Secrets bill raises fears among nuclear foes

| Nov 24, 2013

Secrets bill raises fears among nuclear foes

In late 2005, U.S. government officials, invited by Japan, observed a counterterrorism drill at the Mihama nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture and came away worried about the security situation at the complex. Some 2,000 police officers, firefighters, nuclear power officials, local authorities and residents ...

Nago base rebuff heaps more pressure on Nakaima

Nov 20, 2013

Nago base rebuff heaps more pressure on Nakaima

With two months to go until its mayoral election, the Okinawa city of Nago said Tuesday it will formally request Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima not to approve an application to start dumping land into the sea off its Henoko coast for the planned replacement base ...

| Nov 16, 2013

Think caviar but brace for caveat

In one of the most memorable scenes of the late, and sorely missed, Juzo Itami’s classic 1985 film “Tampopo” (“Dandelion”), Japanese businessmen enter a French restaurant. Confused by the exotic items on the menu, the elderly members of the party stick to what they ...

Nov 8, 2013

Fukuoka issues warning on high PM2.5 levels

High levels of PM2.5 particulate matter were recorded Friday in parts of western Japan, prompting the city of Fukuoka to issue a warning amid growing concern that the pollution crisis in China will keep affecting Japan. In Osaka Prefecture, PM2.5 levels of 35 micrograms ...

Tepco feeling heat over fuel removal

Nov 5, 2013

Tepco feeling heat over fuel removal

With Tepco getting ready to start removing more than 1,000 fuel rod assemblies from a cooling pool at Fukushima No. 1, global pressure is mounting to allow an international task force to monitor and assist the highly hazardous operation.

Hashimoto's relevancy beginning to fade

| Oct 27, 2013

Hashimoto's relevancy beginning to fade

When the candidate backed by Osaka Mayor and Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) co-leader Toru Hashimoto was defeated in September by Sakai Mayor Osami Takeyama, a staunch Hashimoto foe, it marked what is widely seen as the beginning of the end of ...

The method behind the brashness

Oct 27, 2013

The method behind the brashness

Osaka While his inflammatory comments have made headlines and his combative, argumentative style has shocked and enraged those who take comfort in the traditional politician’s art of discreet ambiguity, there is method behind Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto’s perceived rhetorical madness. Since coming to power ...

Mercury still threat, Abe assurances or not

| Oct 21, 2013

Mercury still threat, Abe assurances or not

Earlier this month, delegates from over 130 nations gathered in Kumamoto to launch the Minamata Convention on Mercury. The U.N.-brokered treaty aims to limit mercury use and emissions. It comes at a time when the U.N. Environmental Program warns half of all global anthropogenic ...

| Oct 19, 2013

Will Olympic glory carry beyond Tokyo?

If Tokyo’s reaction to winning the 2020 Olympics, especially among the cash-strapped TV stations and other media types who rely on bread and circuses-type events to pay the bills, made you feel like Alice in Wonderland or a character in a Samuel Beckett play, ...