News On Japan


29 May 2017
Japan's Defense Ministry says North Korea launched a missile on Monday morning. Government officials believe it landed within Japan's exclusive economic zone in the Sea of Japan. (NHK)
Takuma Sato won the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, becoming the first Japanese driver to triumph in America's iconic race. (Japan Times)
Police in Senboku, Akita Prefecture, said a 61-year-old woman was apparently killed by a bear while picking bamboo shoots in the mountains. (Japan Today)
It was a struggle, but yokozuna Hakuho pushed his record-high championship total to 38 with a victory on Saturday over ozeki Terunofuji in the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan. (
Police in Kadoma, Osaka, have arrested a 19-year-old man and a 20-year-old man on suspicion of attempted murder after they drove a vehicle at high speed along a narrow road frequently used by schoolchildren, and then posted footage of the incident online. (Japan Today)

May 29
Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Sunday apprehended a 21-year-old man in the theft of two diamonds valued at more than 6 million yen from a jewelry store in Taito Ward, reports TV Asahi (
May 29
The 70th Cannes Film Festival awarded its top prize, the Palme d'Or, to Swedish director Ruben Ostlund for his comedy "The Square". (NHK)
May 28
Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Saturday arrested a 43-year-old man for allegedly shoving a male commuter into a train, leaving him severely injured during an altercation at a station in Chofu City, reports TBS News (
May 28
Bears say only we can prevent forest fires, but they'll help out when preventing robberies. (
May 28
Investigative sources with the Tokyo Metropolitan Police have revealed that rolling papers were found inside the vehicle of a former member of popular boy band KAT-TUN who was arrested for the possession of marijuana in Shibuya Ward earlier this week, reports TBS News. (

[more society news…]           [society blogs…]

May 29
A survey shows that nearly 30 percent of gas stations in sparsely populated areas of Japan are not sure if they will be able to continue their business operations. (NHK)
May 28
Toyota Motor Corp. has unveiled in Tokyo a prototype for the first pleasure boat under its luxury car brand Lexus. (
May 26
A pair of melons produced in the northern city of Yubari, Hokkaido, sold for 1.5 million yen in the first auction of this harvest season on Friday. (Japan Today)
May 26
Pizza giant Domino's will take full control of its rapidly expanding Japanese operations, after its minority partner, private equity firm Bain Capital, announced it would pull the plug on its 25 per cent stake in August. (
May 26
Airbnb has joined hands with staffing company Pasona to train people in Japan to support the U.S. company's signature business of offering private homes as lodging for travelers -- a practice known as minpaku here. (Nikkei)

[more business news…]           [business blogs…]

May 24
Officials in Japan have released the preliminary results of a nationwide survey on wages. Labor ministry officials say the figure rose for the first time in 6 years in fiscal 2016 after being adjusted for inflation. (NHK)
May 24
Apartment construction is booming as the wealthy rush to invest in rental housing as a way to reduce inheritance tax and banks hand out easy mortgages, but concerns are mounting that excessive supply paired with a shrinking population could soon lead to the bursting of the bubble. (Japan Times)
May 21
Ministers from Japan and 10 other signatories to the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal, excluding the United States, which has pulled out of the pact, adopted at their meeting in Hanoi on Sunday a joint statement showing their intention to aim for the TPP's early entry into force. (Jiji)
May 19
Japan's gross domestic product in January-March grew 0.5 pct from the previous quarter in price-adjusted real terms, the Cabinet Office said in a preliminary report Thursday. (Jiji)
May 17
While Japan's failure to spur inflation continues to generate angst about the nation's future, gross domestic product data this week is likely to show that the economy has still managed to eke out five straight quarters of expansion. (

[more economy news…]

May 29
Japan's Defense Ministry says North Korea launched a missile on Monday morning. Government officials believe it landed within Japan's exclusive economic zone in the Sea of Japan. (NHK)
May 28
Leaders from the Group of 7 countries reached consensus on fighting protectionism, but could not find it on climate change. That's the message in a communique from the leaders at the end of a 2-day summit in Italy. (NHK)
May 28
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Saturday tied with Junichiro Koizumi as postwar Japan's third longest-serving leader with 1,980 days in office. (Japan Today)
May 27
Leaders of the Group of Seven major industrial nations on Friday demonstrated their unity in the fight against terrorism, at their summit meeting in Taormina, Sicily, southern Italy, that started the same day for a two-day run. (Jiji)
May 26
The last remaining unit of Japanese peacekeepers has left South Sudan, ending more than 5 years of Japan's participation in a UN operation in the African country. (NHK)

[more politics news…]

May 27
Japanese elementary schools will be eligible to start English education in the third grade from fiscal 2018, instead of the fifth grade as now, the education ministry said Friday. (Japan Today)
May 25
The Diet, Japan's parliament, enacted on Wednesday legislation to establish new higher educational institutions that provide practical vocational courses to cultivate specialists. (Jiji)
May 24
Countries favored by young Japanese as destinations to study abroad are changing, partly because of frequent terrorist attacks in Europe and the U.S. government's shift in immigration policies. (
May 24
A 15-year-old high school student in Tokyo has been arrested on suspicion of forcing a classmate to eat a grasshopper and dog feces, police said Tuesday. (Japan Today)
May 23
Learning more than 1,000 kanji during six years of grade school isn't an easy task. But it can be fun if all the characters are associated with a word they love - poop. (Japan Times)

[more education news…]           [education blogs…]

May 29
Billed as a domestically developed version of the Global Positioning System, the Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS) Michibiki No. 2 satellite will be launched on Thursday from the Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture. (
May 27
A giant deepwater shark known as a megamouth has been found alive in a fishing net in the Pacific Ocean off Mie Prefecture, western Japan. (NHK)
May 25
Major Japanese electronics maker Hitachi has developed technology to make breast cancer screening more accurate. (NHK)
May 22
Four stork chicks whose mother was shot dead by a hunter in Shimane Prefecture will be raised at a specialist breeding facility, a local education board said Sunday. (Japan Today)
May 19
Officials at Tokyo's Ueno Zoo say their giant panda Shin Shin has been showing what may be signs of pregnancy. (NHK)

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

May 29
Takuma Sato won the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, becoming the first Japanese driver to triumph in America's iconic race. (Japan Times)
May 28
It was a struggle, but yokozuna Hakuho pushed his record-high championship total to 38 with a victory on Saturday over ozeki Terunofuji in the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan. (
May 25
The Tokyo metropolitan government, the organizing committee for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics and the central government have reached a broad agreement on cost-sharing plans for the 2020 Games, informed sources said Wednesday. (Jiji)
May 23
Yusaku Miyazato made an 18-foot birdie putt on the eighth playoff hole to grab the fourth and final spot in the U.S. Open from the sectional qualifier in Japan. (Japan Today)
May 22
Justin Gatlin clocked 10.28 seconds to win the 100 meters at a Golden Grand Prix event on Sunday. (Japan Today)

[more sports news…]

May 29
An ancient ball game known as "kemari" was staged at a major shrine in Nara. The event held at Kasugataisha shrine is named "Manyo-kemari". (NHK)
May 29
While the number of foreign tourists to Japan increases, operators of bathhouses and other such facilities are perplexed, after the government approved a written statement that said access to public bathing facilities should not be restricted just because customers having tattoos, at a Cabinet meeting in February. (
May 27
With the aim of revitalizing its tourism industry in the wake of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, Fukushima Prefecture is teaming up with neighboring Ibaraki and Tochigi prefectures to establish a so-called "Diamond Route" to serve as an inbound tourism route linking major sightseeing spots. (
May 27
A former juvenile prison in the city of Nara in western Japan, built in 1908 and designated as an important cultural asset, will be converted into a hotel, the Justice Ministry said Friday. (Jiji)
May 26
Outdoor theme park Legoland Japan on Thursday started selling one-day family tickets that offer discounts of up to 25 percent in response to complaints about higher fees compared with other parks. (Japan Times)

[more travel news…]           [travel blogs…]

May 29

It's a little scary to think we're already pushing towards the middle of year even though it feels like just weeks ago we were celebrating the arrival of 2017. Don't fret — there's still plenty to look forward to this year.

From the long-awaited...

May 29
piko taro ppap yuriko koike tokyo governor

What next after PPAP (Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen)? In the wake of the success of the viral hit of 2016, the comedian Piko Taro has tried to extend his popularity with a guest appearance in a K-Pop hit as well as holding concerts, in addition to front...

May 28
ITA-Sya. (OTAKU car)

I don't quite believe this goo Ranking of Japanese words that people are surprised to learn are understood overseas; of course, I have no reason to dispute the results, but as this style of survey is picking a selection from a list of words, I can...

May 28

Congratulations, welcome to a new chapter of your life: Pregnant in Japan. While finding that you're pregnant away from your country can be a daunting experience, don't worry — in Japan's it's all about finding the right information and asking t...

May 27

Nature is one of the great wonders of Japan. In that you wonder what happened to it all.

But look around. The hillsides of Kyushu terraced with rice paddies, fields of Hokkaido lavender as far as the eye can see, and deserted white sand beaches on...

May 27
Splish Splash: How to Use a Modern Japanese Bath

One of the biggest challenges that foreign people can face in Japan is simply doing basic things. Suddenly, tasks that should be done without thinking — such as using the auto-lock on your front door, using the extractor fan in the kitchen or ev...

May 27
We Never Grow Up

I attended several Tokyo developers meetups last month. I go to as many of these events as my wife and liver will permit. Talking candidly with developers founders over drinks is endlessly fascinating. I almost always learn something new.


May 26
Do you like pak chi (Thai coriander, cilantro)? graph of japanese statistics

This survey from @nifty looked at Chinese and other Asian dishes.

I've not tried much Chinese food in Japan, but it does have the image to me of being like the cheap carry-outs I remember from Scotland. I've not tried much Korean either, but I've...

May 26

the sculpture depicts the kanji for sun (陽) but when lit at the right angle, casts a shadow of the character for shadow (陰)

An ambigram is a word or phrase that can be interpreted differently depending on the angle or orientation that it's vie...

May 25

For those of us raising children from an international marriage, language development is an important issue. There are so many factors to take into consideration — do you expect to stay in Japan long-term? Will the child be educated in the Japan...

[all blogs…]

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