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.
The resignation Monday of Yuko Obuchi, Japan's industry minister, was a heavy blow to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the cabinet he named last month. And there are concerns in the government and ruling parties that Obuchi is only the first in a string of coming cabinet resignations. (Nikkei)
Check the locks on all the Colonel Sanders statues in Osaka, because the Hanshin Tigers are headed back to the Japan Series and it was a big home run from a bearded foreign star that helped get them there. (Japan Times)
The government on Friday approved Central Japan Railway Co.'s plan to construct the Linear Chuo Shinkansen line, paving the way for the 2027 start of magnetic levitation train service connecting Tokyo and Nagoya in 40 minutes. (The Japan News)
The Nagano prefectural government's disaster response headquarters said Thursday it has decided to end its search this year for missing hikers on Mt. Ontake due to the growing risk of secondary accidents. (The Japan News)
On October 1, Hokkaido Prefectural Police arrested a 17-year-old girl for allegedly stabbing her mother and grandmother to death at the family's home in the town of Nanporo earlier in the day. (Tokyo Reporter)