“I wanted to show the world’s solidarity with the people of Fukushima. But the students here surprised me by showing their solidarity with the world.”
—UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, during a visit to Sendai last month for an international conference on disaster reduction.


  • The good news: Researchers at Osaka University have found that the ingredient which makes black tea bitter—known as polyphenol—can help ward off osteoporosis.
  • The bad news: You’d need to drink 60 cups of tea in a single sitting to enjoy any of polyphenol’s health benefits.
  • Officials at the education ministry say as many as 400 kids around the country are at risk of truancy due to “socializing with juvenile delinquents.”
  • A study team at Hiroshima University reports that about two-thirds of the victims of the 1995 sarin attack on the Tokyo subway have suffered some type of eye disorder.


  • Officials at the National Police Agency say the number of bullying cases they investigated last year dropped by 35 percent compared to 2013.
  • And they announced that in 2014, they collared 439 minors for prostitution or “trying to sell their underwear on the Internet.”
  • In an effort to combat bank fraud, the MPD will station former female cops at about 100 bank branches and other financial institutions around the city.
  • Surprising absolutely no one, a court in Tokyo dismissed a lawsuit from a group of Chinese citizens seeking an official apology for the suffering caused by the Imperial Army’s bombing of Chongqing during the Sino-Japanese War in 1939-40.


  • Percentage of Japanese women who say they had to work overtime during their pregnancy

1.9 Billion

  • Amount of damages the Aum Shinrikyo cult and its splinter groups still owe to victims of their various attacks

>¥200 Billion

  • Cost of a global restructuring plan announced late last month by Sharp Corp


  • A Japanese research team will compete for the $20 million prize that Google is offering to the first private group that can “land a robot on the moon.”
  • Engineers at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries are developing a wireless power transmission system that uses microwaves. They hope the system can provide electricity to facilities in remote areas where it’s difficult to install power cables.
  • Police in Miyagi used dental records to identify the remains of a 66-year-old woman who was found in coastal waters 12 days after the March 11 disaster.
  • The finding reduced the number of unidentified victims of the earthquake and tsunami from 20 to 19.


  • A professor at Cairo University has translated the first volume of iconic antiwar manga Barefoot Gen into Arabic.
  • That’s the 22nd language in which the comic has appeared.
  • A survey by the communications ministry found that 32 percent of all households shopped online in January, and that they spent an average of ¥31,757.
  • Archaeologists in Fukui say dinosaur bones unearthed in 2008 belong to a new species of iguanodon. It’s the sixth dinosaur species ever discovered in Japan.


  • Forecasters at the meteorological agency say summertime temperatures in Tokyo and other areas of eastern Japan are expected to be “normal or higher than average.
  • It was reported that brokers at Tsukiji market are “steering clear” of fish caught in waters off Fukushima despite radiation checks showing the seafood is safe.
  • Meanwhile, every single bag of rice grown in Fukushima has been tested—and has passed government standards—for radioactive substances.

Compiled from reports by AP, Japan TodayThe Japan TimesJijiThe Tokyo ReporterThe MainichiThe Japan News, AFP, Reuters and Kyodo.