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'Railroad girls' proving irresistible as marketing ploy

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'Railroad girls' proving irresistible as marketing ploy
Yomiuri - May 20, 2010

Minami Kurihashi's face adorns the labels of many beverages sold at the Inoue liquor store in Kuki, Saitama Prefecture. A female staffer of Tobu Railway Co., Kurihashi also appears on cell phone straps and other goods at nearly 30 stores nearby. But despite being the face of a local promotion campaign, Kurihashi is not a real person. Kurihashi is one of an increasing number of characters depicted as female employees at railway companies. These "railroad girls" are playing a growing role in local promotions, and some have built up a devoted fan following. The craze for "railroad girls" took off after Tomytec Co., a company in Mibumachi, Tochigi Prefecture, produced and sold a figure of "a girl who worked at a station." Tomytec started selling the figures in 2005 and has produced 60 different types. More than 1.3 million figures have been bought by fans. (Yomiuri)


Japan, U.S. agree on base plan but hurdles ahead
Reuters - May 22, 2010

Japan and the United States agreed on Saturday on a plan to relocate a controversial U.S. airbase on Okinawa, broadcaster NHK said, but the deal faces resistance from local residents and the government's coalition allies. The deal comes one day before Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama travels to the southern Japanese island, host to about half the U.S. forces in the country, to plead for local understanding. (Reuters)

Yokozuna Hakuho earns 14th Emperor's Cup
Japan Times - May 22, 2010
News photo
(Still perfect: Hakuho overpowers ozeki Kotomitsuki on the 13th day of the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament
on Friday at Ryogoku Kokugikan.)

Mongolian yokozuna Hakuho beat ozeki Kotomitsuki to claim his 14th career Emperor's Cup with two days to spare, maintaining his undefeated record at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament on Friday. With the title victory, Hakuho tied former yokozuna Wajima for sixth best on sumo's all-time list. In the day's final, Hakuho allowed Kotomitsuki to get his hand inside for a firm grip but never lost his composure even after being pushed to the ring's edge at Ryogoku Kokugikan. (Japan Times)

Japan to require disposable lighters to have safety device
AP - May 21, 2010

The government is planning to require that disposable lighters in Japan have safety mechanisms after a series of fire accidents caused by children playing with such lighters, government officials said Friday. An advisory panel to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is expected to recommend next month that the ministry introduce the regulation in summer next year to bar present disposable lighters from being sold, they said. (AP)

1 stud bull confirmed infected with foot-and-mouth disease in Miyazaki
AP - May 21, 2010

One of six stud bulls that have been separated from other cows after the spread of foot-and-mouth disease in Miyazaki Prefecture has been confirmed infected with the disease, sources close to the issue said Friday. The development is expected to deal a devastating blow to the livestock industry in the western Japan prefecture because the bulls are used to breed the prefecture's prized Miyazaki beef. The prefectural government plans to slaughter the bull which tested positive for the virus under gene examination. (AP)

Transvestite SDF man nabbed in Ibaraki for indecent exposure
AP - May 20, 2010

A cross-dressing Ground Self-Defense Force man was arrested Thursday on suspicion of indecent exposure at a confectionery shop in the village of Tokai, Ibaraki Prefecture, police said. Atsushi Kajiyama, a 51-year-old warrant officer at the engineer school in Camp Katsuta in the prefecture, denied exposing himself while admitting to visiting the store wearing woman's clothes. He was wearing a short white and pink dress, black boots, a brown wig and lipstick, the police said. (AP)

Japan rocket blasts off with 'space yacht' and Venus probe

AFP - May 21, 2010

(Japan's H2A rocket is set on its launch pad at the Tanegashima space centre in Kagoshima prefecture)

A Japanese rocket blasted off early Friday carrying a Venus probe and a kite-shaped "space yacht" designed to float through the cosmos using only the power of the sun. The launch vehicle, the H-IIA rocket, took off from the Tanegashima space centre in southern Japan on schedule at 6:58 am (Thursday 2158 GMT), three days after its original launch was postponed by bad weather. Live footage on the website of Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) showed the rocket disappear into the sky. (AFP)

By J.S. on May 26, 2010

tag : National News



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