| Apr 15, 2014

Farmers acted fast to fight latest outbreak

The avian influenza that struck a chicken farm in Kumamoto Prefecture was the first outbreak in Japan in three years and came as authorities were already on high alert about migrant birds after reports of the disease hitting South Korea since the beginning of ...

Mar 31, 2014

Fair-trade advocates look forward

Promoters of fair-trade towns say their inclusive approach to developing and spreading ethical consumption will help solve wealth inequalities at the global, national and local levels. “The fair-trade towns movement has so far been somewhat about numbers — about how many towns we can ...

Court rules in favor of three Minamata sufferers

Mar 31, 2014

Court rules in favor of three Minamata sufferers

The Kumamoto District Court on Monday ordered the state, the Kumamoto Prefectural Government and Chisso Corp. to pay damages to three of eight unrecognized Minamata disease sufferers who sued them. In ruling on the ¥212 million damages suit, the court ordered the payment of ...

River's savior still sees work ahead

Dec 19, 2013

River's savior still sees work ahead

by Yuzo Suwa

Shoko Tsuru happily watched a multitude of tiny bubbles appearing on the surface of mud flats at the mouth of the Kuma River. The bubbles show that the mud flats are “living” with various creatures. “There used to be only mud here, but now ...

Kumamon, governor tickle the ivies

Nov 13, 2013

Kumamon, governor tickle the ivies

Kumamoto Gov. Ikuo Kabashima on Tuesday took Kumamon to Harvard to give a lecture at one of America’s most prestigious universities on how the cuddly black bear mascot has helped “maximize the overall happiness” of the prefecture’s residents. Later at Fenway Park in nearby ...

Photo show spans Minamata woes

Nov 12, 2013

Photo show spans Minamata woes

by Keiji Hirano

Some 60 pictures by a freelance photographer currently on display at a gallery in central Tokyo show glimpses of the half-century history of Minamata disease victims. Since his first visit to Minamata, Kumamoto Prefecture, in 1960 as a rookie photographer just out of college, ...

Kumamoto mascot Kumamon greets Imperial Couple

Oct 28, 2013

Kumamoto mascot Kumamon greets Imperial Couple

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko were greeted by Kumamoto Prefecture’s official mascot, the popular black bear character called Kumamon, at the prefectural office Monday. The Imperial Couple, who have been visiting the prefecture since Saturday, thanked Kumamon for his display of comical movements. After ...