Small Print: December 24, 2015

Small Print: December 24, 2015

Facebook felons, farm phenomena, part-timer problems, and more ...


A drone again, naturally (Photo via 123RF)

“I hope to continue efforts toward recovery under support from many people”
—Crown Princess Masako, who suffers from a “stress-induced adjustment disorder,” on the occasion of her 52nd birthday earlier this month


  • Members of an Ainu advocacy group lodged a protest against the Nippon Ham Fighters over an ad campaign that featured the slogan “Hokkaido is a land of its settlers.”
  • The labor ministry conducted its first-ever survey of part-time student workers, and the results were not pretty: 61 percent of respondents said they faced problems with their employers, including getting scammed out of overtime pay and not being allowed to take breaks.
  • Japanese delegates helped push through a UN resolution recognizing November 5 as World Tsunami Awareness Day.
  • Brazil became the first country in South America to open its markets to imports of Japanese beef.


  • In the first case of its kind in Japan, the MPD busted a man for accessing a Facebook account using an illegally obtained ID and password.
  • It was noted that the suspect’s computer contained “approximately 770 Facebook and iCloud IDs.”
  • Administrators at Nihon University suspended a professor emeritus who admitted to borrowing ¥20 million from a former gangster.
  • Tokyo police announced a plan to deploy unmanned interceptor aircraft to capture “suspicious drones.”


  • 41.2: Percent of Japanese men who say they’re accepting of the “romantic feelings” of same-sex couples
  • 63.2: Percent of Japanese women who say they are
  • 7.1 kilograms: Amount of food the average primary and middle school student wasted last year


  • A survey by the agriculture ministry found that the number of farmers in Japan has dropped below two million for the first time ever.
  • And nearly two-thirds of farmers are 65 years of age or older.
  • The survey also found that, over the past four years, the amount of abandoned farmland has skyrocketed from 30,000 hectares to 425,000.
  • Meanwhile, the ministry says exports of agricultural, forestry, and fishery products will likely hit a record high this year.


  • Japanese researchers unveiled the KAGRA, a massive telescope in Mie that they hope will become the first instrument to directly detect gravitational waves.
  • A study team at Osaka City University found that the Neolamprologus pulcher, a species of fish native to Africa, can “distinguish unfamiliar faces from familiar ones.”
  • To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Sanyo Shinkansen line, which runs between Hakata and Osaka, JR West is running a bullet train festooned with a Neon Genesis Evangelion paintjob.
  • Hyogo native Shoichi Yabuta, 32, took home the top prize for composers at the Geneva International Music Competition.


  • It was reported that aquarium-goers in Osaka are being “wowed” by a seal that strikes a banzai pose with its flippers.
  • The winner of the—deep breath—67th All Japan Inter-Middle School English Oratorical Contest was an Okinawan girl who gave a speech called “The Perfect Smartphone.”
  • To combat an expected plunge in blood supplies, donation centers are trying to attract people with a “café atmosphere.”
  • Bottom Story of the Week: “Scroll Recording Historical Hero’s Training With Pole Sword to be Shown to Public” (via Mainichi Japan)

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