June 2013
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67 articles published/printed


Show a fashion statement on asylum seekers

Jun 22, 2013

Show a fashion statement on asylum seekers

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Dismayed by Japan’s low acceptance rate for asylum seekers, a student group organized a fashion show spotlighting ethnic clothes to raise awareness among their peers of the harsh reality facing the underprivileged worldwide. Organized by the group J-Fun Youth, the event titled “Why Blue?” ...

Sprint part of Son's quest for the top

Jun 22, 2013

Sprint part of Son's quest for the top

Billionaire Masayoshi Son told Softbank Corp. investors Friday how he plans to use the purchase of Sprint Nextel Corp. to transform Japan’s No. 3 mobile carrier into the world’s No. 1. At the company’s annual meeting, Son is working to convince shareholders his $21.6 ...

3-D brain atlas wows researchers with microscopic detail

Jun 22, 2013

3-D brain atlas wows researchers with microscopic detail

A 65-year-old woman’s brain was cut into 7,400 slices to create the most detailed three-dimensional atlas of the human brain ever made, bringing researchers one step closer to reverse-engineering the organ’s convoluted circuitry. Brain atlases are essential reference tools for researchers and physicians. They ...

Jun 22, 2013

Council to help foreign students land Kansai region jobs

Businesses, universities and a local bureau of the industry ministry have jointly set up a council to increase the number of foreigners studying in west Japan as well as job openings for those who graduate. The management council for employment of global manpower aims ...

Jun 22, 2013

Prenatal tests using amniocentesis rising

The number of prenatal tests for diagnosing chromosomal abnormalities using amniocentesis in Japan reached around 20,000 in 2012, up 4,000 from the previous year and double the figure 10 years earlier, reflecting an increase in late childbearing, a survey showed Friday. The number of ...

Jun 22, 2013

As Fed eyes QE exit, BOJ may need to up easing

While the U.S. Federal Reserve has offered a timetable for scaling back its quantitative easing regime, the Bank of Japan may face calls for additional easing, some observers say. Stock markets around the globe tumbled and U.S. Treasury yields surged after Fed Chairman Ben ...

Tower Records defiant in face of CD slump

Jun 22, 2013

Tower Records defiant in face of CD slump

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Declining sales of CDs over the past decade may indicate a grim future for music shops, but Ikuo Minewaki believes there is still a place for brick and mortar retail outlets. “CDs are no longer items that you can leave on the store shelf ...

Jun 22, 2013

Senior official tweeted too far

A senior Reconstruction Agency official has been suspended for 30 days after repeatedly posting derogatory messages on his Twitter account against citizens’ groups and authorities in areas hit by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Reconstruction minister Takumi Nemoto announced the disciplinary measure against Yasuhisa ...

Tourism goal within reach, JTA chief says

Jun 22, 2013

Tourism goal within reach, JTA chief says

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The rapid drop in the yen helped lure a record 3.17 million tourists to Japan from January to April, but achieving the government’s goal of 10 million this year will require more work, Japan Tourism Agency Commissioner Norifumi Ide said. The first quarter was ...

Jun 22, 2013

Fighting the poachers on Africa's thin green line

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Esnart Paundi rarely smiled for the camera. One old photo shows her wearing her ranger’s camouflage fatigues and a pensive expression as she crouches beside a mound of bushmeat and three despondent poachers, one handcuffed. In another she is in a black leather jacket ...

Latvian presidential palace suffers serious fire

Jun 22, 2013

Latvian presidential palace suffers serious fire

Firefighters were called Thursday night to a massive roof fire at the centuries-old Riga Castle, which normally is the seat of the Latvian president but currently is under renovation. No one was believed to be injured or killed, state fire services spokeswoman Viktorija Sembele ...

Flooding devastates pilgrimage town of Lourdes

Jun 22, 2013

Flooding devastates pilgrimage town of Lourdes

France said Thursday it will declare a state of natural disaster in the southwest of the country after floods claimed three lives and devastated Lourdes. Fears that the Catholic pilgrimage site could be forced to close its doors to visitors for months receded with ...

Jun 22, 2013

Mount Fuji discussed by UNESCO

UNESCO began discussions Friday in Phnom Penh on 30 sites nominated for World Heritage recognition, including Mount Fuji. Sok An, Cambodian deputy prime minister and chair of the 37th World Heritage Committee meeting, announced the nominations list, which included sites in China, India and ...

Jun 22, 2013

Jakarta sends in choppers to seed clouds, fight fires

Indonesia on Friday dispatched helicopters to create artificial rain in a desperate bid to fight raging fires that are choking Singapore with record-breaking levels of smog that is threatening people’s lives. At a late-night emergency meeting, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono ordered disaster officials to ...

Jun 22, 2013

OECD wants nonmembers to join fight against multinational tax cheats

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development plans to call on nonmember economies to cooperate to ensure multinational corporations pay their fair share in taxes, a Japanese source said. The OECD, which has 34 member countries, believes cooperation with nonmember economies is crucial for ...

Jun 22, 2013

Stalled projects iced; ¥388 billion freed up

The government has canceled or suspended 21 public works projects that were progressing too slowly or dormant for too long, the internal affairs ministry said Friday. The action followed an assessment in fiscal 2012 of 454 public projects that either failed to start within ...

Jun 22, 2013

Youth held in slaying of girl, 19

A 19-year-old boy was arrested Friday for allegedly stabbing his girlfriend to death in her Yokohama apartment in what appears to be a breakup that turned violent, police said. Shiori Shiraki, a university student, was found lying on a staircase in her apartment building ...

Jun 22, 2013

Papers define limits of NSA's spy program

The National Security Agency may keep the emails and telephone calls of citizens and legal residents if the communications contain “significant foreign intelligence” or evidence of a crime, according to classified documents that lay out procedures for targeting foreigners and for guarding Americans’ privacy. ...

Slim Whitman, country crooner who was loved and mocked, dies at 90

Jun 22, 2013

Slim Whitman, country crooner who was loved and mocked, dies at 90

Slim Whitman — the country crooner and yodeler who influenced members of the Beatles and whose voice helped repel an alien invasion in director Tim Burton’s 1996 sci-fi parody “Mars Attacks!” — died Wednesday at a hospital in Orange Park, Florida. He was 90. ...

Jun 22, 2013

Drunk Aussie lets boy drive him home

Police on Friday charged a drunk man after pulling over a car on Australia’s Gold Coast to allegedly find a 7-year-old boy driving him home at 3 a.m. A patrol car stopped the vehicle early Friday after it went by without its headlights on, ...

Jun 22, 2013

Swiss garment recycler coming

Swiss garment and shoe recycling company I:Collect AG says it will establish a Japanese unit next month in Morioka, Iwate Prefecture, after starting collection in March at outlets of the Swedish casual clothing chain H&M. Customers get merchandize discount coupons in exchange for used ...

Jun 22, 2013

Imperial Couple to visit Iwate in July

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko will visit Iwate Prefecture from July 4 to 5 to encourage people affected by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, the Imperial Household Agency said Thursday. It will be their second visit to Iwate since May 2011. The Imperial ...

Jun 22, 2013

Entrepreneur to open Taiwan sake school

A Japanese entrepreneur will open a sake school in Taipei next month to educate Taiwanese about rice wine. Soji Hiraide, founder of the bar and grill chain Kanpai Co., said he’s always wanted to open a school. Nearly 15 years after opening his first ...

Jun 22, 2013

Lower corporate tax needed: Amari

Economic and fiscal policy minister Akira Amari indicated Friday that Japan should lower its corporate income tax to that of major economies in the long run. He also said the administration will focus on the most cost-effective policies under its current financial capacity, indicating ...

Jun 22, 2013

'Sacred' anime sites pitched to visitors

A joint tourism action plan has been drafted by government entities to encourage foreign tourists to visit “sacred places” in the world of anime. Fans of Japanese anime often visit buildings, streets and other sites that appear in the stories. For instance, many fans ...

Jun 22, 2013

28% of listed firms foreign-owned

The foreign ownership of companies listed in Japan hit a record high of 28 percent as of the end of fiscal 2012 through March 31, according to the latest data from five stock exchanges. The shareholding ratio of foreign investors rose 1.7 percentage points ...

Jun 22, 2013

U.S. doubles refugee aid to U.N.

The United States on Thursday doubled its aid to the U.N. refugee organization to some $890 million, and officials said another person flees home to escape war and strife every four seconds. U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres said the world is now ...

Jun 22, 2013

Cheating men prefer feminine faces

Men looking for a quick fling prefer women with more feminine facial features, says a study that delved into the evolutionary determinants of the mating game. Feminine features such as a smaller jawbone or fuller cheeks are closely linked to a woman’s attractiveness, which ...

Jun 22, 2013

Senate backs border security boost

Prospects for the contentious immigration bill that has been working its way through the Senate for months vastly improved Thursday after senators agreed to spend several billion more to fortify the U.S.-Mexico border. Among other things, the agreement calls for doubling the number of ...

Jun 22, 2013

Water-tank death ruled drowning

A Canadian tourist whose body was found in a water tank on top of a Los Angeles hotel died from accidental drowning, a coroner’s official said Thursday. Her body was found in the tank on top of the Cecil Hotel in February, three weeks ...

Jun 22, 2013

Firm to hire 3,000 for Firefox system

Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision said Thursday it aims to hire up to 3,000 new employees to develop devices and software for Mozilla’s Firefox operating system as it seeks to diversify from its core manufacturing services. They will mainly be engineers responsible for software research ...

Jun 22, 2013

China, Vietnam set up dispute hotline

China and Vietnam have agreed to set up a hotline to resolve disputes in the South China Sea, where clashes between fishermen have stoked tensions between the countries, state media reported Thursday. The agreement was signed by agricultural authorities from Beijing and Hanoi on ...

Jun 22, 2013

27 judo coaches got illegal payments

An independent panel investigating misappropriation of funds by the All Japan Judo Federation says 27 coaches received illegal payments to the tune of ¥36.2 million.

Jun 22, 2013

Kudos and caution for Mr. Abe

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been praised by G-8 leaders for his monetary policy as well as warned not to forget about a medium-term fiscal plan.

Vienna embraces the culture of the bicycle

Jun 22, 2013

Vienna embraces the culture of the bicycle

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On the Praterstern, where cars, buses and trams converge from several busy streets on a road that loops around Vienna’s central train station, a new digital counter stands under the eye of the Riesenrad Ferris wheel. It’s about the size of a bus stop ...

Jun 22, 2013

Super featherweight Miura set for first title defense in Mexico

Takashi Miura, the WBC super featherweight champion, will make his first title defense on Aug. 17 in Cancun, Mexico, his gym announced Friday. Miura’s opponent will be top-ranked contender Sergio Thompson of Mexico. “I’m really looking forward to this. This is a fight that ...

Matsuyama slips to 14th place at Japan Golf Tour Championship

Jun 22, 2013

Matsuyama slips to 14th place at Japan Golf Tour Championship

Hideki Matsuyama suffered a setback on Friday with an even-par 72 second round that saw him fall from second place to 14th at the Japan Golf Tour Championship. The 21-year-old leader of this season’s JGTO money rankings had a two-birdie, two-bogey round that left ...

Jun 22, 2013

Sawa sidelined with groin injury

Veteran Japan midfielder Homare Sawa will miss the women’s world champion’s upcoming friendlies away to England and Germany due to a left groin injury, the Japan Football Association said Friday. Sawa was just recalled to the squad that drew 1-1 at home to New ...

Jun 22, 2013

Lee now Korea's all-time HR king

Former Lotte Marines, Yomiuri Giants and Orix Buffaloes slugger Lee Seung-yeop became greatest home run hitter in South Korean baseball on Thursday, Yonhap news agency reported. Lee, 36, belted his 352nd career homer in the Samsung Lions game against the SK Wyverns in the ...

Jun 22, 2013

Kyoto acquires forward Komoda

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Forward Takuya Komoda was selected as an Eastern Conference reserve for the 2012-13 bj-league All-Star Game in Tokyo, and averaged a career-best 10.4 points per game for the Sendai 89ers. Now, after three seasons with the 89ers, he is moving on. Komoda, who turns ...

Jun 22, 2013

U.S. sprinter Jeter to miss nationals

Carmelita Jeter, the reigning women’s 100-meter world champion, won’t compete at this week’s U.S. Outdoor Track and Field Championships as she nurses a right thigh injury but will still be eligible to defend her title. Jeter, who won the world title in Daegu, South ...