Tag - explainer



PFAS does not break down easily and remains in the body and the environment for a number of years, and is thus called “forever chemicals.”
JAPAN / Explainer
Mar 4, 2024
Japan’s food safety panel drafts intake limit for 'forever chemicals'
The report spells out the “tolerable daily intake” of PFAS through food for the first time. Here's what you need to know.
Ground Self-Defense Force troops participate in a joint military drill and demonstration with the U.S., British, Canadian, German and other countries' militaries in Funabashi, Chiba Prefecture, on Jan. 7.
Feb 5, 2024
The Rosetta Stone to decipher Japan's new security deals
Japan has already signed several agreements this year that, together with previous ones, form a dense web of security pacts — one worth untangling.
A majority of pollen allergy cases in Japan are caused by cedar trees, which cover 18% of Japan’s forests, due mostly to Japan’s forestation policy after World War II.
JAPAN / Science & Health / EXPLAINER
Feb 4, 2024
As hay fever season approaches, here’s what you need to know to prepare
Your eyes start itching, your nose keeps running and you can’t stop sneezing. It's nearly time for Japan's dreaded hay fever season.
Volunteers work at the site of a soy sauce-maker in Nanao, Ishikawa Prefecture, on Saturday.
JAPAN / Explainer
Jan 31, 2024
Quake-hit Noto faces a long road to recovery. Here's how you can help.
After initially asking people to refrain from coming as volunteers, municipalities in Ishikawa are now open to outside help.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is questioned about fundraising parties by reporters in Tokyo on Wednesday.
JAPAN / Explainer
Dec 7, 2023
Understanding the LDP political funding scandal and its implications
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and his ruling LDP are in hot water over suspicions that party factions underreported funds for years.
Children and their parents wait at an outpatient area at a children's hospital in Beijing on Thursday.
Nov 25, 2023
What we know so far about surging respiratory illnesses in China
While emphasizing that the full situation remains unclear, experts say there is little to suggest the cases were caused by a new virus.
A Houthi military helicopter flies over the Galaxy Leader cargo ship in the Red Sea in this photo released Monday.
Nov 22, 2023
Houthi ship hijacking stokes fears of escalating Israel-Hamas war
The group warned they would continue to target vessels linked to Israelis until the end of the military campaign against Hamas militants in Gaza.
The role of cryptocurrencies in terrorist financing has once again come into focus after the start of the Israel-Hamas war.
Oct 25, 2023
Crypto's role in terrorist financing comes under renewed scrutiny
Cryptocurrency's role in terrorist financing has come under renewed scrutiny following a deadly attack in Israel by Palestinian militant group Hamas.
A Philippine-flagged boat is blocked by a China Coast Guard vessel during an incident that resulted in a collision between the two ships in the disputed waters of the South China Sea in this screen shot taken from video on Sunday.
Oct 23, 2023
After collisions at sea, could Sino-Philippine tensions boil over?
Tensions are rapidly surging between Manila and Beijing in the South China Sea, where the two countries have overlapping claims.
A Palestinian with dual citizenship waits outside the Rafah border crossing with Egypt in the hope of getting permission to leave Gaza, on Tuesday.
Oct 18, 2023
What is the Rafah border crossing and why is Egypt keeping it shut?
The crossing is the sole route for aid to enter Gaza directly from outside Israel and the only exit that does not lead to Israeli territory.
The Japan headquarters of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, known as the Unification Church, in Tokyo on Friday
JAPAN / Explainer
Oct 13, 2023
What’s next in the Unification Church saga?
The government sought a court order on Friday to strip the Unification Church of its religious corporation status. The process is just beginning.
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.
Japan bought yen in September 2022, its first foray in the market to boost its currency since 1998, after a Bank of Japan decision to maintain an ultraloose monetary policy drove the yen as low as ¥145 per dollar.
Oct 2, 2023
What intervention by Japan to stem yen weakness could look like
Aside from verbal intervention, the government has several options to stem what it considers excessive yen falls.
Group of Seven leaders, including Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (center), lay floral wreaths at the Cenotaph for Atomic Bomb Victims in the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima on May 19.
Sep 20, 2023
Kishida eyes return to stalled fissile treaty. That may be a nonstarter.
Speaking at the U.N. General Assembly in New York, Kishida said Japan will work to facilitate discussions between nuclear and nonnuclear weapon states.
A Toyota factory in Toyota, Aichi Prefecture, in 2015. A computer system processing orders for vehicle parts for the company broke down Tuesday, forcing the closure of 14 assembly plants in Japan.
Aug 30, 2023
What happened to shut down Toyota's production in Japan?
Disruption shut down a system at the core of Toyota's lean manufacturing process.
The release of treated water from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant into the sea in the town of Okuma, in Fukushima prefecture, began Thursday.
JAPAN / Explainer
Aug 24, 2023
A closer look at the Fukushima water discharge plan
The IAEA, the Japanese government and many nuclear experts say this process is safe and consistent with what other countries are doing.
With temperatures around the world reaching record highs this summer, you may want to reconsider which sunscreen you are using, experts say, as not all sunscreens are the same.
WORLD / Science & Health / EXPLAINER
Aug 21, 2023
Extreme heat may mean using a different sunscreen
The two major types — mineral and chemical — handle the sun's ultraviolet rays differently and during extremely hot weather, those differences can matter.
It is still unclear whether BA.2.86 will be able to out-compete other strains of the virus that causes COVID-19, or have any advantage in escaping immune responses from prior infection or vaccination.
WORLD / Science & Health / EXPLAINER
Aug 21, 2023
What you need to know about BA.2.86, the new COVID variant
Scientists are keeping an eye on the new lineage because it has 36 mutations that distinguish it from the currently dominant XBB.1.5 variant.
A women-only passenger train in Tokyo
JAPAN / Explainer
Aug 18, 2023
DJ Soda incident spotlights prevalence of groping in Japan
The groping of the South Korean DJ at a festival spurred online conversations about the issue, with a term translating as "groping country" trending on X.
If you have a specific birth plan in mind, like giving birth at home, it's important to make sure the clinic you use offers that option.
Aug 14, 2023
Giving birth in Japan? Here’s what you need to know.
Giving birth can be overwhelming — even more so if you don’t understand the local language or know the steps you need to take.


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