Chiba student defeats 35 to clinch Japan Times Spelling Bee crown

Mar 11, 2012

Chiba student defeats 35 to clinch Japan Times Spelling Bee crown

Haruka Masuda of Makuhari International School in Chiba Prefecture was crowned the winner Saturday of The Japan Times Spelling Bee after correctly spelling the word “ignominious,” landing her a spot in the annual National Spelling Bee in Washington. Masuda, 12, outlasted 35 contestants aged ...

Mar 10, 2012

Cabinet-OK'd bill sets stage to ink Hague

The Cabinet approved a bill Friday that would create a domestic law in preparation for signing the Hague treaty on settling cross-boarder child custody disputes. If the Diet enacts the bill, Japan will sign the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspect of International ...

Fukushima soil plutonium traces not seen as threat

Mar 10, 2012

Fukushima soil plutonium traces not seen as threat

Researchers detected a type of radioactive plutonium in soil from three different locations in Fukushima Prefecture, although the amount is too tiny to affect human health, the team said in a report published in a science magazine. According to the report in the March ...

Mar 8, 2012

Big One 'likely to be shallower'

The focus of any major earthquake that strikes beneath the Tokyo metropolitan area is likely to be shallower than previously thought, a government project team said Wednesday. The edge between the ground plate and the Philippine Sea plate underneath Tokyo is 5 or 10 ...

Fugitive's harborer faces two years

Mar 7, 2012

Fugitive's harborer faces two years

Former Aum Shinrikyo member Akemi Saito pleaded guilty in court Tuesday to harboring fugitive cultist Makoto Hirata for 14 years, while prosecutors demanded a two-year jail term. “Because of (Saito’s) actions, the police were unable to arrest Hirata for many years. The defendant harbored ...

Caveat emptor: Not all 'word of mouth' blogs unpaid

| Mar 6, 2012

Caveat emptor: Not all 'word of mouth' blogs unpaid

Is word-of-mouth information on the Internet trustworthy — or to be taken with a grain of salt? The operator of a popular website collecting presumably honest consumer commentary about restaurants is endeavoring to gain consumer trust and ensure planted stooges aren’t unleveling the playing ...

Feb 21, 2012

Double-killer as minor will face gallows

The Supreme Court upheld the death penalty Monday for a man convicted of strangling and then raping a young mother and murdering her 11-month-old daughter in 1999 in Yamaguchi Prefecture when he was 18. The high-profile trial has sparked a lengthy legal debate over ...

Feb 15, 2012

Governor: Why no arrests over crisis?

Saitama Gov. Kiyoshi Ueda wants to see Tokyo Electric Power Co. held criminally responsible for the Fukushima nuclear crisis. At a regular news conference, he sharply criticized the utility and questioned why nobody in Tepco has been arrested. “Tepco has caused this big trouble ...

Reactor 2 heat spike reading said faulty

Feb 14, 2012

Reactor 2 heat spike reading said faulty

A thermocouple device in the pressure vessel of reactor 2 at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 power plant read over 285 degrees Monday but Tepco dismissed the reading, claiming the device is faulty. Two similar reactor 2 thermometers at the same height ...