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Noriko Sakai released on bail after 40 days in detention for drugs

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JAPANESE TREND / Japanese Society (62) / Japanese Society (64)

Taking up herewith Japanese Social Trend News by Media.
Social Trend in Japan will be read via these News.
Sep 20 Cop's DNA found on body of slain child (Yomiuri)
 One of the DNA types collected from material found on the body of a 7-year-old girl killed in 2005 matched the DNA of a former senior police official who was involved in the murder investigation, according to investigative sources. The DNA of the former Tochigi prefecture police official is believed to have become attached to the girl's body during the investigation.
Sep 20 Urban warfare medieval style (Japan Times)
 Aikido, judo, jujitsu, kendo, karate, sumo: Surely Japan has enough martial arts to keep even the most voracious of combat connoisseurs entertained for a lifetime, right? Wrong. Jay Noyes, a 40-year-old self-described "farmer from Missouri," has recently established his own school for Western martial arts - in Tokyo. Castle Tintagel, as it's called, is located in the leafy residential district of Mejiro - just up the road from Gakushuin University, where members of the Imperial family are educated.
Sep 20 Car-sharing catches on as a cheap and cheerful way to go (Japan Times)
 Thinking of traveling from Tokyo to Osaka? Take a shinkansen bullet train or fly and it will set you back around ¥14,000. But if you share the costs of making the trip by car, you'll likely pay half that or less. Called "car-sharing," the practice of hopping a lift by arrangement with a stranger is becoming increasingly popular these days, as more and more people warm to a way of getting from A to B that can be much more fun than public transport and, for drivers, a remunerative way to beat the boredom of making a long journey alone.
Sep 20 Battle of the worst chefs, all in the 14-kid family and running for the money (Japan Times)
 The infamous cooking show, "Ai no Apron" (Love's Apron), may be off the air but its spirit lives on in the two-hour special "Haneru no Tobira" (The Closing Door; Fuji, Wed., 7 p.m.). A group of female comedians, including Ai Haruna, Edo Harumi and Asako Ito, compete with one another by whipping up meals for a panel of ikemen (handsome) actors and singers, including Jun Oguri, Hideaki Takizawa and Kenichi Matsuyama.
Sep 19 Bolton man jailed in Japan for murder of girlfriend (AP)
 A Bolton man has been jailed for 13 years for murdering his Japanese girlfriend. Father-of-four Paul Jason Shimmin strangled Shoko Kawanobe, aged 25, at their apartment in Yokohama on September 27, 2007. His defence lawyers argued that Kawanobe had accidentally suffocated with her face buried in her pillow while asleep.
Sep 19 Bear attacks tourists in Japan (AAP)
 A bear was shot dead on Saturday after it attacked nine people, mostly tourists, at a bus station in a mountainous area of central Japan. Four men were seriously injured in the attack in Takayama, Gifu prefecture, Kyodo news agency said, quoting local police After the afternoon attack the 1.3m tall bear fled into the bus terminal building where it was trapped in a souvenir shop by employees.
Sep 19 Arrest sought in railway lost and found scam (Yomiuri)
 Police have obtained an arrest warrant for an employee of Seibu Railway Co. who allegedly made his subordinate misappropriate lost property at a station office and pocket part of the money found in February. The 28-year-old man is suspected of having had a then 19-year-old female subordinate take 20,000 yen out of a safe holding lost and found property. She was quoted as telling the police that she erased data on a computer at the station detailing lost property and relevant dates.
Sep 19 University museums drawing crowds with research dazzle (Japan Times)
 University-run museums are gaining attention not only for their free admission but also for in-depth exhibitions that reflect their latest achievements in research. A guidebook published this month on some 100 university-run museums in the Tokyo area may prompt more people to seek intellectual stimulation at the exhibitions.
Sep 18 Japan abuzz on rumors of skater Miki Ando involved with coach (chosun.com)
 Media reports that top Japanese figure skater Miki Ando is living with her coach have shocked Japan. Zakzak, an online news site operated by the Sankei Shimbun, recently reported, citing the Weekly Post Magazine, that 2007 World Champion Ando is living in a mansion in New Jersey with her coach Nikolai Morozov. The 22-year-old skater is currently training in the U.S. with Morozov for the Vancouver Olympics in February next year.
Sep 18 Vice chairman of Sapporo Bar Association arrested for drug possession (Mainichi)
 The vice chairman of the Sapporo Bar Association was arrested Friday for drug possession, law enforcers said. Yasushi Kato, 51, is suspected of being in possession of seven plastic bags containing stimulants at his home at about 9 a.m. on Friday. He has reportedly admitted to the allegations against him.
Sep 18 Man wanted for stealing 72 mil. yen from cash transport car arrested (AP)
 A 65-year-old man on the wanted list was arrested Friday on suspicion of stealing around 72 million yen from the cash transport car he was driving in Fukuoka Prefecture earlier this month. Police caught Takayoshi Ueno, a driver for cash transport vehicles owned by Fukuoka-based Chikuho Bank, in Osaka about two weeks after he was put on a nationwide wanted list.
Sep 18 Wheelchair user dies after rolling off platform (Yomiuri)
 An 81-year-old woman died after her wheelchair rolled off a sloping platform and onto the tracks at Tamagawa Station on the Tokyu Toyoko Line in Ota Ward, Tokyo, on Sunday, police said. The woman from Kawasaki was with her daughter on the platform, which has a slight decline toward the railway track for drainage.
Sep 18 Awamori: Keeping up high spirits with Okinawa's signature drink (Japan Times)
 Awamori, the signature spirit of Okinawa, is often lumped together with shochu, the clear liquor produced in the rest of Japan. However, its production is significantly different and its history - like that of the islands themselves - is quite distinct. Until the 17th century, the Ryukyu Kingdom was independent of Japan, and enjoyed a wide network of trading links with other Asian countries.
Sep 18 Beer enthusiasts gear up for massive cheers in Yokohama (Japan Times)
 Beer aficionados will be able to taste more than 120 different craft beers at the annual Great Japan Beer Festival 2009 in Yokohama. After paying the entrance fee, visitors can taste 50-ml beer samples brewed from both local and international brewers. Different styles such as English ale, German lager, wheat beer and American ale will attempt to satisfy your thirst. Visitors are able to taste as many kinds of beer as they are capable of drinking. To cut down on garbage, only one glass will be given to each visitor.
Sep 18 Welsh musician rockets to the top of Japan's charts (Wales Online)
 Making it "big in Japan" was once a phrase synonymous with musicians' failure to crack the lucrative UK market. But since the '70s British record executives have increasingly set their sights on East Asian domination. And for Jayce Lewis from Kenfig Hill, near Bridgend, getting his big break across the Pacific Ocean getting his big break in Japan could be his best move yet.
Sep 17 3 dead, 7 injured after van sandwiched between 2 trucks (Mainichi)
 Three people were killed and seven others injured on Wednesday after a car was crushed between two trucks while waiting at a traffic light. The accident occurred here at around 11:30 a.m. on Route 6, when a 14-ton truck smashed into the back of a minivan waiting at a red light behind a 25-ton trailer.
Sep 17 Man survives on rainwater for 9 days after mountain climbing accident (Mainichi)
 A 58-year-old man injured during a solo mountain climbing trip has been rescued after nine days of living on nothing but rainwater, police said. Yokohama resident Akira Takasaka, 58, was rescued by a police helicopter on Wednesday morning after he was found lying near the Kurokura River in one of the Tanzawa Mountains in Yamakita, Kanagawa Prefecture, according to police.
Sep 17 Noriko Sakai released on bail after 40 days in detention for drugs (Mainichi)
 Actress Noriko Sakai was released on bail from Tokyo Wangan Police Station on Thursday, 40 days after her arrest for drug possession. The Tokyo District Court set Sakai's bail at 5 million yen on Monday. A tight-lipped Sakai left the police station at around 4:30 p.m., wearing a black suit and bowing deeply to the assembled media waiting outside.
Sep 17 JR East hopes 'mood' lighting can prevent station suicides (Asahi)
 East Japan Railway Co. will install blue lighting, thought to have an emotionally calming effect, on Tokyo's Yamanote Line in the hope it will make suicidal people think twice about jumping in front of trains. The lights, made using blue light-emitting diodes (LEDs), will be installed at all 29 stations on the loop line by the end of October, a JR East official said.
Sep 17 A POW's account of building the 'Death Railway' (Asahi)
 Albert Moreton, a British POW who endured terrible deprivation through forced labor on the notorious Thailand-Burma Railway, never shared his wartime experiences with his family. He was taken prisoner, along with 100,000 other Commonwealth soldiers, when the British forces surrendered Singapore in February 1942. Moreton was later shipped to Ban Pong in central Thailand to help construct the Thailand-Burma Railway.
Sep 17 Man held over assault admits attacking women (Yomiuri)
 A jobless man arrested for assaulting an elderly man in Nagata Ward on Wednesday later told police he had attacked two women with a hammer on Tuesday, the police said. Nagata Police Station of the Hyogo prefectural police intends to question Kazuki Chiba, 21, of no fixed address, over the assault on the man and on suspicion of attempted murder over the hammer attack.
Sep 16 270 films to be shown at Tokyo Int'l Film Festival (AP)
 About 270 films from around the world, including screening of footage from the science fiction adventure movie "Avatar" by "Titanic" director James Cameron, will be shown during the 22nd Tokyo International Film Festival next month, organizers said Wednesday. Of the total, 15 selected from 743 entries from 81 countries and territories have been entered in the main competition section for the Tokyo Sakura Grand Prix, Special Jury Prize and other awards in the Oct. 17-25 event.
Sep 16 Actress Sakai's husband released on bail (AP)
 Yuichi Takaso, husband of actress Noriko Sakai who has been indicted for stimulant possession and use, was released on bail Wednesday from a police station in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward after receiving similar charges. Sakai, a 38-year-old former pop idol, is also expected to leave the Tokyo Wangan Police Station as the Tokyo District Court has accepted her request to be released on bail following her indictment for amphetamine possession and use.
Sep 16 Life sentence given for 1st time under lay judge system (AP)
 The Wakayama District Court on Wednesday handed down a life sentence to a man convicted of killing a woman in a murder-robbery case, the first life sentence and the heaviest so far among court decisions in Japan's lay judge trials that began last month. Prosecutors had sought a life sentence while the defense for Munehiro Akamatsu, 55, told the court that a sentence of 25 years in prison would be appropriate.
Sep 16 Secluded stops offer more than meets the eye (Asahi)
 A train to nowhere is fast becoming a cool destination among travelers seeking the serenity of the past. Secluded stations, or hikyo-eki, dot the JR Iida Line, which runs mainly through mountainous areas in Nagano, Shizuoka and Aichi prefectures. Literally in the middle of nowhere, the stations are often without a shop or house nearby. Some are even inaccessible by car.
Sep 16 Bite the bullet: Japan by train (Reuters)
 The shinkansen (bullet train) travels across Japan at 300kph. It is never late. If you have only limited time in which to see the country, this is how to travel. So, I did it. Why not? It had been the same with Osaka - this time a paltry 14 minutes from Kyoto, or as long as it takes to grind past three bus stops in central London. I never dreamed I could see off-the-beaten-track cities such as Kobe and Osaka on a week's trip to Japan, but here I am, still picking the meat out of my teeth.
Sep 16 Kobe woman, daughter attacked with 'hammer' (Yomiuri)
 A 68-year-old woman and her 35-year-old daughter were seriously injured after being hit on the head with what was apparently a hammer on a street in Nagata Ward, Kobe, on Tuesday, police said. According to the police, at about 4:50 p.m., a man started shouting as he attacked from behind Sachie Ito and her second daughter Kayoko, a part-time worker, both of Hyogo Ward in the city.
Sep 15 Youngest death linked to new flu in Japan reported (AP)
 A 24-year-old woman in Okinawa Prefecture who had the new strain of influenza but no underlying health problems died Tuesday, becoming the youngest victim in Japan so far linked with the epidemic, the health ministry said. The Okinawa prefectural government said the immediate cause of the woman's death, the 14th associated with the new flu in Japan, was subarachnoid bleeding.
Sep 15 Man arrested for fondling high school girl on first day of anti-molestation campaign (Mainichi)
 A man was arrested for molesting a high school girl on a train on the first day of a police campaign in Tokyo to crack down on such crimes, investigators said. Tsutomu Yamane, 30, an employee of the Tokyo Shimbun daily, stands accused of fondling the body of a 15-year-old high school girl on a JR Saikyo Line train that was stopping at Shinjuku Station at around 7:55 a.m. on Monday.
Sep 15 I spent 34 years on Japan's Death Row (independent.co.uk)
 When his body isn't groaning under the weight of its 83 years, and the sun is shining over his native Kyushu in southern Japan, Sakae Menda sometimes forgets the ordeal he suffered and knows he is lucky to be alive. But most days, there is no forgetting that the Japanese state stole 34 years of his life as retribution for a crime that he didn't commit, nor that he thought every one of those 12,410 days would be his last. "Waiting to die is a kind of torture," he says, "worse than death itself."
Sep 15 Man pleads not guilty to setting fire that killed 16 (Yomiuri)
 A 47-year-old man pleaded not guilty in court Monday to charges of arson and murder over a fire that killed 16 people at a video-viewing establishment in Naniwa Ward, Osaka, in October. His lawyers claimed investigators forced him to confess to the crime. During the first hearing of the case at the Osaka District Court, Kazuhiro Ogawa, unemployed, denied setting fire to the facility on the first floor of a multitenant building.
Sep 15 Yoshida selected as first Japanese music director of Italian opera house (Japan Times)
 Conductor Hirofumi Yoshida will assume the post of music director in January at an opera house in Mantua, Italy, becoming the first Japanese to take such a post in the country where the art was born. Yoshida, 40, has been working mainly in Italy since 2005 and now lives in Rome.
Sep 14 Rome invites 'fleeced' Japanese man for lunch at Tokyo restaurant (AP)
 A Japanese man who received an outrageous bill at a famous restaurant in Rome after having lunch with his girlfriend said Monday he has been invited by the city of Rome for lunch at an Italian restaurant in Tokyo. Yasuyuki Yamada, a 35-year-old company president, will have lunch with Deputy Rome Mayor Mauro Cutrufo in Roppongi Saturday after being invited by phone earlier this month.
Sep 14 Japan launches campaign against groping on trains (telegraph.co.uk)
 Increasing numbers of women have reported being groped on Tokyo's famously congested commuter trains. Police plan to put pressure on the operators of more than 100 sites, which also assign ratings to the best train lines for groping activities. The move comes as the force deploys additional officers on the lines where passengers are most in danger.
Sep 14 Aging Japan ponders opening up to foreigners (gmanews.tv)
 As Japan's population ages, more and more of its people are needing around-the-clock care, but there aren't enough younger people willing to do it. So the elderly are taking care of each other. That trend will continue unless Japan adopts what seem to many here to be drastic policies towards immigration and foreign labor. Japan is also one of the few advanced societies left that have severely restricted the entry of foreigners who could fill the widening gaps in the work force.
Sep 14 Court accepts request to release actress Sakai on bail (AP)
 The Tokyo District Court accepted Monday a request from the lawyer of actress Noriko Sakai to release her on 5 million yen bail after prosecutors filed an additional charge against her last week for alleged stimulant-drug use. Sakai, a 38-year-old former pop idol, has been detained at the Tokyo Wangan Police Station since her arrest Aug. 8 for alleged amphetamine possession.
Sep 14 Police operation targets train gropers (Asahi)
 Tokyo police today started a five-day campaign targeting men who grope female passengers aboard trains, with undercover operations on the JR Saikyo Line and others identified as having the highest incidence of such assaults. Members will include officers specialized in catching pickpockets, who have been trained to identify offenders by observing their eye and body movements. By looking for suspicious activities, they hope to catch gropers on the spot.
Sep 14 Police fly to China in murder probe (Asahi)
 Tokyo police investigators departed for Dalian, China, Sunday to observe Chinese authorities interrogate a man who claimed an acquaintance was involved in the 1995 murder of three women in western Tokyo. Police said the Japanese national, 66, who has been sentenced to death by a Chinese court on charges of drug smuggling, told officials that his acquaintance took part in the July 1995 shooting at a Hachioji supermarket.
Sep 13 Japanese tourist travels through 37 countries on just $2 (wikinews.org)
 Keiichi Iwasaki, a 36 year old Japanese tourist has spent eight years cycling more than 45,000km across 37 countries with the equivalent of just $2 in his pocket, relying on his bicycle for transport.
Sep 13 U.S. film puts Japanese town on defensive for dolphin slaughter (New York Times)
 'The Cove' offers a rare look at the kills in Taiji, which sought to keep them off limits. Some residents are unmoved by global outrage over the bloody practice. 'We are who we are,' one says. Officials of the isolated town of 3,500 residents on Japan's southeastern coast have long blocked outsiders from observing the kills.
Sep 13 Serving up soba and shrines (Japan Times)
 Togakushi, in Nagano Prefecture, is renowned for its delicious noodles and scenic strolls. High elevations and drastic temperature changes combine to form the perfect growing conditions for the white-petaled buckwheat plant that blankets the hillsides in summer and autumn.
By J.S. on Sep 23, 2009



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