The Emperor and Empress have visited Iwate, one of the 3 Japanese prefectures hardest-hit by the March 11th 2011 tsunami and earthquake. They spoke to people still living as evacuees in temporary housing.
The Emperor and Empress arrived in Tono City, Iwate Prefecture on Thursday. This was their first trip to the prefecture in 2 years.
Iwate Governor Takuya Tasso and Tono Mayor Toshiaki Honda briefed the Imperial couple about the situation of reconstruction work in the region.
The couple then visited a temporary housing complex where more than 60 people have moved from Kamaishi and other coastal areas devastated by the tsunami.
Japan has been stung by its third political scandal in a week after the country's new industry minister - whose predecessor resigned over allegations of misspending - admitted that his staff had spent office money at a sex bar. (The Guardian)
The government said Friday it has chosen Nobel physics prize laureates Shuji Nakamura and Hiroshi Amano and five others as this year's winners of Japan's top cultural award, the Order of Culture. (Kyodo)
In possibly a legal first, a female civil servant on Tuesday sued the government over what she calls institutional sexism at the ministry she works for, citing almost two decades of blocked promotions and pay raises. (Japan Times)