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String of bear intrusions has communities on edge; lack of food in wild may be to blame

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Oct 16Girl, 17, used friend's ID to get hostess job (Japan Times)
A 17-year-old high school student has been arrested in Tokyo on suspicion of illegally obtaining her 18-year-old classmate's Basic Resident Registry card and using it as her own identification card so she could get a job as a hostess, police said Friday. The girl was arrested earlier this week during a visit to a police box after running away from home in Shinjuku Ward. The girl borrowed her friend's health insurance card after telling her she needed it to get a job at a convenience store.

Oct 16Man sentenced to 15-year prison term over 2008 hit-and-run dragging death(Mainichi)
A man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison over a fatal hit-and-run in 2008, in which the victim was dragged along the road for nearly three kilometers. Keigo Yoshida, 24, was accused of driving away after hitting Gentaro Suzuki, 30, who was crossing an intersection in front of JR Osaka Station in Kita Ward in the predawn hours of Oct. 21, 2008. Suzuki was dragged by the car for about 2.9 kilometers, and died of his injuries. His body was left on a road in the city's Fukushima Ward, investigators said.
Oct 16String of bear intrusions has communities on edge; lack of food in wild may be to blame (Mainichi)
Local communities across the country are on edge as wild bears continue to stray into communities with alarming frequency, sometimes attacking people and leading to temporary closure of school grounds and other facilities. On the morning of the Oct. 14, an Asiatic black bear knocked over a custodian at a junior high school in Yamagata Prefecture, leaving the worker with light injuries. A day before that, an elementary school in Niigata Prefecture suspended use of its grounds and first-floor classrooms after a bear was spotted lurking nearby.
Oct 15Wall falls onto street, kills girl, 17 (Japan Times)
A girl returning home from high school was crushed to death Thursday afternoon in Gifu when the entire side of a factory building collapsed onto a street during demolition work, police said. Yukari Kawase, 17, from the nearby city of Ogaki, was killed almost instantly when she was buried under the rubble at 3:30 p.m., the police said. Kawase was dead when she was pulled out about an hour later, rescue workers said.
Oct 15Japan to export hit samurai drama (AFP)
Japan will soon export its popular samurai TV drama series "Ryomaden" to its Asian neighbours, public broadcaster NHK and the show's heart-throb star Masaharu Fukuyama said Thursday. "Ryomaden" (Legend of Ryoma) is a year-long weekly drama series about Sakamoto Ryoma (1836-1867), the warrior behind the revolution that ended the country's period of feudal isolation in the 19th century. NHK said the drama will start showing in Taiwan in November and in South Korea and Thailand from early next year, while mainland China, Hong Kong and Vietnam are also planning to air it soon.
Oct 15Cop arrested over drunken ruckus in taxi (Mainichi)
A policeman here has been arrested for allegedly raising a drunken ruckus in a taxi, police said. Ko Shibata, 55, an assistant division chief at Ibaraki Prefectural Police, was arrested on Oct. 13 on suspicion of property destruction. Shibata stands accused of kicking the driver's seat from behind in a moving taxi in Mito shortly after 10 p.m. on Oct. 13, breaking a protective plastic shield installed above the driver's backrest.
Oct 14Love serving love: Singles meet for tennis and more at MEXT sponsored event (Mainichi)
Nine singles met for tennis and the chance of finding their special someone at an event held by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) in Tokyo on Oct. 11. The event is touted by MEXT as part of a project decided on in August to improve the nation through sports. The participants played doubles tennis and other games using tennis rackets.
Oct 14Ex-sumo wrestler pleads not guilty to trying to extort 100 mil. yen (AP)
A former sumo wrestler pleaded not guilty Wednesday to the charge of attempting to extort 100 million yen in hush money from former ozeki Kotomitsuki in connection with illegal gambling on professional baseball games. Mitsutomo Furuichi, 38, is alleged to have demanded the money from Kotomitsuki in March along with two mobsters, Satohiro Mantani, 37, and Yoshihiko Yasuda, 46, threatening to disclose Kotomitsuki's involvement in illegal gambling to the media.
Oct 14Man nets bounty for catching monkey that terrorized town (Japan Times)
The city of Mishima in Shizuoka Prefecture has handed a resident \200,000 for capturing a monkey that may have attacked as many as 118 people in the past two months. Yuki Yoneyama, 33, received the bounty after capturing the macaque in a closet at his home Sunday. "Mishima residents can now breathe a sigh of relief," Masayuki Miyazaki, a spokesman for the municipal government, said Wednesday. The captured macaque, also known as a snow monkey, is believed responsible for all the recorded attacks in Mishima and surrounding towns, he said.
Oct 14Man jailed for child sex in Cambodia (Japan Times)
A Cambodian court sentenced a Japanese man to seven years in prison Wednesday for repeatedly buying sex with a 13-year-old girl. Atsushi Kato, 41, was convicted of paying a child for prostitution. The Phnom Penh Municipal Court also ordered him to pay 400,000 riel ($95) in compensation to the girl's family and to be deported after serving his sentence.
Oct 14Woman found dead inside freezer at religious group's training facility(Mainichi)
A woman has been found dead inside a freezer at a training facility of a religious organization here, police said. Shortly after 10 a.m. on Oct. 12, the woman who is believed to be a 45-year-old staff member of Nagoya-based religious corporation Dotoku Kaikan was found lying on the floor of the freezer at its training center in Nakatsugawa, Gifu Prefecture. There were no visible wounds on her body, and police suspect that the woman got trapped in the freezer after its doors closed unexpectedly for some reason.
Oct 13Assassin of Inejiro Asanuma remembered by right-wing groups on 50-year anniversary(Tokyo Reporter)
Right-wing groups celebrated the assassination of socialist politician Inejiro Asanuma by holding a small ceremony to honor his killer, Otoya Yamaguchi, at Hibiya Park in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward on Tuesday, the 50-year anniversary of the gruesome event. Roughly 20 members of various right-wing organizations congregated in front of the Hibiya Public Hall just before 3:03 p.m, the time when the 17-year-old Yamaguchi, brandishing a sword, rushed the stage while Asanuma, head of the Japanese Socialist Party, spoke during a political debate prior to lower house elections.
Oct 13Railway offers food for thought (Asahi)
Passengers in Aomori Prefecture have the chance to save train tickets from a memorable journey in a way far more intimate than sticking them in a scrapbook: Eat them. Aoimori Railway Co. on Saturday began selling an edible ticket to celebrate the extension of its Metoki-Hachinohe Line further north to Aomori in December. The ticket, priced at 1,500 yen ($18), is made of a Nanbu-senbei cracker, a Hachinohe specialty.
Oct 13'Sento' resort to new tricks to revive interest (Asahi)
1968 was the high water mark for sento public baths in the Japanese capital. Then, there were 2,687 bathhouses, an all-time high. It has been all downhill for the industry ever since. Now, only 813 bathhouses remain and the number of customers is just one-fifteenth of its peak. But, while sento are closing at an alarming rate, some innovative owners are trying to revive an institution that has played key part in Japanese urban culture since the Edo Period (1603-1867), serving not only as a place to wash away the grime of the day but also as a center of community: a place to relax with friends and chat.
Oct 13Matchmaking cafe behind fatal encounter continues to attract women(Mainichi)
In Tokyo's Ikebukuro district last month, a 22-year-old university student was strangled. She met Masami Konno, the 29-year-old man arrested on suspicion of murdering her, at a matchmaking cafe just a few hours before her death. While some women turn up at matchmaking cafes looking for a karaoke partner, many male patrons are simply seeking prostitutes. The establishment where the pair met is located in the corner of a shopping street just five minutes away from JR Ikebukuro Station. At the entrance, visitors are asked for their names and contact details. A 3,000-yen fee is charged for first-time male visitors; from the second time onwards the fee is 2,000 yen.
Oct 13Students play air controllers in Japan (Sydney Morning Herald)
Three air controllers in Japan have been reprimanded for letting high school students on a study tour communicate with aircraft approaching an airport, the transport ministry said on Tuesday. The regional air controllers in Fukuoka, southern Japan, handed two students a memo containing instructions to pilots and let them radio the message to two domestic flights approaching the local airport on October 6, the ministry said.
Oct 13Work starts on Nike-sponsored park (Japan Times)
Full-scale construction work finally began Tuesday at a controversial Nike-sponsored park in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo, after a delay of nearly one year due to problems involving the relocation of homeless people and protests against leasing public space to a private business. The Shibuya Ward Office plans to finish the renovation of what is now called Miyashita Park by next spring and reopen it as a skateboarding park under a new name, Miyashita NIKE Park.
Oct 13Taiji reportedly kills dolphins but frees young (Japan Times)
Residents of Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture, have slaughtered a pod of dolphins but spared the youngest animals, activists said Tuesday. Most of the dolphins caught Monday were butchered Tuesday, except for two that will be sold to aquariums and six young animals that were released into the ocean, said Scott West, a member of the Sea Shepherd conservation group who is in Taiji as part of a campaign to protect the marine mammals.
Oct 13Teen held for scalding homeless man (Japan Times)
A 14-year-old junior high school student has been arrested on suspicion of badly injuring a hearing-impaired homeless man by dousing him with scalding water in a Tokyo park, police said Tuesday. The male teen, a resident of Chiba Prefecture who attends a school in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, was quoted by the Metropolitan Police Department as saying, "I thought it was fun because the man reacted wildly. I was way out of line."
Oct 13Meet tackles culture, city preservation (Japan Times)
One way of preserving Nara's culture and history is by riding bicycles to tourist areas instead of boarding smoke-belching tour buses. The city's traditional industrial culture can also be maintained by logging less onto Twitter and Facebook and writing more letters and postcards using sumi ink and calligraphy brushes, two local industries in severe decline. These were just two of the ideas for preserving history and culture suggested by participants at the three-day World Conference of Historical Cities meeting, which opened Tuesday in Nara.
Oct 13What to eat: presenting 'Nagoya-meshi'(Japan Times)
Nagoya is not only famous for the Sengoku (Warring States) Period warlords Tokugawa Ieyasu or Oda Nobunaga, the global automaker Toyota, or the golden dolphins on Nagoya Castle's rooftop. The capital of Aichi Prefecture is just as famous for its local food culture. There is a term "Nagoya-meshi," literally meaning Nagoya meals, which are dishes popular or unique in Nagoya and its environs. While some dishes were invented in Nagoya, others have been developed in a particular way in the city.
Oct 13Japan ranks 94th in gender equality (Japan Times)
Japan ranks 94th in gender equality, a minor improvement from 2009 when it ranked 101st, according to a study by the World Economic Forum. The report noted progress in Japan, including a rise in the estimated income of women and an increase in the percentage of women in the Diet. However, it noted that although women make up 54 percent of university students, only 9 percent of senior leadership positions are held by women, "indicating an inefficient use of the female talent available in the country."
Oct 12Man robs pachinko prize exchange booth of 37 million yen (Mainichi)
A man armed with what appeared to be a gun has robbed a pachinko prize exchange booth here of approximately 37 million yen in cash, police said. Nobody was injured in the incident. Local police are searching for the robber and another man after they fled the scene on a motorcycle. Shortly after 6 p.m. on Oct. 11, a man stormed into a prize exchange booth attached to the Rakuen pachinko parlor in Omiya Ward, Saitama, and threatened two female employees with what looked like a gun, local police said.
Oct 12Jezebel in Osaka joint uses feminine guile to turn tables on her captor(Tokyo Reporter)
Sometimes form follows art. Some time ago there was a famous V-Cinema film about monkey business behind bars titled "Female Prisoner #701 Scorpion." This time, reports Shukan Jitsuwa (Oct. 21), something occurred in an Osaka detention facility that was remarkably similar to the plot of the film. On September 29, senior police inspector Yasuyuki Takagi, age 49, was placed under arrest. Takagi had been attached to the administration section of the detention facility at Makikata City in east Osaka Prefecture. According to the charges, Takagi had engaged in sexual relations on the morning of September 10, 2009, with a woman who had been confined to the facility for stimulant drug abuse.
Oct 12Burger festival in Tottori attracts visitors (AP)
A two-day hamburger festival was held through Monday in the town of Daisen and elsewhere in Tottori Prefecture, with servings from 60 booths of unique burger shops from various places in Japan. "We hope to make Tottori Prefecture like a sacred place of local-taste hamburgers from across the nation," said an official of the event's organizing committee that included members from local authorities.
Oct 12Ex-prosecutor indicted over evidence tampering in postal case (Japan Times)
Japan's highest prosecutors office indicted on Monday a former Osaka prosecutor, who led a bungled criminal investigation into a postal discount system abuse case, for tampering with data on a floppy disk seized during the probe. The Supreme Public Prosecutors Office indicted Tsunehiko Maeda, 43, on charges he fiddled with data on the disk - a piece of evidence - on July 13, 2009, so that its content would work to the advantage of the prosecution team in pursuing the case.
Oct 11Mischievous monkey snared in Shizuoka after biting more than 100 people(Mainichi)
A monkey believed to have bitten more than 100 people in eastern Shizuoka Prefecture since August was captured Oct. 10 after being cornered in the home of a resident here. A Mishima official said there was no doubt that the captured macaque monkey was the one that had been attacking people, as it was snared shortly after three people were attacked nearby and there had been no other sightings or reports of injuries afterwards.
Oct 10On the record: Japan's last vinyl factory administers proficiency exam (Tokyo Reporter)
There are still those for whom the world spins at exactly 33 revolutions per minute. Digital MP3 downloads and YouTube videos may now be the formats of choice in the home and clubs, but the sound of a cartridge needle riding over the groove of a vinyl slab - scratches, skips and all - is quite literally music to the ears of many audiophiles. In an effort to raise awareness for this niche format, this weekend vinyl junkies will be asked to put their styluses aside and pick up pencils. Toyo Kasei, the owner of Japan's last fully functioning pressing plant, will hold a proficiency exam dedicated solely to stacks of wax. "The exam is designed to expose a new audience to the joy of vinyl records," says Eiji Hirata, special assistant to the president. "We also would like those from older generations to revisit the experience of listening to them."
Oct 10Standing up for the right to sit down in public (Japan Times)
A quick story about me, public seating and Japan: It's 1994. I've been in Tokyo less than a week and this is my first time in Shinjuku. Lunchtime comes and my student thriftiness and Australian love of the outdoors beget a plan: I'll grab something at a department-store food counter and eat it on a seat or a bench somewhere. The first part goes off without a hitch. The second ends in disaster.
Oct 10Polls highlight dark times perchance prior to Japan's new dawn (Japan Times)
Every five years for more than half a century, The Institute of Statistical Mathematics has conducted its Nihonjin no Kokuminsei Chosa (Survey of Japanese National Character) to study and analyze the values, opinions and lifestyle choices of Japanese people as they change from generation to generation.

By JS on Oct 21, 2010

tag : Japanese Society



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