Small Print: December 17, 2015

Small Print: December 17, 2015

Death-defying ducks, ceremony swindlers, kid crimes, and more ...


Reality show in the making (Photo via 123RF)

“We are prepared to risk our lives to ensure their safety”
—Akira Sekioka, chief of the MPD division responsible for protecting dignitaries, on next year’s G7 summit in Mie Prefecture


  • It was reported that the infrastructure ministry is considering a plan to temporarily install toilets directly over manholes in times of disaster.
  • Japanese researchers have developed a new type of glue that doesn’t stick until pressure is applied. They hope it can be used to adhere “intricate electrical parts.”
  • The defense ministers of Japan and China held one-on-one talks for the first time in more than four years.
  • They agreed to establish a hotline to deal with potential accidental clashes at sea.


  • Authorities in Yokohama suspect a serial poisoner is responsible for the deaths of eight street cats over the past few months.
  • Authorities at the National Consumer Affairs Center say they’ve received nearly 14,000 complaints during the past 10 years related to dodgy wedding ceremony contractors.
  • Many of the victims said they were forced to sign exorbitant contracts and provide excessive cancellation fees.
  • Hacker collective Anonymous is suspected of involvement in recent cyber attacks against the websites of Narita Airport, Chubu Airport, and the Mainichi Shimbun.


  • ¥156.8 billion: Amount of “wasteful” government spending in fiscal 2014, according to the Board of Audit
  • 20-50 percent: Price increase for select items at Muji shops in Japan, thanks to hikes in the cost of cotton and other raw materials
  • 8: Consecutive months that Toyota’s Aqua hybrid has been the bestselling car in Japan


  • A man in Ibaraki made a startling discovery early last month: a newborn baby lying on the road with her umbilical cord still attached.
  • Police rescued the infant and say her condition is not life-threatening.
  • TMG officials announced that, over the past five years, 157 kids have been taken to the hospital after ingesting button batteries.
  • Noted without comment: “The Aichi prefectural police department has arrested a 24-year-old man and his 16-year-old girlfriend on suspicion of making his 2-year-old son smoke cigarettes.” (via The Japan News)


  • MPD officers arrested three people for producing and selling counterfeit goods featuring characters from the hit videogame/anime series Yokai Watch.
  • The scheme allegedly netted the perpetrators more than ¥1 billion.
  • Police in Chiba busted two Indonesian expats for allegedly attempting to export a rifle scope back to their homeland.
  • One of the men had allegedly posted a video of Osama bin Laden on his Facebook page.


  • People in Gifu are flocking to a pond that bears an uncanny resemblance to Claude Monet’s seminal “Water Lilies” paintings.
  • The Hollywood-based International Animated Film Society will honor Kaguyahime no Monogatari director Isao Takahata with a lifetime achievement award.
  • Actor Keizo Kawasaki, who provided the voice of Masuo in popular animated TV show Sazae-san, died at a hospital in Kanagawa. He was 82.
  • Bottom Story of the Week: “Duck With Dart Shot Through Head Rescued in Hyogo Pref.” (via The Mainichi)

Compiled from reports by AP, Japan Today, The Japan Times, Jiji, The Tokyo Reporter, The Mainichi, The Japan News, AFP, Reuters, and Kyodo