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Prince William receives warm welcome to Japan

Feb 26, 2015

Prince William receives warm welcome to Japan

A beaming Prince William was greeted by hundreds of fans as he arrived for his first trip to Japan Thursday, before being whisked off for a nice cup of tea — green tea, that is. Even without his heavily pregnant wife, Kate, the second-in-line ...

Feb 26, 2015

AKB48 Theater logs millionth visitor since 2005

The AKB48 Theater in Tokyo’s Akihabara district, the base for all-girl chorus and dance troupe AKB48, on Wednesday welcomed its millionth visitor since opening on Dec. 8, 2005. Its beginnings were underwhelming: There were only seven people in the audience during the group’s first ...

Kennedy thanks woman who gave 'hina' doll set to her father

Feb 26, 2015

Kennedy thanks woman who gave 'hina' doll set to her father

U.S. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy on Thursday thanked by letter an elderly woman who decades ago sent a set of traditional “hina” dolls to her father, President John F. Kennedy. The donor, former grocer Tsuyako Matsumoto, 92, now lives in a nursing home in Kitami, ...

Feb 26, 2015

Osaka eyes setting up body to assess hate speech

A municipal panel on Wednesday proposed to the city of Osaka that it set up a body to judge whether racist demonstrations held on the streets amount to hate speech, in a bid to crack down on discrimination. The panel also said the names ...

Feb 26, 2015

NPO aims to recycle hotel soap to help poor nations

by Mami Maruko

A nonprofit organization plans to collect unused soap from upscale Tokyo hotels and recycle it into bars for use in the developing world, and is currently seeking funds to buy the equipment it needs. On Feb. 15, the Global Soap Project, a United States-based ...

Mount Ontake ski resort belatedly reopens after 2014 eruption

Feb 26, 2015

Mount Ontake ski resort belatedly reopens after 2014 eruption

The Ontake 2240 ski resort in Nagano Prefecture opened for leisure Thursday after a two-month delay caused by the deadly eruption of Mount Ontake last September. The slopes filled quickly with skiers and snowboarders following an early morning ribbon cutting ceremony. The resort in ...

For elderly, Robear is a powerful pick-me-up

Feb 26, 2015

For elderly, Robear is a powerful pick-me-up

Forget the frightening androids of dystopian sci-fi, the future of robots is cute polar bears that can lift elderly people into and out of bed. The Robear has a cublike face with big doey eyes, but packs enough power to transfer frail patients from ...