Over a dozen pigs run loose on Osaka expressway following delivery truck accident

And Osaka? It’s known for boisterous comedy and hearty fare, which made the scene Thursday morning on Osaka Prefecture’s Hanshin Expressway perhaps not totally surprising, although it was still plenty weird.

At roughly 9:30 in the morning, a truck en route from Nantan City in Kyoto Prefecture to Osaka City had made its way over the prefectural border and was passing through the town of Ikeda, roughly 30 minutes north of downtown Osaka. However, driver failed to notice a car that was parked on the road’s shoulder. The truck crashed into the stopped vehicle, in the collision some of its cargo of 37 pigs got loose.

Each of Japan’s major cities has its own claims to fame. Tokyo is where mainstream entertainment and business trends emanate from. Yokohama is the breezy, multicultural city by the bay, while Kyoto, of course, is the heartland of traditional arts and culture. (Japan Today)

The enactment of the minpaku home-sharing law in the Diet’s upper house Friday removes the regulatory uncertainties surrounding renting private dwellings as temporary accommodations, possibly opening the door for dramatic growth of a new industry in Japan. (Nikkei)

Japan’s government has set out its policy goals for managing the economy. This year’s blueprint focuses on boosting productivity by investing in human resources. (NHK)

Seven-Eleven Japan Co’s president said Friday that Japan’s largest convenience store operator will start opening up outlets around fiscal 2019 in Okinawa, the only area in the country without Seven-Eleven stores. (Japan Today)

Japan’s female labor force participation rate rose to 66.0 pct in 2016, the highest level since the country began taking the data in 1968, a government annual report said Friday. (Jiji)

Japan’s parliament enacted on Friday government-sponsored special legislation to allow Emperor Akihito to step down, paving the way for the first succession from a living Emperor in about 200 years in the country. (Jiji)

The House of Councillors on Friday enacted a bill to fully allow the operations of “minpaku” private lodging services across Japan, where visitors from abroad are increasing. (Jiji)

The House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the Diet, Japan’s parliament, approved on Thursday a bill to revise the Penal Code to impose tougher penalties for sex crimes. (Jiji)

A suspected murderer who went on the run for 45 years has been arrested in Japan. (independent.co.uk)

Japan is emerging as the latest front in the vacation rental/home-sharing battle, with HomeAway and Airbnb taking advantage of an improved regulatory environment. (tnooz.com)

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