The University of Tokyo may replace its two-semester academic year with a quarter system to make it easier to shift to fall enrollment and line up with international standards.
Known as Todai, the nation's most prestigious university released a report Wednesday compiled and submitted to its board earlier this month by a university panel that is recommending the four-quarter system.
The panel discussing the university's basic policies, including the timing for starting the academic year in autumn, was set up last year after President Junichi Hamada announced in 2011 his intention to introduce fall enrollment by 2015.
The difficulty of changing the social environment to allow such a dramatic break from tradition led the panel to come up with the quarterly system.
At least 27 people were confirmed dead and 10 remain missing after a series of landslides triggered by torrential rain overnight engulfed residential areas in Hiroshima, western Japan, on Wednesday, the National Police Agency said. (Kyodo)
The sports ministry has deemed a proposal to renovate the National Stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics unrealistic, because of a number of drawbacks including insufficient earthquake resistance and building regulations that prohibit the blocking of sunlight from nearby structures. (The Japan News)
East Japan Railway Co., or JR East, announced new plans on Tuesday for three train lines linking Tokyo International Airport at Haneda and key stations in the Japanese capital by building a new underground station and tunnel. (Jiji Press)
The chief suspect in the murder of a wealthy Swiss-based Japanese asset manager and his wife whose bodies were found buried in a vacant lot in Kuki, Saitama Prefecture, in February 2013, pleaded not guilty as his trial opened in Tokyo on Tuesday. (Japan Today)
Local summer festivals in Tokyo were once lined with many street stalls run by organizations with links to organized crime. But festivals have undergone a makeover after a metropolitan government ordinance enacted in October 2011 banned event organizers from allowing gangs from becoming involved. (The Japan News)
A Sapporo assemblyman has drawn fire for posting comments online stating the indigenous Ainu group "no longer exists," and suggesting those who identify as Ainu are motivated by government programs that benefit the ethnic minority. (Japan Times)