Japan
Japan's ruling bloc approves big corporate tax cut to encourage wage hikes
Rakuten mulls new cell phone venture: sources
Space startup raises US$90 million to bring ads to the moon by 2020
Photo Journal: Graceful greetings
5-vehicle pileup on Gunma Pref. expressway ends in toxic chemical spill
Obayashi execs confirm receiving info leaked from JR Central: sources
US military chopper window falls on Japan school
No. of Japanese learners saw 5 fold increase in last decade
2017-12-14 21:10:52 With India strengthening its relations with Japan, the role of people who know the language has been on a constant rise and the number of learners, according to the statistics available, has increased five times in the last 10 years. People who work with automobile sector, information and technology industry, and manufacturing industry are among the top learners of the language   Read More ...
Enhanced Barbados-Japan relations a plus
2017-12-14 21:04:06 The establishment of a resident Japanese diplomatic presence in Barbados has led to enhanced diplomatic relations between Tokyo and Bridgetown. Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Steven Blackett, praised the strong friendship which spanned five decades during a reception in honour of the 84th birthday of the Emperor of Japan, Emperor Akihito, at Accra Beach Resort and Spa last night   Read More ...
Japanese Tourist Drugged, Robbed Near Varanasi
2017-12-14 19:07:45 Lucknow: A Japanese tourist was on Thursday robbed in Sarnath, a Buddhist holy place near Varanasi, police said. Akeero Tanaka, 20, is from Tokyo and is an engineer. He told the police that he made friends with a local person named Ramesh and they together had food where he was apparently drugged. Ramesh decamped with his passport, visa, other documents, cash and personal belongings   Read More ...
Abe hopes for joint Seoul, Washington, Tokyo air drills: S.Korea's opposition leader
2017-12-14 18:09:25 Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed hope on Thursday that Seoul, Washington and Tokyo would jointly conduct air drills, the leader of South Korea's main opposition Liberty Korea Party said."Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said it is regrettable that the Seoul government is not doing it despite his hope that the three countries conduct joint air drills in Japanese skies," Hong Joon-pyo told reporters following his talks with Abe   Read More ...
Tokyo-based businessman arrested for alleged illegal exports to North Korea
2017-12-14 16:12:12 KYOTO – A business executive and two others were arrested Thursday for allegedly exporting food and other items to North Korea in violation of the government’s export ban, police said. Yuzuru Yachita, president of a Tokyo-based company, and two others are suspected of shipping around 1,500 boxes of food and other items, worth around ¥7.16 million ($63,500) to North Korea via a Singapore firm, breaching the foreign exchange and foreign trade law, the police said   Read More ...
Japanese and Chinese views on recent ties have greatly improved, poll shows
2017-12-14 16:12:07 BEIJING – Japanese and Chinese people’s views on recent relations between their countries have markedly improved, an annual survey showed Thursday, after years of abysmal readings. Japanese respondents who think the current status of bilateral ties is “bad” or “relatively bad” accounted for 44.9 percent, down sharply from last year’s 71.9 percent and going below 50 percent for the first time in seven years   Read More ...
China summons Australian ambassador over allegations of political meddling by Beijing
2017-12-14 16:12:03 SYDNEY – China summoned Australia’s ambassador to lodge a complaint over Canberra’s allegation that Beijing had sought to interfere in Australian politics, a source familiar with the diplomatic action said Thursday. Relations between Australia and China became strained in recent weeks after Canberra said it would ban foreign political donations as part of a crackdown aimed at preventing external influence in domestic politics, sharpening the focus on China’s influence overseas   Read More ...
Cerezo Osaka, Argentina’s Independiente to meet in Suruga Bank Championship
2017-12-14 16:11:53 Cerezo Osaka will face Independiente of Argentina in the Suruga Bank Championship next summer, the Japan Football Association said Thursday. The match between the winners of the Japanese League Cup and the Copa Sudamericana will take place at Osaka’s Yanmar Stadium on Aug. 8. Independiente won its second Copa Sudamericana title on Wednesday, a 1-1 draw away to Brazil’s Flamengo in the second leg of the final giving it a 3-2 aggregate victory   Read More ...
Angels acquire Ian Kinsler from Tigers
2017-12-14 16:11:45 LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA – The busy Los Angeles Angels filled a big hole at second base, acquiring Ian Kinsler from the Detroit Tigers for two minor leaguers Wednesday night. Detroit received 18-year-old right-hander Wilkel Hernandez and 23-year-old outfielder Troy Montgomery in the trade. The 35-year-old Kinsler hit .236 with 22 home runs and 52 RBIs in 139 games last season for the rebuilding Tigers, who tied San Francisco for the worst record in the majors at 64-98   Read More ...
Miu Hirano loses in first round at season-ending ITTF World Tour Grand Finals
2017-12-14 16:11:42 ASTANA – Miu Hirano, a bronze medal winner at this year’s World Table Tennis Championships, made a first-round exit in the women’s singles at the season-ending ITTF World Tour Grand Finals on Thursday. Hirano, whose bronze was Japan’s first medal in 48 years in the women’s singles at the worlds in Germany in June, lost 4-3 to China’s world No. 17 Gu Yuting   Read More ...
In Japan, UN chief spotlights power of universal health coverage to unlock economic growth
2017-12-14 15:05:30 “It is at the centre of our vision of a more sustainable, inclusive and prosperous future [...] When we invest in health – particularly of women and adolescents – we build more inclusive and resilient societies,” he added. Commending Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's announcement of $2.9 billion to fund universal health coverage programmes in developing countries, the UN chief acknowledged Japan for being one of the first countries to demonstrate the power of universal health coverage, achieving it in 1961 and unlocking economic growth for the decades that followed   Read More ...
Over 80% failed to evacuate or take protection measures after receiving North Korean missile alerts: survey
2017-12-14 14:10:53 The majority of those informed of North Korean ballistic missile launches on both Aug. 29 and Sept. 15, through the J-Alert warning system or from other sources, were unable to evacuate or take other protective measures, a government survey showed Wednesday. Only 5-16 percent of respondents said they took measures to protect themselves from the missiles. Given the results, the government plans to strengthen efforts to raise awareness of the need to evacuate in the event of a missile launch   Read More ...
Rakuten announces foray into saturated Japanese cellphone market
2017-12-14 14:10:50 E-commerce giant Rakuten Inc. on Thursday said it aims to become Japan’s fourth mobile carrier in a move that threatens to disrupt the cellular phone market oligopoly. In a statement, the company headed by billionaire entrepreneur Hiroshi Mikitani said it will be applying to the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry for an allocation of wireless spectrum in January at the earliest   Read More ...
Blow to Theresa May’s authority looms over EU summit
2017-12-14 14:10:46 BRUSSELS – British Prime Minister Theresa May heads to a Brussels summit Thursday reeling from a parliamentary defeat over Brexit that threatens to undermine her just as EU leaders back the opening of trade talks. During the two-day meeting, the other 27 leaders are expected to endorse an interim deal on the terms of Britain’s divorce that May sealed with the EU last week after months of torturous negotiations   Read More ...
Tepco and Nissan test ‘virtual power plant’ made from EV batteries
2017-12-14 14:10:42 Tokyo Electric and Nissan Motor Co. are testing what they claim is Japan’s first demonstration of a power system that uses electric vehicle batteries to smooth out fluctuations in supply and demand. Tepco and Nissan hope to identify problems that must be resolved to build a successful “virtual power plant,” or a network of power-supplying equipment such as EV batteries that can be run remotely via the internet   Read More ...
China marks 80th anniversary of Nanking Massacre, but Xi remains low key
2017-12-14 14:10:37 BEIJING – China marked the 80th anniversary of the Nanking Massacre on Wednesday with a call to work with Japan for peace, but President Xi Jinping kept a low profile and left the main public remarks to another senior official, apparently in consideration for Japan-China relations. It is rare for Xi not to deliver a speech when he attends a national event   Read More ...
Japan’s once youngest mayor to resign after Supreme Court upholds graft conviction
2017-12-14 14:10:34 GIFU – The Supreme Court has upheld a high court ruling that found a city mayor in Gifu Prefecture, who in 2013 became the youngest mayor in Japan, guilty of graft. Minokamo Mayor Hiroto Fujii, now 33, told a news conference he will resign as of Thursday despite being unjustly convicted. “I learned that false charging and incrimination of innocent people exists,” he told reporters in Minokamo   Read More ...
Sumo Sushi is as much Vegas as Japan
2017-12-14 13:36:04 Sumo Sushi gives off more of a Las Vegas vibe than a Madison one or even a Japanese one. That starts with the two larger-than-life fiberglass sumo wrestlers facing off just inside the front doors and extends to the elegant bathrooms. In terms of the dining areas, the best comparison would be to Fuji Sushi & Hibachi, which opened last year in Middleton’s Greenway Station   Read More ...
Japan lead medals tally at Asian Youth Para Games
2017-12-14 12:21:44 Dubai: Japan were leading the medals table ahead of Iran at the midway stage of the Asian Youth Para Games being held Dubai. Japan were clear at the top of the table with 23 gold medals, leaving Iran in second place with 17 gold, while Uzbekistan were in third overall with ten gold and a silver and bronze each for a total of 12 medals   Read More ...
Japan’s children to decide Olympic mascot for Tokyo 2020
2017-12-14 12:17:45 STUDENTS across Japan have been given the very important responsibility of voting for the official mascot of the 2020 Olympics to be held in the capital Tokyo. Voting kicked off in schools across the country on Monday, with students to decide which one of three pairs of mascot candidates is the best. One mascot per pair is for the Olympics and the other is for the Paralympics   Read More ...
Don Quijote founder plans more price-busting openings across Asia
2017-12-14 12:11:17 SINGAPORE – After launching its first Don Quijote outlet in Singapore on Dec. 1, the Japanese discount retailer plans to expand with even more outlets in Asia, founding Chairman Takao Yasuda said. The group is looking to open stores in Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Taiwan, he said. “Our company’s future development hinges on overseas operations,” Yasuda said in an interview Tuesday   Read More ...
‘Quad’ cooperation in the South China Sea?
2017-12-14 12:11:11 HAIKOU, CHINA – The Trump administration has raised once again the decade-old geopolitical concept of the “Indo-Pacific region” and is proposing — and pushing — a “Quad” — a potential security arrangement among the four large democracies of India, Australia, Japan and the United States. Given the dominant maritime nature of the Indo-Pacific and that all prospective “members” are maritime powers, any security arrangement would likely be initially focused on cooperation in the maritime sphere   Read More ...
Top court rules on NHK fees
2017-12-14 12:10:57 The Supreme Court’s 14-1 decision last week set a precedent that owners of televisions are legally bound to pay subscription fees to NHK. The top court upheld the mandatory subscription fee system as constitutional — dismissing charges that it contravenes the freedom of contract — on the grounds that it serves the purpose of fulfilling people’s right to know, a key component of the healthy development of democracy   Read More ...
High earners, smokers and tourists to see higher levies under planned fiscal 2018 tax reforms
2017-12-14 12:10:53 The ruling Liberal Democratic Party-Komeito coalition unveiled on Thursday a fiscal 2018 tax reform plan featuring increased levies for high-income earners and smokers, as well as the creation of a controversial departure tax targeting tourists leaving Japan. At the center of the proposed package, set to be rubber-stamped for Diet submission early next year, is a plan to impose a heavier income tax on company workers who earn more than ¥8   Read More ...
Driverless van taken on remote-controlled road test in town in Aichi
2017-12-14 12:10:49 NAGOYA – In the first test of its kind in Japan, a remote-controlled vehicle was tested Thursday on a public road in Aichi Prefecture, home to Toyota Motor Corp. and other auto firms. For the government-conducted test, the minivan traveled along a 700-meter road in the town of Kota with no one in the driver’s seat and an assistant in the passenger seat   Read More ...
Stay plans offer luxurious rooms and amenities
2017-12-14 12:10:40 The Choose Your Luxury accommodation plan in which guests can choose from three plans is offered at the Conrad Osaka, which opened in June on the top eight floors of the Nakanoshima Tower West, a new landmark building in Osaka. The first plan, The Morning Luxury Experience, offers a late 1 p.m. check out and a buffet breakfast with a glass of Champagne at atmos dining, a restaurant located on the 40th floor that provides a panoramic view of Osaka   Read More ...
Don't sleepwalk into war over N. Korea, warns UN boss
2017-12-14 12:10:33 Tokyo, Japan | AFP | United Nations chief Antonio Guterres Thursday warned the world against “sleepwalking into war” over North Korea, as he called for diplomatic efforts to banish nuclear weapons from the Korean peninsula. Speaking on a visit to Japan, Secretary-General Guterres said: “The worst possible thing that could happen would be for us all to sleepwalk into a war that might have very dramatic circumstances   Read More ...
Injured Yuzuru Hanyu’s timetable for return still unknown
2017-12-14 12:10:31 Olympic and world champion Yuzuru Hanyu revealed Thursday he suffered right ankle tendon and bone injuries in a training fall last month, adding the complaints to the ligament damage that has kept him off the ice since. A day after the star announced the ligament injury through the Japan Skating Federation, the 23-year-old sparked more concern by saying there is not yet a plan in place for him to return to on-ice training   Read More ...
Agent Scott Boras, Nationals hold talks about new Bryce Harper contract
2017-12-14 12:10:27 LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA – With Bryce Harper a year from free agency, the agent for Washington’s star opened contract talk with the Nationals. The 25-year-old right fielder earned $13,625,000 this year and agreed last May to a 2018 deal for $21,625,000. “We had a meeting with the Washington ownership about a month ago just for some preliminary discussions,” agent Scott Boras said Wednesday at the winter meetings   Read More ...
Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome fails doping test, faces suspension
2017-12-14 12:10:23 PARIS – Chris Froome failed a doping test during the Spanish Vuelta in September and is facing a suspension from cycling ahead of his attempt to win a record-equaling fifth Tour de France title next year. Froome won his fourth Tour title this year and followed it with a victory at the Vuelta. But Team Sky said Wednesday that Froome, who has not been suspended, had a concentration of asthma drug salbutamol two times higher than the World Anti-Doping Agency’s permitted levels   Read More ...
Olympic rowing icon Simon Dickie passes away at age 66
2017-12-14 12:10:19 WELLINGTON – Simon Dickie, who coxed New Zealand rowing crews to Olympic victories at Mexico City in 1968 and Munich in 1972, has died. He was 66. Rowing New Zealand announced his death, but gave no details. Dickie was only 17 when he was a member of the coxed four that won New Zealand’s first Olympic gold medal in rowing at Mexico City   Read More ...
ICC claims no evidence of corruption at third Ashes test
2017-12-14 12:10:11 PERTH, AUSTRALIA – The International Cricket Council said there is no evidence the third Ashes test has been “corrupted” after claims emerged in a British newspaper that bookmakers had offered to fix parts of the match. The Sun newspaper published purported evidence of bookmakers offering to sell details of rigged periods of play for betting purposes, or so-called spot fixing, in the test match between Australia and England, which started on Thursday in Perth   Read More ...
Angels are not worried about Shohei Ohtani’s elbow
2017-12-14 12:10:06 LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA – The Los Angeles Angels knew Shohei Ohtani was recovering from a sprained elbow before they agreed to a minor league contract with the right-hander and outfielder. “I think that’s past him, and our understanding is there is no restrictions at all going into spring training, and he’ll get down there in plenty of time and be ready to go,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Wednesday at the winter meetings   Read More ...
Man City extends record with 15th straight victory
2017-12-14 12:10:02 And this one might be the most impressive of the lot. By beating Swansea 4-0 on Wednesday night, City racked up its 15th straight victory — a feat never achieved in the 129-year history of England’s top division. Second-place Manchester United also won, beating Bournemouth 1-0 through Romelu Lukaku’s goal to keep the gap at the top to 11 points, but chasing down its cross-town rival looks to be a forlorn hope at this rate   Read More ...
Aaron Rodgers back with Pack, prepping for Panthers
2017-12-14 12:09:57 GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN – The Green Bay Packers stayed afloat in the postseason race while hoping for nearly two months that Aaron Rodgers would return. News that the two-time NFL MVP was cleared medically to come back from a collarbone injury finally arrived Tuesday night, coming a bit later than coach Mike McCarthy hoped — but well worth the wait for the playoff-hopeful Packers   Read More ...
Louisville files counterclaim to ex-coach Rick Pitino’s lawsuit
2017-12-14 12:09:52 LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY – The University of Louisville has filed a counterclaim to former basketball coach Rick Pitino’s lawsuit and is seeking monetary damages from vacated games and bonuses. WDRB-TV reported that the university alleges negligence and “wrongful conduct” by Pitino has tarnished the school’s reputation. The lawsuit noted that the NCAA ordered the school to return money it received for some basketball tournaments   Read More ...
Indianapolis awarded 2021 NBA All-Star Game
2017-12-14 12:09:46 Seven months after the NBA Hall of Famer hand delivered the Indiana Pacers’ All-Star bid at league headquarters in an IndyCar, Commissioner Adam Silver returned the favor by showing up at Bankers Life Fieldhouse to announce the league’s big midseason bash was coming back to Indianapolis in February 2021. It’s the first time the city will host the All-Star Game since 1985   Read More ...
Japan pledges $2.9 billion to support countries pursuing universal health coverage
2017-12-14 11:10:22 Japan will contribute about $2.9 billion to programs combating infectious disease and treating young children in developing countries that are pursuing universal health coverage, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Thursday at an international forum on the topic in Tokyo. Universal health coverage — ensuring that every person can obtain the health care services they need without suffering financial hardship — is part of the sustainable development goals U   Read More ...
In Tokyo, U.N. chief Antonio Guterres warns of ‘sleepwalking into war’ with North Korea
2017-12-14 11:10:19 United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Thursday that Security Council members must unite to denuclearize North Korea, warning that the worst case scenario would be “sleepwalking” into war. “The unity of the Security Council is crucial” to allow possible “diplomatic engagement that allows denuclearization to take place in a peaceful way,” Guterres told a group of reporters soon after a meeting in Tokyo with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe   Read More ...
Japanese space startup raises ¥10.2 billion toward 2020 moonshot effort
2017-12-14 11:10:13 Japanese companies are planning to kick-start the lunar economy by backing a local startup’s mission to land on the moon by 2020. Tokyo-based Ispace Inc. said on Wednesday it has raised ¥10.2 billion ($90 million) from some of the country’s biggest businesses, including Japan Airlines Co. and TV network Tokyo Broadcasting System Holdings Inc. The funds will be used to send a spacecraft into lunar orbit by 2019, and then land one a year later   Read More ...