4 bodies found in newly washed-ashore boats
NHK -- Dec 15
Japanese authorities have found 4 bodies in 2 wooden boats that washed ashore on the Sea of Japan coast in Akita City, Akita Prefecture.

A patrol plane of the Japan Coast Guard spotted the 2 capsized ships near the mouth of the Omono River on Wednesday afternoon.

The Coast Guard and police found the bodies on Thursday while dismantling the boats.

Three of the bodies were found in one of the boats 700 meters north of the river mouth, and one in the other, 300 meters away.

The authorities believe the boats came from North Korea as they are similar in shape to wooden ships from the country.

The vessels are among the latest in a series of wooden boats that have drifted ashore on the Sea of Japan coast.

On Wednesday, the bodies of 2 men were found in a wooden boat that washed ashore in Katagami City, Akita Prefecture.

Police say one of the bodies had a badge with a portrait of former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.

今度は木造船が2隻、漂着しているのが同時に見つかりました。 海上保安部などによりますと、13日午後1時半前、パトロール中の海上保安部の航空機が秋田市の雄物川河口で木造船2隻を発見しました。1隻からは一部、白骨化した1人の遺体が見つかりました。
News sources: NHK, ANNnewsCH
Dec 11
Major Japanese restaurant chain Gusto on Monday stopped providing plastic straws at its 1,300 locations nationwide. (NHK)
Dec 11
Tokyo prosecutors have indicted former Nissan Motor chairman Carlos Ghosn for understating his past compensation by tens of millions of dollars. They have also served an additional arrest warrant on him over similar allegations relating to his pay in the last 3 years. (NHK)
Dec 11
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pledged to do all he can to ensure the smooth operation of a new program that will bring more foreign workers to the country. (NHK)
Dec 11
Japan may have assimilated so many western cultural influences, yet it still remains exotic and enigmatic. (newsonjapan.com)
Dec 11
Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a 27-year-old man after he was found with the corpse of his girlfriend inside a vehicle in Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture, reports the Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 10). (tokyoreporter.com)
Dec 11
Prosecutors sought a 23-year prison term for a 26-year-old man on Monday over an alleged road-rage incident near Tokyo last year that left a couple dead and their children injured. (Japan Times)
Dec 11
Winter bonuses at Japanese companies averaged an all-time high of 834,391 yen ($7,400) this year, according to a Nikkei survey released Monday, notching a sixth straight year of growth on strong corporate earnings. (Nikkei)
Dec 11
Japan's government has decided to revise its procedures for purchasing telecommunications equipment, a move that would effectively exclude Chinese telecom giants. (NHK)
Dec 10
Saitama Prefectural Police have arrested a 39-year-old man over the stabbing of three Cambodian nationals at an apartment building in Hanyu City on Saturday, reports NHK (tokyoreporter.com)
Dec 10
Crown Princess Masako, who turned 55 on Sunday, vowed to make her best effort to serve the people as she is set to become Empress following May’s Imperial succession. (Japan Times)