Japan
Japan contemplates post-Abe world, but rivals' positions still murky
China minister to visit Japan over N. Korea talks - ASEAN/East Asia
Kyodo Poll: Abe Cabinet support rate drops to 37% amid widening cronyism scandal
2 years after quake, Kumamoto looks to future
Sapporo Dome boasts hovering stage
Photo Journal: Spring snack
Strong quake in Shimane Pref. causes damage to World Heritage site
Japan female mayor battles men-only sumo rule
2018-04-19 11:47:47 Tokyo, Japan /AFP/. A female mayor at the centre of a fierce debate over allowing women into the sumo ring vowed Thursday never to back down as she lodged a formal protest. "I won't give up this time around... I'm determined to make a petition every six months," Tomoko Nakagawa told AFP before taking her case to the sumo authorities in Tokyo   Read More ...
4th body found, identified after landslide in southwestern Japan
2018-04-19 11:46:07 OITA, Japan (Kyodo) -- A fourth body has been found at the site of a massive landslide in the southwestern Japan prefecture of Oita, and identified as that of 21-year-old Yu Ebuchi, the prefectural government said Thursday. A local resident, who was pregnant and soon to be married, Ebuchi was found Wednesday evening close to where the body of her grandmother Ayako Hashimoto, 86, was found Sunday night, the local government said   Read More ...
Female mayor visits JSA, seeks end to male-only sumo tradition
2018-04-19 11:46:03 TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The female mayor of a city in western Japan visited sumo's governing body Thursday and asked it to reconsider its longstanding policies excluding women and embrace gender equality. Takarazuka Mayor Tomoko Nakagawa, who was barred from entering a sumo dohyo ring on the grounds of gender, met with the Japan Sumo Association's public relations chief Shibatayama and asked that the "nyonin kinsei" (no females allowed) policy be tabled for discussion   Read More ...
Editorial: Abe on Mar-a-Lago mission to align US interests on N. Korea with Japan's
2018-04-19 11:00:47 Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has opened his talks with U.S. President Donald Trump in Florida. This is a very important moment for Japan to communicate its interests regarding North Korea's ballistic missile and nuclear programs ahead of Trump's upcoming summit with the North's leader Kim Jong Un, expected to be held by early June. The Abe-Trump talks will last two days   Read More ...
Yokohama zoo puts baby otter on display, seeks public's help with name
2018-04-19 11:00:43 YOKOHAMA -- A zoo here put a female baby Eurasian otter on display on April 19 and sought the public's help to name it through a voting system. The baby was born on Dec. 22, 2017, at Yokohama Zoo Zoorasia in this city's Asahi Ward to 10-year-old female Moko and 13-year-old male Jubei. The mother struggled to raise the baby so zoo keepers stepped in to help   Read More ...
Oliveira returns to Japan to coach J-League's Urawa Reds
2018-04-19 11:00:16 TOKYO (AP) — Oswaldo Oliveira is returning to Japan to coach the J-League's Urawa Reds. The 67-year-old Brazilian, who managed the Kashima Antlers from 2007-2011, will begin his second stint in Japan next Wednesday when Urawa faces Kashiwa Reysol, Reds announced on their official website. Oliveira, who previously managed several Brazilian clubs including Corinthians and Flamengo, guided Antlers to three straight J-League first division championships from 2007   Read More ...
Japanese volcano erupts, spitting out smoke and rock; no injuries
2018-04-19 10:01:51 TOKYO (Reuters) - A volcano in Japan erupted on Thursday, shooting clouds of smoke and rocks into the sky, and prompting authorities to ban access to the peak, but there were no reports of any damage or casualties. The eruption of Io Yama, a 1,298 m (4,258 ft) high volcano on the southernmost main island of Kyushu, was the latest in a series of eruptions in Japan this year   Read More ...
Prisoner’s escape spurs introduction of facial recognition system
2018-04-19 10:01:05 The Yomiuri ShimbunThe Justice Ministry plans to introduce a facial recognition system at a correctional facility in Imabari, Ehime Prefecture, as early as this fiscal year, in the wake of a prisoner’s escape from the facility, according to sources. The ministry also plans to require all inmates at the workshop of Matsuyama Prison to be equipped with the Global Positioning System (GPS) so the prison can locate fugitives immediately   Read More ...
Murakami gives comment for Ishiguro’s novel
2018-04-19 10:00:58 The Yomiuri ShimbunNovelist Haruki Murakami has written a commentary on Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel “The Remains of the Day,” which appears as part of a special Japanese-language edition commemorating Ishiguro’s winning of the Nobel Prize in Literature last year. The special edition was published on Wednesday by Hayakawa Publishing Corp. Murakami, 69, met Nagasaki-born British author Ishiguro, 63, in Tokyo more than 10 years ago, when the publishing company’s president, Hiroshi Hayakawa, introduced them, according to sources   Read More ...
Japan contemplates post-Abe world, but rivals' positions still murky
2018-04-19 09:47:54 TOKYO (Reuters) - Rivals are jockeying to replace Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as the embattled Japanese leader struggles with sinking support, but so far none have offered detailed policy alternatives to his "strong defence, strong economy" platform. Battered by scandals involving suspected cronyism, Abe's ratings have slid near or below 30 percent, dampening his chances of gaining a third three-year term as Liberal Democratic Party leader in a September vote, and sparking talk he might step down sooner   Read More ...
Mt. Io erupts in Miyazaki Pref., alert level raised
2018-04-19 09:46:21 EBINO, Miyazaki -- Mount Io on the Ebino Highland along the Kirishima mountain range erupted at around 3:39 p.m. on April 19, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) announced. The JMA raised the volcanic alert level to Level 3 (Do not approach) at 3:55 p.m. following the eruption, and is calling for those within a 2-kilometer radius of the volcano to be careful of flying debris and pyroclastic flows   Read More ...
In Photos: Mount Io erupts in Miyazaki Prefecture
2018-04-19 09:46:18 Mount Io in the Ebino Highlands erupts on April 19, 2018, in Miyazaki Prefecture, along the Kirishima mountain range that straddles Miyazaki and Kagos.   Read More ...
Shallow Indonesia quake kills 3, damages hundreds of homes
2018-04-19 09:46:09 JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) -- A shallow earthquake in central Indonesia has killed three people and damaged more than 300 homes, disaster officials said Thursday as they declared a two-week emergency for the affected areas. Indonesia's Meteorology and Geophysics Agency said the magnitude-4.4 quake that occurred Wednesday at a depth of 4 kilometers (2.4 miles) was centered about 52 kilometers (32 miles) north of Kebumen, a densely populated district of Central Java province   Read More ...
Japan female mayor battles men-only sumo rule
2018-04-19 09:45:26 TOKYO (AFP) - A female mayor at the centre of a fierce debate in Japan over allowing women into the sumo ring vowed on Thursday (April 19) never to back down as she lodged a formal protest. "I won't give up this time around... I'm determined to make a petition every six months," Tomoko Nakagawa, mayor of the western city of Takarazuka, told AFP before taking her case to the sumo authorities in Tokyo   Read More ...
Japan contemplates post-Abe world, but rivals' positions still murky
2018-04-19 09:45:11 TOKYO (REUTERS) - Rivals are jockeying to replace Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as the embattled Japanese leader struggles with sinking support, but so far none have offered detailed policy alternatives to his "strong defence, strong economy" platform. Battered by scandals involving suspected cronyism, Abe's ratings have slid near or below 30 per cent, dampening his chances of gaining a third three-year term as Liberal Democratic Party leader in a September vote, and sparking talk he might step down sooner   Read More ...
China holds live-fire drills off coast in warning to Taiwan
2018-04-19 09:00:59 BEIJING (AP) -- China has held live-fire exercises off its southeast coast, state media said Thursday, in an apparent warning to the democratic, self-ruled island of Taiwan against what Beijing deems as provocative remarks on independence. The official Xinhua News Agency said Thursday an air unit of the People's Liberation Army ground forces held a live-fire exercise on Wednesday off China's southeast coast   Read More ...
Baseball: Nakamura pitches Carp past Swallows
2018-04-19 09:00:55 HIROSHIMA (Kyodo) -- Yuta Nakamura won his season debut, allowing a run over seven innings and driving in a run to lead the Hiroshima Carp to a 3-2 Central League victory over the Yakult Swallows on Wednesday. Before 31,473 at Mazda Stadium, Nakamura struck out six, while giving up two hits and two walks. He also hit a batter, and helped the Carp exploit Yakult starter David Huff's one bad inning with a hit of his own   Read More ...
Japan hails school clerk who won Boston Marathon
2018-04-19 08:48:26 Tokyo. Japan has hailed local school clerk Yuki Kawauchi, the surprise winner of the Boston Marathon, who called work after his victory to ask for an extra day off to celebrate. When Kawauchi ploughed across the finish line on Monday, despite the coldest start in 30 years and steady rain, he became the first Japanese runner to win the race since 1987   Read More ...
MUSINGS / April 11, 2018
2018-04-19 08:46:14 * * * In ancient Rome, there was a poet named Virgil. I once opened a book of proverbs and found a quote from this poet, which is this: “It never troubles the wolf how many the sheep may be.” Undeniably, I thought to myself. In a match against Colombia during the 2014 soccer World Cup [in Brazil], James Rodriguez did a job on the Japan team, as if there was nothing to it   Read More ...
5 yrs of Abenomics yields uneven success
2018-04-19 08:00:59 The Japan NewsWhat changes did Abenomics — Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic policy package — lead to after the so-called “lost two decades,” Japan’s period of stagnation that started in the 1990s? Stanford University Prof. Takeo Hoshi spoke with The Japan News about his assessment of the results of five years of Abe’s policies and possible future measures. The following are edited excerpts from the interview   Read More ...
N. Korea high on summit agenda / Japan hopes for best, but Trump unpredictable
2018-04-19 08:00:55 By Hiroshi Tajima / Yomiuri Shimbun Staff WriterPALM BEACH, Fla. — Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump confirmed during bilateral summit talks on Tuesday that the two countries would maintain maximum pressure on North Korea. Trump also pledged to raise the issue of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea at a summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un slated to be held by early June   Read More ...
Trump vows to raise issue of abductions
2018-04-19 08:00:51 By Michitaka Kaiya and Hiroshi Tajima / Yomiuri Shimbun Staff WritersPALM BEACH, Fla. — U.S. President Donald Trump vowed on Tuesday to take up the issue of the abduction of Japanese nationals by North Korea during a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un planned by early June. Trump made the promise during a summit with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Florida, where Abe and Trump reaffirmed cooperation on policies related to North Korea   Read More ...
Designer dolls to be sold by lottery
2018-04-19 08:00:46 The Yomiuri ShimbunThe Takashimaya store in Nihonbashi, Tokyo, is planning to sell a special set of dolls via lottery, in an attempt to prevent a single customer from buying them all up as happened at its Kyoto store. Named “Lorina,” the dolls are based on artwork by illustrator Junichi Nakahara (1913-1983). They are about 65 centimeters tall and priced at ¥124,200 each   Read More ...
First Saudi cinema opens with popcorn and 'Black Panther'
2018-04-19 08:00:40 RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) -- The lights dimmed and the crowd of men and women erupted into applause and hoots Wednesday evening as Hollywood's blockbuster "Black Panther" premiered in Saudi Arabia's first movie theater. Though it was a private, invitation-only screening, for many Saudis it marked one of the clearest moments of change to sweep the country in decades. It's seen as part of a new era in which women will soon be allowed to drive and people in the kingdom will be able to go to concerts and fashion shows, and tuck into a bucket of popcorn in a cinema   Read More ...
Charlize Theron says she's not leaving US over concern about racism and her black children
2018-04-19 07:46:17 LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Charlize Theron isn't leaving the United States over racism concerns. But the white South Africa-born actress, who has adopted a black daughter and son, says: "I am constantly concerned about the safety of my kids. I don't know a parent who's not." Theron was quoted in an Elle magazine interview published last week saying that she wouldn't travel to parts of the United States with her family due to worries over racism, and that she had thought about leaving the country to keep her children safe   Read More ...
Miguel Diaz-Canel selected as next president of Cuba
2018-04-19 07:46:13 HAVANA (AP) -- The Cuban government on Wednesday selected 57-year-old First Vice President Miguel Mario Diaz-Canel Bermudez as the sole candidate to succeed President Raul Castro in a transition aimed at ensuring that the country's single-party system outlasts the aging revolutionaries who created it. The certain approval of Diaz-Canel by members of the unfailingly unanimous National Assembly will install someone from outside the Castro family in the country's highest government office for the first time in nearly six decades   Read More ...
Trump vows to work 'very, very hard' for Japanese held in N. Korea
2018-04-19 07:00:49 PALM BEACH, United States: US President Donald Trump said Wednesday he would work to help Tokyo bring home from North Korea Japanese citizens who were abducted in the 1970s and 1980s to help Pyongyang train its spies. Trump, who was addressing reporters with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at his side, said: "We will work very hard on that issue and we will work hard to try and bring those folks back – very, very hard   Read More ...
Ohtani to make next start despite blister, could DH Thursday - The Mainichi
2018-04-19 06:46:13 ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Shohei Ohtani is expected to make his next start for the Los Angeles Angels after the Japanese two-way sensation was limited to two innings in his third career start Tuesday because of a blister on the middle finger of his right hand. Ohtani gave up three earned runs and four hits in a 10-1 loss to Boston, suffering his first loss after winning his first two major league starts   Read More ...
Model Alliance calls for action against Karl Lagerfeld after he's quoted as calling models 'sordid creatures'
2018-04-19 06:46:09 NEW YORK (AP) -- An organization that protects the rights of models has called for action against outspoken fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld. Lagerfeld was quoted by a French magazine as calling models "stupid," ''toxic" and "sordid creatures." The April 12 interview on the magazine's website, Numero.com, also quotes Lagerfeld as saying models should "join a nunnery" if they don't want their pants pulled down during photo shoots   Read More ...
US poised to ask N. Korea to abandon missiles capable of striking Japan
2018-04-19 06:01:15 PALM BEACH, Florida -- U.S. President Donald Trump has indicated that he will ask North Korea to abandon short- and medium-range missiles that could strike Japan in addition to intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of hitting the U.S. mainland during a U.S.-North Korea summit slated for the beginning of June or earlier. The suggestion came as Trump met Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in southeastern Florida   Read More ...
Israel at 70: Satisfaction and grim disquiet share the stage - The Mainichi
2018-04-19 06:01:11 JERUSALEM (AP) -- Is Israel a success as it turns 70? As Israelis commemorate the milestone this week, satisfaction and a grim disquiet share the stage. It has a standard of living that rivals Western Europe, though it lacks significant natural resources. It can boast of scientific achievements and military and technological clout beyond its modest size. It controls most of biblical Israel, and despite widespread criticism of its policies toward the Palestinians, it has cultivated good diplomatic ties with most of the world   Read More ...
Landscape of home delivery firms changing
2018-04-19 05:49:10 By Yukiho Takaichi and Ayaka Kudo / Yomiuri Shimbun Staff WritersThe competitive business landscape of the home delivery industry, in which service fees have risen due to an ongoing labor shortage, has been changing. The number of parcels handled by Japan Post Co.’s Yu-Pack service — the fees for which had gone unchanged until the end of February — has been rapidly increasing   Read More ...
STYLE FILES / How logos are important for fashion brands
2018-04-19 05:49:06 By Akira Miura / Special to The Japan NewsFashion weeks were held in February and March in New York, London, Milan, Paris and Tokyo, with fashion brands conducting runway shows and exhibitions to introduce their collections for this autumn through winter 2019. Even more important than the production of these events is their indication of what fashion trends are coming next and what kinds of products are likely to be big sellers   Read More ...
Smashing the ‘lock’ installed by Deng Xiaoping
2018-04-19 05:49:02 By Hiroyuki Sugiyama / Yomiuri Shimbun Senior WriterBeijing — I was surprised by how easily it could all be broken. Last month, I watched from a reporter’s seat on the second floor of the Great Hall of the People as the National People’s Congress — China’s equivalent of the Japanese Diet — voted to amend the Chinese Constitution. A blue electronic board in the chamber showed 2,958 votes in favor of the measure, two votes against, three abstentions and one invalid ballot   Read More ...
Officer friend, protector of rural Tokyo community for 37 years
2018-04-19 05:48:57 The Yomiuri ShimbunOKUTAMA, Tokyo — In a mountain village located at the western end of Tokyo, about 60 kilometers from JR Shinjuku Station, one police officer has been stationed alone for 37 years, watching over the people of the community. Assistant Police Inspector Kiyoshi Maeda, 62, is stationed at the Nippara residential police box of the Metropolitan Police Department’s Ome Police Station   Read More ...
Hitachi develops method to detect childhood cancer from urine
2018-04-19 05:48:53 The Yomiuri Shimbun Hitachi Ltd. has developed technology capable of detecting childhood and other forms of cancer by analyzing urine, allowing checks to be conducted more simply, the company has announced. Hitachi plans to begin a demonstration experiment in April using samples from 250 people, both cancer patients and people who are healthy. The company aims to put the technology into practical use in the early 2020s   Read More ...
Abe, Trump to discuss unity against N. Korea / TPP likely on agenda for Florida talks
2018-04-19 05:48:49 The Yomiuri ShimbunPrime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday left for the United States to hold two-day talks with U.S. President Donald Trump in an apparent effort to coordinate and show unity in the run-up to a meeting between the leaders of the United States and North Korea that is expected to be held by early June. The United States’ possible return to the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement may also be put on the agenda   Read More ...
Let’s go to the museum / Experience Meiji-era phone technology
2018-04-19 05:48:44 By Yusuke Sano / Yomiuri Shimbun Staff WriterJapan’s telecommunications industry was launched in 1869, the second year of the Meiji era (1868-1912). Services have been provided by the Ministry of Communications, then by the Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Public Corporation and finally by the current NTT group, widening over the years to include telegrams, telephones, faxes and the internet. The NTT History Center of Technologies in Musashino, Tokyo, presents the history and technology of the telecommunications industry through about 1,500 items on display   Read More ...
Survey: More companies eyeing new grads
2018-04-19 05:48:40 The Yomiuri ShimbunThe number of companies planning to hire more new graduates next spring has significantly increased, according to a joint survey by The Yomiuri Shimbun and Nippon TV that covered 100 major companies in Japan. The number of companies that said they would hire more graduates in spring 2019 compared to spring 2018 stood at 30, a sharp increase from the 20 companies that planned to increase hiring in the previous year’s survey   Read More ...
Coral reefs in Wakayama Pref. on brink of death
2018-04-19 05:48:36 The Yomiuri ShimbunThe vast majority of coral reefs examined off Wakayama Prefecture — the world’s northernmost coral reef zone — are bleached and facing extinction, a recent survey by the Environment Ministry has found. Coral bleaching, which leads to coral extinction, was observed at all six points the ministry surveyed. At five of the points, 85 percent to 95 percent of coral was found to already be dead   Read More ...