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
Apr 28
Japan's transport ministry has issued new guidelines for airlines to ensure pilots are never alone in the cockpit. (NHK)
Apr 28
A Japanese rescue team failed to enter earthquake-hit Nepal twice on Monday as an aircraft used by the team was unable to obtain permission to land on an airport in its capital Kathmandu because of congestion. (Jiji Press)
Apr 28
A former nightclub hostess with a hearing disability was elected to the assembly of Kita Ward, Tokyo. (The Japan News)
Apr 28
The meager sunshine hours this month has hit consumers' wallets as it delayed the harvest of vegetables and led to a surge in their prices. (The Japan News)
Apr 28
Japan and the United States have agreed on "seamless" defense cooperation from peacetime to contingencies, the two countries said Monday, announcing the first revision to their defense cooperation guidelines in 18 years. (Jiji Press)
Apr 28
On Monday, prosecutors at the Osaka District Court filed drug charges against a 39-year-old male whose who was arrested after he showed support for marijuana use on the Internet, reports the Sankei Shimbun (April 27). (Tokyo Reporter)
Apr 27
Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Monday announced the arrest of an organized crime boss for scalping tickets for a concert by Paul McMartney last week, reports TBS News (April 27). (Tokyo Reporter)
Apr 27
Some 3,000 people have marched in a gay pride parade in Tokyo as calls grow for Japan to legalise same-sex marriage after a lesbian couple held a symbolic wedding ceremony. (abc.net.au)
Apr 27
Kachidokibashi bridge in Chuo Ward, Tokyo, one of Japan's largest movable bridges (See below) that is potentially capable of operation, has not been raised even once since 1970. (The Japan News)
Apr 27
Japan's 140-member supergroup AKB48 is holding its second annual draft next month, in which sub-teams will choose new members from a draft of 48 young hopefuls. And among the finalists is one of the youngest potential members the group has ever seen. (Japan Today)
Apr 27
If you're tired of receiving vacant smiles and flippant customer service at your local grocery store, you may want to make a trip to Japan, where the customer always comes first and every transaction is concluded with a graceful bow. (rocketnews24.com)
Apr 26
Workers on Saturday removed radioactive soil from a Tokyo playground where extremely high radiation levels had worried local residents for days, an official said. (Japan Today)
Apr 26
Fragments of a human skull were found in a toilet outside a supermarket in Tokyo's Nerima Ward, police said on Saturday. (Japan Today)
Apr 26
Robots and dinosaurs mingled with cosplayers as Japan's largest video-sharing website Niconico on Saturday opened its two-day meet-up gala which is expected to attract more than 100,000 fans for the offline get together. (Japan Today)
Apr 25
Survivors and bereaved families of victims on Saturday marked the 10th anniversary of a fatal train derailment in western Japan that took the lives of 107 people, hoping such an accident never happens again. (Kyodo)