Weather agency to end most plant, animal watching
NHK -- Nov 11
Japan's weather officials will stop observations of about 90 percent of plants and animals that have continued for nearly 70 years.

The Meteorological Agency began observing the flowering of plants and the first chirping of animals in 1953 to report changes in season and climate.

Staff at weather stations around the country have been watching 57 kinds of plants and animals, including Japanese bush warblers, large brown cicadas, cherry trees and Japanese plum trees.

But the agency says that it will stop observations of 51 kinds of plants and animals at the end of the year.

The officials said it has become difficult in the recent years to find those plants and animals near weather stations due to urbanization. They say, for example, that black-spotted pond frogs could be found at 38 locations nationwide in 1953, but only at five locations last year.

Still, the agency says it will continue to observe cherry trees, Japanese plum trees, maple trees, gingko trees, Japanese pampas grass and hydrangea. It says these plants are still suited for signaling changes in season and climate around the country.

The agency says that for many years, it has been publishing its observations on various plants and animals, informing people about a change in seasons. Weather officials say that they will continue observing some plants, and hope people will keep using their reports as reference.

News source: NHK
Nov 25
Japan and China are racing to build a new type of ultrafast, levitating train, seeking to demonstrate their mastery over a technology with big export potential. (Japan Times)
Nov 25
Japanese astronaut Noguchi Soichi says he is calling home every day from the International Space Station, just like fathers who have to live apart from their families because of job transfers. (NHK)
Nov 23
Health ministry data has shown the occupancy rate for hospital beds for seriously ill patients as of Wednesday last week rose in 17 of Japan’s 47 prefectures from a week before. (Japan Times)
Nov 23
An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.8 hit off the coast of Japan's eastern prefecture of Ibaraki on Sunday night, but no tsunami warning was issued, according to the weather agency. (Kyodo)
Nov 23
The Japanese economy has failed to improve its reduction of carbon emissions over the last quarter-century, Nikkei has learned. (Nikkei)
Nov 21
Hospital capacity is being tested in the nation’s hardest-hit areas by a third wave of COVID-19 as a growing number of severely ill patients occupy a dwindling number of available beds. (Japan Times)
Nov 21
'Robovie' the robot works at a sports shop in the Japanese city of Osaka, where he usually directs shoppers to what they are looking for. But during the pandemic, he has a new task – reminding customers who are not wearing a mask to put one on, and asking people to keep their distance when queuing. (Rappler)
Nov 21
Japanese astronauts Koichi Wakata and Satoshi Furukawa are scheduled for long-term missions on the International Space Station, Japan's science minister Koichi Hagiuda revealed Friday. (Kyodo)
Nov 20
Data released by a group of researchers show the average 10-year survival rate of cancer patients in Japan stands at 58.3 percent. (NHK)
Nov 19
Google has begun providing forecasts of the number of new coronavirus cases and deaths in Japan. (NHK)
Nov 19
Kyushu Electric Power Co has restarted the No. 1 reactor at its Sendai nuclear plant in southwestern Japan after completing mandatory upgrades to protect the facility against terrorist attacks, a spokesman said. (Japan Today)
Nov 19
More than 150 women in Japan have made use of a major Denmark-based sperm bank amid an absence of rules on business transactions related to sperm and ova, the company said Tuesday. (Japan Times)
Nov 18
Members of the SpaceX Crew Dragon are now settling into the International Space Station -- their home and workplace for the next six months. (NHK)
Nov 18
Japanese supercomputer Fugaku has retained its position as the world's fastest. (NHK)
Nov 14
The town of Takikawa on the northern island of Hokkaido purchased and installed a pair of the robots after bears were found roaming neighbourhoods in September. (Daily Mail)
Nov 14
Japanese Nobel Prize winner in physics Koshiba Masatoshi died on Thursday at a hospital in Tokyo. He was 94. (NHK)
Nov 14
Panda tea or panda dung tea is a type of tea cultivated in the mountains of Ya'an, Sichuan, Japan and fertilized by the dung of pandas. (Mini Mind)
Nov 12
The governor of Miyagi Prefecture in northeastern Japan has approved the restart of the No.2 reactor at Tohoku Electric Power Company's Onagawa nuclear plant. (NHK)
Nov 11
Japan's weather officials will stop observations of about 90 percent of plants and animals that have continued for nearly 70 years. (NHK)
Nov 11
East Japan Railway Co. said Tuesday it will conduct autonomous test runs of its E7-series shinkansen bullet trains next fall, with the aim of operating such automated trains in the future amid a labor shortage. (Kyodo)