May 3, 2011

Protesters urge rethink of child radiation limit

Four antinuclear groups demanded Monday that the government withdraw its decision to set the annual radiation limit at 20 millisieverts for schoolchildren in Fukushima Prefecture, saying the standard poses a health risk. The four groups — Friends of the Earth Japan, Green Action, Fukuro ...

Evacuee mayor's community torn

Apr 29, 2011

Evacuee mayor's community torn

Katsutaka Idogawa, the 64-year-old mayor of Futaba, Fukushima Prefecture, is standing at a crossroads. Whether evacuees in Saitama Prefecture from Futaba, where two of the six reactors at the troubled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant are located, will stay there or go back ...

Apr 26, 2011

First openly gay candidate wins in Tokyo ward

Openly gay candidate Taiga Ishikawa won a seat in the Toshima Ward Assembly in Tokyo in Sunday’s election, marking a historic first. Before the 36-year-old writer and activist, no openly gay person had been elected to public office in Japan. The Toshima race saw ...

Apr 19, 2011

METI hit for 'amakudari' habits that put retirees in Tepco

The government urged former officials of the industry ministry Monday to refrain from taking positions at power utilities after retirement. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said at a regular news conference that former top officials of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, including ...

Apr 15, 2011

Task force starts to draw up ways to revive Tohoku

A government task force specially set up to handle reconstruction in quake- and tsunami-hit Tohoku region started Thursday to draw up ways to revive the devastated area. During the first panel meeting held at his official residence, Prime Minister Naoto Kan said he hopes ...

Apr 14, 2011

Fisheries hit by safety fears

The nuclear crisis has spread fear among people all over the world, but fishermen in areas around the Fukushima No. 1 atomic plant say the perception of danger is unfairly affecting their livelihoods. Although few of their catches are contaminated with radioactive materials beyond ...

Urayasu still dealing with liquefaction

Apr 8, 2011

Urayasu still dealing with liquefaction

URAYASU, Chiba Pref. — Flanked by Tokyo Bay and greenery, Urayasu has long been a popular home for young families. But the March 11 earthquake turned the resortlike city into one of tilting houses, cracked roads and thrust sewer pipes up. About 300 km ...

Apr 2, 2011

Tohoku disaster causes 'natto' shortage

“Natto” fermented soybeans, considered by many as a healthy source of protein, is just one of many food items missing from supermarkets nationwide amid the disaster triggered by the March 11 quake and tsunami. Ibaraki Prefecture, home to the largest number of natto manufacturers, ...

Tsunami came late to unprepared Chiba

Mar 30, 2011

Tsunami came late to unprepared Chiba

ASAHI, Chiba Pref. — Shortly after the magnitude 9.0 quake hit the Tohoku region on March 11, Noriko Suzuki looked out of her house and saw tsunami coming. “I felt my body shiver. I’ve never imagined tsunami would come to this area. I immediately ...

Mar 25, 2011

Prince hotel spared wrecking ball to house evacuees

The Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka, once one of the trendiest hotels in Japan and set to close at the end of March, announced Thursday that it will remain open to accommodate refugees made homeless by the March 11 earthquake and radiation leaks at the ...