NEWS ABOUT: Japan

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Japan Quake Rattled Volcano Into 'Critical State'

Pressure has increased under Mount Fuji

(Newser) - As if Japan's 2011 earthquake and tsunami didn't wreak enough havoc, the country could be facing an additional threat from it: The threat from Mount Fuji, an active volcano, has grown, a study says. The earthquake boosted the pressure under the newly listed World Heritage site, researchers find,... More »

Phone Lost in Oklahoma Is Found in Japan

Farmer's iPhone traveled to Hokkaido and back

(Newser) - When Oklahoma farmer Kevin Whitney's phone slipped out of his pocket into a silo containing 290,000 bushels of grain, he figured it was gone for good—but it was just beginning a journey around the world. Some eight months later, he was reunited with the iPhone, and some... More »

Could Japan's Decades-Old Abductions Be Solved?

Pyongyang starts new probe as Japan agrees to lift some sanctions

(Newser) - Japan took a tentative step toward improved relations with North Korea today by agreeing to lift some of its sanctions, as Pyongyang announced the details of a new probe into the fate of at least a dozen Japanese believed to have been abducted by North Korean agents decades ago. The... More »

Scientist Retracts Groundbreaking Stem Cell Study

Haruko Obokata retracts her research but denies misconduct

(Newser) - A few months ago, Haruko Obokata appeared to be one of Japan's most promising young scientists. Her mind-blowing research on stem cells in mice, which apparently showed the cells could be made swiftly by dripping blood cells into acid, had just been published in the coveted scientific journal Nature.... More »

Chicago Finance Whiz Honors 'Japan's Schindler'

Chiune Sugihara saved 6K Jews during World War II

(Newser) - An 82-year-old Chicago finance wizard arrived in Japan today to pay homage to Chiune Sugihara, who saved him and 6,000 other Jews during World War II, Reuters reports. "It was truly death's door," says Leo Melamed of his family's flight from Lithuania to Japan. "... More »

Japanese Man Sets Self on Fire in Rare Protest

Thought to be railing against Tokyo's move to bolster defense forces

(Newser) - A man set himself on fire at Tokyo's busy Shinjuku railway station today in what appears to be a rare violent political protest. The man, who appeared in his 50s or 60s, was taken to the hospital after suffering serious injuries, said Daiji Kubota, an officer at the Shinjuku... More »

Japan Finally Bans Child Porn Possession

But law won't cover anime, manga depictions of abuse

(Newser) - After many years as the only major industrialized country where the possession of child pornography was still legal, Japan has finally taken steps to ban it. The upper house of the country's parliament has passed a bill that will punish people found with explicit images of children with up... More »

Why Japan's Shinzo Abe Is World's Best Leader

Noah Smith: He's setting an example across all fronts

(Newser) - Quick, name the world's best leader. Some familiar names might flit through your head, but Noah Smith at Bloomberg suggests one that probably didn't: Shinzo Abe of Japan. In his second go-round as prime minister, Abe has shined on everything from the economy to social reforms to foreign... More »

'Fat'? 'Jumbo'? Clothing Label Unveils New Sizes

Japanese company may be warning citizens to keep trim

(Newser) - A Japanese clothing company has replaced the usual sizes (think S, M, and L) with ones sure to boost shoppers' self-esteem—like Titch, Skinny, Fat, and Jumbo, the Daily Mail reports. The company, Fatyo, says on its website that it's just trying to make the word fat "cool.... More »

Saw-Wielding Fan Attacks Famed Female Pop Group

2 of Japan's AKB48 members hospitalized

(Newser) - Japan has been stunned by an attack on female pop group AKB48—the world's biggest group of its kind. A saw-wielding "fan" lunged forward and attacked the group at a meet-and-greet event yesterday, leaving two of its teenage members in need of emergency surgery for cut and broken... More »

Obama in Japan: Diplomacy, Sushi, Soccer With a Robot

Obama pledges to defend Japan in dispute over 'rock'

(Newser) - President Obama guaranteed that the US would protect Japan if its dispute with China over the Senkaku Islands comes to blows, a serious moment in a conspicuously fun Tokyo trip. Obama said the islands have historically been administered by Japan, and that a US treaty "covers all territories administered... More »

Bieber Bumbles Into China Insult

He posts photo of himself at controversial Japanese shrine, apologizes

(Newser) - Justin Bieber is getting a crash course in international relations this week after inadvertently alienating about a billion fans, reports MarketWatch . The number isn't that much of an exaggeration: While in Tokyo, Bieber committed what many in China to be a grave offense by visiting the controversial Yasukini shrine... More »

China Seizes Japanese Ship Over Debt ... From 1936

Move could harm business ties: Japan

(Newser) - China has seized a Japanese cargo ship, saying the move is tied to payment that's been missing since 1936. At that time, Japan leased a pair of Chinese ships which later sank, the BBC reports, citing Japan's Kyodo News. The "sudden seizure" of the ship, acknowledged by... More »

'Space Cherry' Tree Stumps Botanists

After stint in space, it blossomed at less than half the age of a typical tree

(Newser) - Usually, it takes about 10 years for a cherry tree to bloom after it's sprouted. Not so with Japan's "space cherry": The tree bloomed after just four, and experts can't explain why, the South China Morning Post reports. It earned its galactic nickname after quite the... More »

US Sends Warships to Japan as Tensions Rise

Chuck Hagel gives warning to China on 10-day Asia trip

(Newser) - Visiting Japan today, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the US is sending two more ballistic missile destroyers to Japan to counter a possible North Korean attack, the AP reports. But he saved his sharpest remarks for China, linking Russia's takeover of Crimea with China's aggressive behavior in a... More »

Japan Vows to Intercept North Korea Missiles

But relations between the two nations might be better than you think

(Newser) - In case North Korea gets ideas to fire any more missiles , Japan is promising to shoot down any that have a chance of coming down in Japanese territory, reports Reuters . To do so, the defense ministry has deployed a destroyer in the Sea of Japan. The order runs through April... More »

Japan PM Chucks Ban on Exporting Weapons

Country looks to maintain regional power balance

(Newser) - In 1967, Japan banned weapons exports—first to selected countries, then worldwide. Now, PM Shinzo Abe is ditching those rules, the New York Times reports. A key reason: As China exhibits growing military strength, Abe wants "to maintain the balance of power in the region," an expert says.... More »

Fukushima Hot Zone Ready for Residents

District's 357 residents were booted 3 years ago

(Newser) - Some 357 Japanese citizens are getting the green light to return home after three years in exile—if they dare. The former residents of the Miyakoji area of Tamura were forced to leave their homes in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster three years ago; those homes were roughly... More »

UN Court Puts Kibosh on Japan's Whale Hunt

Finds JARPA II is 'not scientific'

(Newser) - Australia 1, Japan 0: The UN's International Court of Justice today ruled that Japan's whaling program, which it has long claimed is for scientific purposes, is just a cloak for commercial whaling, the BBC reports, in a case that Australia brought about back in 2010. The 16-judge panel... More »

World's Longest Serving Death Row Inmate Goes Free

Japan sets boxer free after 48 years on death row

(Newser) - A Japanese court has ordered the release of the world's longest-serving death row inmate, saying investigators had likely fabricated evidence. The court ordered a retrial and suspended the death sentence for 78-year-old Iwao Hakamada, a former professional boxer convicted in the 1966 murder of a family. More than 45... More »

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