Roller coaster stops midair with 7 passengers

The cars on the 4D Spin Coaster Arashi stopped some 34 meters above the ground near the top of the track at around 10:55 a.m. (1:55 a.m. GMT) after its safety system was set off, the operator of the amusement park said.

After staying there for about 15 minutes, the cars completed the rest of the 310-meter track to return to the starting point, the operator said.

None of the passengers were injured, it added.

The sensor on the roller coaster system failed to recognize the return to the starting point of the preceding cars, triggering the safety system and leaving the next set in the middle of the track, the operator said.

A roller coaster was brought to an emergency stop at the Nagashima Spa Land amusement park in Kuwana, Mie Prefecture, central Japan, Monday morning, leaving seven passengers suspended in midair for about 15 minutes. (Jiji)

Ikutaro Kakehashi, an influential figure in the 1980s pop music scene and founder of electronic instrument makers Roland Corp. and ATV Corp., has died at the age of 87, an ATV spokeswoman told The Japan Times on Monday. (Japan Times)

Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida says Japan is sending back its ambassador to South Korea. His announcement ends 3 months of diplomatic standoff over the statue symbolizing those referred to as wartime comfort women. (NHK)

A murdered 9-year-old Vietnamese girl, whose body was recently found near a drainage ditch in Chiba Prefecture, was buried Monday at a cemetery in her hometown in northern Vietnam, with about 600 family and friends attending the funeral. (Japan Times)

Discussions have gained momentum in Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party over how to widen the range of education provided free of tuition, since a new proposal was floated last week. (Jiji)

The Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology on Monday opened online its new Deep-Sea Debris Database, which features videos and images of trash taken in deep waters, including by its Shinkai 6500 manned research submarine. (Jiji)

People have celebrated the ancient “Yabusame” archery event, which is held annually at Miyazaki Shrine in western Japan. (NHK)

The Bank of Japan’s Tankan survey shows a growing number of Japanese employers feel their companies are understaffed. (NHK)

The bodies of three men and one woman have been found in a minivan in the parking lot of a campsite in Ishioka, Ibaraki Prefecture, police said Sunday. (Japan Today)

Thousands of people are enjoying the cherry blossoms in Tokyo as weather officials in the capital announced on Sunday they are in full bloom. (NHK)

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