National

Extended Golden Week loses luster for working parents

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Japan's Golden Week holiday, extended to 10 days this year to celebrate the imperial succession, has left in limbo those working parents who are unable to take the whole time off, as most nurseries and kindergartens will be closed. Scheduled to begin Saturday, April 27, and run through Monday, May… Read

National

Tokyo's barrier-free push hits snag for wheelchair users

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A group representing disabled people in Japan has said the doorway width stipulated in a planned amendment of Tokyo's barrier-free ordinance for hotels is unlikely to be wide enough for many wheelchairs. The amendment, which the metropolitan government aims to bring into effect in September, less than a year before… Read

National

Huge demand for final Heisei coins forces Japan Mint to hold lottery

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Japan Mint had to stage a lottery after it was overwhelmed with demand for a proof coin set engraved with the final year of the current Heisei era, officials said. Some 210,000 orders were placed for the set of six coins, featuring "Heisei 31", during last month's sales period. Japan… Read

National

Video of Ootoya restaurant employee exposing himself posted online

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The restaurant chain Ootoya Holdings has apologized after a video showing one of its employees, wearing a mask and naked from the waist down, was posted online. The video footage depicted the employee wearing an extraterrestrial mask while naked from the waist down and fooling around with a metal tray… Read

National

Japan upgrades downpour forecasts before Tokyo Olympics

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With an eye on the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Japanese researchers are developing a new system to accurately forecast torrential downpours -- known in Japan as "guerrilla rainstorms" -- 30 minutes before they strike. Scientists have created a high-tech radar capable of producing a three-dimensional map of a rain cloud in… Read

National

Koike says 2020 Olympics can be springboard to transform Tokyo

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The 2020 Olympics can "usher in a new Tokyo" and, along with this year's Rugby World Cup, leave behind a legacy similar to that of the 1964 Summer Games, the city's governor, Yuriko Koike, said on Monday. "These two major events will serve as a springboard to transform our city,"… Read

National

9-year-old girl in critical condition after falling from 2nd floor of house

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A nine-year-old girl is in a critical condition after she fell out of the window from the second floor of a house she was visiting with her father in Yamanashi Prefecture on Sunday. According to police, the incident occurred in the town of Uehara at around 9:35 a.m. Sunday. The girl… Read

National

NHK fee collector leaves threatening notes on people’s doorsteps

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Many people in Japan have long had a tumultuous relationship with the country’s public broadcaster, NHK. Ever since the government decided it was the station’s own responsibility to collect funding from the public, the troubles began. Every country has its own way of generating money for their public broadcasters but… Read

National

Tour brings foreigners to areas devastated by nuclear accident

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There is growing interest among foreign tourists for a tour in English to former evacuation zones in the northeastern Japan prefecture of Fukushima where a devastating earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 triggered a nuclear disaster. "More people are becoming interested in going on the tour that can deepen their… Read

National

Spring decorations announcement to be pushed back due to imperial succession

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The government will delay the customary announcement on April 29 of recipients of spring decorations conferred by the emperor until after Crown Prince Naruhito's ascension to the imperial throne on May 1, a government source said. It will be the first time for a biannual announcement of recipients to be… Read

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