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19 July 2018
Temperatures rose further across Japan excluding northern regions on Wednesday, exceeding 40 degrees Celsius for the first time in five years, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. (Jiji)
The Diet, Japan's parliament, on Wednesday passed into law a bill to strengthen restrictions on smoking in public places in the fight against secondhand smoke. (Jiji)
The schedule for the Tokyo Olympics has been broadly determined. Starting times of the marathon and other races along roads were moved forward in view of the hot summer weather. (NHK)
Japan's Diet has enacted legislation to reform the electoral system, including the addition of six seats to the 242-seat Upper House. (NHK)
The head of the International Monetary Fund says economic growth has started slowing in Japan and the euro zone. (NHK)

CHAPTER 8

Amsterdam 1605

While waiting for an audience with Maurice of Nassau, who was away on the frontier leading the fight for independence from Spain, Kintaro was free to explore Amsterdam……. continue reading


Jul 19
Prominent Japanese stage director Keita Asari died of malignant lymphoma in a Tokyo hospital on Friday. He was 85. (Jiji)
Jul 18
A 36-year-old Filipino man arrested last year admitted Tuesday to raping and murdering a female university student in eastern Japan in January 2004. (Japan Today)
Jul 17
Japan was the top destination for otters recovered from smugglers in Southeast Asia between 2015 and 2017, with experts pointing to the species' growing popularity as pets in the country, according to a recent survey by a wildlife monitoring group. (Kyodo)
Jul 14
A 22-year-old man who went on a rampage on a shinkansen (bullet train) last month, fatally stabbing one man and injuring two women, began a psychiatric evaluation on Friday. The Yokohama District Court ordered the examination to determine if the man is mentally competent to stand trial. (Japan Today)
Jul 14
Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko have cancelled their planned summer retreat north of Tokyo following last weekend's deadly torrential rain in western Japan, the Imperial Household Agency said Friday. (Japan Today)

[more society news…]           [society blogs…]


Jul 19
Japanese footballer Keisuke Honda is swapping football for finance, after launching a venture capital fund with Hollywood star Will Smith to invest in startups addressing social problems, the striker's agent said Wednesday. (Japan Today)
Jul 18
Japan's Mitsubishi Aircraft has debuted its long-delayed passenger jet at an airshow in Britain. (NHK)
Jul 14
A government panel gave the green light Friday for public broadcaster NHK to start simultaneous online streaming of its television programs amid surging popularity of streaming video services. (Japan Today)
Jul 13
Japan's Fair Trade Commission has accused the Japanese unit of global tech-giant Apple of possibly violating the anti-monopoly law by forcing major mobile service providers to give discounts on their iPhones. (NHK)
Jul 12
Japan's National Personnel Authority will introduce stronger restrictions on overtime hours of national public servants to promote work style reform, informed sources have said. (Jiji)

[more business news…]           [business blogs…]


Jul 19
The head of the International Monetary Fund says economic growth has started slowing in Japan and the euro zone. (NHK)
Jul 18
Many retailers and consumers in Japan are welcoming the free trade pact with the European Union. They are expecting it to lower prices for a range of gourmet products and provide a boost to the economy. (NHK)
Jul 14
More than three-quarters of Japanese women of prime age to start families are now in the workforce, signaling a break from the long-running trend of mothers quitting jobs to care for newborn babies. (Nikkei)
Jul 13
Japan's government is counting on foreign workers to ease the labor shortage in a range of industries. (NHK)
Jul 10
Japan expects a primary budget deficit of 2.4 trillion yen in fiscal 2025, even if the country's economy grows by 3 pct or higher annually in nominal terms without adjustment with prices, a Cabinet Office estimate showed Monday. (Jiji)

[more economy news…]


Jul 19
The Diet, Japan's parliament, on Wednesday passed into law a bill to strengthen restrictions on smoking in public places in the fight against secondhand smoke. (Jiji)
Jul 19
Japan's Diet has enacted legislation to reform the electoral system, including the addition of six seats to the 242-seat Upper House. (NHK)
Jul 18
Japan and the European Union have signed a free trade deal in Tokyo after years of negotiations. The economic partnership agreement covers about 40 percent of the world's trade and 30 percent of its gross domestic product. The EPA calls for Japan and the EU to remove tariffs on most of each other's goods in phases. (NHK)
Jul 16
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says the government will provide financial support to areas in western Japan that were hit hard recently by record-high rainfall. (NHK)
Jul 16
The government has launched a nationwide probe into allegations that foreign residents are abusing the public health insurance system, according to sources familiar with the matter. (Japan Times)

[more politics news…]


Jul 15
All six high school students representing Japan at the 59th International Mathematical Olympiad have won medals including a gold, the education ministry said Friday. (Jiji)
Jul 14
Japan's university entrance examination system is scheduled for an overhaul in 2020. The planned changes in English-language testing are a particular target of attention. (nippon.com)
Jul 12
Japan's population has fallen for 9 years in a row, while the capital, Tokyo, keeps growing. (NHK)
Jul 11
In what is believed to be a first in Japan, a prestigious national women’s university officially announced Tuesday its new policy to open doors from 2020 to people who were assigned as male at birth but identify as female, saying it’s a natural decision that takes gender diversity into account. (Japan Times)
Jul 07
Princess Mako’s fiance, Kei Komuro, will attend the law school of Fordham University in New York starting in August, the school announced Thursday. (Japan Times)

[more education news…]           [education blogs…]


Jul 19
Japan's nuclear watchdog on Wednesday granted its first approval for a plan to reuse nuclear fuel taken out of decommissioned reactors in operational ones. (Japan Today)
Jul 15
On Rishiri Island in the northern Japan prefecture of Hokkaido, people are on alert after a brown bear has recently been spotted for the first time in 106 years, ahead of the summer tourism season. (Jiji)
Jul 13
NHK has learned that scientists now believe the asteroid Ryugu was likely formed from a collection of asteroid fragments. (NHK)
Jul 13
A small eruption has been confirmed on an uninhabited island in the Pacific around 1,000 kilometers south of Tokyo, the weather agency said Thursday. (Kyodo)
Jul 07
A 6.0 magnitude earthquake shook Chiba Prefecture east of Tokyo on Saturday. (NHK)

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


Jul 19
The schedule for the Tokyo Olympics has been broadly determined. Starting times of the marathon and other races along roads were moved forward in view of the hot summer weather. (NHK)
Jul 19
The main stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, now under construction, has been shown to media 2 years ahead of the games' opening. (NHK)
Jul 19
The International Olympic Committee and organizing committee for the Tokyo Games failed to agree on what time the swimming finals will be held. (NHK)
Jul 18
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government invited the media to observe the construction sites for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics venues on Tuesday, 2 years ahead of the games' opening. (NHK)
Jul 18
Yomiuri Giants owner Shoichi Oikawa has resigned to take responsibility for a series of scandals involving players at the Japanese professional baseball team, the Giants said Tuesday. (Jiji)

[more sports news…]


Jul 19
The number of foreign tourists who visited Japan in the first half of this year hit a record high for the period. (NHK)
Jul 19
Japanese temples are offering their facilities as tourist accommodation, an initiative aimed at wooing foreigners to rural Japan. (Nikkei)
Jul 19
The Legoland Japan theme park in the central Japanese city of Nagoya will lower its admission fee for children, its operator said Wednesday, following complaints about high ticket prices. (Kyodo)
Jul 18
In Japan's ancient capital Kyoto, spectators braved sweltering heat to watch a series of colorfully decorated floats at the annual Gion festival on Tuesday. (NHK)
Jul 17
Each year, a pair of the Aomori Prefecture town's fields are used to create amazing rice paddy art (or "tambo art," as it's called in Japanese). (soranews24.com)

[more travel news…]           [travel blogs…]


Jul 18
What is Ochugen お中元?

Japanese custom calls for the giving of gifts twice a year to someone who is taking care of you. This duty is performed once in the summertime, called ochugen and once at the end of the year, called oseibo. The custom s...

Jul 18
ALT Super Powers: From Unexpected to Awesome in the Japanese Classroom

As teachers, we all have good and bad days, awesome classes and classes we'd sooner forget.

If anything, this feeling is more pronounced in Japanese schools and it can certainly be exacerbated by micro instances of culture shock. With ALTs especi...

Jul 17
Whether they're the final hurrah of a traditional festival or a national competition, the firework displays we've chosen are a step above what you might be used to—with animal faces, underwater rockets and no expense spared. If you know you'll b...
Jul 17
When people think about planning a trip to Japan, images that immediately come to mind are the neon-smothered streets of Shinjuku, the lantern-lit laneways of Kyoto and the gritty, booze-soaked party atmosphere of Osaka. In reality those are just ...
Jul 16

Last month I wrote a general guide to Japan's most common seaweeds, their health and beauty benefits and why you should eat this superfood more often than not. By now you know that seaweed provide us with several essential nutrients including fibe...

Jul 15

“A different language is a different vision of life.” – Federico Fellini

Photo from Pixabay

Hi everyone. Hope you are all enjoying the summer and longer days. Love how we can still enjoy the outdoors in later hours to go for a walk or en...

Jul 14

As Gion Festival's pipes and bells chime throughout central Kyoto, Edward J. Taylor continues his ongoing exploration of Deep Kyoto's streets with a stroll through the matsuri preparations on Shinmachi.

July rolled around, and not long afterward t...

Jul 14
Noryosen Yukata Boat Cruise 9

It's the opening night of Tokyo's most popular (and boozy) evening boat cruise, back again this July for a three-month run of all-you-can-drink beer, wine and cocktails, festival food, twinkling city views, dancing and summer romance on the sea.

U...

Jul 13
|credit| This has been a big year for plastic so far. If you haven't been living under a rock, you've probably noticed your social media feed exploding with information on the harmful effects of plastic on marine life—and lists of countries and...
Jul 12
Aerial view of the new Toyosu Fish Market (under construction). You've probably heard that the iconic Tsukiji Fish Market will cease operations in October this year, and reopen as the Toyosu Fish Market. Here are the top tidbits regarding the rel...

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