International News

Okinawa castle at World Heritage site destroyed in predawn fire

NAHA, Japan — The main buildings of a castle at a World Heritage site in Okinawa, regarded as a symbol of the southern Japanese prefecture, burned to the ground in a predawn fire Oct. 31, with the blaze finally suppressed hours later. The fire started just before 2:40 a.m. at Shuri Castle, one of Okinawa’s […]

90% of homes flooded in typhoon ineligible for gov’t support

TOKYO (Kyodo) — Flooding at levels of less than 1 meter made up more than 90 percent of the approximately 68,000 homes damaged by the destructive Typhoon Hagibis, the government said Oct. 23, making the homeowners unlikely to receive financial support under current law. In cases of water damage, the law on financial assistance to […]

Multiracial athletes sparking debate in Japan ahead of 2020 Games

TOKYO — Amid a shifting cultural landscape, a handful of talented multiracial athletes are among some of Japan’s best chances to reach the podium at next summer’s Tokyo Olympics and consequently draw attention to an often ignored yet growing segment of the country’s population. At the top of that list is tennis superstar Naomi Osaka, […]

Andrew Yang brings presidential campaign to ethnic media

On Tuesday, July 23, Andrew Yang became the first presidential candidate to participate in a teleconference with ethnic media reporters, organized by Ethnic Media Services. Pleased to be offered a bubble tea as he sat down at a dais, Yang greeted about four dozen ethnic media representatives by noting how his own parents, after immigrating […]

2 dead as man stabs 16 schoolgirls, 2 adults near Tokyo

KAWASAKI, Japan — Sixteen pupils and two parents waiting with them for their school bus were stabbed by a man wielding knives in Kawasaki near Tokyo on May 28, leaving a girl and a man dead, police and school officials said. The 16 schoolgirls, students at Caritas Elementary School, a private Catholic school in the city, […]

Law enacted to recognize ethnic Ainu minority as indigenous people

TOKYO — Japan enacted on April 19 legislation aimed at protecting and promoting the culture of the Ainu, an ethnic minority in northern Japan, with financial assistance, stipulating for the first time they are an “indigenous” people. The law requires the central and local governments to promote Ainu culture and industry, including tourism, in order […]

Japan confirms journalist held in Syria for 3 years released safe

TOKYO  — Japan confirmed Oct. 24 that freelance journalist Jumpei Yasuda, who went missing more than three years ago in Syria, has been released and is safely in a Turkish immigration facility, adding that he would be brought home at the earliest opportunity. “I have received a report that he is speaking normally to (Japanese) […]

U.S. base opponent wins Okinawa governor race

NAHA, Japan — Antibase candidate Denny Tamaki, a former opposition lawmaker, won the Okinawa gubernatorial election Sept. 30 in a major setback for the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which has been pushing forward with the contentious relocation of a U.S. military facility within the southern prefecture. Tamaki, a 58-year-old radio personality-turned-politician, garnered a […]

Death toll from Hokkaido quake rises to 41

TOKYO — The death toll from a powerful earthquake that jolted Hokkaido last week rose to 41 on Sept. 10, with thousands of people still staying in shelters on the country’s northernmost main island, authorities said. The Hokkaido government said in the evening that a man in his 50s was confirmed dead in Tomakomai, following […]

Names of Imperial Army’s Unit 731 released

KYOTO — The National Archives of Japan has disclosed the names of 3,607 members of the Imperial Japanese Army’s notorious Unit 731 that conducted germ warfare experiments mainly on prisoners in China before and during World War II, according to a researcher. Katsuo Nishiyama, professor emeritus of Shiga University of Medical Science, told reporters, “It is […]

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