A quarter of a million evacuees began to return home on Monday after torrential rains over the weekend that killed at least 27 people in southern and western Japan and flooded the grounds of the Temple of the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto.
Most of the deaths were on the southern island of Kyushu, where rain fell at a rate of almost four inches per hour, causing flash floods that swept cars off streets and landslides that swallowed homes. Five people were still missing, and at least 3,000 people were isolated by flooding, the authorities said.
The Japan Meteorological Agency warned that more rain may be on the way. The agency said that while the storm's peak had passed, there was still a possibility of heavy rains and more flooding in some areas. However, the authorities said it now appeared safe for many of those who had fled their homes for school gymnasiums and other evacuation centers to go home.
A collection of materials related to a 17th century mission sent by a Japanese feudal lord to Europe and the world's oldest autographic diary left 10 centuries ago by a Japanese regent have been selected for the UNESCO Memory of the World registry, the Japanese education ministry said Wednesday. (Global Post )
Almost 1,500 people were transported to hospitals by ambulance due to heatstroke last week, up sharply from 942 in the preceding week, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said Tuesday. (Japan Times )
Among about 200,000 traffic signals nationwide, 16 percent are being used beyond the end of the expected lifetime of their electrical systems and some have even toppled over due to age, according to the National Police Agency. (Yomiuri )
In May, Akira Ikoma, the editor of a guide to men's entertainment called Ore no Tabi (My Journey), said that "Abenomics" had caused a spike in prices at high-end soapland bathhouses in Tokyo. However, the same editor tells Shukan Post (June 28) that the initiative is not impacting the low-end market in the same way. (Tokyo Reporter )
Tokyo District Court decided on Monday to open planned examinations of three witnesses who are former senior members of the Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult and now death-row inmates, during an upcoming trial of another former senior Aum member. (Jiji Press )