February 2013
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Feb 23, 2013

Bidder donates Gaga cup, dies

The winning bidder of a teacup used by pop icon Lady Gaga died Thursday of an illness, a day after donating it to Miyagi Prefecture, his sister said. Akihisa Yumi, a 54-year-old dentist in the Miyagi city of Osaki, bought the teacup for around ¥6 ...

/ Feb 23, 2013

Dragons' Clark accused of drug law violations

Police sent papers to prosecutors on Friday, charging new Chunichi Dragons infielder Matt Clark of possibly violating stimulant control laws after an illegal stimulant was detected in medication he had been using to treat a chronic illness. Clark, 26, is accused of possession and use ...

Feb 23, 2013

Regenerative meds market to soar

Japan's regenerative medicine market will total ¥1.6 trillion in 2030, up from ¥26 billion in 2012, with products made from human cells increasing in variety and the commercialization of those from artificially derived multipurpose stem cells, the industry ministry forecast Friday. The Ministry of Economy, ...

Christchurch marks quake, two years on

Feb 22, 2013

Christchurch marks quake, two years on

Mourners from New Zealand, Japan and several other countries gathered Friday at the site of a TV building in Christchurch that collapsed during a massive earthquake that hit the city two years ago, killing 115 people. The New Zealand Herald said the fenced-in site of ...

Putin: Lack of treaty 'abnormal'

/ Feb 22, 2013

Putin: Lack of treaty 'abnormal'

President Vladimir Putin on Thursday described the absence of a peace treaty between Japan and Russia as an "abnormal situation" and expressed his readiness to resolve the long-running dispute over a group of Russian-held islands off Hokkaido. Putin also said his remarks last March ostensibly ...

'Grotesque' organist hits town

/ Feb 22, 2013

'Grotesque' organist hits town

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Organist Cameron Carpenter, known for his wild performances and appearance, plays the organ like no one else — hitting the keys with frantic energy and a rockstar-like attitude. Carpenter, born in Pennsylvania in 1981, was a child prodigy, performing Bach's "Well-Tempered Clavier" when he was ...

/ Feb 22, 2013

New play tackles the touchy issue of nationalism

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Juvenile delinquency. Intersexuality. Terminal-illness treatment. These are the kinds of social issues theater troupe Fukinkobo has fearlessly tackled over the years, giving it a reputation for having the courage of its convictions to spotlight the predicament of people with marginalized social status. This time around, ...

Next stop Kairakuen in bloom

/ Feb 22, 2013

Next stop Kairakuen in bloom

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There is no better time than February and March to visit Kairakuen, the picturesque garden just south of Mito, Ibaraki Prefecture, that was built in the 1840s by the seventh daimyo of the Mito clan, Tokugawa Nariaki. For starters, the 3,000-plus plum trees that Nariaki ...

Tokyo literary festival writes its opening chapter

Feb 22, 2013

Tokyo literary festival writes its opening chapter

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Every time David Karashima took a Japanese author to New York or London to do a reading, the local audiences would ask two questions: "Who's the next Haruki Murakami?" and "Why isn't there an international literary festival in Tokyo?" "Finally I thought, OK, let's make ...

New prize awards Yamanaka $3 million

/ Feb 22, 2013

New prize awards Yamanaka $3 million

A U.S. foundation sponsored by top U.S. business executives said Wednesday it has selected 11 researchers, including Japanese stem cell researcher and Nobel laureate Shinya Yamanaka, as inaugural winners of the newly launched Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences for their past achievements in the ...

Volunteers return from abroad to aid Tohoku

Feb 22, 2013

Volunteers return from abroad to aid Tohoku

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When the catastrophic earthquake of March 11, 2011, struck the Tohoku region, Makoto Yanagisawa was researching stem cells at a university laboratory in the United States. "I was thinking of returning (to Japan) someday, but decided to do so sooner after I kept seeing TV ...

Already a huge hit, Line aims for SNS market

/ Feb 22, 2013

Already a huge hit, Line aims for SNS market

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The instant messaging app Line is already dominating the lives of young smartphone users in Japan and has spread rapidly elsewhere in the world, but its developer is eyeing even more aggressive growth. Unlike global giants like Facebook and Twitter, the nascent social networking service ...