Hokkaido wild marijuana removal efforts can’t keep up with rate of growth

On 7 July one such team consisting of municipal and prefectural workers gathered to tackle two growths of marijuana behind an abandoned house and on the edge of a wheat field. As they reached the first site, audible sighs could be heard from the group as they stared at the defiant plants, tall as the men themselves, all of which should have been eradicated last year.

Under the blazing summer sun, the men proceed in a dense group to ensure that every square inch was checked – perhaps also to keep sticky fingers at bay. Their sweat-soaked hands pulled out plant after plant by their roots and placed them on a flatbed truck.

By the end of the day – only a single day – they had removed 8,081 stalks of cannabis at a weight of 280 kilograms (617 pounds). However, no one went home with a feeling of satisfaction, because they all knew they accomplished nothing lasting. It would all be back next year.

In fact, their day’s haul of hemp plants was already ten times that of the same day last year.

Japan saw the number of child abuse cases exceed 120,000 in fiscal 2016 to hit a new record for the 26th straight year, the welfare ministry said Thursday. (Jiji)

The northernmost island prefecture of Hokkaido is awash with wild cannabis plants. A relic from the once widespread hemp industry that was nearly wiped out following World War II, these plants are currently forbidden to touch unless by an authorized removal team. (rocketnews24.com)

Japanese researchers say an extinct variety of otter formerly widespread across the country may still survive in southwestern Japan. The Japanese river otter was officially declared extinct in 2012. (NHK)

Japan’s Defense Ministry has decided to consider introducing a new US-made missile defense system known as “Aegis Ashore” in light of progress in North Korea’s missile development. (NHK)

Huge bonfires on mountains lit up Japan’s old capital, Kyoto, on Wednesday night in an annual Buddhist ceremony. (NHK)

The Imperial Household Agency said on Thursday it will announce the informal engagement of Princess Mako, a granddaughter of the Emperor and Empress, to former university classmate Kei Komuro on Sept. 3. (the-japan-news.com)

Lack of sunshine caused by prolonged cloudy conditions and lingering rain in Pacific coastal areas of northeastern Japan may cause problems for the rice harvest. (NHK)

A giant tortoise that made a break from a Japanese zoo has been found safe and sound two weeks after it escaped — just 140 meters from the park. (Japan Today)

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko plan to visit flood-hit northern areas of the Kyushu southwestern Japan region in late October, Imperial Household Agency sources said Wednesday. (Jiji)

From beer gardens on the rooftops of department stores to fireworks extravaganzas to quiet, wood-paneled craft breweries, Japanese seem to quaff an awful lot of beer in the summer. (dailymail.co.uk)

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