The proportion of Japanese people who paid premiums for the country's public pension programs in fiscal 2012 rose 0.3 percentage point from the previous year to 59.0 pct, the first increase in seven years, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry said Monday.
The improvement came as the ministry started in the year to send special notices to those who do not pay premiums for long periods that their assets would be seized if they continue refusing to make payments, according to ministry.
Students, mothers and other protesters staged rallies at more than 200 locations across Japan on Sunday, calling for the scrapping of controversial security legislation that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants to enact to strengthen the role of Japanese forces abroad. (Kyodo)
HIROSAKI, Aomori - The tower of Hirosaki Castle, a state-designated important cultural asset, is being towed dozens of meters away from its original location as part of a project to repair its stone walls. (The Japan News)