December 2012
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Silicon startup success wants to return favor

Dec 29, 2012

Silicon startup success wants to return favor

by Ayako Mie

Seventeen years ago, Anis Uzzaman won an education ministry scholarship and left New York to study at Tokyo Institute of Technology. The American was excited by the chance to learn top-notch technology in Japan, where electronics giants Sony and Panasonic were leading the world. ...

Dec 29, 2012

Abe vows to resolve abductions

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, known for his hardline stance toward North Korea, vowed Friday to settle the long-stalled abduction issue in his meeting with kin of those kidnapped by Pyongyang’s agents in the 1970s and 1980s. “I am determined to resolve the issue,” Abe ...

Dec 29, 2012

Pro-North schools to lose tuition waiver

The new administration said Friday the tuition waiver program covering pro-Pyongyang high schools in the country will not be extended because of the lack of progress in resolving the past abductions of Japanese nationals to North Korea, education minister Hakubun Shimomura said. The measure ...

Dec 29, 2012

2010 defense program faces revision

The new Liberal Democratic Party government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will revise the country’s long-term basic defense program compiled by the Democratic Party of Japan amid China’s military rise. Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said Thursday that Abe told him to revise the plan ...

Club crowd uses salsa to slam archaic law

Dec 29, 2012

Club crowd uses salsa to slam archaic law

by Ayako Mie

Earlier this month, several people were seen salsa dancing in frigid weather outside bustling Shibuya Station. They weren’t there to show off, but to protest what they say is an outdated law that is being used to indiscriminately crack down on their favorite dancing ...

Dec 29, 2012

Sendai native Saito heading to Eagles

Former major league reliever Takashi Saito will return to his roots, having agreed to play for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, Kyodo News learned Friday. The 42-year-old Saito is a Sendai native and played his college ball at Tohoku Fukushi University. He left the ...

Matsui praised for impact on baseball

Dec 29, 2012

Matsui praised for impact on baseball

Kyodo, AFP-Jiji Fans in Japan were saddened Friday by the news of power-hitter Hideki Matsui’s retirement from baseball at the age of 38, many wishing he would resume his career in the country. “If he were to play in Japan, he could still hit ...

Dec 29, 2012

Nadeshiko Ono joining French club

Nadeshiko Japan striker Shinobu Ono on Friday announced her transfer from INAC Kobe to two-time women’s European champions Lyon. The 28-year-old Ono has been integral to Japan’s rise in women’s soccer, helping Norio Sasaki’s side win the Women’s World Cup last year and clinch ...

U.S. storm brings death, travel chaos

Dec 29, 2012

U.S. storm brings death, travel chaos

The U.S. Northeast was battered by heavy snow and strong winds Thursday as a mighty storm carved a violent arc across several states, killing more than a dozen people and snarling holiday travel. More than 3,000 flights have been canceled since Christmas Day, including ...

Dec 29, 2012

Dollar hits 29-month high of ¥86.64

The dollar rose further to 29-month highs around ¥86.50 in Tokyo trading Friday, backed by unflagging hopes for bold fiscal spending and monetary easing under the new government. At 5 p.m., the greenback was quoted at ¥86.30-31, up from ¥85.64-64 at the same time ...

Software firm releases Burmese phrase book

| Dec 29, 2012

Software firm releases Burmese phrase book

Software developer Daiichi Computer Resource Co. has compiled a book of common Burmese expressions titled “Active Myanmar” that can also be downloaded on cellphones. The Nagoya-based company has established an office specializing in software development in Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city and commercial hub, and ...

American couples hurt by Russia's adoption ban

Dec 29, 2012

American couples hurt by Russia's adoption ban

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to sign a bill that bars Americans from adopting Russian children provoked anguish Thursday among U.S. families that have been waiting months, and in some cases years, to complete the process. The legislation caps a year of increasing Russian ...

Dec 29, 2012

Nikkei ends at 21-month high, up 23% in 2012

Stocks closed the year on a robust note Friday, helped by the yen’s further decline, with the Nikkei average hitting a fresh 21-month closing high. On the final trading day of 2012, the Nikkei 225 closed up 72.20 points, or 0.70 percent, at 10,395.18, ...

Dec 29, 2012

Tuktamysheva claims Russian title

Sixteen-year-old Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, the junior world championship runnerup and Youth Olympics winner, clinched her first Russian figure skating title on Thursday despite coming close to pulling out through injury. Tuktamysheva, who won with a personal best of 196.57 points, had complained of a foot ...

Dec 29, 2012

Bearing maker, execs guilty of cartel

The Tokyo District Court found bearing maker Nachi-Fujikoshi Corp. and two of its former officials guilty Friday of violating the antimonopoly law for forming an illegal cartel to raise prices of their products for industrial machinery. Nachi-Fujikoshi, which is based in the city of ...

Kyoto resident becomes world's oldest-ever man

Dec 29, 2012

Kyoto resident becomes world's oldest-ever man

A resident of Kyotango, Kyoto Prefecture, on Friday became the world’s longest-living man, reaching the age of 115 years and 253 days to surpass the previous Guinness record by one day, city officials said. Guinness World Records postponed handing Jiroemon Kimura a certificate to ...