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Lights Out, Tokyo—It's Going to Be a Hot One

Government asks 37M residents to use less electricity to avoid power outages amid heat wave

(Newser) - Temps in Japan usually hover below 85 degrees Fahrenheit in the month of June, but a heat wave that's descended upon Tokyo and surrounding areas has led the government to plead with 37 million residents to switch off their lights to avoid power outages. The BBC reports that the...

City Blames Loss of Resident Data on Drunk Guy With USB Drive

Officials in Amagasaki, Japan, say man lost device with info on all of city's 460K residents

(Newser) - If you're a resident of the Japanese city of Amagasaki and find out over the next few months you're the victim of identity theft, you can allegedly blame a worker who had a little too much to drink. CNN reports that the city's government has put out...

It's the Opposite of Online Dating, and It May Be Working

Japanese city of Miyazaki expanding its love-letter program after early success

(Newser) - A Japanese city's decidedly low-tech venture into matchmaking appears to be working. Authorities in Miyazaki will expand their experiment involving handwritten love letters after numbers exceeded expectations, reports AFP . Those numbers are relatively small for now: About 450 people, mostly in their 20s and 30s, signed up for the...

Japan Court Rules Against Same-Sex Marriage

Judge says ban is constitutional

(Newser) - A Japanese court ruled Monday that the country’s ban on same-sex marriage does not violate the constitution, and it rejected demands for compensation by three couples who said their rights had been violated. The Osaka District Court ruling is the second decision on the issue, and it disagrees with...

Japan Cautiously Opens Its Doors Again

For now, only guided package tours will be allowed for foreign tourists

(Newser) - Japan on Friday eased its borders for foreign tourists and began accepting visa applications, but only for those on guided package tours who are willing to follow mask-wearing and other anti-COVID measures as the country cautiously tries to balance business and infection worries. Friday is the first day to start...

Authorities: Japanese Fugitive Tied to $7.2M COVID Relief Plot

Mitsuhiro Taniguchi is now in custody in Indonesia and set to be deported

(Newser) - For a week or two, Mitsuhiro Taniguchi was holed up in the home of an Indonesian fish trader, trying to convince him of his plan to invest in local fisheries. That won't be happening now, though, as he's been nabbed by authorities over the money he was perhaps...

Japan Accused of Being in 'Middle Ages' on Abortion Move

Abortion pill set to be approved soon, but a woman will reportedly need partner's consent to get it

(Newser) - Japan is said to be on the cusp of approving the abortion pill later this year, with an application from pharma firm Linepharma up for approval there. There'll be a major "but," however, tacked onto the law, one which has women's reproductive rights activists up in...

Man Who Accidentally Got All of Town's COVID Cash: It's Gone

The 24-year-old Japanese man was arrested on fraud charge

(Newser) - What the Japanese town of Abu knew was this: The $770 each COVID relief payments that were supposed to go to 463 low-income households last month mistakenly ended up in a 24-year-old villager's account . The mistake occurred April 8 and was identified that same day, but for weeks Sho...

He Got the Whole Town's COVID Payments. Then He Vanished

Man in Japanese town of Abu took off with nearly $360K mistakenly transferred to him

(Newser) - Last month, more than 450 households in a Japanese town in the Yamaguchi prefecture eagerly awaited COVID relief payments of about $770 each, designed to help families struggling due to the pandemic. One villager received all the payments in his account, however, and he's now disappeared, as has the...

There's Growing 'Fictosexual' Movement in Japan

Adherents say the practice is empowering and liberating

(Newser) - In 2008, Akihiko Kondo spiraled into a deep depression after being bullied at work and rebuffed by several women. That is when he discovered Miku, a blue-haired, software-based “virtual pop star.” He soon fell in love, according to New York Times reporters Ben Dooley and Hisako Ueno, who...

Oldest Person Dies at 119
Oldest Person
Dies at 119

Oldest Person Dies at 119

Kane Tanaka wanted everyone to 'continue to have fun'

(Newser) - A woman thought to be the oldest person in the world, with a certificate to back it up, has died in Japan at age 119. Guinness World Records reported Monday that Kane Tanaka died last Tuesday, NBC News reports. She lived in a rest home and died at a hospital...

Ukraine Apologizes to Japan Over Pic of WWII Emperor

Video tweeted out by Ukraine government account showed Hirohito's photo next to Hitler, Mussolini

(Newser) - Ukraine has a brand-new word —"ruscism," roughly translated as "Russian fascism"—to describe what's happening now within its war-torn borders. But its thoughts on defeating fascism went a little awry over the weekend, after a government account tweeted a video that compared Japan's...

No Survivors Found After Tour Boat Sinks in Japan

Ten pulled from water have died, and 16 others are missing

(Newser) - Update: The news is grim on the search for survivors after a Japanese tour boat sank. Ten people who were retrieved Sunday from the frigid sea and the rocky coast of a northern Japanese national park had died per the AP . The search for the other 16 people missing continues,...

4 Killed,97 Hurt in Fukushima Quake
4 Killed, 97 Hurt in
Fukushima Quake

4 Killed, 97 Hurt in Fukushima Quake

Train partially derailed in Japan quake

(Newser) - The powerful 7.4 magnitude earthquake that struck off the coast of Fukushima in northern Japan Wednesday night killed four people and injured 97, the AP reports. A small tsunami reached shore, but the low-risk advisory was lifted by Thursday morning. The region is part of northern Japan that was...

7.3 Quake Hits Fukushima Area
7.3 Quake Hits
Fukushima Area

7.3 Quake Hits Fukushima Area

Authorities say tsunami risk is receding, no damage found at nuclear plant

(Newser) - A powerful 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Fukushima in northern Japan on Wednesday evening, triggering a tsunami advisory and plunging more than 2 million homes in the Tokyo area into darkness. The region was devastated by a deadly 9.0 quake and tsunami 11 years ago...

'Killing Stone' of Japanese Legend Splits in Two

It's a very bad omen, according to ancient folklore

(Newser) - A famous stone in the mountains of central Honshu Island, Japan, has split in two, and that's an extremely bad omen, according to ancient Japanese mythology. Legends say that the Sessho-Seki—"Killing Stone"—contained the transformed corpse of Tamomo-no-Mae, a woman who was possessed by an evil...

Suspected Cyberattack Shuts Down Toyota Production

Company suspends work at plants in Japan

(Newser) - Toyota is suspending production at all 28 lines of its 14 plants in Japan starting Tuesday, because of a "system malfunction" that a domestic supplier suspects is a cyberattack. Kojima Industries Corp., based in Toyota city in central Japan, said Monday the problem could be a cyberattack, as an...

US Man Who Helped Ghosn Flee Isn't Doing Well in Prison: Lawyers

Michael Taylor, who aided Nissan chair's escape from Japan, reportedly got frostbite in Fuchu jail

(Newser) - Update: The American dad sentenced to two years in a Fuchu prison for helping Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn escape Japan is suffering behind bars, according to his legal team. One of Michael Taylor's US-based attorneys, Paul Kelly, tells the New York Times the facility's lack of heating led...

Mom Makes Drastic Move After Learning of Sperm Donor's Lies

Japanese mother gives up baby upon finding out donor fibbed about education, ethnicity

(Newser) - A woman in Japan who thought the man she commissioned as a sperm donor was also from Japan, and educated at an elite university, was distressed to find out that wasn't the case—facts she found out when she was already pregnant and it was too late to have...

McDonald's Restaurants Here Are Rationing Their French Fries

Flooding around Vancouver has delayed potato imports, triggering shortage in Japan

(Newser) - McDonald's Japan says recent flooding in Canada means it's now having to ration its french fries. The fast-food restaurant chain will block all sales of medium- and large-size fries for the remainder of the year, beginning Friday, according to a release. "Import delays have occurred for potatoes...

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