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Commercial Whaling Is Back in Japan

Nation withdrew from global moratorium in December

(Newser) - After pulling out of an international agreement in December, Japan will resume commercial whaling next month. The International Whaling Commission's moratorium took effect in 1986. Japan has limited itself to "scientific whaling" since 1988, Quartz reports, though that claim was widely considered cover for continued commercial whaling. A... More »

Japan's Health Chief on High Heels at Work: 'Necessary'

He's pushing back on artist Yumi Ishikawa's petition against workplace dress requirements

(Newser) - Women across Japan may find workplace dress codes that require high heels to be onerous, but according to the country's chief health official, such mandates are just fine. Reuters reports that Health Minister Takumi Nemoto responded Wednesday to an online campaign started by artist Yumi Ishikawa that pushes back... More »

They Made Her Wear Heels to Work. So She Started #KuToo

Artist Yumi Ishikawa is leading campaign to ban high heels requirements in the workplace

(Newser) - Workplace dress codes can be annoying, but in Japan, there's a crusade to get rid of one mandate in particular, and it comes with its own hashtag: #KuToo. CNN notes the campaign and hashtag—a play on two words meaning "shoes" and "pain," and meant to... More »

NYT Reporter Gets Creative With Trump Event's Dress Code

Annie Karni wore her wedding dress

(Newser) - New York Times reporter Annie Karni was getting ready to head to Japan to cover President Trump's visit there when she found out about the dress code for one of the events she'd be attending—and she had to scramble to pack just the right thing, per Sky... More »

In Japan, Trump Responds to Horrific Attack There

'All Americans stand with the people of Japan,' he says after children are stabbed

(Newser) - The final morning of President Trump's visit to Japan was overshadowed by a horrific attack on schoolchildren near Tokyo . The president offered his condolences during a Tuesday morning appearance with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the AP reports. "I want to take a moment to send our prayers and... More »

Man Screaming 'I Will Kill You' Attacks Schoolgirls

3 dead in attack near Tokyo, authorities say

(Newser) - A man carrying a knife in each hand and screaming "I will kill you" attacked schoolgirls waiting at a bus stop just outside Tokyo on Tuesday, wounding 16 people and leaving three dead, including the attacker, Japanese authorities say. NHK national television, quoting police, said that the suspect died... More »

Trump Not 'Personally Bothered' by NK Launches

He breaks with host during Japan visit

(Newser) - President Trump said Monday that he is not "personally bothered" by recent short-range missile tests that North Korea conducted this month, breaking with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is hosting the president on four-day state visit full of pageantry. Standing beside Trump at a news conference after hours... More »

Trump Posts Surprising Tweet on Japan Trip

Meanwhile, Shinzo Abe is wooing him with golf and cheeseburgers

(Newser) - President Trump posted a tweet that likely surprised his Japanese hosts before they courted him Sunday with cheeseburgers, sumo-wrestling, and golf: "North Korea fired off some small weapons, which disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me," Trump tweeted Saturday, referring to short-range weapons that are... More »

Trump Opens Japan Trip With a Little Jab

The president mentions the US-Japanese trade imbalance

(Newser) - President Donald Trump opened a state visit to Japan on Saturday by needling the American ally over its trade imbalance with the United States, the AP reports. "Maybe that's why you like us so much," he joshed. Trump also promoted the US under his leadership, saying "... More »

'There Is a Groper Here. Please Help'

Anti-groping app is hot in Japan

(Newser) - A smartphone app developed by Japanese police is being widely downloaded by women trying to protect themselves from gropers on packed rush-hour trains, the AP reports. The "Digi Police" app was originally issued by Tokyo police three years ago, but a function to scare off molesters was only added... More »

Minister Asks World to Write Japanese Names Differently

Last name should come first, he says

(Newser) - Japanese foreign minister Taro Kono—first name Taro, last name Kono—would like the world's media to start calling him Kono Taro. The minister said Tuesday that, as a new royal era dawns in Japan, it is time for the international media to start putting the family name first... More »

Trump Makes 2 Big Moves on Tariffs

He lifts them on Canada and Mexico and postpones action against Japan, Europe

(Newser) - Bogged down in a sprawling trade dispute with US rival China, President Trump took steps Friday to ease tensions with America's allies—lifting import taxes on Canadian and Mexican steel and aluminum and delaying auto tariffs that would have hurt Japan and Europe. By removing the metals tariffs on... More »

'Beautiful Harmony' Era Dawns in Japan

In silent ceremony, Naruhito receives imperial sword

(Newser) - Following in the footstops of his father Akihito in 1989 and grandfather Hirohito in 1926, Naruhito ascended to Japan's Chrysanthemum Throne on Wednesday. The 59-year-old—who officially became Emperor Naruhito at midnight Tuesday after his father's abdication —took possession of the imperial sword and jewel in a... More »

'Today, I Am Concluding My Duties as the Emperor'

Akihito announces abdication in palace ceremony

(Newser) - Japanese Emperor Akihito announced his abdication at a palace ceremony Tuesday in his final address, as the nation embraced the end of his reign with reminiscence and hope for a new era. "Today, I am concluding my duties as the emperor," Akihito said as he stood in front... More »

Married 26 Years, She Can't Watch Him Become Emperor

Unless it's on TV: Japanese succession rules bar Masako from attending Naruhito's ascension

(Newser) - On Wednesday, Crown Prince Naruhito will become an emperor and usher in the "Reiwa" era, and the world will be watching—but one important person won't be seeing it up close. Per the New York Times , Naruhito's wife of 26 years, Masako, isn't allowed to be... More »

Japan Is Getting a Rare 10-Day Vacation. Not Everyone's Happy

Extended break starts Saturday to celebrate ascension of Naruhito to emperor

(Newser) - The "Reiwa" era is nearly upon Japan, and big plans are afoot to commemorate it. As Crown Prince Naruhito prepares to ascend to emperor status on May 1, taking the throne from his father, Akihito, who's abdicating, what Reuters calls an "unprecedented" 10-day holiday is on the... More »

Removal of Fuel From Melted Reactor Begins

Milestone reached in Fukushima cleanup

(Newser) - The operator of the tsunami-wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant has begun removing fuel from a cooling pool at one of three reactors that melted down in the 2011 disaster, a milestone in the decades-long process to decommission the plant. Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Monday that workers operating from a control... More »

US Sailor, Woman Found Dead in Bloody Bedroom

The killing comes at a time of rising tensions in Okinawa

(Newser) - Tragedy struck Okinawa on Saturday morning when a US Navy sailor apparently used a knife to kill a woman and then take his own life, CNN reports. The bodies were found in a bloody bedroom on the Japanese island. "This is an absolute tragedy and we are fully committed... More »

Lone Survivor of WWII Massacre Kept Another Dark Secret

'History detective' reveals Aussie nurses were raped before being killed by Japanese troops

(Newser) - Vivian Bullwinkel was the sole survivor of a horrific World War II massacre, in which 21 of her fellow Australian army nurses were forced into the ocean and machine-gunned by Japanese troops on Indonesia's Bangka Island. Now, "history detective" Lynette Silver has added another terrible piece to the... More »

8 Years After Fukushima, 367 Can Return Home

That doesn't mean they want to

(Newser) - Japan partially lifted an evacuation order in one of the two hometowns of the tsunami-wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant on Wednesday for the first time since the 2011 disaster. Decontamination efforts have lowered radiation levels significantly in the area about 4 miles southwest of the plant where three reactors had meltdowns... More »

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