Japan's major travel agencies are canceling planned tours to Egypt, after growing tension in the country resulted in a military coup.
Although the financial damage from the cancellations is relatively small, travel agencies are disappointed. Sales from tours to Egypt had finally started to recover after the Arab Spring prodemocracy uprising in 2011.
For major travel agencies, most Egypt tour customers are retirees or senior citizens. A typical package tour costs around 200,000 to 300,000 yen for 7-10 days, including air tickets, hotels and escorted sightseeing.
According to JTB, July and August are considered off-season for Egypt tours, as local temperatures can go above 50 degrees Celsius during the day.
A total of 36 people were confirmed dead and seven remain missing on Wednesday after a series of landslides and flooding triggered by torrential rain overnight engulfed residential areas in Hiroshima, western Japan. (Kyodo)
The sports ministry has deemed a proposal to renovate the National Stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics unrealistic, because of a number of drawbacks including insufficient earthquake resistance and building regulations that prohibit the blocking of sunlight from nearby structures. (The Japan News)
East Japan Railway Co., or JR East, announced new plans on Tuesday for three train lines linking Tokyo International Airport at Haneda and key stations in the Japanese capital by building a new underground station and tunnel. (Jiji Press)
The chief suspect in the murder of a wealthy Swiss-based Japanese asset manager and his wife whose bodies were found buried in a vacant lot in Kuki, Saitama Prefecture, in February 2013, pleaded not guilty as his trial opened in Tokyo on Tuesday. (Japan Today)
Local summer festivals in Tokyo were once lined with many street stalls run by organizations with links to organized crime. But festivals have undergone a makeover after a metropolitan government ordinance enacted in October 2011 banned event organizers from allowing gangs from becoming involved. (The Japan News)
A Sapporo assemblyman has drawn fire for posting comments online stating the indigenous Ainu group "no longer exists," and suggesting those who identify as Ainu are motivated by government programs that benefit the ethnic minority. (Japan Times)