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9 in Osaka confirmed to have new flu, total domestic cases rise to 17

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Taking up herewith Japanese National News Trend.
Regarding New Flu in Japan, we are now entering into a new phase.
9 in Osaka confirmed to have new flu, total domestic cases rise to 17
May 17, 2009 by AP

OSAKA, May 17 (AP) - Nine senior high school students were confirmed to have been infected with the new strain of influenza A on Sunday, Osaka prefectural and municipal governments said, bringing the total number of domestic infections to 17 in two prefectures in Japan. (AP)

Swine flu closes more NYC schools, spreads in Asia
May 16, 2009 by AP

NEW YORK - The swine flu virus continues spreading in New York City — closing more schools and showing up in a jail — while the disease also reached further into Asia among travelers returning from the United States.

Kobe moves to enact antiflu measures / Municipal, national govts work in tandem to check spread of infection
May 17, 2009 by Yomiuri

In the wake of the nation's first confirmed domestic outbreak Saturday of a case of the new strain of influenza virus in Kobe, the Health, Welfare and Labor Ministry and the Kobe municipal government faced a deluge of tasks to minimize the infection's spread.
Some senior municipal government officials said the emergence of the confirmed new type of influenza in Kobe was a contingency "beyond anything they had anticipated."
However, a high-ranking health ministry official noted, "This was inevitable--we were never going to be able to be the only country in the world to be successful in completely preventing the entry of the new flu virus via quarantine measures at airports and harbors, amid the steady rise in new flu-infected carriers around the world." ...

Why bow to China?
May 16, 2009 by NewsWeek

What's particularly striking about the rise of China is how little anyone questions its purported status as the first nation of Asia. That's true even in Japan, which has an economy 10 times larger. The spectacle of Beijing's playing a lead role at global summits, where Tokyo is generally invisible, has been almost universally greeted as an overdue promotion. More and more, world leaders are quietly bowing to China as the superpower with all the economic momentum. This was the unspoken message when, last month, French President Nicolas Sarkozy apologized to Chinese President Hu Jintao for meeting with the Dalai Lama, or when the U.S. quietly stopped accusing China of manipulating its currency. Newspapers from London to Seoul have begun heralding China's emergence as a global hegemon, and journalist. ...

Young Japanese to be trained as marksmen to curb plague of deer
May 16, 2009 by Times Online
Deer trouble at the Itsukushima Shrine in Miyajima
(Rising deer numbers are causing problems at the Itsukushima Shrine in Miyajima)

Young town-dwelling Japanese, a pacifist generation raised on Starbucks, poodles and karaoke, are to be trained as marksmen and sent into the mountains to kill deer. The Government’s desperation to end a plague of the animals is such that the emerging cohort of woodsmen — proud graduates of the newly established Toyoka Hunting Meister Education School — will be given free training in the arts of the forest. Learning at the hands of veteran sharpshooters and grizzled outdoorsmen, the new crop will, it is hoped, replace a generation of huntsmen who are now too old and addled to shoot straight or rear the sort of bloodthirsty hunting dogs that used to hold the countryside in check. ...

Capital's new rail map is on the right lines
May 17, 2009 by Japan Times
News photo
(User-friendly?: A section of Vollmer Design's new "distorted but realistic" rail map of Tokyo (left), and the "baffling" officially sanctioned one (right). YOSHIAKI MIURA PHOTO)

We all depend on them, especially when we are new to a place, but how many subway users realize that their trusty transit maps are the subject of a tug-of-war between the forces of geographical accuracy and graphical distortion in the interests of ease of use?
Where you stand in this battle probably depends on where you live.
Londoners are sold on their highly distorted Tube map, in which miles of bendy train tracks are straightened into neat, schematic lines along which every curve is a uniform 60 degrees.  (Japan Times)

Japan's main opposition party chooses new leader
May 16, 2009 by AP

TOKYO – Japan's main opposition party, which hopes to take control of the country in elections later this year, chose the grandson of a former prime minister as its chief on Saturday.
The Democratic Party of Japan selected Yukio Hatoyama, currently its secretary-general, as its new leader. He takes control after the party's previous boss stepped down amid a political funding scandal.
The Democrats are in position to make major gains or even rise to power in the next elections. A win for the party would likely mean that Hatoyama would become prime minister. Hatoyama's grandfather, Ichiro Hatoyama, served as prime minister during three administrations in the 1950s. ...
By J.S. in May, 2009




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