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 ...

Feb 14, 2012

Oi reactor stress tests approved by NISA

The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, in its first approval of stress tests for nuclear facilities, said Monday the level of quake and tsunami resistance of two reactors at the Oi power plant in Fukui Prefecture is adequate. NISA submitted its report, which basically ...

The idol's mom, the underage boy and the media

Feb 12, 2012

The idol's mom, the underage boy and the media

The recent arrest of the mother of a Japanese pop idol for sex with a minor raises questions on how the media here handles such high-profile cases. Usually, if someone who is related to a tarento (TV personality), or other type of celebrity, is ...

| Feb 8, 2012

Bills could render Hague toothless

Japan may sign the Hague Convention, but if planned new laws for ratifying the treaty fail to compel family court judges to adhere to its principles, the whole exercise could be meaningless, legal experts and people whose children have been victims of parental abductions ...

Feb 8, 2012

Outline approved for Hague treaty bills

A Justice Ministry panel on Tuesday gave the green light for the ministry to write bills for new domestic laws in preparation for signing the Hague Convention, which would theoretically promise other countries that Japan will try its utmost to return abducted children. Critics, ...