Empress Emerita Michiko losing weight, vomiting since September


Empress Emerita Michiko has been vomiting blood and losing weight since September, when she had surgery for early-stage breast cancer, but the cause of both remains undetermined, a palace official said on Friday. It was the most detailed update on the health of the 85-year-old retired empress since her surgery.… Read


Public insurance to cover preventive breast, ovary removal operations

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Japan's health ministry decided Friday to extend public health insurance to cover breast and ovary removal surgeries for cancer sufferers at risk of developing further tumors due to a hereditary mutation. The number of people choosing to undergo the surgeries is increasing as they have been found to reduce the… Read


Gov't ordered to pay damages over transgender toilet ban


A Tokyo court on Thursday ordered the Japanese government to pay compensation to a transgender official who was refused use of the women's toilet at work. "The Tokyo district court ordered the government to pay 1.3 million yen in damages," a court spokesman told AFP. "The court also ordered the… Read


Fukushima clean-up has reduced radiation levels, but not all: scientists


Clean-up efforts at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant, destroyed by a massive earthquake and tsunami in 2011, have significantly reduced radiation levels but untreated forested areas remain a problem, scientists said Thursday. The disaster spewed radioactive material over a huge area, with the Japanese authorities targeting 9,000 square kilometers of the… Read


Court rejects ex-fishermen's appeal over 1954 U.S. H-bomb tests


A Japanese high court on Thursday rejected an appeal by former fishermen and their families against a lower court decision to dismiss their damages suit over 1954 U.S. hydrogen bomb tests in the Pacific. Twenty-nine plaintiffs had sought damages totaling 42 million yen ($387,000) from the state, alleging it hid… Read


令 chosen as kanji character best representing 2019


The kanji character 令 (rei), meaning beautiful or graceful, has been chosen as the character best representing the sentiment and events in Japan in 2019. The character was one of two characters for 令和 (Reiwa), the new era that began when Emperor Naruhito ascended to the throne on May 1. In… Read


Boy falls to death from apartment while under treatment for flu


Police in Hiroshima City say that a junior high school boy who fell or jumped to his death from the balcony of his family’s apartment on Tuesday had been receiving treatment for the influenza virus. Health officials are investigating whether the incident was linked to an antiviral drug the boy… Read


M4.2 quake hits northern Hokkaido; no tsunami warning issued


An earthquake with a magnitude of 4.2 struck northern Hokkaido early Thursday and measured lower 5 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 7, Japan's weather agency said. The focus of the quake, which occurred at around 1:09 a.m., was about 7 kilometers underground in the northern Soya region of… Read


Most people in Japan know acronym LGBT but understanding limited: survey


Most respondents to a recent survey in Japan are familiar with the acronym LGBT but their understanding of whom it refers to remains relatively low, a research institute has said. The online survey conducted by Japan LGBT Research Institute Inc in April and May showed 91.0 percent were familiar with… Read


Funeral of Japanese doctor killed in Afghanistan held in Fukuoka


The funeral of Tetsu Nakamura, the Japanese physician and devoted aid worker who was killed last week in Afghanistan, was held in his home prefecture of Fukuoka in southwestern Japan on Wednesday. "He was a great global figure the school was proud of," said Shunsuke Takenaka, 74, who went to… Read

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