Bird poop disables 25,000 traffic signals in Nagano
Japan Today -- Sep 01
Police and motorists in Shiojiri and Matsumoto cities in Nagano Prefecture had to deal with nearly a half an hour of dead traffic lights on Aug 28. The cause of this menace was none other than mankind's greatest airborne threat - bird droppings.

According to the Nagano branch of the Chubu Electric Power Company, a large number of birds had been defecating on an insulator in the Idegawa Substation in Matsumoto. The pile of crap got so huge that it dripped down a meter length of the insulator and caused a short triggering an automatic shutdown.

From 9:35 p.m., traffic police were on hand to manage intersections on major highways. Luckily no damage was reported from the signal blackout.

News source: Japan Today
Aug 22
Japanese folk singer Chiharu Matsuyama sang his hit song on a plane that remained grounded over an hour past its departure time at a Hokkaido airport Sunday, in a bid to ease passengers' irritation, according to All Nippon Airways Co. (Japan Times)
Aug 22
A 5-year-old girl is in critical condition and two others are severely ill after eating a supermarket potato salad product infected with O-157 E. coli, Saitama Prefecture said Monday. (Japan Times)
Aug 22
Hyogo Prefectural Police are searching for a man suspected in the robbery of an outlet of discount department store chain Don Quijote in Kobe early Monday, reports TV Asahi. (tokyoreporter.com)
Aug 22
Japan's Defense Ministry plans to request a record budget for the next fiscal year as North Korea continues its nuclear and missile programs. (NHK)
Aug 22
A first batch of 20 Syrian refugees will be admitted to graduate schools in Japan this autumn under a Japanese government initiative announced last year. (Jiji)
Aug 22
The U.S. Marine Corps' MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft made its first night flights in the northernmost Japan prefecture of Hokkaido on Monday as part of an ongoing joint military exercise. (Jiji)
Aug 22
The National Cancer Center will establish a system for cooperating on the development of cancer drugs with four medical institutions in South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned. The scheme aims to expedite the approval of new drugs. (the-japan-news.com)
Aug 22
The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant will begin the final phase of creating an underground ice wall on Tuesday. (NHK)
Aug 21
Prosecutors in Osaka have indicted the former head of a school operator and his wife on fraud charges. The couple is at the center of a controversial deal to acquire state land. (NHK)
Aug 21
The Miyagi Prefectural Government said Monday it will remove an online tourism promotional video that has been criticized as sexually suggestive. (Japan Times)