Soul-searching as Japan mourns Algeria hostage terror toll
Herald Sun -- Jan 23
Japan is grieving over its greatest loss of life at militant hands since 9/11 as the carnage in Algeria provoked soul-searching for a people who have been relatively immune to Islamist terror.
There was blanket media coverage of the news that at least seven Japanese nationals had been killed in the Algerian hostage crisis, with the respected business daily Nikkei describing Japan's anger as "overwhelming".
Three other Japanese remained unaccounted for, after heavily armed Islamist gunmen overran the desert gas complex for four days before most were killed by Algerian security forces. At least 37 foreign hostages died in all.
A government plane was to leave Japan later bound for Algeria. It was expected to return on Thursday with survivors and the bodies of those killed, all of whom were employees or contractors for Japanese engineering firm JGC.
Shanghai's maritime court has seized a ship owned by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. <9104> in connection with a wartime contract dispute involving the Japanese shipping company, according to an announcement by the court. (Jiji Press )
Japan and the United States have agreed in bilateral talks held in connection with the Trans-Pacific Partnership accord negotiations that the tariff on imported U.S. beef will be "9 percent or more," according to government sources. (The Japan News )
Police in Fuso, Aichi Prefecture, said Sunday they have arrested an unemployed 38-year-old man for attempted murder after he broke into the home of his ex-girlfriend and stabbed her and her parents. (Japan Today )
Feeding black-tailed gulls has been a popular activity on the sightseeing boats that cruise around the Matsushima islets, considered to be one of the three most beautiful spots in Japan, but local authorities banned the practice this month in a bid to protect the islets' famous pine trees from withering as a result of nitrogen in the droppings of the gulls, who have bred in large numbers in the area. (The Japan News )
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 )
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 )