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.
Many of the Chinese fishing boats that poach scarce coral, dubbed "jewelry coral," in waters around the Ogasawara Islands in Tokyo cast off from Xiapu County in Fujian Province, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned. (The Japan News)
The operator of the disaster-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant on Friday tentatively removed part of the cover shrouding the No.1 reactor building installed in the wake of the 2011 disaster to keep radioactive materials from dispersing. (Kyodo)
Police in Tokyo have arrested a 39-year-old member of the Air Self-Defense Force on a charge of attempted murder after he pushed a man onto the train tracks at JR Okubo Station in Shinjuku Ward. (Japan Today)
Until only recently, Japan never celebrated Halloween. And why would it? The nation honors the spirits of its ancestors in August, during the ancient Buddhist festival of O-bon, when ancestral spirits are said to revisit the family altars -and when reported encounters with ghosts and spirits reach a fevered peak. (marketwatch.com)