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

National

Interpreter under fire after calling African runners 'chimpanzees'

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An interpreter in a recent international marathon race in Japan has come under fire after she called runners from African countries "chimpanzees" in a blog post. The interpreter who is in her 50s apologized for choosing the words in a careless manner and closed the online post, the organizers of… Read

National

Japanese couples increasingly begin to arrange prenuptial agreements

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An age-old practice fairly common in many Western countries is now gaining a foothold in Japan, with more and more people insisting on drawing up prenuptial agreements to ensure they are protected should their marriage end badly. In Japan, formalizing the do's and don'ts of married life or how assets… Read

National

Memories of Fukushima crisis rapidly fading, warn civic groups

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The memories of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster have been rapidly fading in Japan, making it difficult to grasp what is actually happening in the area, civic groups warn. Almost eight years after the massive earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan that triggered the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power… Read

National

Cabinet OKs limiting health insurance coverage to Japan residents

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The cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe approved a bill Friday that will make the country's health insurance program for employees applicable only to workers and their dependents residing in the country to prevent abuse by people living overseas. Japan is seeking to revise the system as it prepares to… Read

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