May 9, 2015

Dud WWII bomb defused in Osaka

A dud bomb believed to have been dropped by U.S. forces during World War II was defused Saturday in central Osaka. The Ground Self-Defense Force defused the 1.8-meter bomb, found March 16 at a construction site in Naniwa Ward, on Saturday morning after evacuating ...

Osaka merger referendum gets underway

Apr 27, 2015

Osaka merger referendum gets underway

by Eric Johnston

An unprecedented referendum campaign on the future of the city of Osaka kicked off Monday with appeals from Mayor Toru Hashimoto’s Osaka Ishin no Kai (One Osaka) and from the major established political parties, which all oppose him. On May 17, the city’s roughly ...

Kintetsu's flagship store opens salon geared toward foreign tourists

Apr 20, 2015

Kintetsu's flagship store opens salon geared toward foreign tourists

Kintetsu Department Store’s flagship store in Abeno Harukasu, the tallest building in Japan, opened a salon Monday that caters exclusively to tourists from abroad. The salon offers duty-free shopping, bag storage and other services, plus a corner where people can briefly delve into various ...

Sakai: a keyhole to the history of Osaka

Apr 11, 2015

Sakai: a keyhole to the history of Osaka

by Alon Adika

As I peered out the window from my vantage point on the 21st floor of the Sakai City Hall, in the distance I could see Abeno Harukas — Japan’s tallest skyscraper, which houses a train station, hotel, museum, department store and offices. But this ...

Japan's cuddly yet costly mascots face extermination

Apr 8, 2015

Japan's cuddly yet costly mascots face extermination

by Shingo Ito

Japan’s swollen ranks of cuddly mascots, once de rigueur for every self-respecting local government and commercial brand, are coming under increasing threat, with some being exterminated and others combined in at times grotesque ways. The cull comes after the Finance Ministry last year decided ...

Apr 6, 2015

Public opposition to Osaka merger plan growing: poll

More people oppose Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto’s plan to give the city the same administrative structure and status as Tokyo than support it, according to a new Kyodo News survey. In the telephone survey conducted Saturday and Sunday, 47.5 percent of the Osaka residents ...