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US Turns Over 2 Americans in Smuggling of Nissan Boss

Father and son tried to avoid extradition in Carlos Ghosn case

(Newser) - An American father and son wanted by Japan for helping former Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn escape from the country in a box were handed over to Japanese custody Monday, ending their monthslong battle to stay in the US. Michael Taylor and his son, Peter Taylor, failed to persuade US officials...

Suicide Spiraling, Japan Gets a 'Minister of Loneliness'

Development follows uptick in deaths, social isolation

(Newser) - Japan has appointed a minister of loneliness amidst a global pandemic and a rise in suicide. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga tapped minister Tetsushi Sakamoto, who is also in charge of combating a declining birth rate and reviving regional economies, for the new post at a Feb. 12 press conference, reports...

She Was Only 13 When North Korean Agents Took Her

They didn't realize Megumi Yokota was just a kid in 1977 abduction from a beach in Japan

(Newser) - The BBC recounts a harrowing chapter in relations between North Korea and Japan, a stretch from 1977 through the early 1980s when North Korean agents abducted Japanese citizens to help train their spies. North Korea has since admitted to this and apologized, though critics say the North has not acknowledged...

Japan's Ruling Party: Women Can Look, But Not Talk, at Meetings

Attempt to address sexism backfires

(Newser) - Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party has proposed allowing more women to attend its male-dominated meetings—but it doesn't want them to say anything. Toshihiro Nikai, the party's 82-year-old secretary general, said this week that five female lawmakers should be invited to observe the meetings in order to...

Japanese Stock Market Hits 30-Year High
Japanese Stock Market
Hits 30-Year High

Japanese Stock Market Hits 30-Year High

US markets were closed for Presidents Day

(Newser) - World shares started the week off with a rally, as Japan’s Nikkei 225 index closed above 30,000 for the first time since 1990. European markets closed sharply higher on Monday, following the advance in Asia. Shanghai and Hong Kong were closed for the Lunar New Year. US markets...

Another Blow to Troubled Tokyo Olympics

Olympics chief Yoshiro Mori expected to resign over sexist remarks

(Newser) - The chief of the postponed Tokyo Olympics is apparently feeling the pressure, because after refusing to resign for sexist comments he made on Feb. 3, he's now expected to call it quits. Former Japanese prime minister Yoshiro Mori, 83, is expected to resign during a Friday meeting of the...

Tokyo Olympics Chief Won't Step Down After Sexist Remarks

Yoshiro Mori apologized for saying meetings with too many women 'drag on,' but he won't resign

(Newser) - Anyone upset by sexist remarks made earlier this week by the head of the organizing committee for the Tokyo Olympics might be glad to know he's now apologizing—but don't expect much more than that. "I will not be stepping down," former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro...

Disturbing Concern Raised About Land for US Base

Critics fear remains of unaccounted war dead are in soil being used for Okinawa construction

(Newser) - The project is controversial enough: Japan is building a new military base for the US in Okinawa to replace another that's being shut down, and the vast majority of Okinawans oppose the coastal construction, reports Stars and Stripes . In fact, local groups have asked President Biden to reconsider plans...

Cops: Japan Woman's Fear of Eviction Led to Gruesome Act

Yumi Yoshino stashed mom's body in freezer for 10 years so she could stay in apartment: authorities

(Newser) - A Japanese woman is being detained "on suspicion of abandoning and hiding a female body"—with the body being that of her own mother. Per the Guardian , cops say that 48-year-old Yumi Yoshino kept her mom's remains for about 10 years in a freezer in their once-shared...

Catnip Is Fun for Cats, but Also 'Functional'
Catnip Does More Than
Make Cats Loopy

Catnip Does More Than Make Cats Loopy

Study suggests it also offers protection from mosquitoes

(Newser) - You may soon come to love catnip as much as your cat. New research suggests the chemicals derived from catnip and silver vine, an even more potent plant that grows in the mountains of Japan and China, can ward off pesky mosquitoes. Masao Miyazaki, a biologist at Japan's Iwate...

Source Says Japan Has Given Up on Tokyo Olympics

But many, many bodies are denying that report and say the 2020 games will go on

(Newser) - The 2020 Olympics were rescheduled to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, and officially, Japan is not wavering in its commitment to host the games in Tokyo starting July 23. But behind the scenes, wavering is indeed apparently happening—big time. According to an anonymous senior member of the ruling...

Student Fails University Exam for Not Wearing Mask Properly

They were told 7 times to cover nose

(Newser) - A student who failed to wear their mask properly failed their university entrance exam in Japan. Authorities say the student, one of more than 535,000 who took the standardized exam at 681 locations across Japan Saturday, was disqualified because they didn't wear their mask over their nose and...

Court Orders Japan to Compensate WW2 Sex Slaves

Tokyo refuses to accept 'comfort women' ruling

(Newser) - A South Korean court has ordered Japan to pay compensation to a dozen women who were forced into sexual slavery by its military during World War II—but seven of them have died since the lawsuit was filed in 2013, and the survivors may not live to see the money....

Amid 'Dire Circumstances,' a New COVID Record

United States registers record number of deaths from virus, 2 days in a row

(Newser) - The United States saw its deadliest day of the pandemic on Wednesday, with 3,865 new COVID deaths registered, per Johns Hopkins stats—beating the previous record of 3,775 deaths, which had been registered only the day before, ABC News reports. In an additional two-day streak, the nation saw...

On the Horizon: a Satellite Made of Wood?

Japan hopes project will cut down on space debris

(Newser) - When satellites burn up in the atmosphere, they don't entirely disappear. Tiny pieces of aluminium remain, contributing to an increasing mass of space junk. According to Daniel Oltrogge, director at the Center for Space Standards and Innovation, there are an estimated 760,000 objects larger than a centimeter (0....

Japan Describes What It Got From That Asteroid

Chips that look like charcoal

(Newser) - They resemble small fragments of charcoal, but the soil samples collected from an asteroid and returned to Earth by a Japanese spacecraft were hardly disappointing. The samples Japanese space officials described Thursday are as big as 0.4 inches and rock hard, not breaking when picked up or poured into...

Snowstorm Traps 1K Drivers for 2 Days

(Newser) - The US Northeast isn't the only place digging out after a massive snowfall. In Japan, more than 1,000 people have been stranded on a highway, some of them for more than 40 hours, by a heavy snowstorm that began late Wednesday, CNN reports. Authorities say that at one...

'Twitter Killer' Hears His Fate
'Twitter Killer' Hears His Fate

'Twitter Killer' Hears His Fate

Takahiro Shiraishi gets death after pleading guilty to murdering, dismembering 9 in Japan

(Newser) - The "Twitter Killer" of Japan has heard his fate, and he didn't react. Takahiro Shiraishi received the death penalty Tuesday after pleading guilty in September for the murder and dismemberment of nine people, and the judge who handed down the sentence had to ask if the "stone-faced"...

Boat Washed Away by Tsunami Drifted for Almost 10 Years

It ended up back in Japan, covered in coral

(Newser) - A fishing boat washed away in a tsunami has turned up 400 miles away almost a decade later. The small boat was pulled ashore after fishermen spotted it floating near Yaene port in Hachijo Island, south of Tokyo, NHK reports. A registration number confirmed that it belonged to a fishermen'...

She Accused Mayor of Sexual Assault, Got All the Punishment

Japanese councilwoman Shoko Arai says expulsion—her 2nd—is 'unjust'

(Newser) - The sole female councilor in Kusatsu, Japan, has been forced out of her seat after residents decided her sexual assault claim against the mayor had damaged the town's reputation. Now, officials worry the decision has put a black mark on the town on the international stage. Shoko Arai, 51,...

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