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.
Increased seismic activity raised concern Tuesday about the possibility of another eruption at a Japanese volcano where 36 people were killed, forcing rescuers to suspend plans to try to recover at least two dozen bodies still near the summit. (seattletimes.com)
The eruption of Mount Ontake in central Japan has revealed serious holes in efforts to ensure the safety of tourists and local residents near volcanoes, gaps that can be remedied only through more communication between local governments and the country's climate agency. (Nikkei)
Police in Tokyo said Saturday they have arrested a 24-year-old clerk at the Tokyo District Court and a 39-year-old employee of the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ on suspicion of molesting a woman in her 20s on the subway. (Japan Today)
The summit of Mount Fuji for the first time has been successfully photographed in far-away Kyoto Prefecture, one of 20 prefectures where, given the right conditions, the mountaintop can be viewed. (Japan Times)