After 17 days of hard-fought competition, the curtain fell on the Sochi Olympic Games on Sunday night.
About 2,900 athletes from 88 nations and regions competed in 98 events across seven sports. Russia, the host of the Games, topped the medal table with 13 gold, 11 silver and nine bronze, a definitive rebound from the 15 medals the nation won at the 2010 Vancouver Games.
Japan was represented by 113 athletes, who won eight medals, the second highest total for Japan at the Winter Olympics, behind only the 1998 Nagano Games, where it earned 10 medals.
At the closing ceremony, Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for the "extraordinary success" of the Sochi Games.
Sochi Mayor Anatoly Pakhomov handed the Olympic flag to Bach, who passed it on to Lee Seok Rai, mayor of South Korea's Pyeongchang, host of the next Winter Games in 2018. Then the Olympic flame was extinguished, marking the close of the Sochi Games.
Japanese research whaling vessels have returned to a port in Yamaguchi Prefecture, western Japan, after completing a survey expedition in the Antarctic Ocean. The expedition was unusual in that it did not involve catching any whales. (NHK)
With the arrival of the cherry blossom season, the Tokyo metropolitan government has taken steps to manage the influx of revelers expected at Ueno Park in Taito Ward, where a hanami festival is being held. (The Japan News)
A teen model smiles sweetly at the camera. Deftly using her hands, she produces a considerable volume of white, goopy liquid. Then she turns to the camera and asks, innocently, "It all came out?" (rocketnews24.com)
Lee Dong Cheol, 61, and an employee of his trading firm were arrested by the Kyoto, Kanagawa, Shimane and Yamaguchi prefectural police departments on Thursday for allegedly importing North Korean matsutake mushrooms under the pretense that they were Chinese ones. (The Japan News)
Police reported a record-high 28,923 minors aged below 18 to child welfare authorities as suspected victims of child abuse in 2014, up 33.9 percent from a year earlier, the National Police Agency said Thursday. (Kyodo)