Deadly octopus prompt warnings in Kanto region
Asahi -- Jun 21
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.

神奈川・茅ケ崎市の漁港で、猛毒を持つヒョウモンダコが見つかった。 海水浴シーズンを前に、茅ケ崎市が注意を呼びかけている。 水族館の水槽を泳ぐ、1匹の小さなタコ。

Sources: Asahi, FNNnewsCH
Jul 03
Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako have arrived in the South Pacific nation of Tonga to attend the coronation of King Tupou VI. (NHK)
Jul 03
Tokyo labor regulators sent their investigation papers on footwear retailer ABC-Mart Inc. <2670> to prosecutors on Thursday, accusing the company of having forced employees to work illegally long overtime hours. (Jiji Press)
Jul 02
Reigning champions Japan will meet the United States in the Women's World Cup final for the second tournament in a row after a 2-1 defeat of England on Wednesday, victory coming after a cruel and unlucky injury-time own goal from Laura Bassett. (Kyodo)
Jul 02
The nation's population stood at 126,163,576 as of Jan. 1 this year, down 271,058, or 0.21 percent, from a year before, marking the steepest fall ever, a government survey said Wednesday. (The Japan News)
Jul 01
Toyota Motor Corporation says its first female executive, Julie Hamp, has resigned. She was arrested last month in Japan on suspicion of drug smuggling. (NHK)
Jul 03
Ibaraki Prefectural Police on Thursday announced the bust of a marijuana cultivation operation in Tsukubamirai City, reports the Ibaraki Shimbun (July 3). (Tokyo Reporter)
Jul 03
Police in Kanagawa Prefecture have arrested a 23-year-old man on suspicion of stealing a bag belonging to the director-general of the Civil Aviation Bureau, while he was on a train last month. The bag contained a tablet computer which contained confidential information as well as a contact list for emergencies. (Japan Today)
Jul 02
A 71-year-old man who set himself on fire on a shinkansen bullet train Tuesday had repeatedly complained that the pension he received was not enough to live on, one of his neighbors said Wednesday. (Kyodo)
Jul 01
Shortly after a Shinkansen left Tokyo bound for Osaka at 11 a.m. on June 30, a passenger in the train's No. 1 car became suspicious about a man who was behaving erratically. (Asahi)
Jul 01
Each year, the four-day Mitama Matsuri, a festival held on the grounds of the controversial Yasukuni Shrine, attracts approximately 300,000 revelers. (Tokyo Reporter)
Jun 30
Two passengers on a Japanese Shinkansen bullet train have died after one of them doused himself in oil and set himself ablaze, local media is reporting. (abc.net.au)
Jun 30
Two boys aged 3 and 4 were hit by a train in Showacho, Yamanashi Prefecture, on Monday afternoon. (Japan Today)
Jun 30
Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko marked their 25th wedding anniversary on Monday, expressing appreciation to each other in a statement. (The Japan News)
Jun 30
An intensive investigation involving about 50 police officers has revealed the culprit in the vandalism of about 40 cars in the Higashi-Izumo area of Matsue this spring. Crows. (The Japan News)
Jun 29
Police have arrested a 20-year-old university student who drove his motorbike into a pedestrian mall on Sunday, running over a young boy. (Japan Today)