Backlash occurs in Japan over sales of train e-ticket records
pcworld.com -- Jul 06
A privacy debate has erupted in Japan over a new service from a major rail operator that sells private e-ticket records as marketing data.

This week East Japan Railway (JR East), the country's largest rail company, has begun offering for sale the anonymized histories of millions of its passengers. The data is gleaned from its Suica train pass system, which is Japan's most popular with 43 million users, roughly equivalent to a third of the national population.

JR East and Hitachi, which will handle the technical aspects of the service, announced it last week via a terse news release that initially drew little attention. But this is the first time Suica information has been sold to third parties, and the news was soon highlighted by prominent bloggers, triggering a discussion that has now spread to Twitter and other online forums.

JR East's service provides details for passengers that use specific stations, such as their sex, the date and time they used the service, and the amount they spent. The company and Hitachi are adamant that no laws are being broken, and JR East says the Suica user contract gives it rights to the passenger data.

Source: pcworld.com
Apr 30
In the latest development in the gambling scandal involving Yomiuri Giants players, the Metropolitan Police Department on Friday arrested restaurateur Satoshi Saito, 38, on suspicion of running gambling operations for the purpose of gain and former Giants pitcher Shoki Kasahara, 25, on suspicion of assisting the operations. (the-japan-news.com)
Apr 30
West Japan Railway Co. opened the nation's largest railway museum to the public in Kyoto on Friday. (the-japan-news.com)
Apr 30
HAMBURG, Germany -- A giant cruise liner constructed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries opened its doors here Friday ahead of its entry into regular service. (Nikkei)
Apr 30
An earthquake with an estimated magnitude of 4.5 rocked southwestern Japan on Friday afternoon, registering upper 5 on the seismic intensity scale of 7 in Yufu, Oita Prefecture. (Jiji Press)
Apr 29
The annual "Golden Week" holiday exodus has begun in Japan. (NHK)
Apr 30
This year's spring decorations will recognize 4,024 Japanese and 90 foreigners for their achievements in business, culture and the arts, the government said Friday. (Japan Today)
Apr 29
Police in Chiba City have charged a 29-year-old man over the murder of a 41-year-old woman who was found dead in her apartment on April 4. (Japan Today)
Apr 28
Police in Denenchofu, Tokyo, have arrested a 41-year-old man on suspicion of violating the animal cruelty law after he killed at least 10 stray cats. (Japan Today)
Apr 28
Dignitaries and celebrities joined Japan's Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko for the annual spring party at the Akasaka Imperial Gardens in Tokyo on Wednesday. (NHK)
Apr 28
Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Tuesday raided the headquarters of a gang affiliated with the Yamaguchi-gumi over the alleged handling of illegal drugs, reports TV Asahi (April 27). (Tokyo Reporter)
Apr 27
A 28-year-old nursery school teacher who forced a 4-year-old boy to eat fried chicken covered with wasabi and recorded it on her smartphone, has received a suspended sentence from the Tokyo District Court. (Japan Today)
Apr 27
A Japanese health institute says people staying in evacuation shelters in quake-hit Kumamoto Prefecture should be on the alert for possible outbreaks of flu and other infectious diseases. (NHK)
Apr 27
Celebrity impersonator Ken Maeda died early Tuesday after he suddenly collapsed on a street in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward on Sunday night. He was 44. (Japan Today)
Apr 26
A former Japanese chef for the late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il says he met with current leader Kim Jong Un during his recent trip to the North. (NHK)
Apr 26
Japan's Supreme Court on Monday admitted the illegality of its approvals of special trials at isolated facilities for patients with leprosy conducted until the early 1970s. (Jiji Press)