Japan

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A Loaf-Sized Robot Just Took This Important Photo

Locating melted fuel at Fukushima is key, and this is believed to be it

(Newser) - An underwater robot captured images of lava-like lumps Thursday inside a damaged reactor at Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant , spotting for the first time what is believed to be nuclear fuel that melted six years ago. Locating the fuel in each of the three wrecked reactors is crucial for... More »

'Black Widow' Makes Stunning Claim in Murder Trial

'I killed my husband,' Chisako Kakehi tells court

(Newser) - When Chisako Kakehi took the stand during her murder trial Monday, she vowed to remain silent. But that's not what happened. In what the New York Times calls a "cinematic turn," the so-called black widow of Japan admitted to killing her fourth husband, one of at least... More »

First Film Clip Emerges of Japan's 'Comfort Women'

South Korean researchers found it in the US National Archives

(Newser) - It's just 18 seconds long, but a new video released by South Korean researchers makes history for the worst of reasons. The clip shows Korean "comfort women" held as sex slaves by the Japanese military, reports the BBC . It's believed to be the first such film clip... More »

Japanese Company Charged in Worker's Suicide

Matsuri Takahashi, 24, killed herself after several months at Dentsu

(Newser) - The Japanese company that employed a young worker who killed herself from "overwork" will face charges, reports the Jiji Press . Top advertising agency Dentsu faces charges of violating labor standards related to illegal overtime in the case of Matsuri Takahashi, 24, who threw herself from one of the company'... More »

Earhart Investigators: This Photo Proves She Survived

Documentary suggests National Archives image shows her and Fred Noonan

(Newser) - A new History documentary floats one of the most provocative theories yet about Amelia Earhart: The show focuses on a newly surfaced photo that some think proves she and navigator Fred Noonan survived their 1937 plane crash. Investigators with the documentary say the image shows Earhart sitting on a dock... More »

Why Japan's Hot Cows Are Wearing Cool Shirts

High-tech shirts fight annual summertime drop in milk production

(Newser) - Cows in Japan are sporting some new duds for the summer: high-tech shirts to keep them cool. The Japan Times reports milk production typically drops 10% during the summer heat, and farmers worry that will only get worse with climate change. That led Japanese apparel company Gunze to create the... More »

Airline Wouldn't Let Disabled Man Board. He Found a Way

'I just had to ignore them ... or I could not go back to Osaka': Hideto Kijima

(Newser) - A Japanese airline has apologized for making a wheelchair user hoist himself up a staircase from the tarmac to board his flight. Hideto Kijima faced the problem earlier this month while returning to Osaka from the southern island of Amami with friends, the AP reports. Vanilla Air, the budget affiliate... More »

'No Other Way': Airbag Maker Takata on Bankruptcy Filing

Japanese company was brought down by recall costs, lawsuits

(Newser) - Shattered by recall costs and lawsuits, Japanese airbag maker Takata Corp. filed Monday for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the US, saying it was the only option to keep supplying replacements for faulty airbag inflators linked to the deaths of at least 16 people. The company's bankruptcy filings cleared... More »

Navy Finds Dead Sailors Aboard Rammed Destroyer

Several bodies recovered from flooded compartments aboard USS Fitzgerald

(Newser) - The search for seven US Navy sailors missing after their destroyer collided with a container ship off Japan was called off Sunday after several bodies were found in the ship's flooded compartments, including sleeping quarters. Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, the commander of the Navy's 7th Fleet, described the... More »

With Sailors Still Missing, Questions Over Ship Crash

USS Fitzgerald collided with container ship four times its size

(Newser) - US and Japanese vessels and aircraft are searching for seven American sailors who are missing after their Navy destroyer collided before dawn with a container ship four times its size off the coast of Japan. The USS Fitzgerald was back at its home port in Yokosuka Naval Base south of... More »

Sailors Injured, Missing After Destroyer Hits Merchant Vessel

The collision happened early Saturday off the coast of Japan

(Newser) - A US Navy destroyer collided with a merchant vessel 56 nautical miles off the coast of Japan around 2:30am Saturday local time. The AP , citing Japanese media, reports one sailor on the USS Fitzgerald was injured and another seven were missing. The injured sailor was airlifted off the destroyer... More »

Japan Passes Law to Let Emperor Quit

Akihito will be first to abdicate in 200 years

(Newser) - Japan's Emperor Akihito is 83 years old and in declining health—and he is finally being allowed to step down. Japan's parliament passed a law Friday that will allow Akihito, who became emperor when father Hirohito died in 1989, to abdicate, reports Reuters . Akihito has had heart surgery... More »

One of Japan's Most-Wanted Men Arrested After 45 Years

Masaaki Osaka, 67, charged with killing a police officer in 1971

(Newser) - After more than 45 years, time is up for one of Japan's most-wanted criminals. NBC News reports Masaaki Osaka was arrested Wednesday in connection with the 1971 murder of a police officer; he's accused of killing officer Tsuneo Nakamura during a street protest in Tokyo in November of... More »

North Korea Fires 'Highly Problematic' Missile

That would be 3rd in 3 weeks, and it landed in Japanese waters

(Newser) - North Korea carried out its third missile test in as many weeks Monday, firing what is believed to have been a short-range Scud-type missile into waters Japan considers to be part of its exclusive economic maritime zone. Japanese government spokesman Yoshihide Suga says Tokyo has protested the "intolerable" action... More »

Japan's Tsunami Made Cambodian Kids Sicker

2011 natural disaster exacerbated iodized salt dearth, worsening country's deficiency issue

(Newser) - Cambodia thought it had a handle on its scarcity of iodine, an element critical for humans (and one not made naturally by the body) to make thyroid hormone. The country had long struggled with the lack of iodine in its soil, which at one point in the late 1990s resulted... More »

Princess Mako of Japan to Wed ... and Become a Commoner

The 25-year-old will marry former classmate Kei Komuro

(Newser) - Princess Mako, the granddaughter of Japan's emperor, is getting married to an ocean lover who can ski, play the violin, and cook. The news comes via public broadcaster NHK TV and has been confirmed by the Imperial Household Agency, reports the Japan Times . Kei Komuro, the man who won... More »

Island That Bans Women on Verge of World Heritage Status

Okinoshima in southwestern Japan is considered too sacred for women to visit

(Newser) - For centuries, a remote island in southwestern Japan has been deemed too sacred for women to visit, and even the men who do must strip naked for a ritual cleansing, as well as never discuss the details of their trip. Okinoshima, an ancient religious site that is home to the... More »

Japan's North Korea Warning Would Be 10 Minutes, Max

Japanese government admits there wouldn't be much time to seek shelter

(Newser) - If the Japanese ever receive word that North Korea has launched a missile toward them, they better find shelter quickly—because the government estimates any warning will be 10 minutes at most, the Japan Times reports. The Japanese seem to be on edge in the wake of chatter that Pyongyang... More »

Sole Survivor Marks 75th Anniversary of 1st US Raid on Japan

Dick Cole, 101, is last of Doolittle's Tokyo Raiders

(Newser) - At age 101, retired Lt. Col. Dick Cole says his memories are vivid of the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders mission that helped change the course of World War II. Now the sole survivor of the original 80-member group, he plans to take part in events Monday and Tuesday at the National... More »

Japan PM Issues Sarin-Gas Warning About North Korea

As concern mounts that another missile test is imminent

(Newser) - Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned Thursday that North Korea may be capable of firing a missile loaded with sarin nerve gas toward Japan, as international concern mounted that a missile or nuclear test by the authoritarian state could be imminent. "There is a possibility that North Korea is already... More »

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