Japan

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Mystery Foam Strikes Japanese City After Quakes

One tweeter in Fukuoka calls it "disgusting"

(Newser) - A mysterious foam spread through the streets of a Japanese city on Saturday after two earthquakes struck the country , killing dozens of people, Mashable reports. With pedestrians and drivers in Fukuoka moving through the muck, people posted images of it on Twitter ( here and here ). One called it... More »

Death Toll Soars in Japan Quakes

Mudslides threaten to add to misery

(Newser) - Army troops and other rescuers rushed Saturday to save scores of trapped residents after a pair of strong earthquakes in southwestern Japan killed at least 41 people, injured about 1,500, and left hundreds of thousands without electricity or water. Rainfall is forecast to start pounding the area soon, threatening... More »

People Trapped After 2nd Huge Quake Hits Japan

Thursday's quake was technically a foreshock to this one

(Newser) - A powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.1 struck southern Japan early Saturday, barely 24 hours after a smaller quake hit the same region and killed nine people , the AP reports. While it was not immediately clear whether the latest quake increased the death toll, Japanese broadcaster NHK... More »

8-Month-Old Saved From Under Japan Quake Debris

She was reunited with her parents after 6 hours in a protected cavity

(Newser) - As rescuers scramble to find survivors in the debris after Thursday's 6.5-magnitude earthquake in southern Japan, a bit of encouraging news at the site of a collapsed home, per CBS News : An unharmed 8-month-old baby was yanked from the rubble and given back to her parents after a... More »

Deadly Quake Hits Southern Japan

At least 9 dead, hundreds injured in Kyushu

(Newser) - At least nine people have been killed and more than 800 injured by a magnitude-6.5 earthquake that toppled houses and buckled roads in southern Japan late Thursday, the AP reports. With daybreak, the extent of the damage became apparent: collapsed buildings, streets warped by manholes pushed higher by the... More »

Chimp Escapes Zoo, Refuses to Go Back

Chacha scaled a power pole after escaping a Japanese zoo

(Newser) - A chimpanzee named Chacha briefly lived out his King Kong fantasies Thursday after escaping from a Japanese zoo, the AP reports. According to the Japan Times , Chacha was discovered missing from his cage at the Yagiyama Zoological Park in Sendai around 1:20pm. The zoo was locked down, and workers... More »

John Kerry Won't Say Sorry for Hiroshima

Secretary of State visits Japan for G7 meeting

(Newser) - One thing John Kerry won't do while visiting Hiroshima: say he's sorry. On Monday, the Secretary of State plans to visit a memorial and museum commemorating victims of the atomic bombing that left more than 100,000 dead in 1945—but a senior US official says there will... More »

Japanese Snack Maker Is So Sorry About 9-Cent Hike

Video of apology is a smash hit

(Newser) - The price of a popular frozen snack in Japan is going up the equivalent of 9 cents, a small bit of news that is making headlines all over because of how the company announced it, reports Quartz . In a 60-second video, executives and employees of the company Akagi Nyugyo are... More »

American Is Japan's First Foreign Ninja

Chris O'Neill back-flipped his way to coolest gig ever

(Newser) - It's yet another first in the odd field of American ninja-dom: A tourism panel in the Japanese prefecture of Aichi has named American Chris O'Neill as the first foreign ninja to find paid work in Japan. The 29-year-old, who lives in Tokyo, was one of 235 people to... More »

Earth to $273M Satellite: What Happened to You?

Japan tries reconnecting with Hitomi

(Newser) - Japan has sort of lost something—a $273M satellite just launched to monitor X-rays coming from galaxy clusters and black holes, Discovery News reports. "We're taking the situation seriously," says Saku Tsuneta, a senior official at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). "We know approximately where... More »

Cops: Tokyo Man Held Girl Captive 2 Years

He was arrested a day after she escaped

(Newser) - On March 10, 2014, a Japanese mother found a note in her mailbox. "Don't look for me," it read. The handwriting was that of her daughter, who essentially vanished on that day. The last sighting of the teen had been outside her home a few hours earlier,... More »

Japan Kills 333 Whales in the Name of 'Science'

Many of the females were pregnant

(Newser) - Japanese whalers sailed to the Antarctic in December with the goal of killing 333 minke whales . Discover reports they returned Thursday having met that goal. Japan signed on to an international moratorium banning whale hunting in 1986 but has since been taking advantage of a loophole that allows killing whales... More »

To Live Longer, Eat Like the Japanese

Diet of fish, veggies, soy, could mean lower risk of death

(Newser) - Go ahead and indulge your sushi habit: A new study finds a Japanese diet of fish, rice, seaweed, and sake could add years to your life. Not only does following Japan's dietary guidelines result in a 15% lower total mortality rate, but it also lowers one's risk of... More »

Professional Ninjas Wanted, Apply Today

Japan is making childhood dreams come true

(Newser) - Japan is about to make some childhood dreams come true. That's because the country's Aichi prefecture is currently hiring six full-time ninjas, Quartz reports. According to the BBC , a neighboring prefecture has a highly successful ninja museum, and Aichi wants to bring in tourists of its own. The... More »

Japan Prays on 5th Anniversary of Tsunami

Parts of ravaged coast are coming back to life

(Newser) - Japanese gathered in Tokyo and along the country's ravaged northeast coast to observe a moment of silence at 2:46pm Friday, exactly five years after a magnitude-9.0 earthquake struck offshore and triggered a devastating tsunami that killed more than 18,000 people. Some teared up as they held... More »

School: Shoddy Records Caused Student's Suicide

Japan junior high student killed himself after false shoplifting charge

(Newser) - A junior high school principal appeared before a school assembly Wednesday to apologize not only for its role in a student's suicide but also for fibbing about what had happened afterward, the Japan Times reports. The 15-year-old took his own life on Dec. 8 after his parents found out... More »

'Suicide Forest' Gets Another Look

Aokigahara Forest has long been a suicide destination in Japan

(Newser) - Shoes are piled neatly by the entrance, cars are abandoned in a square nearby, and bodies can be found hanging within. Long a subject of public fascination, Japan's "suicide forest" is now the inspiration for a new horror film—and gets a fresh look from Australia's News... More »

China Deploys Missiles to Disputed Island

Satellite images show missile launchers, radar on Woody Island

(Newser) - Countries including Taiwan and Japan are speaking out against China after the country apparently deployed an advanced surface-to-air missile system to a contested island in the South China Sea. Satellite images taken Sunday, first published by Fox News , appear to show two batteries of eight missile launchers and a radar... More »

Actor Killed by Prop Samurai Sword

Tokyo cops aren't sure if it was an accident or murder

(Newser) - Police in Tokyo are investigating a bizarre incident that sounds like a plot rejected by a detective show for being too clichéd. NBC News reports that 33-year-old theater actor Daigo Kashino died on Monday after a 28-inch replica samurai sword pierced his belly while he was practicing for a... More »

Japan May Ditch Old Symbol Over Swastika Confusion

The 'manji' identifies Buddhist temples on maps

(Newser) - As Japan gears up to host the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and caters to a surging influx of foreign visitors, the country faces a cultural dilemma: Should it stop identifying Buddhist temples on maps with the traditional "manji" symbol that is often confused with a Nazi swastika? The symbol, from... More »

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