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 Japan Tourism Agency (JTA) says the amount of money spent by foreign tourists in 2014 surpassed the preceding year by 43.1%, totaling 2.0278 trillion yen and exceeded two trillion yen for the first time ever. (Japan Today)
The assembly of Tokyo's Shibuya Ward is expected to pass an ordinance next week acknowledging same-sex partnerships as equivalent to marriage, after a bill for the ordinance was approved at a committee meeting Thursday. (Jiji Press)
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)
An expert panel of the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) has concluded again that a fracture zone running just below the No. 2 reactor of the Tsuruga nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture is an active fault. (The Japan News)
The two names of what appears to be Japanese are on the boarding list of a Germanwings airplane that crashed in southeastern France Tuesday, according to the Japanese consulate general in Barcelona. (Jiji Press)
Police on Wednesday arrested a 42-year-old man in connection with the deaths of his parents, who were found fatally stabbed the day before in a factory the family ran in Takarazuka, Hyogo Prefecture. (Japan Times)
Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force commissioned its largest ever helicopter-carrying destroyer Izumo on Wednesday, as it strengthens its maritime defense around the nation's southwestern remote islands. (Kyodo)
Pacific bluefin tuna face extinction not only in the wild but also in a Tokyo aquarium where mysterious deaths of the species in a huge tank have plagued marine experts since late last year. (Japan Times)