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News from around Japan

  • Obama on his way to Japan
    US President Barack Obama has left the United States for his first trip to Japan in about 3-and-a-half years. Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will hold a summit meeting on Thursday. (NHK)

  • 100,000 apply to participate in first public tours of parts of Imperial Palace
    The Imperial Household Agency announced this week that it has received over 100,000 applications from individuals seeking to participate in the first ever public opening of parts of the Imperial Palace. (Japan Today)

  • Tokyo stocks close up 1.09pc, Nikkei 225 index closed 157.50 points
    Tokyo stocks ended 1.09 percent higher Wednesday, buoyed by another day of gains on Wall Street and as railway and hotels giant Seibu Holdings rose nearly 11 percent on its return to the Japanese market. (brecorder.com)

  • Satellite images of N.Korea test site released
    A US research group has released satellite images of North Korea's nuclear test site. The researchers say the photos show an increase in activities, but the operations have not reached the high level of intensity that occurred before the previous 2 detonations. (NHK)

  • Stunning 22-year-old HD footage brings Tokyo of the '90s back to life
    While camera and monitors have certainly gotten better over the years, the resolution of real life hasn't gone through any upgrades, and the physical world has always been as sharp and vibrant as what we see today. As proof, take a look of these amazing HD videos of Tokyo taken over two decades ago. (rocketnews24.com)

  • 79-year-old woman stabbed to death in Shizuoka home
    Police in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, said Tuesday that a 79-year-old woman was stabbed to death at her home. (Japan Today)

  • National school exams held
    The education ministry conducted national academic achievement tests on Tuesday for all final-year students at primary and middle schools across the country. About 2.24 million students at about 30,000 schools took Japanese and mathematics exams. (The Japan News)

  • Japan, U.S. to defer broad trade accord
    Japan and the United States are now seen deferring a broad trade agreement until after a summit meeting set for Thursday due to differences over key issues, informed sources said Tuesday. (Jiji Press)

  • Japan eyes promoting performance-based pay system
    The Japanese government is considering allowing companies to apply a performance-based pay system to a wider range of employees and to stop paying overtime wages, it was learned Tuesday. (Jiji Press)

  • Japan's bird flu virus has same gene type as S. Korea's
    The virus strain that caused bird flu at a poultry farm in southwestern Japan has been confirmed to be genetically identical to the one found in South Korea, the National Institute of Animal Health said Tuesday. (Jiji Press)

  • H.I.S. eyes island off theme park for casino
    H.I.S. Co.'s Dutch-themed Huis Ten Bosch amusement park along the Nagasaki coast is considering buying a deserted offshore island in an expansion to boost its appeal as a possible site for a casino resort. (Japan Times)

  • Tsunami test facility completed to assess strength of nuke plant
    The Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry unveiled a large-scale experimental facility on Tuesday that can reproduce tsunami waves in order to assess the strength of nuclear plant facilities, such as breakwaters, gas tanks and doors. (Jiji Press)

  • Weak yen unable to curb ballooning trade deficit
    Finance Ministry statistics have cast a dark cloud over government strategy to conquer deflation and improve the balance of trade through depreciation of the yen. The figures show that the weak yen has so far failed to spur Japan's exports as much as expected. (The Japan News)

  • Lost codes spark airport scramble on eve of Obama's arrival
    Airport authorities in Tokyo launched a frantic scramble to change security pass codes, an official said Tuesday, the day before U.S. President Barack Obama arrives, after an airline employee dropped a memo containing the details. (Japan Today)

  • Japan cabinet minister, lawmakers visit Yasukuni Shrine
    A Japanese cabinet minister and some 150 lawmakers on Tuesday visited Yasukuni Shrine, which is seen by critics as a symbol of Japan's past militarism, in a move that could further strain fraught regional ties. (Reuters)

  • Ex-judge installed camera in women's toilet at Ministry of Justice
    A former judge from the Ministry of Justice is alleged to have installed a camera inside a women's toilet inside a ministry building in Kasumigaseki, people with knowledge of the matter announced on Monday, reports Sports Nippon (Apr. 22). (Tokyo Reporter)

  • Hunters kill bear after it attacks man in Niigata
    Hunters shot and killed a bear on Monday after it attacked a man in Murakami, Niigata Prefecture. (Japan Today)

  • Nikkei falls in thin trade on caution over earnings, Ukraine
    Tokyo shares dropped on Tuesday, unable to maintain earlier gains, on caution over upcoming Japanese corporate earnings reports and tensions in Ukraine. (Reuters)

  • China, S.Korea criticize Abe's Yasukuni offering
    Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang on Monday criticized Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for making an offering to Yasukuni Shrine. (NHK)

  • Labor shortage hits major industries
    With the economy appearing to be on the road to recovery, a wide range of industries, from construction and manufacturing to restaurants, are facing labor shortages. (The Japan News)

  • 'Frozen' breaks $100 mil. mark in Japan
    The US animated feature film "Frozen" has taken more than 100 million dollars at the box office in Japan. It's the first foreign movie to reach that mark in 4 years. (NHK)

  • Japan, U.S. resume trade talks ahead of Obama's visit
    The Japanese and U.S. governments resumed working-level bilateral talks under the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade initiative on Monday, two days ahead of U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Japan. (Jiji Press)

  • Foreign firms want Japan's corporate tax cuts
    A report commissioned by the Japanese government says executives of foreign companies in Japan advocate corporate tax cuts to attract more investment from abroad. (NHK)

  • Hitachi unveils world's fastest elevator
    Japanese electronics company Hitachi says it has developed the world's fastest elevator, with a speed of 1,200 meters per minute. The new model can ascend 95 floors in roughly 43 seconds. (NHK)

  • At Mt Gox bitcoin hub, CEO sought both control and escape
    In June 2011, when customers of now-bankrupt bitcoin exchange Mt Gox agitated for proof that the Tokyo-based firm was still solvent after a hacking attack, CEO Mark Karpeles turned to the comedy science fiction novel "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy". (Japan Today)

 
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