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National Dec 31, 2000

U.S. to keep monitoring Japan's whaling

President Bill Clinton on Friday said the U.S. government will continue monitoring the Japanese whaling program while leaving the decision whether to impose trade sanctions against Japan to the incoming administration of George W. Bush. "I remain deeply concerned by Japan's unilateral actions," Clinton said ...

National Dec 31, 2000

Cities set to merge divided over new leader

by Taiga Uranaka

It looked like a match made in heaven when, on Aug. 10, the two beaming mayors of Hoya and Tanashi shook hands on a deal to merge the two western Tokyo cities. But in the runup to the official inauguration of Nishi-Tokyo on Jan. 21, ...

National Dec 31, 2000

Guesthouse making enemies of tenants and neighbors

by Mick Corliss

Advertisements for Apple House Co., a chain of low-budget guesthouses, tout it as the "biggest guesthouse in Japan" and play up its "no curfew, no key money and no guarantor required" policy. The company provides single rooms for 3,700 yen a night, or around 47,000 ...

National Dec 31, 2000

Guesthouse making enemies of tenants and neighbors

Advertisements for Apple House Co., a chain of low-budget guesthouses, tout it as the "biggest guesthouse in Japan" and play up its "no curfew, no key money and no guarantor required" policy. The company provides single rooms for 3,700 yen a night, or around 47,000 ...

National Dec 31, 2000

Pioneering diesel engine developed by Fuji Heavy

Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., maker of Subaru cars, has developed what it claims is the world's first horizontally opposed diesel engine and eventually plans to install it in a model to be launched in Europe, a Fuji senior managing director said Saturday. Mamoru Morinaga said ...

National Dec 31, 2000

EPA boss received 15 million yen from KSD

Economic Planning Agency chief Fukushiro Nukaga received a total of 15 million yen in donations in November 1999 and last April from the then chairman of KSD, a scandal-tainted mutual aid organization for small firms, informed sources said Saturday. The money from Tadao Koseki, 79, ...

National Dec 31, 2000

Elderly choke on yearend delicacy

Four elderly people have had traditional "mochi" rice cakes stick in their throats since Tuesday, causing the choking deaths of two of them, the Tokyo Fire Department said Saturday. A 75-year-old man in Edogawa Ward died after being rushed to hospital Thursday with a variety ...

National Dec 31, 2000

BSC to take on 'Voice of the Andes'

The newly established digital radio broadcasting station BSC will take over the broadcasting of "Voice of the Andes" after the Ecuador-based Japanese-language radio service goes off air today. BSC, an affiliate of Japan's short-wave service Radio Tampa, said it will broadcast a 30-minute "Voice of ...

National Dec 31, 2000

Warbler recalls area's innocent days

by Mari Koseki

Just when the doors of the Yamanote line train are about to close at Uguisudani Station during morning rush hour, alert passengers will hear the distinctive chirp of the "uguisu," or bush warbler. Although the bird is traditionally regarded as a harbinger of spring, at ...

National Dec 31, 2000

J-Phone West's services disrupted

OSAKA -- J-Phone West Co., an Osaka-based major mobile phone service operator, on Saturday said a partial failure in its network center switchboard temporarily disrupted services until early morning that day. The disruption, which included the use of e-mail, began at 11:18 p.m. Friday and ...

Editorials Dec 31, 2000

Politicians fail to deliver

Japanese politics in 2000 was marked by two major milestones. One is the inauguration of the administration of Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori following the late Keizo Obuchi's resignation due to sudden illness. The other is the July 25 Lower House election in which the ...

National Dec 31, 2000

Mohri leaves NASDA for museum

Japanese astronaut Mamoru Mohri, who participated in U.S. space shuttle missions in 1992 and in February this year, is retiring from the National Space Development Agency of Japan to head a science museum to be completed in July, NASDA officials said. Mohri, 52, will become ...

National Dec 31, 2000

Hospital investigated for unnecessary operations

A scandal-hit hospital in Saitama Prefecture is suspected of having used an unnecessary intravenous feeding method on its patients, local government officials said Saturday. Prefectural authorities monitored Asakura Hospital's operations for a year from November 1999 and found that of the 77 patients who died ...

National Dec 31, 2000

People jam transport as cities empty

Airports and railway terminals in urban areas were jammed with holiday makers Saturday as a record number of people headed overseas for the end of year holidays. At Haneda Airport, about 130 people waited for seats on flights to Fukuoka and Sapporo that might have ...

Music Dec 31, 2000

One mighty orchestra, two mighty conductors

by Robert Ryker

Berliner Philharmonisches Orchester Nov. 26, Mariss Jansens conducting in Suntory Hall -- "Oberon" Overture (Carl Maria Friedrich Ernst von Weber, 1786-1812), Concerto for Violin and Orchestra No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 99 (Dmitri Dmitrievich Shostakovich, 1906-75) featuring Hilary Hahn; Symphony No. 8 in G ...

National Dec 31, 2000

Currency scam puts police on alert

Police said they are on the lookout for criminals swindling cash from people with a scam involving old German currency notes and bonds that are now worthless. In late November, police cracked down on a group that defrauded a man of cash by convincing him ...

Commentary Dec 31, 2000

Flaws are part and parcel of democracy

by Hugh Cortazzi

LONDON -- How democratic are the world's so-called democratic countries? Can there be totally fair elections? The U.S. presidential election raises some serious issues about democratic rights and the fairness of electoral processes. U.S. presidential elections are complicated by the electoral-college system, which is part of ...

Art Dec 31, 2000

The art of being a farm village

by Linda Inoki

"Grez was an idyllic little place," wrote a Swedish artist in 1884, "offering subjects wherever you looked . . . the river with its watermills and little waterfalls, the sun on white walls, old men in clogs, old women in coifs, girls in the ...

People | PERSONALITY PROFILE Dec 31, 2000

Minoru Akimoto

by Vivienne Kenrick

"For a college kid in a provincial town in the early 50s, there were not many options for learning English. My teachers were Hollywood movies. I memorized a script and then sat in a movie theater all day, watching and listening to the same ...