Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko visited Minamata in Kumamoto Prefecture for the first time ever on Sunday, offering flowers to the monument to Minamata disease victims and talking with patients of the disease caused by the exposure to dumped mercury more than a half century ago.
Built in 2006 to mark the 50th anniversary of the government's official recognition of Minamata disease, the monument contains a name list of 375 people who died of the pollution disease.
The imperial couple visited the Minamata Disease Municipal Museum to watch exhibits and met with Masami Ogata, 55, head of a group of Minamata disease storytellers, to listen to stories about struggles sufferers of the mercury poisoning had before winning official certification as victims of the pollution caused by chemical maker Chisso Corp.
Japan's Liberal Democratic Party on Friday submitted a record of email exchanges in which Akie Abe, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's wife, denies her alleged payment of one million yen to an embattled school operator. (Jiji)
An educator accused of using his clout to curry favor with Japanese politicians, including the first family, told lawmakers under oath Thursday that he believes political intervention helped him secure a deal to purchase land from the government. (CNN)