June 2013
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65 articles published/printed


Abe wants to gut public protections: expert

Jun 29, 2013

Abe wants to gut public protections: expert

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If the Liberal Democratic Party succeeds in rewriting the Constitution, it would severely scale back fundamental human rights and strip the public of various civil liberties, a prominent constitutional scholar warns. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, while focusing for now on his economic policies, looks ...

Nintendo's game development to revive Wii U

Jun 29, 2013

Nintendo's game development to revive Wii U

Nintendo Co., the world’s biggest maker of video game machines, plans to revive demand for its Wii U through the release of its own new titles as sales of the console failed to meet forecasts amid a lack of software. Building sales momentum will ...

Jun 29, 2013

19 officials tapped to help handle 21 TPP issues

The government said Friday it will appoint 19 negotiators for the 21 areas covered by the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade liberalization talks, as it gears up for joining the negotiations from late July. The negotiators, officials from the Foreign, farm and trade ministries as well ...

Jun 29, 2013

Police put abductee info on Web

The National Police Agency said Friday it will have prefectural police forces start publishing online the names, pictures and other data about people possibly abducted by North Korea to solicit information from a wide range of sources, after obtaining consent from their relatives. The ...

Jun 29, 2013

Pension fund panel to review portfolio

A government investment panel tasked with reviewing the nation’s public pension portfolio will hold its first meeting Monday, sources said. The panel, chaired by University of Tokyo professor Takatoshi Ito, will have about five members, they said. It will compile ideas for hiking the ...

Jun 29, 2013

Blanket tests for mad cow disease will end Sunday

Blanket testing for mad cow disease will end Sunday, 12 years after the program was started in October 2001 after Japan’s first case was found, the government said Friday. Blanket testing “was significant for removing the people’s insecurity,” health minister Norihisa Tamura said. “As ...

Jun 29, 2013

Sony: Sanctioned Iran firms got gear it sold via Dubai

Sony Corp. said it sold almost $13 million (¥1.3 billion) in video and medical equipment to dealers in Dubai who resold it in Iran, including to groups under official U.S. sanctions. In a U.S. filing Thursday, Sony said it sold broadcast equipment, security cameras ...

Obamas visit the Door of No Return

Jun 29, 2013

Obamas visit the Door of No Return

It was a brief but symbolically powerful moment. President Barack Obama stepped alone into the frame of the Door of No Return on Senegal’s Goree Island on Thursday afternoon, peering out at the Atlantic Ocean from the same vantage point that thousands of African ...

Singapore gripped by 'Singing Bone' Hello Kitty frenzy

Jun 29, 2013

Singapore gripped by 'Singing Bone' Hello Kitty frenzy

Tempers flared and police had to be called in as anxious Singaporeans rushed to McDonald’s outlets to buy plush Hello Kitty toys being sold in a promotion by the fast food chain Thursday. Hundreds had begun waiting in line from Wednesday night in the ...

Jun 29, 2013

Order to intercept North Korean missiles lifted

The government on Friday lifted an order for the Self-Defense Forces to shoot down North Korean ballistic missiles in the event that any are launched, sources said Friday. Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, who issued the order April 7, formally lifted it Friday, the sources ...

America and Britain team up on mass surveillance

Jun 29, 2013

America and Britain team up on mass surveillance

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Twelve years ago, in an almost forgotten report, the European Parliament completed its investigations into a long-suspected Western intelligence partnership dedicated to global signals interception on a vast scale. Evidence had been taken from spies and politicians, telecommunications experts and journalists. The report detailed ...

Jun 29, 2013

Major utilities announce rate hikes for August

The nation’s 10 major electricity companies and four major gas suppliers will make hefty price hikes in August to reflect the rising cost of liquefied natural gas caused by the yen’s decline under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s “Abenomics” economics policy. The fifth consecutive month ...

Jun 29, 2013

Anti-Korean group's plea to use public facility nixed

Yamagata Prefecture has turned down a request from anti-Korean activists to use a public building for a meeting. The prefectural government said it “made the decision from a comprehensive standpoint based on administrative requirements for the facility and (the group) was not turned down ...

Ichinomiya uses manga to promote textile brand

| Jun 29, 2013

Ichinomiya uses manga to promote textile brand

A project to create costumes from the popular manga series “Kamikaze Kaito Jeanne” is under way in the textile hub of Ichinomiya, Aichi Prefecture, which recently came up with the “Costume Town” concept to promote itself. The Ichinomiya Chamber of Commerce and Industry has ...

Data show Britain's 'double-dip' recession never was

Jun 29, 2013

Data show Britain's 'double-dip' recession never was

Britain’s economy expanded by 0.3 percent in the first quarter of 2013 and never experienced a double-dip recession as previously thought, official data showed Thursday. Gross domestic product rebounded in the January-March period after falling by 0.3 percent in the final three months of ...

Jun 29, 2013

U.S. suspends trade privileges to Bangladesh

President Barack Obama announced Thursday the suspension of U.S. trade privileges for Bangladesh in response to growing concerns over labor rights and worker safety there. The decision is the culmination of a years-long review of labor conditions in the impoverished nation. Pressure on the ...

Jun 29, 2013

School achievement gap shrinks for U.S. minorities

America’s 9-year-olds and 13-year-olds are posting better scores in math and reading tests than their counterparts did 40 years ago, and the achievement gap between white students and those of color is narrowing, according to federal government data released Thursday. The scores — collected ...

Wearable computer devices, the latest smart fashion trend

Jun 29, 2013

Wearable computer devices, the latest smart fashion trend

The notion of being fashionably smart is getting a makeover as Internet-linked computers get woven into formerly brainless attire such as glasses, bracelets and shoes. A wearable computing trend is at the heart of the “quantified self” movement, in which people track anything from ...

Jun 29, 2013

Fiber-optic find could boost Net bandwidth

A new fiber-optic technology could increase Internet bandwidth capacity by sending data along light beams that twist like a tornado rather than move in a straight line, scientists said Thursday. The discovery comes as Internet data traffic is reaching its limit amid mounting demand ...

Jun 29, 2013

Beijing role feared as Chinese buy Canada farms

With too few farms in China to feed a burgeoning population, Chinese immigrants have started buying up agricultural lands in Canada and shipping produce to Asia. But with new investment comes fears that a generation of young Canadian would-be farmers are being squeezed out ...

Jun 29, 2013

Murdoch and UAE group eye FT: report

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch and Abu Dhabi’s state media group are in talks to acquire the Financial Times Group for about $1.2 billion, a report said Friday. The move would see Murdoch add the respected Financial Times name as well as 50 percent of ...

Jun 29, 2013

Mobile game firm files for protection

Mobile game maker Index Corp. said it filed Thursday for bankruptcy protection with the Tokyo District Court with debts of around ¥24.5 billion. Established in September 1995, Index was listed on the Osaka Securities Exchange’s Jasdaq market in March 2001. It has been financially ...

Jun 29, 2013

Cabinet OKs Foreign Ministry reshuffle

The Cabinet on Friday endorsed a reshuffle of senior Foreign Ministry officials, notably the appointment of Deputy Foreign Minister Akitaka Saiki to the ministry’s top bureaucratic post. Saiki, 60, assumes the post of vice foreign minister, replacing Chikao Kawai, 60, who will retire with ...

Jun 29, 2013

Oily fish helps fight breast cancer

Eating a portion of tuna, salmon, sardines or other oily fish once or twice a week reduces the risk of breast cancer, according to a review published by the British Medical Journal on Thursday. Researchers based in China looked at 26 previously published studies ...

Jun 29, 2013

Thai cop charged as human smuggler

A policeman has been charged with trafficking after a Rohingya woman was allegedly lured from a shelter in southern Thailand and subsequently raped by a man from the refugee Muslim minority, police said Friday. It is believed to be the first time a Thai ...

Jun 29, 2013

Prosecutor general Yoshinaga dies at 81

Former Prosecutor General Yusuke Yoshinaga, who led probes into a 1970s bribery scandal involving the late Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka, earning the sobriquet “Mr. Prosecutor,” died of pneumonia Sunday at a Tokyo hospital, his family said Friday. He was 81. Yoshinaga, who became a ...

Jun 29, 2013

Chef Blanc gets France's top honor

Celebrity chef Raymond Blanc on Thursday received France’s highest award, the Legion d’Honneur — five years after he was first honored by his adopted homeland, Britain. The 63-year-old’s restaurant, Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons near the university town of Oxford, holds two Michelin stars, ...

Jun 29, 2013

Sharp to sell 4K TVs in U.S. in autumn

Sharp Corp. will start selling its high-end 4K liquid crystal display TVs in North America in September, it said Thursday. The 4K technology allows TVs to deliver image quality four times finer than the current high-definition sets. Sharp’s 70-inch model, to be sold under ...

Jun 29, 2013

Kennedy never said he was a doughnut

Legend has it that U.S. President John F. Kennedy made a whopping grammatical gaffe with his iconic declaration “Ich bin ein Berliner” 50 years ago, essentially telling his audience, “I am a jam doughnut.” The historical lore was that JFK, in his first faltering ...

Jun 29, 2013

Museum to launch ramen for Muslims

Shinyokohama Raumen Museum Corp., the operator of an indoor village of ramen restaurants in Yokohama, said it will start serving dishes for Muslim and vegetarian visitors from Monday. Six restaurants at the village will begin offering six new kinds of ramen, including “shio” (salty) ...

Jun 29, 2013

Gene clues for child asthma found

A gene scorecard may one day help predict which youngsters are likely to grow out of childhood asthma and which will have the disease in adulthood, a study said on Thursday. Asthma is one of the most common disorders among children in developed countries ...

Jun 29, 2013

Asahi to buy Pepsi bottler in Indonesia

Asahi Group Holdings Ltd. said Thursday it will acquire PepsiCo Inc.’s exclusive bottler in Indonesia through a joint venture with an Indonesian food company. Asahi Group will buy PT Pepsi-Cola Indobeverages for about ¥2.94 billion and turn the company into a consolidated subsidiary. Asahi ...

Jun 29, 2013

Ex-general probed in Stuxnet leak

A former high-ranking U.S. military officer is being probed for allegedly leaking details about a U.S. cyberattack on Iran, a U.S. media report said Thursday. Citing unnamed legal sources, NBC News said retired U.S. Marine Gen. James Cartwright has been told he is under ...

Jun 29, 2013

France tallies bad breast implants

Doctors in France have removed PIP breast implants from more than 16,000 women and found that a quarter of the scandal-tainted products had signs of splitting or leakage. A total of 16,426 women have had the implants removed since investigators found that the devices ...

Jun 29, 2013

Canada backs BCE takeover of Astral

A Canadian regulator on Thursday approved a revised multibillion-dollar takeover bid by telecom and media giant BCE for pay television and radio operator Astral Media. In the modified proposal, there remained “a significant risk that BCE could exert its market power to limit choice ...

Jun 29, 2013

Bailed-out Ireland back in recession

Ireland has fallen back into recession for the first time since 2009, revised official data showed on Thursday, as the bailed-out eurozone nation was rocked by sliding exports and consumer spending. Gross domestic product shrank by 1.0 percent in the third quarter of 2012 ...

Jun 29, 2013

Violence against Brazil natives up

Violence against indigenous Brazilians more than tripled between 2011 and 2012, often due to land feuds, a new report said Thursday. A total of 1,276 natives were the target of attacks last year, compared with 378 in 2011, the Indigenous Missionary Council said in ...

Jun 29, 2013

Texts that say teachers told to obey axed

The Tokyo board of education finds two textbooks inappropriate for high schools, as they state local governments are forcing teachers to sing the national anthem and hoist the Hinomaru flag.

Jun 29, 2013

Britain forges ahead with 'three parent' fertility technique

The British government on Thursday said it would pursue a radical fertility technique that uses DNA from three parents to create an embryo. The IVF-based technique is designed to avoid serious mitochondrial diseases inherited on the maternal side, such as muscular dystrophy. Mitochondria are ...

Jun 29, 2013

Upcoming election's critical issue

Before the July 21 election, don't expect the LDP to talk much about the need to revise Article 96 of the Constitution, but it's in the party's campaign platform.

Jun 29, 2013

Judo head should resign now

As long as Haruki Uemura clings to his chairmanship of the All Japan Judo Federation stays, Japanese judo will continue to suffer from a tainted image.

| Jun 29, 2013

Yoshino temple to hold pair of ceremonies

Visitors to Kimpusenji Temple in Yoshino, Nara Prefecture, will be able to enjoy two ceremonies next Friday: “Renge-e,” the offering of lotus flowers to the temple’s principal image, and “kaeru tobi” frog-jumping. Admission is free. The temple is a 15-minute walk from Yoshinoyama Station ...

Dragons' Yamai tosses no-hitter against BayStars

Jun 29, 2013

Dragons' Yamai tosses no-hitter against BayStars

Daisuke Yamai, who was famously denied an opportunity to complete a perfect game in the 2007 Japan Series, threw the 88th no-hitter in the history of Nippon Professional Baseball on Friday as the Chunichi Dragons defeated the Yokohama BayStars 9-0 in Central League action. ...

Tokyo 2020's chances looking good

| Jun 29, 2013

Tokyo 2020's chances looking good

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The much-anticipated IOC 2020 Evaluation Commission Report, which was made public on Tuesday, shines the spotlight on the strengths and weaknesses of the three candidate cities. Tokyo, Madrid and Istanbul now have a little more than two months to find ways to increase support ...

Japan men, women triumph in basketball exhibition series openers

Jun 29, 2013

Japan men, women triumph in basketball exhibition series openers

Atsuya Ota, a Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix center, scored a game-high 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as the Japan men’s national basketball team defeated the Philippines 86-67 on Friday at Xebio Arena in Sendai. Coach Kimikazu Suzuki’s club is preparing for the upcoming FIBA ...

Jun 29, 2013

bj-league champ Yokohama sold

The bj-league champion Yokohama B-Corsairs have sold a 51 percent ownership stake to Takeshi Suzuki, who is the J2 soccer club Tokyo Verdy’s majority stockholder, the team announced on Friday. Suzuki is the president of Buddy Kikaku Kenkyujo, which runs pre-elementary schools throughout Kanto. ...

Jun 29, 2013

Kawasaki recalled by Blue Jays

Infielder Munenori Kawasaki’s luck has yet to run out. After just two days back in the minors, the Toronto Blue Jays need him for duty again. Kawasaki, who was optioned on Tuesday to make room for Jose Reyes after the Blue Jays star shortstop ...