June 2013
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U.S. probes if China played role in Snowden leaks; fugitive not on Cuba flight

Jun 25, 2013

U.S. probes if China played role in Snowden leaks; fugitive not on Cuba flight

U.S. intelligence agencies are investigating whether Edward Snowden's leaks may be a Chinese intelligence operation or whether China might have used his concerns about U.S. surveillance practices to exploit him, according to four American officials. The officials emphasized there's no hard evidence yet that Snowden ...

Jun 25, 2013

Level of radioactive tritium rising in harbor at Fukushima plant

Tokyo Electric Power Co. has seen a rise in the level of radioactive tritium in seawater within the harbor at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. A sample collected Friday contained around 1,100 becquerels of tritium per liter, the highest level detected in ...

Hashimoto stays at helm despite fiasco, calls to exit

Jun 25, 2013

Hashimoto stays at helm despite fiasco, calls to exit

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Calls for Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) co-leader Toru Hashimoto to resign mounted Monday morning, after the party's candidates were soundly beaten in Sunday's Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election. But with the Upper House election less than a month away, party leaders said Hashimoto ...

Asia demand making ginseng in U.S. scarce

/ Jun 25, 2013

Asia demand making ginseng in U.S. scarce

The long tradition of ginseng hunting in the U.S. can be traced from Daniel Boone, the folk hero frontiersman, to Glenn Miller, a retired concrete inspector. Ginseng, a medicinal herb long revered in China, has become a hot energy-drink ingredient and a trendy remedy for ...

UNESCO award spurs Fuji tourist guide frenzy

Jun 25, 2013

UNESCO award spurs Fuji tourist guide frenzy

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Now that Mount Fuji has been inscribed on UNESCO's list of World Cultural Heritage sites, some tourism agencies are rushing to capitalize on the historic opportunity in the hopes that the decision will spur the mountain's already robust popularity among foreign travelers. Hato Bus ...

/ Jun 25, 2013

EU talks start with nontariff barriers

Japan and the European Union began their second round of free-trade negotiations Monday in Tokyo, with both sides seeking to discuss elimination of tariffs and nontariff barriers to promote trade and growth. While the first round of talks in Brussels in April was mostly procedural, ...

Pole first woman to join pro 'shogi' training course

Jun 25, 2013

Pole first woman to join pro 'shogi' training course

The first foreign woman to be accepted into the professional female "shogi" training program is from Poland, the Japan Shogi Association has revealed. Karolina Styczynska, a 22-year-old college student, was entitled to join the Kenshukai training program's C2 class after recording three wins and five ...

Jun 25, 2013

Japan, South Korea let more currency swaps expire

Japan and South Korea agreed to end part of their currency swap contract next month as scheduled, reducing its overall size to $10 billion from $13 billion, the Finance Ministry said Monday. The two countries "have reached the conclusion that they will not extend the ...

Judo chief Uemura hints at resignation

/ Jun 25, 2013

Judo chief Uemura hints at resignation

Haruki Uemura, the beleaguered chairman of the All Japan Judo Federation, hinted Monday he is willing to step down from his post in the coming months after the completion of his mission to reform the scandal-tainted body. "I stated in my opening remarks to the ...

/ Jun 25, 2013

Qualcomm completes ¥10.89 billion investment in Sharp

Sharp Corp. on Monday received the second half of Qualcomm Inc.'s ¥10.89 billion investment and completed procedures for forming a capital alliance on developing new display panels, the struggling electronics maker said. The investment turned the U.S. telecommunications technology company into Sharp's third-biggest shareholder, with ...

Kisenosato ready for promotion bid

Jun 25, 2013

Kisenosato ready for promotion bid

The Japan Sumo Association announced Monday its rankings for the upcoming Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament, placing ozeki Kisenosato, who will take his first crack at promotion to yokozuna, on the prestigious east wing for the fourth tournament in a row. Kisenosato, who turns 27 on ...

Nakata, Abreu double-punch sinks Marines

/ Jun 25, 2013

Nakata, Abreu double-punch sinks Marines

Masaru Takeda pitched three-run ball over five innings, and Sho Nakata and Michel Abreu each homered to power the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters in a 5-3 win over the Chiba Lotte Marines on Monday night. Nakata went deep with two outs and a runner on ...

Rural areas cash in on trail running

Jun 25, 2013

Rural areas cash in on trail running

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Trail running is attracting increasing attention as a means of revitalizing towns and villages suffering from depopulation. The OSJ Okukuji Trail 50K footrace, which covers mountain paths around 654-meter Mount Nantai on the border between Daigo and Hitachiota in Ibaraki Prefecture, attracts around 600 participants ...

The neglected stars of Norwegian design

Jun 25, 2013

The neglected stars of Norwegian design

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What do you think of as a typical example of Scandinavian design? The massively copied 1950s bentwood chair series "Seven Chairs" by Danish architect Arne Jacobsen? The vividly colored Unikko poppy patterns by the Finnish textile company Marimekko? Or the ready-to-assemble furniture available at ...

Finally, 'The Last of Us' is here

| Jun 25, 2013

Finally, 'The Last of Us' is here

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Finally, 'The Last of Us' is here One of this year's most eagerly anticipated titles, "The Last of Us" is set in a near-future post-apocalypse that's crawling with zombies. It is around 2030, decades after a fungi outbreak has ravaged America, infecting people and turning ...