Fukushima cold shutdown: An inside look
News On Japan via Wall Street Journal -- Dec 16

Japanese authorities are set to announce Friday that they have brought the Fukushima Daiichi complex's devastated reactors to a state called cold shutdown, a milestone in stabilizing the site of the world's worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl. Even if cold shutdown is attained, it will take decades for isotopes to decay to safe levels, and to remove the last fuel and completely dismantle the plant. For now, the unknowns are so great that authorities aren't even sure how to start tackling some of the biggest problems, which include locating and stopping the flow of toxic water and removing the melted nuclear fuel. Fukushima Daiichi is hemorrhaging enough radiated water each month to fill four Olympic-size swimming pools.




Apr 20 Serial burglar suspected of over 100 thefts
Police in Tokyo have arrested a 41-year-old construction worker on suspicion of stealing over 10 million yen in cash and precious jewels. (Japan Today )
Apr 19 Japan opens Imperial Palace to public
Japan opened the Imperial Palace to the public on Saturday, starting a string of special palace openings to celebrate the longevity of Emperor Akihito who turned 80 last December. (Jiji Press )
Apr 19 Murakami's new book hits shelves amid fan frenzy; more ordered
Haruki Murakami's first collection of short stories in nine years hit store shelves in Japan on Friday with excited fans lining up for the midnight launch. (Japan Times )
Apr 19 Japan virtual star Hatsune Miku to join Lady Gaga tour
Hatsune Miku, a computer-generated Japanese pop star who performs as a hologram, is to support some of Lady Gaga's tour of North America next month, the U.S. songstress has announced on Twitter. (Japan Today )
Apr 18 Police officer arrested for sexually assaulting woman on train
A police officer has been arrested for assaulting a woman on a train car in Tokyo. Police identified the suspect as Akira Inada, 53, who works at the Ushigome Station. (Japan Today )
Apr 18 Homemaker joins Japan girl band AKB48
Japanese commercial music juggernaut AKB48 has added a 37-year-old mother of two to the wildly popular all-girl group as it looks to broaden the appeal of its teen-dominated line-up. (AFP )
Apr 18 Car being chased by police plunges into sea, killing driver
A man was killed after the car he was driving plunged into the sea while he was being chased by a police car in Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, on Thursday morning. (Japan Today )
Apr 18 Imperial couple hosts spring garden party
Japan's Emperor and Empress have hosted more than 2,000 guests at their Spring Imperial Garden Party. (NHK )
Apr 18 Man jumps to death from 8th floor of Foreign Ministry building
An employee of the Foreign Ministry jumped to his death from the 8th floor at the ministry, police said Thursday. (Japan Today )
Apr 17 Man in his 30s being questioned over murder of 7-year-old girl in 2005
Tochigi prefectural police said Thursday that they are questioning a man in his 30s over the murder of a 7-year-old girl in December 2005. Japanese media quoted police as saying that the man, who was arrested for dealing in fake brand-name goods, has hinted at his involvement in the murder. (Japan Today )