Tag Archives: Japanese

China sentences Japanese man to life in prison in drug case

China sentences Japanese man to life in prison in drug caseA court in southern China sentenced an elderly former Japanese politician to life in prison Friday for smuggling drugs hidden in shoes inside a suitcase he was trying to take to his home country. A Malian man was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve and a man from Guinea received a life sentence for “packing and delivering” the suitcase, according to the Guangzhou City First Intermediate Court that handled the case. Takuma Sakuragi pleaded not guilty and plans to appeal, said his Guangzhou-based lawyer, Chen Weixiong, who argued there was insufficient evidence to prove Sakuragi was knowingly carrying the drugs.



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Microsoft's Japanese Division Switched to a 4-Day Workweek — Then Productivity Skyrocketed

Microsoft's Japanese Division Switched to a 4-Day Workweek — Then Productivity SkyrocketedJapan has been struggling with some of the world’s longest working hours



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Mountain skeleton may be man from Japanese internment camp

Mountain skeleton may be man from Japanese internment campIn the closing days of World War II, a Japanese American set out with other men from the infamous internment camp at Manzanar on a trip to the mountains, where he went off on his own to paint a watercolor and got caught in a freak summer snowstorm. A hiker found Giichi Matsumura's body weeks later amid a jumble of boulders, and he was laid to rest in a spot marked only by a small stack of granite slabs. Over the years, as the little-known story faded along with memories, the location of Matsumura's burial in the remote and forbidding alpine landscape was lost to time, and he became a sort of ghost of Manzanar, the subject of searches, rumors and legends.



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Japanese Emperor Naruhito ascends Chrysanthemum Throne

Japanese Emperor Naruhito ascends Chrysanthemum ThroneThree booming cheers of “Banzai!” rang out Tuesday at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo as Naruhito formally declared his ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne as the nation’s 126th emperor. As a driving autumn rain briefly gave way to sunshine and 2,000 guests looked on, Naruhito pledged at an elaborate, ritual-laden ceremony to serve as a symbol of the state for his people. The enthronement ceremony is the high point of several succession rituals that began in May when Naruhito inherited the throne after the abdication of Akihito, his father.



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Deep-sea explorers find Japanese ship that sank during WWII

Deep-sea explorers find Japanese ship that sank during WWIIDeep-sea explorers scouring the world’s oceans for sunken World War II ships are focusing in on debris fields deep in the Pacific, in an area where one of the most decisive battles of the time took place. Hundreds of miles off Midway Atoll, nearly halfway between the United States and Japan, a research vessel is launching underwater robots miles into the abyss to look for warships from the famed Battle of Midway. Weeks of grid searches around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands already have led the Petrel to one sunken warship, the Japanese aircraft carrier Kaga.



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Scientists discover new 'beaked' whale species off Japanese coast

Scientists discover new 'beaked' whale species off Japanese coastA small black whale found in Pacific Ocean waters off the northern coastline of Japan has been identified by scientists as a new species. Whalers based in Japan’s northernmost island Hokkaido are thought to have long been aware of the existence of the beaked whales, referring to them by a local name karasu, meaning “crow”. Scientists from the National Museum of Nature and Science at Hokkaido University have confirmed that the rare whales are a species that has never been formally identified. Their findings were based on the examination of several deceased specimens, including DNA testing, which led to the cetaceans being officially named the Black Baird’s beaked whale, or Berardius minimus (B. minimus). Professor Takashi Matsuishi, from the Fisheries Sciences faculty at Hokkaido University, told Science Daily: “There are still many things we don't know about B. minimus. We still don't know what adult females look like, and there are still many questions related to species distribution, for example. We hope to continue expanding what we know about B. minimus.” The animals were known to whalers but had never been formally identified Beaked whales are known to be low profile, with a capacity to dive for long periods and a preference for deep waters, which means their behaviour has not been as well documented as many other cetaceans. Researchers reportedly tapped into the Marine Mammal Stranding networks, which shares information among scientists about stranded or deceased marine mammals. They subsequently collected six stranded beaked whales along the Japan’s northern coast off the Okhost Sea before conducting in-depth analysis of their make-up. “Just by looking at them, we could tell that they have a remarkably smaller body size, more spindle-shaped body, a shorter beak, and darker color compared to known Berardius species," added Tadasu Yamada, a member of the research team and curator of the National Museum of Nature and Science. The discovery of the new whale species, suspected to be the same as the “karasu” type long spotted by local whalers, comes shortly after Japan resumed its controversial whaling practices after a 33 year hiatus. Hokkaido has long been known as one of Japan’s whaling hubs, with many whalers based in Kushiro port.



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Japanese scientists find new dinosaur species

Japanese scientists find new dinosaur speciesJapanese scientists have identified a new species of dinosaur from a nearly complete skeleton that was the largest ever discovered in the country, measuring eight metres (26 feet) long. After analysing hundreds of bones dating back 72 million years, the team led by Hokkaido University concluded the skeleton once belonged to a new species of hadrosaurid dinosaur, a herbivorous beast that roamed the Earth in the late Cretaceous period. A partial tail was first found in northern Japan in 2013 and later excavations revealed the entire skeleton.



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Japanese whaling ships prepare first commercial hunt in more than 30 years

Japanese whaling ships prepare first commercial hunt in more than 30 yearsJapanese whaling ships were preparing on Sunday to set to sea, with crews gathering on decks in a northern port as Japan undertakes its first commercial whaling hunt in more than 30 years on Monday. Japan announced last year it was leaving the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and would resume commercial whaling on July 1, sparking global condemnation and fears for the world’s whales. Japan has long maintained that eating whale is an important part of its culture and that most species are not endangered. A global whaling moratorium was imposed in 1986, but Japan then began what it called scientific research whaling in the North Pacific and Antarctic. Critics said the it was simply commercial whaling in disguise. "I used to eat whale when I was young, but it's been too expensive recently,” said Sachiko Sakai, 66, a taxi driver waiting for fares in Kushiro, a port town on the northernmost main island of Hokkaido. "Maybe now that commercial whaling is going to restart, it’ll be cheaper and we can get our hands on it more easily.” The hunt will be confined to Japan’s exclusive economic zone. Whaling vessels ready to be deployed in Kushiro on Sunday Credit: REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon The five small whaling ships due to set off early Monday morning were moored at a wharf in a quiet corner of Kushiro port. On their decks were what appeared to be harpoon guns covered in tarpaulins. The vessels come from whaling ports around Japan, including one from Taiji, the town made notorious for its dolphin drive-hunts featured in the Oscar-winning documentary “The Cove”. Some vessels were decorated with good luck flags, flapping in a cold wind. Some crew members carried groceries while others held towels and shampoo, apparently headed to a public bath. One wore brightly coloured shorts decorated with images of whales and other animals. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, whose district includes the old whaling centre of Shimonoseki, has long campaigned to restart commercial whaling, but the industry’s future is far from clear. Only about 300 people around Japan are directly connected to whaling, and the annual supply of whale – about 5,000 tonnes – amounts to roughly 40-50 grams per Japanese person a year. "To resume this so we can eat it – well, that’s good,” said Yuya Kusakari, 37, who was fishing for flounder with his 8-year-old son not far from where the whaling ships were docked. Mr Kusakari said he ate whale maybe once or twice a year. "It’s really not all that available now, and it’s expensive,” he said.



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Surveillance drone may have tracked Japanese tanker: experts

Surveillance drone may have tracked Japanese tanker: expertsA “flying object” which flew over a Japanese tanker before it was rocked by a blast in strategic Gulf waters last week could have been a reconnaissance drone, experts have told AFP. The owner of the Kokuka Courageous said the tanker’s Japanese and Filipino crew saw a “flying object”, just before a blast that caused a fire on board the vessel, sparking a crisis between Washington and Iran. “The crew members are saying that they were hit by a flying object.



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Debris Found After Japanese F-35A Stealth Fighter Crashes at Sea

Debris Found After Japanese F-35A Stealth Fighter Crashes at SeaThe plane and its pilot, a man in his 40s, went missing about 135 kilometers (85 miles) off the Japanese coast Tuesday after departing Misawa Air Base on the northeastern corner of Honshu Island, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force said in a statement. A part of what’s believed to the the plane’s tail was spotted floating near where it disappeared, Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya told reporters Wednesday. The Lockheed Martin Corp. F-35 is considered the most expensive U.S. weapons system.



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