Valentine's Day: Japan falling out of love with 'obligation chocolates'
BBC -- Feb 13
Around the world, people use chocolate treats to express sweet nothings on Valentine's Day.

But in Japan, it's a little more complicated. On Valentine's Day, only women give chocolate, and not just to their partners, but to their male colleagues too. Critics say the practice sucks all the fun out of Valentine's Day and instead turns it into a dreary duty where women risk offending co-workers if they leave someone out. Others say "giri choco", which translates to "obligation chocolate" is a little misunderstood, and besides, it's slowly fading as women opt to give chocolate to their friends instead. 'Obligation chocolate' Of course, giving chocolate on Valentine's Day can also be a romantic gesture. Women will often give "honmei choco" or "true feelings chocolate" to their partners. But giri choco is more about expressing appreciation to male colleagues. A 2017 survey by multinational firm 3M found that nearly 40% of female respondents planned to give giri choco to a co-worker.

News source: BBC
Feb 23
Japan on Friday stepped up its claim to a pair of South Korea-controlled islets, amid escalating tensions with its neighbor resulting from disputes over wartime issues. (Japan Times)
Feb 23
Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito marks his 59th birthday on Saturday. He will ascend to the throne on May 1st, one day after his father, Emperor Akihito, abdicates. (NHK)
Feb 23
All Nippon Airways said Friday it was forced to delay a domestic flight earlier this week after a co-pilot failed an alcohol breath test despite new rules. (Japan Today)
Feb 22
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, says data from the Hayabusa2 space probe shows it had landed on the asteroid Ryugu. The spacecraft's task is to collect rock samples. (NHK)
Feb 22
Authorities in Hokkaido have opened shelters for people left stranded on trains or out in the bitter cold following the strong earthquake on Thursday. (NHK)
Feb 22
Kanagawa Prefectural Police arrested a 56-year-old man after he was found wielding scissors inside a Tokaido Shinkansen train on Wednesday, reports NHK (tokyoreporter.com)
Feb 22
Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Thursday arrested two former employees of a hostess club in Edogawa Ward for allegedly dumping the corpse of a man who died after excessive drinking, reports the Sankei Shimbun (tokyoreporter.com)
Feb 21
The Tokyo High Court on Wednesday sentenced a man to 12 years in prison for abducting a teenage girl and keeping her in captivity for two years from 2014, annulling the lower court ruling that gave him a nine-year jail term. (Japan Today)
Feb 21
A video of a first-year high school student in Niigata Prefecture being attacked by a group of schoolmates was posted online and went viral on social media, school officials said Tuesday. (Japan Times)
Feb 20
A Japanese court on Tuesday ordered two former classmates of a junior high school student -- who killed himself in 2011 -- to pay damages totaling about 37.5 million yen, acknowledging that their bullying led to his death. (Japan Today)