Japan's health ministry decided Thursday to approve applications for compensation from 16 people who claim they developed bile duct cancer while working for a printer in Osaka, western Japan.
The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare instructed the Osaka Labor Bureau to approve their applications by the end of the month. It will be the first time for accident compensation insurance benefits involving bile duct cancer in Japan to be approved.
A ministry panel concluded that the 16 people are believed to have developed the cancer after working at Sanyo-CYP Co. over long periods in an environment in which the air contained a high density of an organic chlorine cleaning agent known as 1, 2-dichloropropan.
High levels of a toxic substance called strontium-90 have been found in groundwater at the devastated Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan, the utility that operates the facility said on Wednesday. (Reuters )
The number of people who committed suicide in Japan in 2012 was 27,858, dropping below 30,000 for the first time in 15 years, the Cabinet Office said in a white paper on Tuesday. The figure was 2,800 fewer than in 2011. (Japan Today )
Leaders of the Group of Eight nations on Tuesday condemned "in the strongest terms" any use of chemical weapons in Syria and called on all sides to allow U.N. investigators to look into their alleged use, as they wrapped up their two-day summit in Northern Ireland. (Kyodo )
A collection of materials related to a 17th century mission sent by a Japanese feudal lord to Europe and the world's oldest autographic diary left 10 centuries ago by a Japanese regent have been selected for the UNESCO Memory of the World registry, the Japanese education ministry said Wednesday. (Global Post )
Almost 1,500 people were transported to hospitals by ambulance due to heatstroke last week, up sharply from 942 in the preceding week, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said Tuesday. (Japan Times )
Among about 200,000 traffic signals nationwide, 16 percent are being used beyond the end of the expected lifetime of their electrical systems and some have even toppled over due to age, according to the National Police Agency. (Yomiuri )
In May, Akira Ikoma, the editor of a guide to men's entertainment called Ore no Tabi (My Journey), said that "Abenomics" had caused a spike in prices at high-end soapland bathhouses in Tokyo. However, the same editor tells Shukan Post (June 28) that the initiative is not impacting the low-end market in the same way. (Tokyo Reporter )
Tokyo District Court decided on Monday to open planned examinations of three witnesses who are former senior members of the Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult and now death-row inmates, during an upcoming trial of another former senior Aum member. (Jiji Press )