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Karin Kaneko
For Karin Kaneko's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
A bed bug in Paris in September
JAPAN / Society
Nov 27, 2023
Bedbugs are spreading in South Korea and China. Is Japan next?
Experts caution that it may only be a matter of time, given the number of travelers now arriving in the country.
Ichikawa Ennosuke IV bows in front of media after being released on bail in July.
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
Nov 17, 2023
Ichikawa Ennosuke IV given suspended three-year prison term
The 47-year-old, whose real name is Takahiko Kinoshi, had been on trial over his role in a family suicide pact.
Chiba Prefectural Police officers speak at a news conference at Matsudo Police Station on Friday.
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
Nov 13, 2023
Woman killed in Chiba was repeatedly hit with blunt object
The suspects — one male about 180 cm tall who was wearing a jacket and a cap, and another man described as fairly thin — remain at large.
Au Pay offers points for each transaction up to ¥250,000, with users receiving reward points.
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
Nov 10, 2023
Six arrested in ¥171 million au Pay points scam
The store owner is believed to have been recruiting people on social media to cooperate with him on the fake transactions.
Japanese police investigators arrive at Phnom Penh International Airport on Tuesday.
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
Nov 8, 2023
Japanese fraud suspects extradited from Cambodia
Investigators say the suspects made fraudulent phone calls from Cambodia posing as nursing home staff and lawyers, aiming to scam victims in Japan.
Plumes of smoke rise from a new isle after a recent volcano on Iwo Jima on Nov. 3.
JAPAN / Science & Health
Nov 7, 2023
New isle emerges after underwater volcano erupts south of Tokyo
A recent undersea volcanic eruption has led to the formation of a new isle off the coast of Iwo Jima, about 1,200 kilometers south of Tokyo.
The civil case centers on whether a foreign national in a same-sex partnership with a Japanese citizen should be granted “long-term resident status,” which allows residency for up to five years in Japan.
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
Nov 2, 2023
Tokyo High Court rejects same-sex couple's residence status lawsuit
The civil case centers on whether a foreign national in a same-sex partnership with a Japanese citizen should be granted “long-term resident status.”
A post office in Warabi, Saitama Prefecture, on Wednesday, a day after a man barricaded himself inside with a firearm.
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
Nov 1, 2023
Elderly Saitama hostage-taker had 'grudge' against post office
The 86-year-old man was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of shooting into a hospital in Saitama Prefecture and taking hostages at a post office.
Police watch over the Dotonbori area in Osaka on Oct. 20 as Tigers fans flocked to the area to celebrate the team's advance to the Japan Series.
JAPAN / Society
Oct 30, 2023
Police prep crowd control plans in case Tigers win Japan Series
The Tigers are facing off against the Orix Buffaloes in the series, which kicked off on Saturday.
Lawyers Kazuyuki Minami (left) and Masafumi Yoshida (right) representing a transgender woman show off signs that say "unconstitutional" and "sent back" to a lower court, during a news conference Wednesday in Tokyo after a Supreme Court decision.
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
Oct 25, 2023
Supreme Court hands down landmark decision on transgender rights
A law requiring sterilization surgery to change a person's legal gender has been declared “unconstitutional."
Ichikawa Ennosuke IV bows in front of media after being released on bail set at ¥5 million in July.
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
Oct 20, 2023
Kabuki actor Ichikawa Ennosuke pleads guilty to assisting parents' suicides
“The feelings of regret, remorse and gratitude (to my supporters) are something I will carry for the rest of my life,” Ennosuke said.
The health ministry found that, following the reported death of a TV personality in May 2022, the number of excess suicides in Japan spiked for two or three weeks.
JAPAN / Science & Health
Oct 20, 2023
Copycat suicides spiked in Japan after celebrity's 2022 death
A government report is calling for the media to ensure that coverage is in line with the World Health Organization’s suicide reporting guidelines.
A smoking room aboard a Tokaido Shinkansen train
JAPAN
Oct 18, 2023
Bullet train lines to nix smoking rooms as health consciousness grows
As of next spring, the smoking rooms will be replaced with areas to store drinking water to be distributed in times of emergency.
A sign at a Johnny & Associates store in the city of Osaka is peeled off late Monday after the shop closed.
JAPAN / Society / FOCUS
Oct 17, 2023
With new name for Johnny's, focus shifts to victim compensation
The talent agency will face challenges in identifying those eligible for compensation due to the sheer number of victims of abuse by Johnny Kitagawa.
Police are looking for a suspect in his 40s to 50s following an assault and robbery in Hachioji, western Tokyo, on Wednesday.
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
Oct 12, 2023
Police hunting for suspect after assault and robbery in Tokyo house
The suspect is described as a man in his 40s to 50s wearing a gray jacket and pants and standing 180 centimeters tall.
Johnny & Associates President Noriyuki Higashiyama (right) speaks during a news conference at a hotel in Tokyo on Oct. 2.
JAPAN / Society
Oct 11, 2023
Johnny's denies that it was involved in reporter blacklisting
The agency responded to the backlash that arose over a journalist blacklist for a news conference addressing sexual abuse allegations by its late founder.
NHK's building in the Shibuya district of Tokyo, where sexual abuse by Johnny Kitagawa reportedly took place
JAPAN
Oct 10, 2023
Johnny’s founder accused of sexually abusing teen in NHK bathroom
The man, who was a high school student at the time, said that he was assaulted in the fall of 2002 when he attended a dance lesson.
Yotsuya Otsuka cram school head office in Nakano Ward, Tokyo
JAPAN / Crime & Legal / FOCUS
Oct 6, 2023
Cram school teacher arrests ignite child safety debate
Two cram school teachers in Tokyo were arrested for allegedly taking photos of a female student's underwear and sharing them on a group chat.
A reporter raises their hand during a Johnny & Associates news conference on Monday. Journalists were limited to a “one question per company” at the event.
JAPAN / Society
Oct 4, 2023
Johnny’s news conference had journalist ‘blacklist,' reports say
Johnny & Associates has said it never made a request that specific journalists be passed over for questions.
Noriyuki Higashiyama (right) and Yoshihiko Inohara attend a news conference in Tokyo on Monday.
JAPAN / Explainer
Oct 3, 2023
Unpacking the latest Johnny & Associates news conference
The flood of information released during the agency's latest news conference may have been difficult to grasp. Here's what you need to know.

Longform

Hideo Shimoju points to a possible site that his fellow neighbors may relocate to. Such relocations have happened before, but not preemptively.
In disaster-prone Japan, some communities consider major moves