Annual eel-eating day becomes pricey treat in Japan
Japan Today -- Jul 21
As people in Japan treated themselves to grilled eels on eel-eating day Friday, many were faced with a larger bill amid soaring prices for the endangered fish.

The domestic catch of juvenile eels for cultivation dropped this season to the second-lowest level since records began being kept in 1982, leading to a rise in the wholesale price of grown eels by about 30 percent from a year ago.

On what is traditionally referred to as the "day of the ox" in summer, which falls twice this year, on Friday and Aug 1, many people in Japan eat eel, typically grilled with sweet soy sauce, to honor an old saying which promotes the consumption of eel to help the body withstand the summer heat.

Waiting in line for Kawatoyo, a well-established eel restaurant near Naritasan Shinshoji temple in Chiba Prefecture, to open at 10 a.m., 40-year-old Takanori Matsushima said, "I love eel and I always eat it on the day of the ox, even if it is a little more expensive than before."

Amid heightened concern over the depletion of the population of Japanese eels, which were designated as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature in 2014, debate over tradition versus conservation continues.

News source: Japan Today
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 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)
Dec 10
Ishikawa Prefectural Police have arrested two station attendants at West Japan Railway Co. over the theft of 5 million yen from an office in Kanazawa City earlier this year, reports TV Asahi (Dec. 7). (tokyoreporter.com)
Dec 06
Four men in their 20s were arrested Wednesday for allegedly overturning a small truck during a Halloween event in late October in the busy Shibuya district of Tokyo, police said. (Japan Today)
Dec 05
Former world championships marathon runner Yumiko Hara has been sentenced to one year in prison, suspended for four years with supervision, for shoplifting food, with the court citing an eating disorder she is suffering from even after her retirement. (Japan Today)
Dec 05
A wild boar bit off an elderly woman's finger Tuesday in the western Japan city of Ashiya before being killed by police officers and local hunters, police said. (Kyodo)
Dec 03
Shizuoka Prefectural Police launched a criminal investigation after the body of a 78-year-old man was found at his residence in Numazu City last week, reports the Asahi Shimbun (Dec. 2). (tokyoreporter.com)
Dec 02
The body of an 18-year-old girl was found at the edge of a river in Mito, Ibaraki Prefecture, on Friday night. Police said the girl’s father was found collapsed on the ground nearby, with a stab wound to his neck in what they believe was an attempted suicide. (Japan Today)
Dec 02
Princess Aiko, the only child of Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako, turned 17 on Saturday, enjoying her life in high school, including attending summer school at Eton College in Britain as her first overseas stay on her own. (Japan Today)