International News

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, […]

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 […]

Japan’s public broadcaster sends erroneous N. Korea missile bulletin

TOKYO — Japan’s public broadcaster NHK erroneously issued an online bulletin Jan. 16 saying that North Korea had fired a missile, as the country remains on high alert for provocations from the neighboring country. The broadcaster sent out a news flash stating, “North Korea likely to have launched a missile. J-Alert. Government urges evacuation to […]

Japanese ICAN member congratulates ‘hibakusha’ for Nobel Peace Prize

TOKYO — A key Japanese member of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons congratulated the survivors of the 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on Oct. 9 for the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the Geneva-based organization. “It is an award for everyone who has worked to eradicate nuclear arms,” Akira Kawasaki, an […]

U.N. Security Council condemns N. Korea missile test as ‘outrageous’

NEW YORK (Kyodo) — The U.N. Security Council on Aug. 29 strongly condemned North Korea’s firing of a ballistic missile over Japan as an “outrageous” threat, demanding Pyongyang conduct no more such launches or nuclear tests. The 15-member council unanimously adopted a presidential statement during an emergency meeting convened at the request of Japan, the […]

Navy confirms deaths of all 7 missing crew on damaged U.S. destroyer

YOKOHAMA  — The U.S. Navy said June 19 it has confirmed dead all seven crew members of its destroyer Fitzgerald who were listed as missing following a collision with a Filipino container ship south of Tokyo Bay at the weekend. The navy announced the end of its search for the missing crew the previous day […]

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