Tokyo's Asakusa neighborhood is one of the capital's top tourist destinations. Sensoji Temple and the shopping arcade nearby offer visitors a glimpse into traditional Japan. This coming weekend, though, the area will be full of Brazilian energy and the passionate rhythm and music of samba.
Now in its 32nd year, the Asakusa Samba Carnival, modeled after the Rio de Janeiro original, has grown to become Japan's biggest samba festival. Originally started in 1981 after Taito Ward invited over the winning group of that year's Carnival in Rio, the festival today features thousands of dancers - male and female - dressed up in gorgeous costumes.
Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida conveyed Tokyo's concerns over the situations in the East China Sea and the South China Sea to his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, during their meeting in Beijing on Saturday. (Jiji Press)
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)
The Osaka District Public Prosecutor's Office has filed charges of drug trafficking against a 40-year-old woman who left a large quantity of illegal drugs inside a fast-food outlet, reports the Asahi Shimbun (April 30). (Tokyo Reporter)
An increasing number of people are using the "furusato nozei" hometown donation program to support Kumamoto Prefecture, southwestern Japan, which has been hit hard by a recent series of strong earthquakes. (Jiji Press)
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)