National Oct 1, 2014

Osaka bans street touts in Umeda, Dotonbori districts

A new ordinance banning street touts who lure customers into restaurants and bars, often by promising them discounts and then charging exorbitant sums of money, went into effect in designated areas of the city of Osaka on Wednesday. While there are already strict regulations on ...

Citizens seek nuclear-free Shimane

National Jan 6, 2014

Citizens seek nuclear-free Shimane

by Eric Johnston

Shimane Prefecture citizens seeking to enact a local ordinance that would phase out nuclear power and develop renewable energy sources have collected more than 92,000 signatures of support from registered voters, well over the minimum needed to force the governor to introduce the ordinance ...

Deaf-mute wins one for sign language

National Dec 19, 2013

Deaf-mute wins one for sign language

by Masatoshi Chino

Daigo Ishibashi, 40, got a lump in his throat when the Tottori Prefectural Assembly passed a groundbreaking sign language promotion ordinance in early October, the first of its kind in Japan. "I felt proud. It was a historic day," Ishibashi, secretary-general of the Tottori association ...

Town raises a toast with wine law

National Dec 13, 2013

Town raises a toast with wine law

In line with growing moves to promote regional alcoholic beverages, the municipal assembly in Furano, Hokkaido, has passed an ordinance urging its residents to raise a toast with its local speciality: Furano wine. According to the Tokyo-based Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association, the number ...