Mercury pact falls short on Minamata

Mar 1, 2012

Mercury pact falls short on Minamata

There is growing debate over how best to reflect the lessons learned from Minamata disease in the so-called Mercury Treaty now being discussed with the aim of reducing the use of mercury around the world to prevent environmental damage and harm to humans. The ...

Sep 19, 2011

Calls for Mainali retrial gain momentum

Calls are growing for a retrial of a Nepalese man serving a life sentence for a 1997 murder in Tokyo in the wake of a fresh DNA test. Govinda Prasad Mainali, 44, was convicted of killing a 39-year-old woman after paying her for sex ...

Photo collection depicts Ainu lives

Sep 6, 2011

Photo collection depicts Ainu lives

A recently published photo collection put together over a span of almost two decades explores the traditions of the Ainu through a portrait of a woman and her extended family in Nibutani, Hokkaido. The collection of around 120 photos in “An Ainu Portrait: Asir ...

'70s activist foresaw nuclear disaster

Jul 23, 2011

'70s activist foresaw nuclear disaster

When the late Shizuko Sakata started distributing the newsletters she wrote in Nagano Prefecture more than 30 years ago to campaign against nuclear power, her daughter, Masako, was not fully supportive. “I thought her doubts over nuclear power plant safety might have been fair, ...

'49 Mitaka Incident retrial sought

Dec 24, 2010

'49 Mitaka Incident retrial sought

On July 15, 1949, Hitotsubashi University freshman Sakuji Horikoshi was returning to his dormitory when he hopped off a late-night train at Mitaka Station in western Tokyo to have some quick noodles. He suddenly found himself in the middle of a disaster zone. An ...

Dec 20, 2010

Tokyo rally against death penalty draws over 1,800

More than 1,800 people staged a rally Sunday in Tokyo to call for abolition of the death penalty. In a keynote speech, Yo Hemmi, an award-winning writer, said: “Are we able to condone hanging someone? Are we able to pass on such a scene ...

Dec 2, 2010

Calls grow to give wartime sex slaves official apology

Calls are growing for the government to offer an official apology to the wartime sex slaves, known as “comfort women,” and to provide them with compensation through legislation. In 1993, then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono acknowledged the forced recruitment of women into sexual ...