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Police on alert near Sky Tree in Golden Week
Apr 29, 2010 by Yomiuri

With many people expected to flock to Tokyo Sky Tree in Sumida Ward, Tokyo, during the Golden Week holiday period, ward officials and police officers will be on alert around the structure. The Sky Tree became the highest structure in the country in late March, and since then the number of visitors to the area has sharply increased. According to the Tokyo Sky Tree Info Plaza, an information center near the tower, there had been more than 17,000 visitors in April as of Saturday. (Yomiuri)

Japan pavilion to key on pop, tradition at Shanghai expo
Apr 29, 2010 by Japan Times

The Japanese pavilion at the world expo in Shanghai will regale visitors with an extravagant display of culture both old and new, organizers say. The Japan Industry Pavilion created by private-sector companies and local authorities was unveiled Monday to the Japanese press before the opening of the world's fair this Saturday. A screen measuring 18 meters by 10 meters in the complex shows a performance by the all-girl pop group AKB48 as well as Japanese landscape scenes throughout the four seasons. (Japan Times)

Singer, kabuki star among honorees
Apr 29, 2010 by Japan Times

Veteran singer Harumi Miyako, kabuki actor Nakamura Tokizo and 675 other individuals as well as 20 groups will be honored in the government's spring decorations for their contributions in various fields. The individuals include 153 women, according to the government's list of award recipients released Wednesday. Miyako, 62, whose real name is Harumi Kitamura, and Tokizo, 55, whose real name is Mitsuharu Ogawa, are among 24 winners of the Medal with Purple Ribbon, which is given in recognition of contributions in the arts, academics and sports. (Japan Times)

Huis Ten Bosch reopens
Apr 29, 2010 by Japan Times

Struggling theme park Huis Ten Bosch reopened Wednesday just in time for the start of the Golden Week holidays. Some 250 staff welcomed visitors in front of the main gate in Sasebo, with Hideo Sawada, president of the operator, saying, "I hope we will be loved by local people." Sawada, also chairman of travel agency H.I.S. Co., which is leading the theme park's rehabilitation effort, said he is counting on 100,000 visitors during Golden Week through early May. (Japan Times)

Businesses may be obliged to ban smoking
Apr  29, 2010 by Yomiuri

The health ministry is expected to oblige business enterprises to enforce a total ban on smoking in workplaces, it was learned Wednesday. In February, the ministry issued an instruction under the name of the Health Service Bureau chief, encouraging prefectural governments to ban smoking in public places such as schools and restaurants in line with the Health Promotion Law. The instruction was nonbinding. The draft report goes a step further by proposing that businesses ban smoking in workplaces and obliges them to set aside enclosed rooms for smoking. (Yomiuri)

As rest of Japan shrinks, Tokyo population count tops 13 million for the first time
Apr 28, 2010 by Los Angeles Times

The population of Japan's capital - one of the biggest cities in the world - has surpassed 13 million for the first time in history, the Tokyo government said Wednesday. Tokyo counted 13.01 million residents as of April 1, up 0.5 percent from the same month a year earlier, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government said. The latest figure contrasts with the overall demographic trend in Japan, which faces long lifespans, stubbornly low birth rates and a shrinking population. (Los Angeles Times)

By J.S. on Apr 30, 2010



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