News On Japan

Japan recounted its islands. Now geographers say there may be 7,000 more of them

TOKYO, Feb 18 (npr.org) - The number of islands in Japan is expected to more than double after 7,000 new islands it didn't know existed were discovered.

The nation currently comprises 6,852 islands, but that figure dates back to a 1987 study conducted by the Japan Coast Guard. During a December 2021 parliamentary session, a lawmaker argued the data was old and the true figure could be vastly different. During the 1987 study, officials listed — by hand — islands with a circumference of at least 100 meters. They used basic technology that often misidentified groups of small islands as one island. They also left out thousands of islands, many of which were within lakes or rivers. They didn't include river sandbanks either, which the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea now recognizes as islands. Plus, volcanic activity has led to the creation of more islands since the study over 35 years ago. ...continue reading

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The activity of the weather front is expected to intensify due to Typhoon No. 1, leading to widespread rainfall from May 27th, with heavy rain warnings from Kyushu to Kanto by May 28th.

Princess Kako, the second daughter of Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko, arrived in Greece on May 26th, marking her third official overseas engagement. This visit commemorates the 125th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Greece.

In December 2023, the body of a man was discovered inside a suitcase along the banks of the Tamagawa River in Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture. Police have arrested five individuals, including the man's ex-girlfriend and her family, on suspicion of abandoning the body.

In an incident that has shocked the local community, a mother and her three children were found dead on May 23 in their home in Shinagawa, Tokyo. The father, who was also found at the scene with neck injuries, had finalized a divorce from the mother just three days prior.

The historic "Soma Nomaoi" event, which boasts over a thousand years of tradition and features armored horsemen parading in a scene reminiscent of the Sengoku period, commenced on May 25 in Fukushima's coastal region. Traditionally held in July, the event was rescheduled to May this year to avoid the severe summer heat after a horse died from heatstroke last year.

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Japan's Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) conducted its largest live-fire exercise, the 'Fuji Comprehensive Firepower Exercise,' on Sunday.

An Osaka city official, not in charge of the matter, strongly urged an increase in the payment amount to a contractor for the disposal of the whale 'Yodo-chan'.

A bill to abolish the current Technical Intern Training Program and establish a new employment training system has been passed by Japan's House of Representatives, with support from the ruling parties.

Foreign Minister Kamikawa has retracted her comment made on May 18 during an election campaign speech, where she stated, 'What is a woman without giving birth?' Kamikawa acknowledged that her words could be taken in a way that differs from her true intention.

A revised Civil Code introducing 'joint custody' for children after divorce has been passed by the Diet. This marks the first time in 77 years that Japan has reviewed the approach to post-divorce custody.

Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested three leaders of the political group 'Tsubasa Party' on suspicion of violating the Public Offices Election Act by disrupting the speeches of other candidates during a House of Representatives by-election in Tokyo's 15th district. Investigators view this as a "challenge to democracy" and plan to pursue a thorough investigation.

Japan’s pension system is under review, and a key focus is on the "spousal pension" benefits. For homemakers, this is a pressing concern.

The House of Representatives' Political Ethics Review Committee has decided to investigate 44 lawmakers from the Abe and Nikai factions of the Liberal Democratic Party following a scandal involving undisclosed political funds. This decision comes in response to a request from opposition parties.