Japan

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He Was Angry at His Phone Company. Then, a 'Tipping Point'

71-year-old Akitoshi Okamoto arrested after KDDI says he made 24K phone calls to them

(Newser) - Customer service hotlines exist in part so that customers can air grievances, and one elderly man in Japan apparently took advantage of that. CNN reports 71-year-old Akitoshi Okamoto was arrested Nov. 26 on suspicion of fraudulent obstruction of business after allegedly making 24,000 phone calls over a two-and-a-half-year period... More »

Store Faces Backlash Over 'Miss Period' Badge

Outcry after Japan's Daimaru debuts badge alerting others to workers' menstrual status

(Newser) - A Japanese department store that says it was trying to help out its female employees is now facing backlash over a uniform accessory. The BBC reports the hubbub is centered on a badge that Daimaru introduced in October to hundreds of workers in its women's wardrobe department. One side... More »

Pope to Change Church Teaching: Nukes Are 'Immoral'

Francis warns that an 'accident of possession' or 'insanity of a leader can destroy humanity'

(Newser) - Pope Francis is planning to change official Catholic Church teaching to declare the use and possession of atomic weapons as "immoral," a move that makes clear that his rejection of the Cold War-era doctrine of deterrence is to be official church policy. Francis had declared the possession of... More »

What May Be World's Best Sushi Place Now Has No Stars

Sukiyabashi Jiro in Tokyo no longer ranked by Michelin because it's too exclusive

(Newser) - The 2020 Michelin Guide for Tokyo includes 226 restaurants with at least one star, more than any other city, per Eater . But a restaurant widely regarded as the world's best for sushi isn't one of them, reports the Guardian . Sukiyabashi Jiro—where former President Obama reportedly had the... More »

This Firm Cut Its Workweek to 4 Days, With Surprising Results

Microsoft Japan's monthlong experiment saw a nearly 40% boost in productivity

(Newser) - Japanese employees are known for their work ethic, to the point where it can often be excessive: As CNBC notes, there's even a term there—"karoshi," or "death by overwork"—that has cropped up due to workers dying on the job . Yet Fox News reports... More »

'Sorrow Beyond Imagination': Japan's Shuri Castle Burns

Okinawa landmark was a World Heritage Site

(Newser) - A castle first built centuries before Okinawa was annexed by Japan has been devastated by fire. Police say a fire that broke out around 2:30am Friday has destroyed much of Shuri Castle, which was erected under the Ryukyu Dynasty around 500 years ago, the Guardian reports. The wooden structure,... More »

Japan Pardons 550K as Emperor Takes Throne

'An opportunity for the citizens of Japan to cleanse their spirit and start anew'

(Newser) - Japan celebrated the enthronement of Emperor Naruhito on Tuesday—and around 550,000 people classed as petty criminals had plenty of reason to cheer. The Japanese government announced ahead of Tuesday's ceremony at Tokyo's Imperial Palace that more than half a million pardons had been granted as "... More »

Japan's 126th Emperor Proclaims Enthronement

Prime minister led 'banzai' cheers

(Newser) - Emperor Naruhito ascended the Chrysanthemum Throne on Tuesday, proclaiming himself Japan's 126th emperor as the audience shouted "banzai" to wish him a long and prosperous reign. Naruhito pledged at an enthronement ceremony at the Imperial Palace to serve his constitutional duty as a symbol of the state and... More »

Japan Typhoon Death Toll Hits 53

Hagibis caused more than 200 rivers to overflow

(Newser) - The toll of death and destruction from a massive typhoon that tore through central and northern Japan continued to climb Tuesday, as the government said it was considering approving a special budget for the ongoing disaster response and eventual reconstruction. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told a parliamentary session that the... More »

Officials Apologize for What Happened to Woman, 70

Typhoon has killed up to 33 in Japan

(Newser) - Helicopters, boats, and thousands of troops were deployed across Japan to rescue people stranded in flooded homes Sunday, as the death toll from a ferocious typhoon climbed to as high as 33. One woman fell to her death as she was being placed inside a rescue helicopter, the AP reports.... More »

Eye Reflection in Selfie Was All Her Stalker Needed

Hibiki Sato charged with attacking Japanese pop star: cops

(Newser) - Celebrities, and anyone else hoping not to be found by creeps on the internet, can learn from an alarming stalking case out of Japan. According to media reports, a member of the J-pop group Tenshitsukinukeniyomi was sexually assaulted at her Tokyo apartment building last month after a fan figured out... More »

Typhoon Hits Japan

It's expected to be Japan's worst in 60 years

(Newser) - A heavy downpour and strong winds pounded Tokyo and surrounding areas on Saturday as a powerful typhoon forecast to be Japan's worst in six decades made landfall and passed over the capital, where streets, nearby beaches, and train stations were long deserted, the AP reports. Store shelves were bare... More »

Invisible Ink Brings an A in Ninja History Class

Student in Japan wins points for creativity

(Newser) - A professor in Japan had to concede that a student in ninja history knew her stuff when she turned in an essay in invisible ink that she'd made herself. The essay came with a note written in regular ink saying to heat before reading. Once the professor held the... More »

Lost Chapter of World's First Novel Found in Chest

Family has been holding it for nearly 300 years

(Newser) - The chest was opened. And suddenly, a chapter has been added to the oldest known version of what's considered to be the world's first novel . The original manuscript of the Tale of Genji—telling of the political and romantic life of Genji, the son of an ancient Japanese... More »

Tennis Phenom's Big Move: Give Up US Citizenship

Naomi Osaka had to make a decision by age 22, per Japan's rules

(Newser) - Naomi Osaka, born in Japan to a Japanese mom and Haitian-American dad , currently holds both US and Japanese citizenship. But once she turns 22 next week, Japan's nationality laws dictate she'll have to choose between the two—and the tennis star says she's going with the latter,... More »

Coming Typhoon Like One That Ravaged Japan in 1958

Hagibis could bring 2 feet of rain to Tokyo area

(Newser) - With a powerful typhoon expected to bring 2 feet of rain and damaging winds to the Tokyo area this weekend, Japan's government warned people Friday to stockpile supplies and evacuate before it's too dangerous. The Rugby World Cup and other events were canceled for Saturday, and flights and... More »

His Alleged Method of Stealing 1.3K Credit Cards Is Incredible

Yusuke Taniguchi memorized names, numbers on cards that passed through his register

(Newser) - While the rest of us struggle to remember what we had for lunch yesterday, Yusuke Taniguchi apparently has a much easier time with recall. Gizmodo reports that the 34-year-old part-time mall clerk in Koto City, Japan, was allegedly able to steal more than 1,300 credit cards from his customers—... More »

Idea for Fukushima's Radioactive Water: Drain It Into Sea

Japan's environment minister says it's 'the only option'

(Newser) - Huge quantities of contaminated water from the Fukushima power plant could end up in the Pacific Ocean, or so suggests Japan's environment minister. Fukushima has accumulated more than 1 million tons of water containing tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen, as roughly 110 tons of groundwater each day reach... More »

Typhoon Kills 1, Injures Dozens in Tokyo Area

Typhoon Faxai knocks out power to 900K

(Newser) - A typhoon blew across the Tokyo metropolitan area Monday morning, killing one person and causing dozens of injuries, while disrupting rush-hour travel and knocking out power. Several railway and subway operators suspended services and flights were canceled at Tokyo airports as Typhoon Faxai passed over Chiba, a northern suburb of... More »

After 150 Years, Japan Reverts to Old-School Tradition

Surnames will now come before first names, at least in government documents

(Newser) - For about 150 years, the Japanese have been following the first name, then surname method of being referenced when using the Roman alphabet in written materials. On Friday, however, a big change was announced: The country's government is switching the order of the names and reverting to the former... More »

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