Japan

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Bosses Publicly Apologize for Worker's Early Lunches

Japanese worker sometimes left 3 minutes early, was penalized

(Newser) - If you occasionally left work for lunch three minutes early, would your bosses A) ignore it, B) tell you to knock it off, or C) dock your pay and hold a televised press conference to apologize for your misconduct? If the answer is C, you may be an employee of... More »

Japan's Fans 'Make Statement' at World Cup—With Trash Bags

Japanese fans came armed to clean up the stadium after their team's match

(Newser) - They showed up at the World Cup match sporting trash bags. That's what the BBC is reporting about fans of "Samurai Blue," the Japanese national soccer team that beat Colombia's players 2-1 Tuesday in Russia. After the soccer teams' jobs were done in Saransk's Mordovia... More »

3 Dead, Hundreds Hurt in Strong Japan Quake

6.1 quake hit Osaka during morning commute

(Newser) - A strong earthquake knocked over walls and set off scattered fires around metropolitan Osaka in western Japan on Monday, killing at least three people and injuring more than 300. A 9-year-old girl was killed by a falling concrete wall at her school, and the two other fatalities were men in... More »

Man Turns Up Alive 11 Months After Wife Identifies Corpse

Police in Japan gave family wrong body

(Newser) - One body apparently looks much like another after a few days in Tokyo's Edo River. In June 2017, a Japanese woman who reported her husband missing identified a body found in the river as her loved one. She had the body cremated—and was shocked 11 months later when... More »

The Age of Adulthood Is Changing in Japan

It won't be 20 anymore

(Newser) - Currently, young people aren't considered adults in Japan until they reach the age of 20, a policy set in 1876. For the first time since then, the government is changing the age of adulthood: Starting in 2022, it will be 18 years of age, thanks to a bill that... More »

Swimmer Begins Record Japan-California Attempt

Frenchman plans to swim 8 hours a day

(Newser) - Ben Lecomte has set off from Japan in an effort to swim to California, undaunted by sharks, low temperatures, fierce weather, a gigantic garbage patch—and the fact that nobody has even swum across the Pacific before. But the 51-year-old Frenchman has the right experience to attempt the record-breaking open-water... More »

Coca-Cola Just Fell Off the Wagon

Its first foray into boozy drinks, Fizzy Lemon-Do, will be available only in Japan

(Newser) - For 132 years, Coca-Cola has stuck to non-alcoholic beverages. No more. On Monday, the company introduced three fizzy lemon drinks in 3%, 5%, and 7% alcohol on the Japanese island of Kyushu, home to 13 million people. Coca-Cola's Lemon-Do falls into Japan's popular "chuhai" category, drinks that... More »

China, Japan Slam Trump Move on Auto Tariffs

Beijing will 'firmly defend' its rights

(Newser) - On Thursday, China and Japan both condemned the Trump administration's decision to launch an investigation into whether tariffs are needed on imports of vehicles and automotive parts into the United States. China's Commerce Ministry said Beijing would "firmly defend" its rights and interests against what it called... More »

Japanese Train Firm Very, Very Sorry for Leaving Early

Attention, entire airline industry

(Newser) - A red-faced West Japan Railways (aka JR West) has issued an apology after one of its conductors accidentally left the Notogawa station on Friday morning—drumroll, please—25 seconds early, reports Sora News 24 . The "truly inexcusable" tragedy that resulted in "great inconvenience" to customers went down like... More »

Japanese Lawmaker Retracts Remarks on Single Women

He warned that they will become a burden to society

(Newser) - Japanese lawmaker Kanji Kato is in the hot seat for suggesting that Japanese women who don’t have children are a burden to society. “I tell them that if they don’t get married then they won’t be able to have children and that they’ll end up... More »

Netanyahu Hosted Japan's PM for Dinner. The Dessert Stunned

Not in a good way, though, as shoes are looked down upon in Japanese culture

(Newser) - On Monday, Israeli celebrity chef Segev Moshe proudly posted a pic on Instagram showing off his latest creation: what looked to be a man's shoe filled with a "chocolate selection from the world." Per the Washington Post , it was Moshe's dessert offering for a May 2... More »

A Chance Meeting Led to His Birth Mom, and a Big Shock

Bruce Hollywood's biological mother owned a restaurant named Bruce

(Newser) - More than a decade ago, Air Force Col. Bruce Hollywood got to Dulles International Airport well before his flight. It would change his life. The Washington Post recounts the incredible tale of the now 57-year-old, who was adopted by an American couple stationed in Japan and never really considered his... More »

US Spends More on War Than Next 7 Nations Combined

China is a distant 2nd

(Newser) - A "near-constant state of war" is just one of the reasons the US spends more than any other country in the world on its military—by a long shot. If the next seven major military spenders combined their funds, they still wouldn't measure up, according to a list... More »

Fugitive Eluded Thousands of Cops for Weeks—Until Now

Tatsuma Hirao escaped from minimum-security prison on Japanese island, swam to mainland

(Newser) - Over the past few weeks, Japanese cops kept finding socks and cellphones they thought may have been stolen by the No. 1 fugitive on their list—but they couldn't find the fugitive himself. That changed Monday with the recapture of Tatsuma Hirao, who'd escaped an "open" prison... More »

World's Oldest Person Dies

Nabi Tajima was 117 years old, held the crown for 7 months

(Newser) - The world's oldest person, a 117-year-old Japanese woman, has died. Nabi Tajima died of old age in a hospital Saturday evening in the town of Kikai in southern Japan, town official Susumu Yoshiyuki confirmed. She had been hospitalized since January, reports the AP . Tajima, born on Aug. 4, 1900,... More »

They Experimented on Live POWs. Now, Names Released

Members of Japan's Unit 731 conducted germ warfare experiments during WWII

(Newser) - It had the boring and bureaucratic name of the Epidemic Prevention and Water Purification Department. But this secretive unit of the Japanese army during World War II—better known as Unit 731—conducted germ warfare and other lethal experiments on live prisoners of war, explains the Guardian . Now, at the... More »

Japan's Abe on Shaky Ground as He Returns to Meet Trump

Japanese leader is plagued by scandals amid calls for his resignation

(Newser) - Japan's Shinzo Abe became the first foreign leader to meet President Trump after the US election, and he returns for another face-to-face on Tuesday. As CNN notes, Abe sorely needs to score some points with voters back home. Trump may be facing strong political headwinds of his own, but... More »

Anime Legend Isao Takahata Dies

Producer co-founded Studio Ghibli

(Newser) - Isao Takahata, co-founder of the prestigious Japanese animator Studio Ghibli, which stuck to a hand-drawn "manga" look in the face of digital filmmaking, has died. He was 82. Takahata, who directed Grave of the Fireflies, a tragic tale about wartime childhood, died Thursday of lung cancer at a Tokyo... More »

Women Trying to Save Man's Life Ordered Out of Sumo Ring

Sports official apologizes in Japan after incident

(Newser) - A jarring incident in a sumo ring has triggered a national conversation in Japan about how women are treated. On Wednesday, women who rushed to save a man who collapsed were ordered to leave the ring because of the sport's tradition that women are "impure" and cannot enter... More »

'Selfish' Woman Faces Backlash From Boss for Getting Pregnant

Story out of Japan highlights 'matahara,' aka 'maternity harassment'

(Newser) - In Japan, some employers are strict on the perks of seniority—including the issue of which workers should be allowed to marry and get pregnant first. That's why, in a Feb. 28 letter to the Japanese newspaper Mainichi Shimbun , one man says his wife became "glum and anxious"... More »

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