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 last section of the Joban Expressway, designed to connect the Tokyo metropolitan area with the Tohoku northeastern region, opened to traffic on Sunday after delays caused by the nuclear crisis that began almost four years ago. (The Japan News)
A 57-year-old man being investigated on a charge of possession of illegal drugs, who escaped from police by stealing a taxi in Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture, on Feb 6, has turned himself in a police station. (Japan Today)
One of three male teenagers arrested on suspicion of fatally stabbing a 13-year-old boy along the Tama River in Kawasaki has told police that the ringleader threatened him, too, with death, investigative sources said Sunday. (Japan Times)
Japanese actress Rei Dan has been appointed an international goodwill ambassador for Japanese cuisine ("washoku"). Her mission is to spread appreciation for the many charms of "washoku," the agriculture ministry said. (Japan Today)