The Japanese government plans to set up a new organization to strengthen coordination with Chinese municipalities over an airborne pollutant known as PM2.5.
The Environment Ministry announced the plan on Tuesday in Tokyo at a meeting designed to improve air quality in China.
About 50 people attended the event. They included officials from the Chinese embassy in Japan and 9 Japanese municipalities including Yokkaichi City, Mie Prefecture, which has suffered from serious air pollution.
Ministry officials said the new body is designed to enhance coordination between local governments in Japan and China. So far the issue has been handled by central governments.
Officials say the center is to open as early as next month and will be managed by private entities.
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)
Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto met with the head of an anti-Korean group on Monday as he considers cracking down on hate speech rallies in the western Japan city, but they ended up having a shouting match in which they more or less just insulted each other. (Kyodo)
Osaka Prefectural Police on Friday arrested two male suspects for allegedly dumping a large quantity of adult video (AV) material inside a park in Nishinari Ward, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Oct. 17). (Tokyo Reporter)
Empress Michiko celebrated her 80th birthday on Monday. In a statement distributed to media by the Imperial Household Agency, the empress said she hoped the world could find peace ahead of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II next year. (Japan Today)
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)