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Japan's justice minister under fire for gaffe on death penalty

TOKYO, Nov 10 (Japan Today) - Japan's justice minister has come under fire for remarks widely seen as making light of his role in providing final authorization for executions of death-row inmates.

Yasuhiro Hanashi, who took the post in August, told a political gathering on Wednesday that the role of justice minister is an "obscure" position whose occupants can only makes the headlines by signing off on decisions to hang inmates.

"Serving as justice minister won't help raise much money or secure many votes," said Hanashi, a lawmaker from Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's Liberal Democratic Party.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno met Hanashi Thursday morning and warned him against "careless" remarks, the minister told reporters after the meeting.

Hanashi said he apologized for making the comments and giving the wrong impression about the duties of a justice minister. ...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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