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Man Who Accidentally Got All of Town's COVID Cash: It's Gone

The 24-year-old Japanese man was arrested on fraud charge

(Newser) - What the Japanese town of Abu knew was this: The $770 each COVID relief payments that were supposed to go to 463 low-income households last month mistakenly ended up in a 24-year-old villager's account . The mistake occurred April 8 and was identified that same day, but for weeks Sho...

He Got the Whole Town's COVID Payments. Then He Vanished

Man in Japanese town of Abu took off with nearly $360K mistakenly transferred to him

(Newser) - Last month, more than 450 households in a Japanese town in the Yamaguchi prefecture eagerly awaited COVID relief payments of about $770 each, designed to help families struggling due to the pandemic. One villager received all the payments in his account, however, and he's now disappeared, as has the...

There's Growing 'Fictosexual' Movement in Japan

Adherents say the practice is empowering and liberating

(Newser) - In 2008, Akihiko Kondo spiraled into a deep depression after being bullied at work and rebuffed by several women. That is when he discovered Miku, a blue-haired, software-based “virtual pop star.” He soon fell in love, according to New York Times reporters Ben Dooley and Hisako Ueno, who...

Oldest Person Dies at 119
Oldest Person
Dies at 119

Oldest Person Dies at 119

Kane Tanaka wanted everyone to 'continue to have fun'

(Newser) - A woman thought to be the oldest person in the world, with a certificate to back it up, has died in Japan at age 119. Guinness World Records reported Monday that Kane Tanaka died last Tuesday, NBC News reports. She lived in a rest home and died at a hospital...

Ukraine Apologizes to Japan Over Pic of WWII Emperor

Video tweeted out by Ukraine government account showed Hirohito's photo next to Hitler, Mussolini

(Newser) - Ukraine has a brand-new word —"ruscism," roughly translated as "Russian fascism"—to describe what's happening now within its war-torn borders. But its thoughts on defeating fascism went a little awry over the weekend, after a government account tweeted a video that compared Japan's...

No Survivors Found After Tour Boat Sinks in Japan

Ten pulled from water have died, and 16 others are missing

(Newser) - Update: The news is grim on the search for survivors after a Japanese tour boat sank. Ten people who were retrieved Sunday from the frigid sea and the rocky coast of a northern Japanese national park had died per the AP . The search for the other 16 people missing continues,...

4 Killed,97 Hurt in Fukushima Quake
4 Killed, 97 Hurt in
Fukushima Quake

4 Killed, 97 Hurt in Fukushima Quake

Train partially derailed in Japan quake

(Newser) - The powerful 7.4 magnitude earthquake that struck off the coast of Fukushima in northern Japan Wednesday night killed four people and injured 97, the AP reports. A small tsunami reached shore, but the low-risk advisory was lifted by Thursday morning. The region is part of northern Japan that was...

7.3 Quake Hits Fukushima Area
7.3 Quake Hits
Fukushima Area

7.3 Quake Hits Fukushima Area

Authorities say tsunami risk is receding, no damage found at nuclear plant

(Newser) - A powerful 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Fukushima in northern Japan on Wednesday evening, triggering a tsunami advisory and plunging more than 2 million homes in the Tokyo area into darkness. The region was devastated by a deadly 9.0 quake and tsunami 11 years ago...

'Killing Stone' of Japanese Legend Splits in Two

It's a very bad omen, according to ancient folklore

(Newser) - A famous stone in the mountains of central Honshu Island, Japan, has split in two, and that's an extremely bad omen, according to ancient Japanese mythology. Legends say that the Sessho-Seki—"Killing Stone"—contained the transformed corpse of Tamomo-no-Mae, a woman who was possessed by an evil...

Suspected Cyberattack Shuts Down Toyota Production

Company suspends work at plants in Japan

(Newser) - Toyota is suspending production at all 28 lines of its 14 plants in Japan starting Tuesday, because of a "system malfunction" that a domestic supplier suspects is a cyberattack. Kojima Industries Corp., based in Toyota city in central Japan, said Monday the problem could be a cyberattack, as an...

US Man Who Helped Ghosn Flee Isn't Doing Well in Prison: Lawyers

Michael Taylor, who aided Nissan chair's escape from Japan, reportedly got frostbite in Fuchu jail

(Newser) - Update: The American dad sentenced to two years in a Fuchu prison for helping Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn escape Japan is suffering behind bars, according to his legal team. One of Michael Taylor's US-based attorneys, Paul Kelly, tells the New York Times the facility's lack of heating led...

Mom Makes Drastic Move After Learning of Sperm Donor's Lies

Japanese mother gives up baby upon finding out donor fibbed about education, ethnicity

(Newser) - A woman in Japan who thought the man she commissioned as a sperm donor was also from Japan, and educated at an elite university, was distressed to find out that wasn't the case—facts she found out when she was already pregnant and it was too late to have...

McDonald's Restaurants Here Are Rationing Their French Fries

Flooding around Vancouver has delayed potato imports, triggering shortage in Japan

(Newser) - McDonald's Japan says recent flooding in Canada means it's now having to ration its french fries. The fast-food restaurant chain will block all sales of medium- and large-size fries for the remainder of the year, beginning Friday, according to a release. "Import delays have occurred for potatoes...

After 2-Year Hiatus, Japan Resumes 'Abhorrent' Practice

3 death-row inmates executed amid continued controversy over how death penalty is carried out

(Newser) - For two years, Japan hasn't carried out any executions. That changed Tuesday with the hanging of three death-row inmates, reviving outcry from human rights activists on the controversial way in which the country carries out capital punishment. At a presser, Justice Minister Yoshihisa Furukawa cited the "extremely brutal"...

Japanese Star Sayaka Kanda Found Dead at 35

Actress, singer who voiced Anna in Japanese version of 'Frozen' apparently committed suicide

(Newser) - Sayaka Kanda, a Japanese actress and singer, was found dead at a hotel in Sapporo on Saturday after she failed to show up for an afternoon performance of My Fair Lady in which she was set to play Eliza Dolittle. The 35-year-old, who voiced Anna in the dubbed Japanese version...

Arson Suspected After Fire Kills at Least 19 in Japan

Most of the victims were at Osaka clinic

(Newser) - More than 20 people were feared dead after a fire broke out Friday in a building in Osaka in western Japan, officials say. Police were investigating arson as a possible cause, the AP reports. The fire started on the fourth floor of an eight-story building in the major business, shopping,...

Japan Does a 180 on Controversial Omicron Policy

And more on what omicron means around the globe

(Newser) - Update: Just one day after announcing a recommendation that quickly became quite controversial, Japan is changing its tune. The country's transport ministry on Thursday said it was retracting its request that airlines stop taking reservations for people coming in to Japan until the new year, the AP reports. Our ...

Crown Prince Unusually Candid About Coverage of Daughter

Crown prince had choice words about 'fabrications,' response to stories

(Newser) - Prince Akishino of Japan has some choice words about the media coverage of his daughter Mako and her wedding. The former Japanese princess, now a commoner and a New Yorker , was subject to intense and unflattering media scrutiny, and her dad is not pleased—not with tabloids, not with online...

Man Rescued After 22 Hours on Capsized Boat

Unnamed 69-year-old man rescued off Japan on Sunday

(Newser) - Over and over, the ocean waves battered him. And the 69-year-old man endured for 22 hours, sitting on the engine of his capsized boat in rough seas off Japan, gripping the propeller to help stabilize him. His only protection from the elements was a grey plastic sheet, which he wrapped...

New Book Examines Hitler's Fatal Miscalculation

Declaring war on US wasn't just madness, authors say

(Newser) - The fates of nations could have gone in various directions in early December 1941. Japan might have attacked British installations in Asia instead of Pearl Harbor. Italy and the Vichy government of France could have followed through on negotiations to form a close alliance. And Adolf Hitler might have avoided...

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