Japan

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Sumo Rocked by Champ's Alleged Beer Bottle Assault

Police are investigating Mongolia's Harumafuji

(Newser) - Going after a fellow sumo wrestler in the ring is quite all right. Outside the ring, and with a beer bottle, not so much. Hence why star athlete Harumafuji of Mongolia, one of only four active wrestlers to have achieved sumo's highest rank of grand champion, has thrown the... More »

Sincere Apology Issued After Train Leaves 20 Seconds Early

Even though no customers actually complained

(Newser) - The Tsukuba Express was scheduled to depart Tokyo for Tsukuba at 9:44:40. Instead, it left at 9:44:20. If you're thinking, "the horror!" then you'll be glad to hear that management for the Japanese rail company has formally apologized for the train's... More »

S. Korea: Japan's Gripes Over Trump Dinner 'Inappropriate'

Prawns, a guest rankled Japan

(Newser) - President Trump was on Tuesday served beef ribs with gravy that had 360-year-old soy sauce as an ingredient during South Korea's state dinner, and it came served with two sides of controversy. PRI reports it was the first state visit by a US president in 25 years, so South... More »

Pepsi Preps for Holidays With 2 New Flavors

Salted Caramel in the US, cake-flavored Christmas Cola in Japan

(Newser) - You can now have your cake and drink it, too. Food & Wine reports on a new limited-edition dessert-flavored drink from Pepsi, though you'll have to travel to Japan to sample it. Christmas Cola, which goes on sale there Nov. 21, is a white soda that Kotaku describes as... More »

Japan's 'Black Widow' Sentenced to Death

Judge says Chisako Kakehi was 'driven by greed'

(Newser) - Her murderous web won't protect Japan's "black widow," who's been sentenced to hang after a months-long trial. Judge Ayako Nakagawa of Kyoto District Court ruled Tuesday that Chisako Kakehi, 70, will hang for the murders of two common-law boyfriends and a husband, as well as... More »

In Tokyo, Trump Blasts 'Weak Rhetoric' of Past on N. Korea

His 'very strong' rhetoric includes saying the North is 'threat to the civilized world'

(Newser) - President Trump ratcheted up the pressure on North Korea on Monday, refusing to rule out eventual military action and declaring that the US "will not stand" for Pyongyang menacing America or its Asian allies. Trump, in Tokyo on the first stop of his lengthy Asia trip, denounced North Korea... More »

Cops: Serial Killer Met Teen Victims on Twitter

He allegedly targeted those looking to commit suicide

(Newser) - The 27-year-old Japanese man in whose apartment police found body parts belonging to nine people—including two severed heads and 240 bones—allegedly targeted teenage girls on Twitter. According to police, Takahiro Shiraishi used Twitter to connect with those wanting to commit suicide. He's suspected of killing four teens... More »

Tokyo Cops Make Horrific Find in Man's Apartment

9 dismembered bodies were in coolers

(Newser) - Tokyo police say they have arrested a man after finding "multiple" dismembered bodies in coolers in his apartment in a city southwest of the capital. A police spokesman said Tuesday the 27-year-old suspect confessed to cutting up the bodies and hiding them in cold-storage cases, covered with cat litter.... More »

Women Lost at Sea Back on Land After 5 Months

'I absolutely understand why certain people fall in love with the sea,' says Jennifer Appel

(Newser) - Jennifer Appel and Tasha Fuiava touched foot on dry land for the first time since May over the weekend, and as they got their land legs back, they thanked those who'd rescued them after five months lost at sea. The women, who endured sharks and storms while drifting in... More »

Cops Finally Catch 'Ninja' Thief, and It's a Surprise

Agile crook who eluded police for 8 years is 74 years old, say authorities in Japan

(Newser) - For the better part of a decade, an agile, black-clad thief eluded police in Osaka, Japan, as he pulled off burglary after burglary. But the reign of the crook who came to be known as the "Ninja of Heisei" appears to be over, and it came with a big... More »

School's Alleged Threat: Dye Hair or Get Out

Japanese student suing over physical, mental anguish

(Newser) - A high school student has filed a lawsuit calling attention to strict dress codes in Japan—but her complaint doesn't actually involve clothes. The 18-year-old says administrators at Kaifukan High School in Osaka threatened to expel her in 2015 if she didn't dye her hair black, then kicked... More »

Re-Elected Japanese PM Plans Big Change to Military

Abe has promised a hard line on North Korea

(Newser) - Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe cruised to re-election victory Sunday on a promise to take a hard line against Pyongyang, and he says the country will now "dramatically show counter-measures against the North Korea threat." Abe said Monday that action against North Korea will be discussed with... More »

N. Korea's Spies Took Her in '77. Trump Wants to Help Find Answers

President to meet with parents of Japan's Megumi Yokota, snatched at age 13 to serve as tutor

(Newser) - Forty years ago, a Japanese teen was abducted while walking home, one of at least 17 people kidnapped by North Korea in the '70s and '80s to serve as language and cultural tutors to the nation's spies. Now, President Trump has plans to meet with Megumi Yokota'... More »

'Pushed to the Limit': 23-Year-Old's Death Blamed on Overwork

Japan's labor standard office certifies another karoshi victim

(Newser) - The Japan labor standard office has determined that the suicide of a 23-year-old man who worked at Tokyo's new Olympic stadium construction site stemmed from overwork, and therefore his family was eligible for government compensation, the AP reports. Hiroshi Kawahito, a lawyer representing the victim's family, said on... More »

Japanese Woman Dies After Working Almost Nonstop for Month

2013 death of reporter Miwa Sado only now getting attention

(Newser) - Japanese reporter Miwa Sado averaged five hours of overtime per day during a month in the summer of 2013 while covering Tokyo metropolitan government elections as well as a national House of Councillors election. It all proved too much. Sado, a 31-year-old who worked for public broadcaster NHK, died of... More »

After 600 Tons of Mercury Flowed, the Trouble Began

How Minamata disease in Japan changed what we know about mercury poisoning

(Newser) - It is, writes Joshua Sokol at Digg , "one of the most famous environmental disasters in history." And the cause is now known to be fairly straightforward: From 1932 to 1968, a chemical factory in Minamata, Japan, dumped 600 tons or so of mercury into the local harbor. One... More »

Seoul Responded to Latest Pyongyang Launch Within Minutes

Test shows Guam is now in range, experts say

(Newser) - Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called for "direct actions" against North Korea from oil suppliers China and Russia after the country launched another missile over Japan early Friday. China and Russia "must indicate their intolerance for these reckless missile launches by taking direct actions of their own,"... More »

Now in Japan: Drive-Thru Funerals

Aging population is impetus behind move

(Newser) - For those in wheelchairs or with other mobility issues, funerals can be tricky to navigate. And in Japan, where 1.43 million people are expected to die annually by 2020, the need for a solution is pressing, reports the Japan Times . Enter Kankon Sousai Aichi Group, based in central Nagano... More »

Japan Is Losing a Princess

Princess Mako confirms engagement that will lead to her becoming a commoner

(Newser) - Japanese Princess Mako on Sunday confirmed she is getting married to a university classmate , one who won her heart with bright smiles and sincerity, the AP reports. Emperor Akihito's oldest grandchild and fiancé Kei Komuro, both 25, said at a news conference that their relationship started when the princess... More »

North Korea Could Respond 'With Fury' to Latest US Move

US flies bombers, fighters in show of force

(Newser) - The United States flew some of its most advanced warplanes in bombing drills with ally South Korea on Thursday, a clear warning after North Korea l aunched a midrange ballistic missile designed to carry nuclear bombs over Japan earlier this week, South Korea's military said. North Korea hates such... More »

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