Fukushima beach opens for first time in 8 years
NHK -- Jul 22
Several beaches ravaged by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan have been reopened for bathing for the first time in 8 years.

Haragamaobama beach in Soma City, Fukushima Prefecture, was opened to the public on Saturday.

Seawalls on the beach were badly damaged by the tsunami 8 years ago. But the reconstruction work has been completed.

A ritual was held to pray for safety, and a group of local residents released balloons into the sky before the beach was officially declared open.

Children then jumped into the water all at once.

Local diners have opened beach houses to offer shaved ice with syrup on top, as well as other food and drinks.

A woman in her 30s said she is happy to once again be able to swim in the sea, where she would come every year before the disaster.

A teenage boy said he has been looking forward to the opening of the beach. He said he wants to fully enjoy himself with his friends.

Four beaches in Fukushima Prefecture have reopened since the disaster including in Iwaki and Soma.

But the remaining 14 beaches remain closed in the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident. Local officials have decided some of them will remain closed permanently.

News source: NHK
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
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 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)
Dec 10
Japan is set to extend the copyright period on works such as novels and paintings to 70 years after the authors’ deaths from the current 50 years, effective Dec. 30, when the revised copyright law goes into force. (Japan Times)
Dec 09
A Chinese court has sentenced a Japanese woman to six years in prison for spying, a source privy to bilateral relations said Saturday. (Japan Today)
Dec 09
The Diet on Saturday approved an economic partnership agreement with the European Union that’s set to create a free trade bloc accounting for 30 percent of world output. (Japan Times)
Dec 09
Gunma Prefectural Police have arrested a staff member for the National Police Agency over the alleged rape of a 12-year-old girl he met online earlier this year, reports the Sankei Shimbun (tokyoreporter.com)
Dec 08
Japan's ruling coalition has pushed a controversial bill through the Diet with just a few days left before the current session ends. It will allow more foreign workers into the country. (NHK)