Osaka police raid elite 'tiger blowfish' restaurant
Japan Today -- Apr 01
A members-only Japanese restaurant serving the banned and deadly delicacy "tiger blowfish" liver has been raided, police said Thursday.

Blowfish-also known as pufferfish or balloonfish in the West-derive the name from their ability to expand into a nearly roundish shape as part of a defence to ward off predators.

Japanese gourmands adore the fish for the savoury light taste of its white meat, but parts of the liver and ovaries carry enough toxins to kill not just their natural enemies but human beings as well.

Chefs in Japan who prepare blowfish need a special license but are banned from offering up particularly poisonous parts such as the liver-which some brave epicureans are still willing to eat despite the risk.

In 1975, revered Kabuki actor Mitsugoro Bando died after eating blowfish liver in Kyoto.

The raid was conducted Monday, an Osaka prefectural police spokesman said, adding that no health problems have been reported at the restaurant.

But local food safety authorities have indefinitely banned the restaurant chain from serving blowfish, Osaka food safety officials said.

フグの肝を客に提供したとして、会員制フグ料理店を家宅捜索です。 会員制フグ料理店「大阪とらふぐの会」は1月中旬、大阪市東住吉区の店舗で、養殖のト­ラフグの肝臓を刺身や肝醤油として客に提供した疑いが持たれています。フグの肝臓は有­毒とされ、天然、養殖を問わず提供が禁止されています。
News sources: Japan Today, ANNnewsCH
Jul 21
Japan has expanded the list of standardized pictograms used in signboards and posts as part of an effort to better serve foreign visitors in the run-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. (Kyodo)
Jul 21
An informed source in the sumo world says Mongolian Yokozuna Grand Champion Hakuho is considering the option of acquiring Japanese citizenship. The move would allow him to become a stablemaster after retirement and train younger wrestlers. (NHK)
Jul 21
A male worker for a construction company engaged in a project to construct Japan's new National Stadium, the main venue for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, committed suicide in March, a lawyer representing his bereaved relatives revealed Thursday. (Jiji)
Jul 20
The number of criminal offenses reported to police in Japan in January-June fell 7.7 pct from a year earlier to 450,887, on track to hit an annual postwar low, a National Police Agency report showed Thursday. (Jiji)
Jul 20
Policymakers at the Bank of Japan have decided to continue with their easing program in a bid to achieve a 2-percent inflation target. But the officials have revised the forecast date for meeting the target. They say an extra year is needed. (NHK)
Jul 20
The United States is bracing for the possibility of another ballistic missile launch by North Korea. (NHK)
Jul 20
A 49-year-old woman had been arrested after camera footage showed that she had been adding dishwashing detergent to her husband and son's tea, local police said. (Japan Today)
Jul 20
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant says the metal scaffolding right below the damaged No.3 reactor appears to have gone missing after the 2011 disaster. (NHK)
Jul 20
Students at a junior high school in Tochigi Prefecture’s Takenazawa town have felt ill after eating cheese at the school cafeteria, local board of education representatives said. (Japan Today)
Jul 20
The Yokohama District Court on Wednesday sentenced a former elementary school teacher to three years in prison on sexual abuse and child pornography charges. (Japan Today)