February 2013
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44 articles published/printed


Feb 10, 2013

Nuclear watchdog exec held 30 illicit meetings with power firms

A former senior official of the Nuclear Regulation Authority held at least 30 meetings with power company executives in violation of the new watchdog’s internal rules, it was learned Saturday. Tetsuo Nayuki, who served as director general of the NRA secretariat, met with representatives ...

Abe visits disaster-hit Iwate Prefecture

Feb 10, 2013

Abe visits disaster-hit Iwate Prefecture

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Saturday visits Iwate, one of the three prefectures hit hardest by the Great East Japan Earthquake, and vows to accelerate efforts to rebuild its shattered communities.

Nagasaki nursing home blaze kills four

Feb 10, 2013

Nagasaki nursing home blaze kills four

Four elderly women died and another woman and a man remained unconscious Saturday after a fire broke out the evening before at a Nagasaki nursing home for patients suffering from dementia, police said. They were among 12 people aged between 56 and 95 who ...

Feb 10, 2013

Tohoku Electric eyes 11% household electricity rate hike

Tohoku Electric Power Co. plans to hike household electricity rates by around 11 percent on average from July, the first increase in 33 years, as its financial position has worsened amid ballooning fuel costs from thermal power generation, sources said. The utility may possibly ...

Feb 10, 2013

No new BlackBerry phones for Japan

Smartphone maker BlackBerry Ltd. has confirmed it has no plan at present to sell its new handsets in Japan, although it denied it is abandoning one of the world’s most tech-savvy nations. Having fallen far behind Apple Inc. and lost ground to other smartphone ...

Serpent sales wind upward in Hong Kong

Feb 10, 2013

Serpent sales wind upward in Hong Kong

As Hong Kong prepares to usher in the Year of the Snake, an increasing number of the reptiles are slithering their way into local households, with sales of the uncuddly pet rocketing. Keeping snakes has become increasingly popular in the densely populated city in ...

We have the technology: Bionic eye makes debut

Feb 10, 2013

We have the technology: Bionic eye makes debut

After years of research, the first bionic eye has seen the light of day in the United States, giving hope to the blind worldwide. Developed by Second Sight Medical Products, the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System has helped more than 60 people partially recover ...

Feb 10, 2013

China world's largest trader in 2012

China overtook the United States as the world’s largest trading nation in 2012, with two-way trade in merchandise totaling $3.867 trillion, according to data released by China and the U.S. China logged $3.9 billion more in trade with the rest of the world last ...

India hangs plotter from 2001 Parliament attack

Feb 10, 2013

India hangs plotter from 2001 Parliament attack

A Kashmiri separatist was executed Saturday over his role in a deadly attack on Parliament in New Delhi in 2001, an episode that brought nuclear-armed India and Pakistan to the brink of war. Afzal Guru, a former fruit seller, was hanged at Tihar Jail ...

Woman defaces iconic Delacroix

Feb 10, 2013

Woman defaces iconic Delacroix

One of the most iconic paintings in French history, Eugene Delacroix’s “Liberty Leading the People,” was defaced by a woman with psychiatric problems but escaped permanent damage. The 28-year-old woman, who was being held by police Friday, is accused of using a black marker ...

Feb 10, 2013

Nuclear power and press freedom

Japan's plunge in a global ranking of press freedom is attributed solely to poor access to information on the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster.

Feb 10, 2013

Smaller pieces of the pie

The Abe administration is slicing ¥390 billion off last year's budget for central government grants to local governments, and calling for lower wages.

Feb 10, 2013

Delay in electoral reform

Talks agreed by the Liberal Democratic Party, Komeito and the Democratic Party of Japan on election system reform for the Diet are going nowhere.

Japan's animal spirits

Feb 10, 2013

Japan's animal spirits

by Stephen Mansfield

BONES OF CONTENTION: Animals and Religion in Contemporary Japan, by Barbara R. Ambros. University of Hawaii Press, 2012, 255 pp., $29 (paperback) Bumping into a Japanese acquaintance on the street recently, I inquired where he was going on his day off dressed in a ...