Temperatures plunge across Japan
Severe cold gripped the Japanese archipelago Thursday, with temperatures in some locations dropping to the lowest recorded this winter, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. The mercury fell to as low as 21.7 C below zero in Kitami, Hokkaido, the record low in the city for the month of December, the agency said. The first snow of the season was observed in some cities, including Mito, Ibaraki Prefecture, Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture, as well as Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki and Oita.
(Japan Today, Dec 16)
Tokyo prosecutors plan to look into whether a man, who has been arrested for allegedly vandalizing copies of Anne Frank's diary, is mentally competent to be held criminally responsible for his actions, informed sources said Wednesday. (Jiji Press)
Fishermen in Fukushima Prefecture have released young salmon into a local river for the first time in 4 years. (NHK)
Apparently perplexed but thrilled to find himself in the spotlight, Iwao Hakamada, formerly the world's longest-serving death-row inmate, made his first public appearance Monday in Tokyo since being released from prison and hospitalized. (Japan Times)
The Takayama Spring Festival in central Japan kicked off on Monday with its traditional float parade. (NHK)
Aichi prefectural police are investigating a possible link between the discovery of the bodies of a husband and wife and their eldest son, and the body of a male relative of the deceased family who was found hanging by his neck in a hotel. (Japan Today)