its kanji of the year for 2017.

The announcement was made at a ceremony...

Dec 12

Japan has always believed that spoken words had a certain power, almost magical power. Thus, the word “to curse” aka 呪う (norou/呪う) has a mouth 口 as part of the kanji, as in intoning a prayer or curse and the 兄 part symbolizes a pri...

Dec 11
Ita G Festa

This survey from goo Ranking looks at little things with large pain.

Number 1 is of course a too common pain, but one that doesn't feature is perhaps because the sample size is too young – in cold weather the skin on the back of my hands dry ou...

[all blogs…]

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