May 2013
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Sword-bearing Swiss men uphold purest democracy

May 30, 2013

Sword-bearing Swiss men uphold purest democracy

Steffan Millius grips his sword and makes his way through the throngs of people crowding into Appenzell’s central square to take part in Switzerland’s famous direct democracy in perhaps its purest form. Every year, voters from across the northeastern demi-canton, or region, of Appenzell ...

May 30, 2013

Three-year investment push planned

The coming three years will be an “intensive investment-prompting period” to accelerate an economic growth strategy aimed at conquering nearly two decades of deflationary recession, the government said Wednesday. In the outline of the growth strategy, presented by economic and fiscal policy minister Akira ...

Tsunami hero continuing disaster education efforts

May 30, 2013

Tsunami hero continuing disaster education efforts

by Setsuko Kamiya

Since the Great East Japan Earthquake, regional governments have been reviewing their disaster plans and enhancing preparations, from boosting buildings’ quake resistance to increasing their stockpiles of emergency food and blankets for immediate use. While taking such measures is undoubtedly crucial, Toshitaka Katada, a ...

Art born from  the disingenuous

May 30, 2013

Art born from the disingenuous

by C.B. Liddell

The most radical force in art is not, as most people assume, genius, inspiration or sheer talent, it is instead a lack of technical ability. Combined with a strong desire to be an artist, this can prove to be a powerful driver of change ...

Monju must remain idled, NRA to order

May 30, 2013

Monju must remain idled, NRA to order

The Nuclear Regulation Authority will officially prohibit the Monju prototype fast-breeder reactor from resuming operations, dashing the operator’s hopes of restarting the facility by the end of next March. The harsh measure is a setback for the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, a national research ...

May 30, 2013

Nearly 40% of U.S. moms are family breadwinners

In a trend accelerated by the recent recession and an increase in births to single mothers, nearly 4 in 10 families with children under the age of 18 are now headed by women who are the sole or primary breadwinners for their families, according ...

Mudskipper numbers jump eightfold

May 30, 2013

Mudskipper numbers jump eightfold

The population of mudskippers in Kyushu’s Ariake Sea has increased eightfold in the first survey in 16 years, as the fish have been able to easily survive mild winters amid rising temperatures, a research institute said Wednesday. Mudskippers, known as “mutsugoro,” live in mud ...

May 30, 2013

U.S. Army mulls hybrid-engine model for next mainstay tank

Next year, the U.S. Army is expected to choose a larger tank to replace its Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle, which has been in service since 1981. If the army accepts one contractor’s proposal, its armored brigades could be relying heavily on a tank with ...

| May 30, 2013

Can Africa's emergency force deliver?

by Boris Bachorz

Aware that they have failed to get a full-fledged peacekeeping force up and running, African leaders now plan a rapid-deployment emergency force, but analysts question whether it can deliver. The African Union’s African Standby Brigade, meant to intervene swiftly in regional crises, has made ...

EU warns of duties on Chinese solar panels

May 30, 2013

EU warns of duties on Chinese solar panels

The European Union’s trade chief vowed Tuesday to tax Chinese solar panels next month in the largest EU commercial dispute of its kind, while urging China’s exporters to boost prices in return for an eventual end to the tariffs. EU Trade Commissioner Karel De ...

May 30, 2013

Flak dooms handbook pushing motherhood

by Jun Hongo

A government task force discussing measures to boost Japan’s low birthrate has scrapped an idea to give young women handbooks informing them of certain medical facts — including those pertaining to infertility — faced by some women in their late 30s. The handbook, tentatively ...

May 30, 2013

Softbank's bid for Sprint close to U.S. security OK

Softbank Corp.’s $20.1 billion takeover of Sprint Nextel Corp., the third-largest U.S. wireless carrier, is close to passing a national security review by U.S. officials, a source said. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. is close to advising Softbank and Sprint that ...

May 30, 2013

OECD boosts growth projections, urges reform

The OECD on Wednesday raised its projections for Japan’s economic growth thanks to a pickup in business and consumer sentiment brought on by the yen’s slide and resulting jump in exports. But the OECD also urged Japan to map out a credible fiscal rehabilitation ...

Kashiwa earn draw with Hiroshima

May 30, 2013

Kashiwa earn draw with Hiroshima

Kashiwa Reysol toughed out a 0-0 draw at champions Sanfrecce Hiroshima to pick up their first point in three matches in the J. League on Wednesday night. Junya Tanaka had the best chance when he hit the woodwork late in the first half but ...

May 30, 2013

Japanese companies skip Beijing trade fair amid political tensions

The number of Japanese entries in an international services trade fair that opened in Beijing on Tuesday is sharply down from last year amid lingering political tensions. Only nine Japanese companies and organizations are taking part in the Beijing International Fair for Trade in ...