December 2012
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/ Dec 31, 2012

S-Pulse bring Bare back to Japan

Former Gamba Osaka striker Bare will return to the J. League next season with Shimizu S-Pulse, the club announced on Saturday. The 30-year-old Brazilian left Japan midway through the 2008 season for UAE side Al Ahli, but enjoyed his share of success in the seven ...

/ Dec 31, 2012

FC Tokyo signs midfielder Higashi

J. League first-division side FC Tokyo announced Saturday the acquisition of Omiya Ardija midfielder Keigo Higashi. The 22-year-old has scored one goal in 26 matches this season with Omiya, and contributed to his country reaching the final four at the London Olympics. Higashi played under FC ...

/ Dec 31, 2012

Tennis match to be held inside mine

Sport will plunge to new depths in March when former professional tennis players Marcelo Rios and Guillermo Coria contest a match 1,500 meters down inside the world's largest copper mine. "A tennis court of clay and cement will be built at a depth of 1,500 ...

Arabic calligraphy exhibition

| Dec 31, 2012

Arabic calligraphy exhibition

An exhibition of Arabic calligraphy was held from Dec. 10 to 23 at the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Tokyo. Arabic calligraphy is the artistic handwriting practice used in lands sharing a common Islamic cultural heritage. Calligraphy is especially revered among Islamic arts ...

Four more patients die in viral outbreak

Dec 31, 2012

Four more patients die in viral outbreak

Four patients have died at a Yokohama hospital after an outbreak of infectious gastroenteritis left nearly 100 patients and medical personnel ill, some with signs of the norovirus in them. Officials at Yokohama Denentoshi Hospital said Saturday that two male patients aged 80 and 92 ...

Kodaira grabs third consecutive title

Dec 31, 2012

Kodaira grabs third consecutive title

Nao Kodaira blew away the field for the second day in a row en route to winning her third consecutive title at the speedskating national sprint championships on Saturday. Kodaira won all four races in the all-around competition for a cumulative score of 158.445 points. ...

Onodera to review defense plans, up spending

| Dec 31, 2012

Onodera to review defense plans, up spending

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Amid China's military rise and the continued threat from North Korea, new Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera has vowed to bolster Japan's defensive capabilities by reviewing its strategies, increasing the defense budget and revising the guidelines in place with the United States. Onodera said in a ...

Dec 31, 2012

Travelers on tours to Europe soar 40%

The number of travelers who have booked package tours to Europe for the first quarter of 2013 is up about 40 percent from a year ago, while those to China have plunged about 85 percent because of the Senkakus dispute, according to data from ...

/ Dec 31, 2012

Fed's policies more risky than 'cliff'

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In the short term, Washington lawmakers are understandably preoccupied with trying to avoid the "fiscal cliff." But the decisions that are likely to affect the economy's long-term health are happening not on Capitol Hill or at the White House, but at the Federal Reserve — ...

Reysol, Gamba advance to Emperor's Cup final

/ Dec 30, 2012

Reysol, Gamba advance to Emperor's Cup final

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Kashiwa Reysol set up a New Year's Day Emperor's Cup final showdown with Gamba Osaka after beating Yokohama F. Marinos 1-0 on Saturday. Reysol and Marinos both went into the semifinal at National Stadium determined to end their record of never having won the competition ...

Landscaping the doors of perception in Japan

/ Dec 30, 2012

Landscaping the doors of perception in Japan

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ZEN GARDENS: The Complete Works of Shunmyo Masuno, Japan's Leading Garden Designer, by Mira Locher. Tuttle Publishing, 2012, 224 pp., $39.95 (hardcover) Although the term zen-tei (Zen garden) exists in Japanese, its usage is a largely Western one, first coined by the American garden scholar ...

/ Dec 30, 2012

Eagles sign Sendai native Saito

Former major league reliever Takashi Saito made his return to Japanese baseball official, agreeing to a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, the club said Saturday. The 42-year-old right-handed Saito, who hails from the club's home in Sendai and is returning to Japanese ...