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Japan's farmers struggle with mass generation of stink bugs

Oct 11 (Japan Today) - In recent years, stink bugs, which can cause major damage to farm crops, have been appearing in alarming numbers in Japan.

By the end of August this year, 35 of the country's 47 prefectures had issued "stink bug warnings" to farmers, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

Global warming is likely behind the population rise of the insect, which feeds on plant fluids, experts say, warning that its numbers could keep growing.

Stink bugs produce a foul smell when threatened, a mechanism thought to help ward off predators. They are also called shield bugs.

"Damage this year is the worst ever," Toru Kawana, 47, a grower of high-quality Japanese pears in Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, lamented as he held up unevenly shaped pears whose juices had been partially sucked out by stink bugs. "Stink bugs and other pests have increased because of temperature rises caused by climate change," he said.

Warnings have been issued against three kinds of stink bug -- those that suck nutrients from and discolor rice plants, bugs that pierce the skin of fruits and extract their juices, and bugs that attack soybean plants. ...continue reading

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With the new currency release drawing near, unexpected issues are emerging. This month, known as the season of June brides, sees many weddings, but there are growing concerns over the difficulty in obtaining crisp banknotes for wedding gifts.

The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) is set to undergo a significant overhaul of its disaster weather information, with experts proposing the introduction of a new 'Danger Alert' between the existing 'Special Warning' and 'Warning' categories. The final report on this review was compiled on Tuesday.

Himeji Castle, a popular tourist destination and UNESCO World Heritage site, is currently considering a significant increase in admission fees for foreign visitors. The admission fee for adults is presently 1,000 yen, but the mayor of Himeji City has proposed raising the fee to 30 dollars for foreign tourists, a move that has sparked considerable debate.

In a move to make generative AI more accessible, major mobile carrier SoftBank has announced the free provision of its latest AI-powered search tool to mobile users.

Located in Shinjuku, Tokyo, the 'Kenno Cafe' aims to prevent dementia through recreational activities like exercises for those concerned about the condition.

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A pod of killer whales was observed swimming in the seas off Hokkaido, but two individuals stood out for their unique appearance – their entire bodies were pure white.

Located in Shinjuku, Tokyo, the 'Kenno Cafe' aims to prevent dementia through recreational activities like exercises for those concerned about the condition.

In the waters off Rausu, Hokkaido, at a depth of about 25 meters, a massive creature was discovered, writhing and undulating.

An extremely rare golden snake has been sighted in Kitakyushu City. The snake is identified as a Takachiho snake, an endangered nocturnal species native to Fukuoka Prefecture and other areas. Typically brown, this specimen is an albino, lacking pigmentation.

NTT Docomo has announced that it will be the first in the world to implement a 'flying base station' in the stratosphere to communicate with the ground by 2026.

A giant sunfish, causing even experienced fishermen to shiver, has been caught in a net off the coast of Mie Prefecture, while a rare sight of sunfish feeding on jellyfish has been captured at an aquarium in Yamaguchi Prefecture.

'How was the moon born?' Among various hypotheses, the most supported is the 'Giant Impact Hypothesis.' This theory suggests that material from Earth forms part of the moon's interior. To investigate this, Japan's first successful lunar lander, SLIM, deliberately landed in a challenging area near a crater. The special camera onboard captured significant images. What does the analysis of these images reveal about the moon's origin?

β€˜Is it possible to continue living in Japan as global warming progresses?’ This question brought together over 100 researchers for the inaugural meeting of a project dedicated to studying the impacts of climate change on Japan.