Bear attacks in Japan top 200 for first time

NHK -- Dec 02

Japanese government officials say bear attacks nationwide have surpassed the 200 mark for the first time.

The Environment Ministry says there were 212 victims in the eight months since April, which marks the start of Japan's fiscal year.

Thirty people were attacked in November, the second highest for the month.

The overall tally exceeds the previous record of 158 in fiscal 2020. Record keeping began in 2006.

Some victims lost their lives. They include two people in Hokkaido, two in Iwate Prefecture, and one each in the prefectures of Toyama and Nagano.

Seventy percent of the attacks occurred in northeastern Japan, including 70 in Akita and 45 in Iwate.

The ministry has sent experts to Iwate and Toyama upon request to help the prefectures capture and study bears.

Ministry officials say the animals usually enter hibernation in December, but they also warn more attacks are possible.

Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan are making arrangements to visit Ishikawa Prefecture late next month to console the victims of the Noto Peninsula earthquake.

A film director arrested for sexually assaulting a woman aspiring to be an actress under the guise of acting instruction reportedly told her that "sometimes you have to be naked to appear in movies," according to investigative sources.

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of its establishment, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department has launched a special exhibition at the Police Museum, showcasing items such as Japan's first wooden license from the Meiji era.

For the 150th "Miyako Odori," a spring tradition in Kyoto's Gion district, geisha and maiko have been fitting their costumes.