Visitors to the ocean this summer should think twice before handling the colorful and cuddly octopuses they come across or find on the end of their fishing lines.
Highly toxic blue-ringed octopuses that can kill a human with a single bite have been spotted recently in Kanagawa and Chiba prefectures, even though the small creatures normally inhabit waters near Kyushu and farther south.
Researchers believe that increases in ocean temperatures have led to a spread of the octopuses farther north than their usual habitat.
According to officials of the Research Institute of Marine Invertebrates in Tokyo's Chuo Ward, the blue-ringed octopuses grow to about 15 centimeters long. While the animals are normally brownish in color and docile, they turn a brilliant yellow when attacked, and their bodies become covered with fluorescent blue spots. The octopus produces venom containing tetrodotoxin, the same toxin found in deadly fugu or blowfish. One or two milligrams of the venom can kill a human.
The octopuses normally inhabit reefs in subtropical regions stretching from Japan to Australia. However, the animals have been increasingly spotted in the Kanto region in recent years.
The pilot of a light plane that crashed into a residential area in the Tokyo suburb of Chofu on Sunday had run a pilot training firm without permission from the transport ministry, it was learned Monday. (Jiji Press)
An investigation report from a middle school in Iwate Prefecture acknowledged on Sunday that bullying is considered to have partly contributed to the suicide of a 13-year-old male student at the school earlier this month. (The Japan News)
Wakayama Prefectural Police on Saturday arrested a 64-year-old man from Osaka after the body of a woman was found in a car parked in front of a love hotel in Gobo City, reports the Asahi Shimbun (July 26). (Tokyo Reporter)
Out of nearly 6,000 applicants, 22 young women and girls emerged from the final stage of highly competitive auditions on July 25 to be the first-generation members of idol group NGT48, based in Niigata Prefecture. (Asahi)
A tooth was found inside a dish served to a customer at the restaurant inside the Prince Hotel located in Tokyo's Shinjuku district. The hotel released a statement Friday saying that an investigation is being conducted into the incident. (Japan Today)
Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Friday announced the arrest of an organized crime member for riding atop a portable shrine at a festival in the Asakusa district, reports TV Asahi (July 24). (Tokyo Reporter)
The polarization between weakening and steady yakuza organized crime syndicates is growing in Japan on the back of the widening rich-poor gap among them and the aging of their members, the National Police Agency said in an annual report on Friday. (Jiji Press)
It doesn't take much to set Noel Gallagher off. We are sat in a backstage portacabin at London's peculiarly ragbag Clapham Calling festival, and I've just mentioned to the former Oasis songwriter that "Chasing Yesterday," the second solo album under his High Flying Birds banner, is the U.K.'s fastest selling of the year. (Japan Times)