Disaster drills to prepare for huge earthquakes, based for the first time on a gigantic Nankai Trough quake scenario, were conducted across the nation Sunday, as Sept. 1 is Disaster Prevention Day.
The government conducted for the first time a comprehensive disaster drill based on the premise that the predicted Nankai Trough quake occurred. An emergency antidisaster headquarters chaired by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was set up and simulated making decisions on how to cope with the disaster.
The drills started at 6:05 a.m. based on a scenario in which a magnitude-9.1 earthquake occurred with the epicenter located somewhere in the trough stretching from off Shizuoka Prefecture down to the Hyuganada Sea off Miyazaki Prefecture, with shocks reaching the top of the Japanese intensity scale of 7 occurring in wide areas from western Shizuoka Prefecture to northern plains of Miyazaki Prefecture.
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)
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)
A former senior Aum Supreme Truth cult member on death row testified about how the cult's leader ordered his followers to commit a series of deadly crimes, at the trial of a fellow former member at the Tokyo District Court on Friday. (The Japan News)
The former AKB48 idol Anna Mori is crowdfunding her first photobook after recently turning 20 years old (the "age of majority" in Japan, similar to turning 18 in the U.S.) and quickly raised 2,000,000 yen (about US$16,957) with a little help from some unique backer rewards. Mori offered threedates for backers who paid 200,000 yen (US$1,695).