Japan

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Half of This Country's Married Couples Aren't Having Sex

Japan needs to get its bedrooms steamy again

(Newser) - Valentine's Day for a staggering number of couples in Japan will be even less steamy than a dry-air sauna. Per a new survey by the Japan Family Planning Association, nearly half of all married couples here haven't had sex for over a month (and didn't expect to... More »

Robot Enters Fukushima Reactor, Doesn't Fare So Well

'Scorpion' robot's crawling function fails before it could locate melted fuel

(Newser) - Robot probes sent to one of Japan's wrecked Fukushima nuclear reactors have suggested worse-than-anticipated challenges for the plant's ongoing cleanup. The plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., said the remote-controlled "scorpion" robot was sent into Unit 2's containment vessel Thursday to investigate the area around... More »

The Dark Underworld of Competitive 'Shroom-Hunting

Often-obsessive hobby can result in fatalities from poisoning, falls—even murder

(Newser) - What drives someone to head deep into the woods and spend hours foraging for fungi? Writing for Eater , the appropriately-named Joshua Hunt examines the seemingly obsessive quest for some of the world's rarest mushrooms. There's C. geaster, or "kirinomitake," for instance, which just one living person... More »

'Unimaginable' Radiation Detected in Fukushima Reactor

Tokyo Electric Power estimates 530 sieverts an hour

(Newser) - Exposure to 4 sieverts of radiation would kill 50% of people, according to Japan's National Institute of Radiological Sciences, per Japan Times . That's less than 1% of the radiation now being detected inside a damaged reactor at the Fukushima nuclear power station, according to Tokyo Electric Power. The... More »

Japan's Antidote to Overwork: 'Inemuri' Naps

But there are rules to follow

(Newser) - People who can nod off in any situation may consider a move to Japan, where public napping, so long as one follows certain rules of etiquette, is basically seen as virtuous. So reports the New York Times , which calls such napping a "subtle sign of diligence." The word... More »

Mathematician Wants to Fight Tsunamis With Sound Waves

His novel approach focuses on reducing the wave's energy

(Newser) - Tsunamis are among the deadliest forces in nature. Look no further than the one in the Indian Ocean in 2004 that killed more than 230,000 people after being triggered by a powerful earthquake, notes a post at Phys.org . But what if tsunamis could be drained of their power... More »

Japan Asks Worn-Out Workers to Take Afternoon to Chill

'Premium Friday' begins in February

(Newser) - Workers in Japan put in notoriously long hours, and the country appears to be paying a price: stressed out workers and resulting health problems, including suicide. As the Japan Times notes, there's even a word for it: " karoshi ," or "death by overwork." Now Japan is... More »

Lonely Deer-Humping Monkey Shocks Scientists, Internet

It's only the second time such a thing has been documented

(Newser) - One lonely snow monkey in Japan is taking animal sexuality to strange new places. In a study published Tuesday in Primates , researchers documented a monkey having or attempting sexual relations with at least two sika deer. While one of the deer ran off, the monkey mounted another deer and ejaculated... More »

S. Korea 'Comfort Woman' Statue Angers Japan

Tokyo recalls ambassador, suspends economic talks

(Newser) - Japan announced Friday that it would recall its ambassador to South Korea and suspend economic talks in response to the placing of a "comfort woman" statue representing wartime sex slaves in front of its consulate in the Korean port city of Busan, the AP reports. Both Ambassador Yasumasa Nagamine... More »

Japanese CEO Quits After Overworked Employee's Suicide

Matsuri Takahashi isn't only victim of 'karoshi,' or 'death from overwork'

(Newser) - "It's 4am. My body's trembling. I'm going to die." That was reportedly one of Matsuri Takahashi's tweets not long before she killed herself last year by leaping from a dorm at Dentsu, the ad company where the 24-year-old worked, per the New York Times ... More »

Japan PM to Join Obama for Historic Pearl Harbor Visit

Both men will lay a wreath at USS Arizona Memorial

(Newser) - Putting 75 years of resentment behind them, the leaders of the United States and Japan are coming together at Pearl Harbor for a historic pilgrimage to the site where the bloodshed of the surprise attacks drew America into World War II. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit Tuesday with President... More »

After War, Japan's Leader Paid Forgotten Visit to Pearl Harbor

A dog set him at ease

(Newser) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who will visit Pearl Harbor with President Obama on Tuesday, wasn't even born when Japan's former leader Shigeru Yoshida went there just six years after the country's World War II surrender, by himself and feeling awkward. Yoshida is best remembered for signing... More »

US Returns 10K Acres on Okinawa, Activists Shrug

The olive branch wasn't enough

(Newser) - The US has returned 9,909 acres of land on the island of Okinawa to Japan in what the New York Times calls the "the largest transfer of land" since the US officially returned the island to Japan in 1972. In exchange, Japan has built six helipads to be... More »

New Weight-Loss Aid: Sweet Potato Wastewater?

Mice lost weight after consuming it in new study

(Newser) - Tired of Thanksgiving weight gain? Next year you might want to pass on the sweet potato pie and drink a tall glass of sweet potato wastewater instead. That's what a new study in the Heliyon journal hints at with what Modern Farmer says "might be the weirdest weight-loss... More »

Space Station Gets a Christmas Delivery

Thanks, Kounotori

(Newser) - Christmas gifts have arrived at the International Space Station, courtesy of Japan. A Japanese cargo ship pulled up at the orbiting lab Tuesday, four days after launching. The capsule—called Kounotori, or white stork—contains nearly 5 tons of food, water, batteries and other supplies, reports the AP . NASA says... More »

Japan to Smack Space Junk With 2.3K-Foot Whip

If all goes well, a 6-mile tether could follow

(Newser) - Can a whip as long as six football fields destroy some of the 500,000 pieces of space junk spinning around Earth at 17,500 miles per hour? Japan's space agency sure hopes so. JAXA launched its Kounotori 6 spacecraft on Friday with tons of supplies bound for the... More »

Shinzo Abe Headed to Pearl Harbor to 'Comfort Souls'

It will be first time a Japanese leader has visited the site in Hawaii

(Newser) - Right after Christmas comes a first for the US: a Japanese leader will visit Pearl Harbor. The Straits Times reports that PM Shinzo Abe will be in Hawaii for two days at the end of December to meet with President Obama, and he'll make a stop at the site... More »

Japan Has Delicious Plan to Get Seniors Out of Their Cars

And it involves cheap noodles

(Newser) - Japan is trying to reduce the number of car accidents involving elderly drivers by offering seniors the only thing they love more than their independence: discounted meals. The Guardian reports that starting this month elderly drivers in Aichi prefecture can hand their driver's licenses over to police, receive a... More »

After a Massive Sinkhole's Quick Fix, More Sinking

But just 2.7 inches this time

(Newser) - "Blink and you'll miss it," the Guardian declared. Er, maybe not. After around-the-clock work reverted what was a massive sinkhole into a driveable section of road in Fukuoka, Japan, in just a week, the road seems to be sinking once more. The BBC reports the road sank... More »

Japan's 'World-First' Ice Rink Blasted as 'Immoral'

Apparently not everyone likes the idea of skating on top of 5K dead fish

(Newser) - A recently opened ice rink in Japan was advertised as a "world first"—only to subsequently be accused of being "immoral" and "weird" and having "no soul," CNN and the Guardian report. The skating rink in the Space World theme park in Kitakyushu came... More »

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