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.
The resignation Monday of Yuko Obuchi, Japan's industry minister, was a heavy blow to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the cabinet he named last month. And there are concerns in the government and ruling parties that Obuchi is only the first in a string of coming cabinet resignations. (Nikkei)
Check the locks on all the Colonel Sanders statues in Osaka, because the Hanshin Tigers are headed back to the Japan Series and it was a big home run from a bearded foreign star that helped get them there. (Japan Times)
The government on Friday approved Central Japan Railway Co.'s plan to construct the Linear Chuo Shinkansen line, paving the way for the 2027 start of magnetic levitation train service connecting Tokyo and Nagoya in 40 minutes. (The Japan News)
Osaka Prefectural Police on Friday arrested two male suspects for allegedly dumping a large quantity of adult video (AV) material inside a park in Nishinari Ward, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Oct. 17). (Tokyo Reporter)
Empress Michiko celebrated her 80th birthday on Monday. In a statement distributed to media by the Imperial Household Agency, the empress said she hoped the world could find peace ahead of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II next year. (Japan Today)
The Nagano prefectural government's disaster response headquarters said Thursday it has decided to end its search this year for missing hikers on Mt. Ontake due to the growing risk of secondary accidents. (The Japan News)