December 2012
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Wenger insists Walcott will remain at Arsenal

Dec 31, 2012

Wenger insists Walcott will remain at Arsenal

Arsene Wenger insists that he can convince Theo Walcott to stay at Arsenal after the England star’s scintillating hat trick destroyed Newcastle at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday. The Gunners’ 7-3 rout of Newcastle made it four successive victories since being dumped out of ...

Dec 31, 2012

Record 133 inmates held on death row

The number of criminals on death row at the end of 2012 stood at 133, the highest on record, the latest Justice Ministry figures show. Seven criminals were executed this year and nine were given death sentences. For the third consecutive year, the number ...

Dec 31, 2012

Travelers on tours to Europe soar 40%

The number of travelers who have booked package tours to Europe for the first quarter of 2013 is up about 40 percent from a year ago, while those to China have plunged about 85 percent because of the Senkakus dispute, according to data from ...

Dec 31, 2012

Fed's policies more risky than 'cliff'

by William D. Cohan

In the short term, Washington lawmakers are understandably preoccupied with trying to avoid the “fiscal cliff.” But the decisions that are likely to affect the economy’s long-term health are happening not on Capitol Hill or at the White House, but at the Federal Reserve ...

Reysol, Gamba advance to Emperor's Cup final

Dec 30, 2012

Reysol, Gamba advance to Emperor's Cup final

by Andrew Mckirdy

Kashiwa Reysol set up a New Year’s Day Emperor’s Cup final showdown with Gamba Osaka after beating Yokohama F. Marinos 1-0 on Saturday. Reysol and Marinos both went into the semifinal at National Stadium determined to end their record of never having won the ...

Landscaping the doors of perception in Japan

Dec 30, 2012

Landscaping the doors of perception in Japan

by Stephen Mansfield

ZEN GARDENS: The Complete Works of Shunmyo Masuno, Japan’s Leading Garden Designer, by Mira Locher. Tuttle Publishing, 2012, 224 pp., $39.95 (hardcover) Although the term zen-tei (Zen garden) exists in Japanese, its usage is a largely Western one, first coined by the American garden ...

Dec 30, 2012

Eagles sign Sendai native Saito

Former major league reliever Takashi Saito made his return to Japanese baseball official, agreeing to a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, the club said Saturday. The 42-year-old right-handed Saito, who hails from the club’s home in Sendai and is returning to ...

The wonderful worlds of 100 <em>waka</em>

Dec 30, 2012

The wonderful worlds of 100 waka

by Stuart Varnam-Atkin

The scene: England, Boxing Day 2012. The archetypical Carters are relaxing after a cold turkey lunch (with bread sauce) and are watching the Royal Family’s latest sonnets being read on the goggle-box. Time for a game! “‘Scrabble’?” “No, it always becomes ‘Squabble’!” “‘Monopoly’?” “No, ...

Testing out tourism in Tohoku

Dec 30, 2012

Testing out tourism in Tohoku

by Tomoko Otake

Some, though not all, of our travels change our lives; they cultivate sensibilities, shape values and alter our outlook on things. One such trip I experienced was a sixth-grade school excursion to Hiroshima when, at the Peace Memorial Museum, I saw photographs of people ...

Surviving tunnel given two-way refit

Dec 30, 2012

Surviving tunnel given two-way refit

A busy expressway tunnel in Yamanashi Prefecture partially reopened Saturday to ease congestion in the area after the ceiling of the Tokyo-bound side collapsed earlier in the month, killing nine people. Because the outbound side of the damaged Sasago Tunnel is a two-lane artery ...

Abe visits Fukushima plant, thanks workers

Dec 30, 2012

Abe visits Fukushima plant, thanks workers

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe inspected the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant Saturday to show the public that his administration is serious about speeding up decontamination and reconstruction work while it tackles a host of other pressing issues, his aides said. Donning a hazmat suit ...

Rightwing minister seeks to radically revamp education system

Dec 30, 2012

Rightwing minister seeks to radically revamp education system

by Masami Ito

Conservative education minister Hakubun Shimomura said he wants to fundamentally change Japan’s postwar school system to teach children about the nation’s historical traditions and culture. Shimomura played a key role in drafting the Liberal Democratic Party’s rightwing policy platform for the Dec. 16 general ...