Japan has a rapidly increasingly number of syphilis patients, including among young women, prompting the health ministry to launch a special research team to find out ways to stop the spread of the sexually transmitted infection.
According to data based on reports filed by hospitals across Japan, the number of syphilis patients totaled 4,259 as of early December, up 77 percent from 2,412 in the corresponding period a year earlier, and more than seven-fold from a decade ago.
The infection is believed to have spread mainly through heterosexual intercourse. But the number of mother-to-child transmissions, which has been very rare in Japan, is also on the rise.
After teasing us with a behind-the-scenes trailer showing Piko Taro with Canadian singer Justin Bieber on the set of their new SoftBank commercial, the telecommunications provider finally made the big reveal last week, by releasing several of the ads on their official YouTube channel. (rocketnews24.com)
Five Japanese companies have teamed up to re-create legendary comic book robot Astro Boy in toy form. The product marks the 90th anniversary of the birth of comic and animation master Osamu Tezuka. (NHK)
The government's Headquarters for Earthquake Research Promotion newly added 16 faults to a list of major active fault zones in which a magnitude-7 or larger earthquake could occur. (the-japan-news.com)
The tracks of the now-defunct Takachiho Railway in Miyazaki Prefecture - discontinued due to damage caused by Typhoon No. 14 in 2005 - have been revived as a popular tourist attraction that carried 26,000 passengers in fiscal 2015. (the-japan-news.com)
Japan's Foreign Ministry has protested to South Korea over a video clip that calls the body of water between the Japanese archipelago and the Korean Peninsula the "East Sea" instead of the "Sea of Japan". (NHK)