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National

Bra maker does its bit for Premium Friday

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Women's lingerie maker Triumph International (Japan) Ltd is doing its bit to promote the government-sponsored initiative, Premium Friday. Premium Friday is a campaign that started in February, in which the government urges people to leave work at 3 p.m. on the last Friday every month in the hope that it… Read

Politics

Minister resigns after saying 'it was a good thing' 2011 quake happened where it did

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Japan's disaster reconstruction minister Masahiro Imamura resigned Wednesday, a day after saying it was "a good thing" the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami struck northeastern Japan rather than the Tokyo area. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe picked Masayoshi Yoshino, a House of Representatives member from Fukushima Prefecture and the chairman of… Read

National

2 elderly women jump to their deaths on rail tracks

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Two elderly women were hit and killed by a train at a station in Kanagawa Prefecture, south of Tokyo, with surveillance camera footage showing the two jumping on the tracks holding each other's hands, police said Monday. The police said the women -- one in her 70s and the other… Read

Business

No end in sight for Japan's potato chip crisis

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Legions of Japanese crisps addicts are suffering and it doesn't look like they'll be getting their full fix anytime soon. The country is in the midst of a dire crisps shortage after violent typhoons wiped out potato crops in top tuber producing Hokkaido. The unprecedented series of storms last year… Read

National

Bullying keeps youth suicides high in Japan

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Schoolyard bullying has long bedeviled Japan where some students have taken their own lives after being harassed in person or online through emails, text messages and blogs. Bullying and suicide first entered Japanese national discourse in 1986, when a 13-year-old boy hanged himself in a shopping centre toilet after repeated… Read

Politics

U.S. plans to move 4,000 Marines in Okinawa to Guam from 2024

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The United States plans to transfer the bulk of 4,000 out of 19,000 Marines stationed in Okinawa, southern Japan, to Guam in a period from 2024 to 2028, the commander of the U.S. Pacific Command said Wednesday. Adm. Harry Harris told a congressional hearing that "the movement of the bulk… Read

Business

Labor shortage a stress test for Japan's convenience stores

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Japan's growing labor shortage threatens the nation's ubiquitous convenience stores, whose business model relies on an army of part-timers packing bento lunch boxes, manning cash registers and delivering goods 24/7. The big three "combini" operators 7-Eleven, FamilyMart and Lawson, which have expanded through Japan's long slump, are scrambling to ease… Read

National

Japan begins seawall work for controversial new U.S. base in Okinawa

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The Japanese government began constructing on Tuesday seawalls for a planned replacement facility for U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Okinawa Prefecture, taking a major step toward the controversial relocation 21 years after an initial accord was forged between the two countries. Despite persistent local opposition to the relocation… Read

World

Trump team softens war talk, vows other pressure on N Korea

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The Trump administration told lawmakers Wednesday it will apply economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea to dismantle its nuclear weapons program, as an extraordinary White House briefing served to tamp down talk of military action against an unpredictable and increasingly dangerous U.S. adversary. President Donald Trump welcomed Republican and… Read

Business

Luxury spenders defy Japan's tight-fisted reputation

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Tight-fisted shoppers, unsteady economic growth and a shrinking population: Japan doesn't exactly fit the image of a spending powerhouse these days. But you would never know it in Ginza -- Tokyo's answer to the Champs-Elysees or Fifth Avenue -- where a new 13-story upscale mall is proving that Japan is… Read

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