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.
Social media users around the world have deluged a special Facebook page calling for the safety of Japanese hostage Kenji Goto, who is being held captive by the Islamic State extremist group, with selfies proclaiming "I AM KENJI." (Asahi)
Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Monday the arrest of a former organized crime member for the sale of stimulant drugs to musician Aska two years ago, reports Nippon News Network (Jan. 26). (Tokyo Reporter)
Fukuoka Prefectural Police on Monday took the acting chairman of the Kudo-kai organized crime group into custody for allegedly blackmailing the owner of a building, reports the Yommiuri Shimbun (Jan. 26). (Tokyo Reporter)
Crown Prince Naruhito met Saudi Arabia's new King Salman in the Saudi capital of Riyadh on Sunday and expressed his condolences over the death of King Abdullah, who passed away on Friday. (The Japan News)
A fire drill was conducted at Horyuji temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Ikaruga, Nara Prefecture, on Monday, which was Cultural Property Fire Prevention Day. About 100 personnel participated, including temple priests and local firemen. (The Japan News)
The Islamic State beheaded one of the two Japanese citizens it has been holding, but signaled a potential willingness to negotiate over the fate of the other one - offering a tiny sliver of hope to a Japan reeling from shock and grief. (foreignpolicy.com)