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Japan's population falls for 1st time in 3 yrs

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Japan's population falls for 1st time in 3 yrs
AP - Jul 31, 2010

Japan's population fell to 127,057,860 in the year to March 31, down for the first time in three years, largely because of an increase in the number of deaths amid the aging of the population, data released by the internal affairs ministry showed Saturday. The population was down 18,323, with the number of deaths exceeding births, translating into a record net drop, or natural decline, of 73,024, according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications based on basic resident registers nationwide. (AP)
Tokyo death chamber to be opened to media
Japan Times - Jul 31, 2010

The Justice Ministry will open the execution chamber at the Tokyo Detention House to the media as early as August, Justice Minister Keiko Chiba said Friday. Secretive practices surrounding the capital punishment system, including executions without prior notice to death-row inmates, their relatives and lawyers, have drawn criticism. Execution chambers have been closed to the public, including the media, but Chiba has ordered the Tokyo facility to allow media access to stir debate over the death penalty. (Japan Times)

2 children found dead at Osaka apartment, mother arrested
AP - Jul 30, 2010

A 23-year-old woman was arrested Friday on suspicion of abandoning the bodies of her two children at her apartment in the city of Osaka, police said. Sanae Shimomura, who works at an adult entertainment shop, was quoted as telling investigators, "I got sick of feeding them and giving them a bath." She is suspected of leaving the bodies of her 3-year-old daughter and 1-year-old son late June, although she was aware that they were dead, according to the police. While there were no wounds on their bodies, they were thin, indicating they may have died of starvation, the police said. (AP)

Japan pursues moon station by 2020
Herald Sun - Jul 30, 2010

Japan is looking at sending a wheeled robot to the moon in five years and building a lunar base by 2020. The robots would set up solar panels to generate energy and have an observation device to gather geological samples. The materials would then be sent back to Earth by rocket. The robots would work from the lunar base at the moon's south pole from 2020. The plans are part of a year-long study backed by a panel of experts yesterday that will be recommended to Japan's Government. But it has been estimated the unmanned mission would cost $2.57 billion over the next 10 years, which could be a problem given government efforts to cut expenditure. (Herald Sun)

Is this Japan's most influential person?
Wall Street Journal - Jul 29, 2010

(Japanese director Takeshi Kitano was voted the most influential person in Japan,
according to an online survey released Thursday.

The most influential person in Japan is filmmaker Takeshi Kitano, well-known abroad for his bleak gangster films and at home for his deadpan television personality, according to an Internet survey released by Sankei news Thursday. Mr. Kitano's crowning is representative of the rest of the top 100 ranking where entertainers overshadowed the country's political and business leaders. Naoto Kan didn't even play second fiddle to the movie director, maker of Zatoichi and Fireworks, or "Hana-bi" in Japanese, who also answers to nickname "Beat Takeshi". (Wall Street Journal)

Tokyo's 'oldest man' had been dead for 30 years
BBC - Jul 29, 2010
Birthday cake, file image
(Officials had planned a birthday celebration to honour Mr Kato but they found him dead)

He was thought to be the oldest man in Tokyo - but when officials went to congratulate Sogen Kato on his 111th birthday, they uncovered mummified skeletal remains lying in his bed. Mr Kato may have been dead for 30 years according to Japanese authorities. They grew suspicious when they went to honour Mr Kato at his address in Adachi ward, but his granddaughter told them he "doesn't want to see anybody". Police are now investigating the family on possible fraud charges. (BBC)

By J.S. on Aug 4, 2010

tag : Japanese National News



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