Yukana Inoue
Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike attends the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly on Wednesday. Koike, who is coming to the end of her second term as governor, did not formally announce her intent to run for July's gubernatorial election on Wednesday despite indications that she might.
JAPAN / Politics
May 29, 2024
Tokyo Gov. Koike keeps guessing game going on candidacy declaration
Despite indications that she might make a formal announcement on Wednesday, the 71-year-old incumbent made no mention of the July gubernatorial election.
Renho, who will run as an independent candidate in the Tokyo gubernatorial election, speaks during a news conference in the capital on Monday.
JAPAN / Politics
May 27, 2024
Renho to run in Tokyo gubernatorial election
The 56-year-old lawmaker from the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan will face incumbent Gov. Yuriko Koike if the latter runs as well.
A transport ministry probe into Japan Airlines on Friday targeted daily operations pertaining to flight operations and safety management at company facilities near Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, including JAL's safety promotion headquarters.
May 24, 2024
Emergency probe of Japan Airlines carried out following incidents
The on-site investigation comes after the wings of two JAL planes collided while the aircraft were on Haneda Airport’s parking apron.
Many drugmakers that have entered the generic drug market are producing a wide range of medicine in small quantities, resulting in an inefficient system, the health ministry panel noted.
JAPAN / Science & Health
May 23, 2024
Health ministry panel urges consolidation in Japan's drug sector
In an effort to tackle an ongoing shortage of generic drugs, a health ministry panel says smaller drugmakers should merge with bigger companies.
A tourist shops at a drug store in the Asakusa district of Tokyo on April 30.
JAPAN / Science & Health
May 22, 2024
Japan panel sets out plans to accelerate drug discovery efforts
Ideas include calling in help from well-established firms overseas and having them work with "accelerators" to nurture local talent into "star scientists."
Some 2,181 morning-after pills were sold at 145 pharmacies across the nation, with Tokyo and Kanagawa Prefecture recording over 200 sales each.
JAPAN / Science & Health
May 20, 2024
Morning-after pill buyers back prescription-free sales following trial
Some 27% of purchases were made on Saturdays and Sundays, when many clinics are closed.
Ippei Mizuhara interprets for Shohei Ohtani during the baseball star's introductory news conference with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Dec. 14.
May 10, 2024
Gambling scandal involving Shohei Ohtani's interpreter being turned into TV series
The shocking gambling scandal surrounding Shohei Ohtani’s former interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, which made headlines across the world earlier this year, is already heading to television.
A member of staff at Momuri responds to a request for assistance in submitting a resignation in Tokyo on April 18.
JAPAN / Society
May 8, 2024
Japan's workers turning to agencies that help them quit jobs
One firm that provides such a service saw the highest-ever number of requests following the long Golden Week holiday.
Over 300 companies went out of business in fiscal 2023 due to labor shortages, according to Teikoku Databank.
BUSINESS / Economy
May 6, 2024
Japan's labor crunch persists despite slight improvement
Companies involved in IT engineering fared the worst, with more than 7 in 10 saying they didn't have enough workers and had to resort to forgoing projects.
A picture of the forest fire on Mt. Akiha near the city of Nanyo in Yamagata Prefecture, uploaded on social media platform X by the Nanyo municipal government on Saturday. Efforts to extinguish the flames continued for a third day on Monday.
JAPAN / Society
May 6, 2024
Efforts to extinguish forest fire in Yamagata continue
The fire, which began Saturday, has spread over 135 hectares, resulting in the closure of several roads and an evacuation order for two districts.
A vacant lot on the site of the former Tsukiji fish market where a group of companies plans to develop a commercial and residential complex in the coming years
May 1, 2024
Developer hopes to tap Tsukiji's 'rich history' to create a new Tokyo hot spot
Mitsui Fudosan, tasked with renovating the former site of the famous Tsukiji fish market, hopes to build the vacant lot into a new trendy hub.
Performers play a traditional drum unique to Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture, in the prefectural capital of Kanazawa on March 16 to mark the extension of the Hokuriku Shinkansen line to Tsuruga Station in Fukui Prefecture.
JAPAN / Society
Apr 26, 2024
Japan wants you to spend more with ‘luxury tourism’
The country is looking to nudge affluent tourists to lesser-known destinations with the offer of unique experiences of culture, craftsmanship and nature.
Natsumi Sakai, the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan’s candidate and one of four female candidates running in the by-election, touts her experience as a cancer survivor and midwife as having prepared her to tackle issues that women currently face.
JAPAN / Politics
Apr 25, 2024
Tokyo's Koto Ward by-election a race unlike any other
In a departure from boys' club politics, candidates including four women, a writer and an ex-martial artist are making their case for a seat in parliament.
One of the lawyers representing a group of doctors suing Google told a news conference that the main purpose of the lawsuit is not to seek compensation but instead to raise awareness over various problems with the Google Maps system.
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
Apr 18, 2024
In a first, Japan doctors sue Google over negative reviews on firm's map app
The suit is the first in Japan — and possibly the world — to target a platform rather than the individuals who posted the reviews, lawyers said.
Tourists in Kyoto on Saturday. Japan saw a record 3.08 million foreign visitors in March.
JAPAN / Society
Apr 17, 2024
Inbound tourism numbers hit record high, with Japan set to achieve 2025 goal
The nation welcomed a record 3.08 million foreign visitors in March, surpassing the previous high of 2.99 million from July 2019.
A survey of the 6,975 products with the functional food label was initiated by the government last month following the scandal over Kobayashi Pharmaceuticals’ beni kōji supplements.
JAPAN / Science & Health
Apr 12, 2024
Probe finds 18 functional food products with past reports of health damage in Japan
The survey results come as the industry reels from deaths linked to Kobayashi Pharmaceutical's beni kōji supplements.
Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike in Tokyo on April 1
JAPAN / Politics
Apr 12, 2024
Tokyo Gov. Koike denies claim she falsified academic credentials
The governor denied allegations published in a monthly magazine that she drafted a fake graduation document from Cairo University.
Health experts say the beni kōji supplement scandal should not be treated as a one-off incident. Instead, it should be seen as a cautionary tale about how such health food items could pose more risks than benefits.
JAPAN / Science & Health / FOCUS
Apr 12, 2024
Kobayashi Pharma’s slow response to scandal spotlights deeper issues
Health experts say the scandal should be seen as a cautionary tale, and not a one-off incident.
According to the children's agency’s estimate, those with an annual income of ¥2 million will see an additional tax levy of ¥350 to support new child care provision, while those with incomes of ¥6 million will pay an extra ¥1,000.
JAPAN / Society
Apr 10, 2024
Japan to collect monthly average of ¥800 for child care boost
The exact amount for each individual will vary depending on income and public health insurance plans.
Digital minister Taro Kono rides in a car driven by a private driver using a personal vehicle in Tokyo's Edogawa Ward on Monday.
Apr 8, 2024
Tokyo starts ride-hailing service — but it may not be what you expect
The apps Go, Uber, S.Ride and Didi can all be used to hail private drivers alongside taxis during specific times of the day.


The Japanese government updated its English education guidelines in 2017 to emphasize communication over grammar and memorization. Public school teachers are incredibly busy, however, which means schools haven’t been able to implement changes uniformly. Private and alternative schools are attempting to remedy this.
The language of opportunity: Bilingual education is on the rise in Japan