Cargo transport between Asia and Europe on the Northern Sea Route has increased nearly tenfold in the past 2 years.
Russian state firm Rosatomflot said on Friday that more than one million tons of goods were shipped this year on this Arctic sea route. The figure for 2010 was about 110,000 tons.
The firm said petroleum products and iron ore accounted for a large part of the shipments. Around 60 percent of the cargo was transported from Europe and Russia to Asia.
The route opens during the spring-to-autumn period, when Arctic sea ice decreases.
It's attracting attention as vessels could cut travel time between Europe and Asia to two-thirds compared to a route through the Suez Canal. It's also regarded safer for avoiding pirate attacks off the Horn of Africa.
The increase in freight volume on the route is attributed to a sharp decline in Arctic ice due to global warming.
A Rosatomflot official said most Asian firms currently using the route are Chinese and South Korean. But the official expressed hope that Japanese companies would also make more use of the Arctic route.
China's television regulator has ordered a crackdown on dramas about the country's battles with Japan during and before World War Two and demanded they be more serious, state media said on Friday, following viewer complaints about ludicrous storylines. (Reuters )
Shukan Post (May 24) conveys the difficulties experienced by other parts of the adult-entertainment biz in servicing customers from the communist nation.
A deri heru (“delivery health”) call-girl tells the tabloid that she is often requested to arrive at major hotels in the Shinjuku and Ikebukuro entertainment areas of Tokyo by Chinese visitors. (Tokyo Reporter)
Police on Friday said that a real estate company employee was stabbed by an unknown assailant in the lobby of an office building near JR Akihabara station. The man is currently in a serious condition in hospital. (Japan Today )