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A building in Tokyo's Akihabara district raided by the Metropolitan Police Department's public security bureau in May last year
JAPAN / Crime & Legal
Feb 21, 2024
Chinese 'overseas police station' in Tokyo raided over benefit fraud
According to papers submitted to prosecutors, the raids stemmed from an alleged illegal receipt of COVID-19 subsidies.
CocoDesk private work booths set up by Fujifilm Business Innovation and Tokyo Metro at a subway station in Tokyo
BUSINESS / Companies
Feb 20, 2024
Demand for private work booths grows in Japan
The increase in the use of private work booths reflects how working styles have become more diverse since the pandemic.
Visitors at the Sapporo Snow Festival on Feb. 4
JAPAN
Feb 12, 2024
Sapporo Snow Festival crowds recover to pre-COVID levels in 2024
The recovery of visitor numbers has been helped by inbound travelers to Japan, according to the festival's executive committee.
The hippocampus is a part of the brain that controls memory, learning and emotions. Stressful life events such as disasters and terrorist attacks are known to lead to post-traumatic stress disorder and result in its shrinkage.
JAPAN / Science & Health
Feb 9, 2024
Tokyo teens were less stressed during first COVID emergency: study
Increases in the volume of the hippocampus in their brains suggest reduced stress, according to research conducted by the University of Tokyo.
A traveler walks past a flight information display at the Beijing Capital International Airport on Feb. 2 ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday that begins on Saturday in China.
JAPAN
Feb 8, 2024
Chinese visitors to Japan over Lunar New Year to fall short of 2019 level
Visa-free travel offered by some countries and last year's release of treated wastewater from Fukushima may be swaying Chinese travelers' decisions.
The number of teachers who took leave due to mental illness had fluctuated at around 5,000 in recent years, but it surged by more than 1,300 in two years since fiscal 2020.
JAPAN
Feb 3, 2024
Number of teachers on leave for mental illness in Japan hits record high
The figure for the year to last March was up 642 from the previous year, marking the second straight annual increase.
The Kissa Mitikusa cafe in front of JR Kagaonsen Station in Kaga, Ishikawa Prefecture, is facing a plunge in visitors.
JAPAN
Feb 1, 2024
Dining sector in quake-hit Ishikawa facing difficulties
The industry had just begun to overcome a slump brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Takuro Adachi’s documentary “Sono Kodo ni Mimi wo Ateyo” follows doctors working in Aichi Prefecture’s busiest ER over nine months.
CULTURE / Film
Feb 1, 2024
‘Sono Kodo ni Mimi o Ateyo’: An absorbing dive into pressures of the ER
Filmed at the height of the pandemic, Takuro Adachi’s documentary spotlights emergency room doctors who attend to patients from every strata of society.
In the 2022 fiscal year, which ended in March 2023, Hokkaido's Niseko resort area saw a cumulative total of more than 1.4 million visitors, including day-trippers and those who spent at least one night.
JAPAN / Society / Regional Voices: Hokkaido
Jan 29, 2024
Ski season surge tests limits of Niseko’s infrastructure
The return of tourists to the Hokkaido resort area is putting pressure on food retailers and transportation.
Medical workers prepare to enter an evacuation center in Anamizu, Ishikawa Prefecture, where COVID-19 infections were confirmed on Jan. 6.
JAPAN / Science & Health
Jan 29, 2024
Japan likely experiencing 10th wave of COVID-19
The spread is being driven by the highly contagious new JN.1 variant.
Unfortunately, statistics are not favorable when it comes to mixed marriages. With the proper communication, however, no challenge is insurmountable.
LIFE / Language / BILINGUAL
Jan 26, 2024
Know how to talk about divorce in case your relationship goes south
It's a sad fact that more than a few international relationships don't work out in Japan. Be armed with the proper vocabulary just in case.
Average spending per customer at convenience stores increased 1.1% to ¥723.5 in 2023, but the outlook remains uncertain as inflation drags on.
BUSINESS / Economy
Jan 23, 2024
Japan's convenience store sales rise 4.1% to record high in 2023
Average spending per customer increased 1.1% to ¥723.5, but the outlook remains uncertain as inflation drags on.
South Korea's Lee Kang-in celebrates after scoring against Qatar during their Group E match at the Asian Cup in Doha on Monday.
SOCCER
Jan 18, 2024
South Korea's Lee Kang-in reaching new heights under Jurgen Klinsmann
Klinsmann has made the 22-year-old the linchpin of his side since taking over a year ago.
People wear masks at an evacuation center in the town of Anamizu, Ishikawa Prefecture, on Jan. 8. The number of people with acute respiratory infectious diseases, which include COVID-19 and influenza, at evacuation centers in the prefecture stood at 142 as of Sunday.
JAPAN / Science & Health
Jan 15, 2024
COVID and Japan, four years later: Normality, but words of caution
The nation has mostly returned to the pre-pandemic norm, but experts warn against people letting their guard down completely.
Police conduct a large-scale search at the Wajima Morning Market, which was destroyed by fire following the New Year's Day earthquake, in Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture, on Tuesday.
JAPAN
Jan 9, 2024
Japan quake death toll tops 200 as police comb burned-down market
Police searched a market devastated by fire in Ishikawa Prefecture following the massive Jan. 1 earthquake, as the number of missing fell from 323 to 102.
As Japan's productivity declines due to the shrinking working-age population, policies that allow for everyone’s full participation in the labor force, especially women, are needed more than ever.
COMMENTARY / Japan
Dec 29, 2023
A look back at Japan’s gender laws and fairness in 2023
Gender equality needs to improve to boost Japan’s prospects. What hits and missed opportunities will we remember from 2023?
Among the issues that defined 2023 were the U.S. economy's "soft landing," the war in Ukraine, Hamas's terrorist attack and explosive advances in AI.
COMMENTARY / World
Dec 29, 2023
The most important developments of 2023
The year reminds us that the world is in desperate need of new leaders who are both competent and inspiring.
The Ground Self-Defense Force's Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade takes part in a marine landing drill on Tokunoshima island, Kagoshima Prefecture, on Nov. 19.
JAPAN / Politics
Dec 29, 2023
Kishida’s military build-up plans face bumpy road ahead
One year on, questions remain as to whether the embattled leader, whose support rate recently dipped to new lows, can follow through on his pledges.
A Japanese monk rings the bell at his temple. The bell is rung 108 times on New Year's Eve, a way to cleanse ourselves of the worldly desires.
LIFE / Language / BILINGUAL
Dec 29, 2023
The year’s end provides us a chance to consider the passage of time
There are plenty of Japanese words that express the passage of time, whether it's a matter of years or the blink of an eye.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (left) and Prime Minister Fumio Kishida visit the cenotaph for atomic bomb victims in Hiroshima on May 21 during the Group of Seven summit. Zelenskyy’s visit to one of the two cities attacked with a nuclear weapon came amid Russia’s veiled threats to use its nuclear arsenal in its war against Ukraine.
JAPAN
Dec 28, 2023
Images of 2023: Japan
Outside of the successful G7 summit, the year was not kind to PM Fumio Kishida's unpopular administration. A kickback scandal provided one final headache.

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