25 confirmed dead in record downpour in Kyushu

Weather officials warn severe thunderstorm may again hit parts of the affected areas Monday evening. They call for caution against more mudslides.

The land and transport ministry said that, as of Monday, landslides were reported at 44 locations, and flooding and overflowing of rivers at 38 locations.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said on Monday the government will quickly estimate the extent of damage with the cooperation of local governments.

He said the government will make a prompt decision after he was asked whether the government will designate the torrential rain as a severe disaster eligible for state subsidies for reconstruction.

The death toll from the record rainfall in northern Kyushu has reached 25, with dozens still unaccounted for. (NHK)

A venomous fire ant was recently found in a warehouse in Aichi Prefecture, central Japan. It is the first time to find the poisonous insect other than at shipping ports. (NHK)

Japan’s National Police Agency plans to lower the upper limit for winnings from “pachinko” pinball games, it was learned Monday. (Jiji)

Bic Camera will allow payments in bitcoin at all locations throughout Japan as early as this month, looking to provide more options for foreign and domestic shoppers.

asunori Kagoike, the former chief of scandal-tainted school operator Moritomo Gakuen, on Monday requested the Osaka prefectural assembly set up a powerful special investigation committee over a scrapped plan to open an elementary school. (Jiji)

A 70-year-old woman dubbed the “black widow” admitted Monday to fatally poisoning her husband. (Japan Times)

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government on Monday kicked off a campaign to encourage residents to replace their incandescent lightbulbs with energy-efficient LED lighting for free. (Japan Times)

Public support for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has fallen to the lowest level of his premiership, opinion polls showed Monday, after scandals and a historic defeat of his ruling party in Tokyo elections. (Japan Today)

Japanese companies have never been in better financial shape. Their sky-high ratio of capital to assets testifies to that fact, with the average figure topping 40% for the first time last fiscal year. There’s a catch, however: They are inveterate hoarders, which critics say points to a corporate governance problem. (Nikkei)

While the latest data shows that the number of Japanese shrank by a record in 2016, the demographic picture isn’t quite so bleak when you include the growing ranks of foreigners. (Bloomberg)

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