Japan's two-time world figure skating champion Miki Ando has revealed she secretly had a baby during a break from competition, but vowed to come back and seek a spot in next year's Sochi Olympics.
Pictures showing the 25-year-old and her baby girl were splashed over the front pages of sports dailies Tuesday, the morning after her revelation on a late-night television show.
"I became a mother after successfully giving birth in April," the 2007 and 2011 world champion said with a big smile on the TV Asahi network.
Ando, who has shunned competition in the last two seasons, did not say who the baby's father was. But media speculated he might be a 27-year-old professional Japanese figure skater who retired from competition after the 2010-2011 season.
Her interviewer quoted Ando as saying off camera that she definitely wanted to get married when "various arrangements have been made with the partner".
Ando said she would pursue her dream of competing in her third Olympics in February and then retire.
"I want to continue working hard on the rink in a responsible manner," she said.
Ando, who in 2002 became the first and only woman to land a quadruple jump in competition, said she became aware of her pregnancy last October when she pulled out of the 2012-2013 Grand Prix series citing insufficient conditioning.
The annual "kanji" Chinese character of the year in Japan went to "ring" on Thursday, after Tokyo's successful bid to host the 2020 Olympics, often referred to in local print media as "five rings." (Straits Times )
Tokyo police say they will restrict public access around the main intersection outside Shibuya Station between 10 p.m. Dec. 31 and 2 a.m. Jan. 1 to prevent a crush of New Year's revelers forming for the countdown, a recurrent problem in recent years. (Japan Times )
The opening of an additional railway link between JR Ueno and JR Tokyo stations in spring 2015 will drastically change services of the Tokaido, Tohoku and other lines and may cause confusion among passengers. (Yomiuri )
Two death-row inmates were hanged Thursday in the fourth round of executions since the launch last December of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government, Justice Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki said. (Japan Times )
A 12-year battle for justice took an enormous financial, emotional and physical toll, says Catherine Jane Fisher. But for the Australian teacher of English and mother of three, it's time to savor a landmark court victory. (womensenews.org )
The number of shoplifting cases accounted for nearly 10 pct of all criminal offenses recognized by Japanese police, with the rate increasing, a National Police Agency survey showed Wednesday. (Jiji Press )