May 31, 2011

Raise sales tax in stages, advisers tell Kan reform council

The consumption tax should be raised in stages to prevent adverse fluctuations in the economy, a report compiled by government advisers said Monday. The report was submitted to the Council for Intensive Discussion on Social Security Reform headed by Prime Minister Naoto Kan and ...

Fujifilm helps salvage photos in disaster zone

May 27, 2011

Fujifilm helps salvage photos in disaster zone

A few days after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, Fujifilm Corp. in Tokyo began to receive sporadic but desperate phone calls from survivors in the Tohoku region. They wanted to know how to clean photos covered with mud and seawater. When the enormous ...

Success mixed when it comes to planning for disasters

| May 24, 2011

Success mixed when it comes to planning for disasters

Many claim the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami of March 11 exceeded all expectations. Breakwaters and seawalls that were built along the coastal areas of the Tohoku region were destroyed by the waves, unable to prevent them from swallowing up houses, factories and schools. ...

May 11, 2011

Kan to give up executive salary

Prime Minister Naoto Kan said Tuesday he will give up his salary as premier until the Fukushima nuclear crisis is under control. The pay cut will start next month. He will still take his salary as a member of the Lower House. “I think ...

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 ...