Last week TUAW covered the annual Japanese New Year's tradition of Fukubukuro or "Lucky Bag," in which merchants sell sealed bags of items at a substantial discount. Apple Stores are participating today (January 2, 2013) with bags selling for ¥33,000 (US$380). So what was in the bags this year?
Former TUAW blogger Rick Martin writes for TechInAsia and The Japan Times, and he says that some of the more lucky participants actually came away from their favorite Apple Store with a lot more than $380 worth of goodies. Japanese blogger @Kazuend did some quick math and figured that his bag was worth about ¥95,000 ($1,100). He was able to get everything from a Lightning USB Camera Adapter ($33) to a 16 GB Wi-Fi iPad ($450) with several other accessories thrown in for good measure.
A former Bridgestone Corp. (5108) executive agreed to plead guilty to conspiring to fix prices for auto parts, a day after a grand jury indicted another executive and two former workers at the Japanese tire maker. (Bloomberg )
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 )
Tokyo prosecutors plan to look into whether a man, who has been arrested for allegedly vandalizing copies of Anne Frank's diary, is mentally competent to be held criminally responsible for his actions, informed sources said Wednesday. (Jiji Press )
Apparently perplexed but thrilled to find himself in the spotlight, Iwao Hakamada, formerly the world's longest-serving death-row inmate, made his first public appearance Monday in Tokyo since being released from prison and hospitalized. (Japan Times )
Aichi prefectural police are investigating a possible link between the discovery of the bodies of a husband and wife and their eldest son, and the body of a male relative of the deceased family who was found hanging by his neck in a hotel. (Japan Today )
The body of one of two missing workers who died on March 30 after a floating pier overturned while being unloaded from a barge during construction work on a remote rocky atoll, was found on Sunday, the coast guard said. (Japan Today )