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China launches first domestically built aircraft carrier

26 Apr

China launched its first indigenously built aircraft carrier Wednesday in a move that showcases the country’s growing maritime clout amid simmering tensions over the disputed South and East China seas. The 50,000-ton carrier was transferred from a dry dock into the water at a launch ceremony at the Dalian shipyard in the northeastern province of […]

Reconstruction chief Imamura resigns over latest Tohoku gaffe

26 Apr

The minister for disaster reconstruction, Masahiro Imamura, stepped down Wednesday over a gaffe that has enraged Tohoku residents. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe rushed to limit political damage by immediately appointing a Fukushima lawmaker to replace him. “Yesterday Minister Imamura made extremely inappropriate remarks in a speech that badly hurt the feelings of people in the […]

Bullying keeps youth suicides high in Japan

26 Apr

Bullying and suicide first entered Japanese national discourse in 1986, when a 13-year-old boy hanged himself in a shopping centre toilet after repeated bullying at school that included a mock funeral that teachers took part in. One of the latest cases involved a 13-year-old girl who jumped in front of a train after enduring more […]

Tokyo cops crack down on massage parlors in Hachioji

26 Apr

On April 22, Mamoru Kurokawa, the 60-year-old manager of parlor New, employee Hitoshi Sakata, 56, and two other persons allegedly solicited pedestrians on a road near Hachioji Station by implying full sex was available for prepayment of 10,000 yen. All four of the suspects, who have been charged with violating the Law Regulating Adult Entertainment […]

Man stomps 2 cats to death after losing bets on horses

26 Apr

The 39-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of violating the Animal Protection Law and referred to prosecutors for allegedly killing the cats on a street in Atsuta Ward at around 2 a.m. on April 5. The suspect has admitted to the charges. “I wanted to take my mind off losing at horse racing,” the suspect […]

Gaffe-prone minister Imamura bows out over Tohoku remark

26 Apr

Masahiro Imamura, minister in charge of reconstruction of the disaster-hit Tohoku region, resigned Wednesday in the wake of controversial comments about the disaster. Imamura submitted a letter of resignation to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Wednesday morning. Masayoshi Yoshino, a former senior vice environment minister and native of disaster-hit Fukushima Prefecture, will replace Imamura. During a […]

Seattle breaks rain record again and Portland not far behind

26 Apr

SEATTLE – Soggy Seattle has broken another rainfall record, and Portland is inching closer to smashing its own record. Seattle measured 44.7 inches (114 cm) of rain between October and April, making it the wettest such period since records began in 1895, the National Weather Service in Seattle said. It marks the second year in […]

Japan, U.S. on high alert over N. Korea

26 Apr

According to Reuters and other media, the USS Michigan, an Ohio-class nuclear submarine, arrived in Busan, South Korea, on the day. The Michigan is one of the U.S. Navy’s largest submarines. The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump is aiming to send a strong message to Pyongyang by dispatching the nuclear-powered submarine in addition to […]

1 dead, 5 injured in iron factory blast in northern Japan

26 Apr

The 56-year-old manager, Akira Sato, died at a local hospital where he was taken after suffering serious burns from the 8:30 a.m. blast at Hiyama Iron Works Co. Fifteen others were also taken to the hospital, of whom five men in their 20s to 60s were confirmed to have sustained injuries. The blast shattered windows […]

Tohoku reconstruction minister Masahiro Imamura to resign in wake of new gaffe, sources say

25 Apr

Masahiro Imamura, minister in charge of reconstruction of the disaster-hit Tohoku region, intends to resign in the wake of controversial comments about the disaster, sources said Tuesday night. During a party held Tuesday in Tokyo, Imamura said “it was rather good” that the 2011 tsunami-quake disaster hit the Tohoku region and “not somewhere near the […]