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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...

Sure Sign of Friction: 2 No-Shows at Press Conference

US official has to go solo after Japanese and South Korean counterparts bail

(Newser) - US State Department official Wendy Sherman conducted a press conference Wednesday about tensions in Asia, but it was most notable for who wasn't there. Her counterparts from Japan and South Korea failed to show up as scheduled because they're feuding over regional islands, reports Reuters . The three diplomats...

Ex-Princess Who Married Commoner Now a New Yorker

Japan's former princess, Mako, arrived Sunday

(Newser) - "Princess Mako," who is in actuality no longer a princess , arrived in the US Sunday. The daughter of Japan's Crown Prince Akishino gave up her royal title to marry a commoner , and he has a job at a law firm in New York City, the BBC reports....

Cats May Have a More &#39;Profound Mind&#39; Than We Thought
Cats May Have a
More 'Profound Mind'
Than We Thought
in case you missed it

Cats May Have a More 'Profound Mind' Than We Thought

Research shows cats track their owners' movements around the house

(Newser) - If you've ever sensed that your aloof cat, who appears to ignore you, nevertheless seems to know just where you are at all times, you may be onto something. A new study out of Japan shows that cats may actually track their owners as they move around the house,...

Train Driver Sues for $20K After Wages Cut by 49 Cents

Japanese firm docked his pay after he caused train to arrive at depot 1 minute late

(Newser) - After a train driver in Japan caused a one-minute delay in June 2020, he had 55 cents deducted from his wages, which was reduced to 49 cents after he took the matter to a government office that deals with labor disputes. He has now upped the stakes by filing a...

Japan Inmates Sue to End 'Extremely Inhumane' Practice

They want to be told in advance of their execution dates

(Newser) - Every morning, in many cases for decades, condemned inmates in Japan wake up not knowing whether or not they will be hanged that day. Death row inmates are usually only notified of their execution a few hours in advance, but two of them are now challenging the practice in court,...

Princess Mako Marries Commoner, Is No Longer a Princess

She now has a surname for the first time, that of her husband

(Newser) - Japanese Princess Mako married a commoner and lost her royal status Tuesday in a union that has split public opinion after a three-year delay caused by a financial dispute involving her new mother-in-law. The marriage document for Mako and Kei Komuro was submitted by a palace official Tuesday morning and...

This Nation's COVID 'Success Story' Is a Mystery

Japan's case numbers have abruptly plummeted, and no one really knows why

(Newser) - Almost overnight, Japan has become a stunning, and somewhat mysterious, coronavirus success story. Daily new COVID-19 cases have plummeted from a mid-August peak of nearly 6,000 in Tokyo, with caseloads in the densely populated capital now routinely below 100, an 11-month low, per the AP . The bars are packed,...

'It's Like Somebody Hit Me In the Face With a Shovel'

Canadian Rocker stunned to get back guitar stolen in 1976

(Newser) - An amateur internet sleuth needed a project for the pandemic lockdowns, so he took a break from researching the DB Cooper mystery to help an aging Canadian rocker reunite with his favorite guitar. William Long is a fan of Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive guitarist Randy Bachman. He heard the...

They Were Promised 'Paradise.' The Destination: North Korea

Lawsuit in Japan seeks retribution for decades-long repatriation program

(Newser) - Some 93,000 people moved from Japan to North Korea in the latter half of the 20th century, many believing they would encounter a "paradise." North Korea—desperate for labor amid efforts to rebuild following two tragic wars—suggested these migrants, many of whom were ethnic Koreans who'...

'I, Fumio Kishida, Have a Special Skill of Listening to People'

He is now Japan's new prime minister

(Newser) - Update: Fumio Kishida has officially replaced Yoshihide Suga as prime minister of Japan. The country's parliament formally elected him to the position Monday, after Suga's resignation earlier in the day, the AP reports. Our original story from Sept. 29 follows: Former Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida won the...

Princess Mako Will Still Marry a Commoner, but With a Hitch

Japanese princess will forgo $1.35M payment to give up royal status

(Newser) - It's been a bumpy road for Japan's Princess Mako and her fiance, college sweetheart Kei Komuro, as they've prepared for their wedding over the past three-plus years, with controversy swirling over the finances of Komuro's family. At least the couple, both 29, could console themselves with...

Japan's Prime Minister Is Stepping Down

Yoshihide Suga is out of the running for governing party's leadership

(Newser) - Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga says he won’t run for the leadership of the governing party at the end of this month, paving the way for a new Japanese leader. Suga told reporters Friday that he will not run in the Sept. 29 leadership race for his governing...

2 Men Die After Moderna Shot, Japan Is Investigating

Shots came from different lot than one that had contaminants in it

(Newser) - Two Japanese men died days after getting the Moderna vaccine against COVID. Their doses came from a lot that was pulled from use. Three lots were pulled because contaminants were found in one of them, but the men who died got their doses from a different lot in which no...

Fukushima Has a Plan for Its Tainted Water

Nuclear plant will build an undersea tunnel and pump it out

(Newser) - The Fukushima nuclear plant is going to run out of room soon to store radioactive water that keeps building up. Solution: Japan will build an undersea tunnel and starting pumping the tainted water into the ocean, reports AFP . The water will be treated to remove most, though not all, of...

Japan Sentences Yakuza Mobster to Death

Sentence for Kudo-kai kingpin Nomura Satoru is the first of its kind

(Newser) - The head of one of Japan's most violent organized crime groups has been sentenced to death by hanging. Nomura Satoru, leader of a Yakuza crime syndicate based in the southern city of Fukuoka, was convicted of ordering four attacks, one of which killed the former chief of a fishing...

Roller Coaster Shuts After Riders Report Broken Bones

Japan's Do-Dodonpa roller coaster goes from zero to 112mph in 1.56 seconds

(Newser) - A roller coaster that can go from zero to 112mph in 1.56 seconds: What could go wrong? Something, perhaps. The Do-Dodonpa roller coaster at the Fuji-Q Highland amusement park in Japan has been indefinitely put on ice while officials investigate whether riders sustained injuries because of it—and fairly...

He Dropped Out of School, Helped Popularize This Famous Puzzle

Maki Kaji, known as the 'Godfather of Sudoku,' has died at age 69

(Newser) - Maki Kaji, who helped popularize the numbers puzzle sudoku, and whose life's work was spreading the joy of puzzles, has died, his Japanese company said Tuesday. He was 69 and had bile duct cancer, reports the AP . Known as the "Godfather of Sudoku," Kaji wanted the puzzle...

Downpours Swamp Japan
Downpours Could Last a Week

Downpours Could Last a Week

More than 5M residents have been advised to evacuate

(Newser) - Heavy rains are causing floods, landslides, and evacuations in Japan, with millions of people advised to flee. The nation's meteorological authority issued evacuation warnings Saturday covering more than 5 million people, CNN reports. The agency warned that the rain front could remain over Japan for a week. The southwest...

Lambda Variant Turns Up in Japan, Linked to Olympics

Japanese health ministry didn't disclose case until after Games ended

(Newser) - The delta variant is spreading in the population and in the news. But the lambda variant of the virus that causes COVID, which popped up in South America, is definitely attracting the attention of researchers, who fear it might be more resistant to vaccines than other variants. And now it’...

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