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National › School official admits lapse in judgment over avalanche deaths

Wed, 03/29/2017 - 21:45
A school official responsible for an ill-fated mountaineering lesson at a ski resort in eastern Japan admitted Wednesday to a lapse in judgment in going ahead with the exercise that led to the deaths of seven students and a teacher in an avalanche. "At the time we judged that it…
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National › Osaka High Court rules Takahama nuclear reactors can restart

Tue, 03/28/2017 - 21:50
The Osaka High Court on Tuesday ruled that two nuclear reactors halted by a lower court order can be restarted, in a victory for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's energy policy. Japan shut down all of its reactors after the Fukushima nuclear crisis in 2011, relying on imported fossil fuels to…
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National › World's 1st transplant performed using retinal cells from another's iPS cells

Tue, 03/28/2017 - 21:36
A Japanese team on Tuesday performed a pioneering transplant surgery utilizing so-called induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, to treat an older man suffering from wet-type age-related macular degeneration, a retinal degenerative disease that often leads to blindness. In a procedure at Kobe City Medical Center General Hospital that…
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National › Police probe training body to assess liability over avalanche deaths

Tue, 03/28/2017 - 07:05
Police have opened an investigation into the training body that organized a mountaineering lesson during which seven high school students and a teacher were killed by an avalanche at a ski resort in eastern Japan, investigators said Tuesday. The police will probe whether sufficient steps were taken to ensure the…
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National › 366,000 elderly on waiting list to enter nursing homes

Tue, 03/28/2017 - 06:15
Around 366,000 elderly people are still waiting to be admitted to special nursing homes across Japan, down 30% from the previous tally in 2013, the welfare ministry's latest survey shows. The number dropped with fewer people now able to apply because of tougher admission requirements introduced in April 2015 that…
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National › Japan prepares to create force like U.S. Marine Corps

Mon, 03/27/2017 - 21:40
Japan's Ground Self-Defense Force stepped up preparations Monday toward creating an amphibious force like the U.S. Marine Corps by putting in place a new unit that will offer training to members of the envisioned brigade. The GSDF amphibious brigade, to be launched at the end of the next fiscal year…
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National › Japan leases military planes to Philippines for South China Sea patrols

Mon, 03/27/2017 - 21:16
The Philippines Monday took delivery of two Japanese military surveillance aircraft to help it patrol vital sea lanes in the South China Sea, despite Manila's increasingly conciliatory stance to Beijing's claims over the disputed waters. Japan will lease a total of five surplus Beechcraft TC-90 planes to the Philippines, according…
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National › Gov't proposes reusing decontaminated soil as landfill for parks, green areas

Mon, 03/27/2017 - 21:10
The Environment Ministry on Monday proposed reusing decontaminated soil from disaster-hit Fukushima Prefecture as landfill for parks and green areas. At a meeting of an advisory panel, the ministry also called for launching a new organization to map out plans on how to gain public understanding about the reuse of…
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National › 7 students, 1 teacher dead after avalanche in Tochigi; 40 injured

Mon, 03/27/2017 - 12:30
Seven students and one teacher were confirmed dead after their group was caught in an avalanche Monday morning during a springtime climbing lesson on a ski slope in Nasu, Tochigi Prefecture. At least 40 other students and teachers were injured in the avalanche that hit the group in the morning…
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National › 8 students feared dead after avalanche in Tochigi; 30 others injured

Mon, 03/27/2017 - 06:30
Eight students appeared to show no vital signs on Monday morning following an avalanche that occurred during a springtime climbing event on a ski slope in the town of Nasu, Tochigi Prefecture, local authorities said. A local fire department said over 30 people were also injured in the avalanche, adding…
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National › Elderly couple found dead in greenhouse may have died of carbon monoxide poisoning

Mon, 03/27/2017 - 06:11
An elderly couple were found dead in a greenhouse at their home in Reihoku, Kumamoto Prefecture, on Sunday, police said, adding the couple may have died of carbon monoxide poisoning. According to police, Sangoro Ota, 87, and his wife Mitsuko, 86, were found collapsed by members of their family in…
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National › Nagoya Castle’s concrete keep to be demolished and replaced with traditional wooden structure

Mon, 03/27/2017 - 05:50
While many Japanese cities have a castle as their most iconic symbol and biggest tourism draw, the irony is that these salutes to their samurai past are often built out of modern materials. Traditional Japanese architecture was almost entirely wooden, and castles, being military strongholds, were prime targets during warfare,…
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National › Deserted island off Nagasaki available for rental

Sun, 03/26/2017 - 21:30
An uninhabited island off Nagasaki Prefecture could be a dream-come-true for anyone looking for the ultimate escape, as the entire island is now available for rental by a single group -- or even an individual. Tashima, a small island off Saikai, is just a five-minute boat ride from that city.…
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National › Japan aims to curb traffic accidents by elderly drivers

Sun, 03/26/2017 - 06:14
Japan has begun implementing a tougher cognitive function test for elderly who wish to renew their driver's license, in a bid to determine those at risk for dementia and to curb the rise of serious traffic accidents. Although it is expected that the new revision will encourage elderly suspected of…
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National › 3-year-old boy falls to his death from 8th floor of condo

Sat, 03/25/2017 - 21:11
A 3-year-old boy fell to his death from the balcony of his family's 8th floor apartment in Kawaguchi, Saitama Prefecture, on Saturday. According to police, a passerby saw the boy lying on a second-floor metal covering extending over the entrance of the 14-floor building at around 7:25 a.m. Saturday and…
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National › Lady Gaga's Japanese designers make Tokyo debut

Sat, 03/25/2017 - 19:28
They've dressed Lady Gaga and now they want to dress more fashionistas in Asia: the husband-and-wife team behind Japan's award-winning ROGGYKEI label made their Tokyo Fashion Week debut on Saturday. Their edgy installation made much of the circle symbol of their brand, presenting circular skirts, capes and coats cut in…
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National › Woman in wheelchair killed after falling onto tracks in front of train

Sat, 03/25/2017 - 09:55
A 35-year-old woman in a wheelchair was killed when she fell off a platform onto the tracks and was hit by a train in Tsu, Mie prefecture, on Friday night. The incident occurred at Hisai Station on the Kintetsu Nagoya line at around 9:45 p.m. Fuji TV reported that the…
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National › 50 crows found dead in Tokyo park

Sat, 03/25/2017 - 07:00
About 50 crows were found dead in a park in Tokyo on Friday afternoon, police said Saturday. According to police, a woman walking her dog in Johoku Chuo Park, which is located in both Nerima and Itabashi wards, went to the park administration office to report that she had seen…
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National › New high school textbooks have more descriptions on defense policies

Fri, 03/24/2017 - 21:14
New textbooks authorized for use in Japan's senior high schools from April next year contain more descriptions on foreign and defense policies undertaken by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government, such as the ability to engage in collective self-defense, according to the results of the education ministry's latest textbook screening disclosed…
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National › Japan culls 288,000 more chickens for avian flu in Miyagi, Chiba

Fri, 03/24/2017 - 09:40
Japan deployed hundreds of Self-Defense Force (SDF) personnel to help cull more than 280,000 chickens in Miyagi and Chiba prefectures on Friday, officials said as they try to contain further outbreaks of a highly contagious strain of avian flu. The latest slaughter means more than 1.67 million birds will have…
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