Small Print: January 28, 2015

Small Print: January 28, 2015

Beer deception, dodgy scouts, subpar aircrafts and more...


“This is not the beer of my people.” (Photo via 123RF)

“I’m grateful to my wife, who has supported my work for many years.”
—Yukio Tahara, who served as chief architect on the decade-long restoration of Tokyo station


  • A judge in Florida ruled that Anheuser-Busch misled U.S. beer drinkers by marketing Kirin Ichiban as imported when, in fact, “the lager hasn’t been made within 5,000 miles of Japan, or with any Japanese ingredients, since 1996.”
  • The company has been forced to produce a new label for the beer that reads: “Brewed under Kirin’s strict supervision by Anheuser-Busch in Los Angeles, CA, and Williamsburg, VA.”
  • A Shibuya-based cybersecurity firm says a Russian-language website is offering to help people stage distributed denial-of-service attacks for as little as 50 dollars.
  • MPD officials believe that 99 percent of the losses suffered by Tokyo-based Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox was the result of fraud, not a cyber-attack as the company has claimed.


  • In his New Year’s address, Emperor Akihito acknowledged that efforts to come to terms with World War II must start with the “Manchurian Incident of 1931.”
  • Among the technologies being considered for the revitalization of rural areas are “telemedicine and self-driving vehicles.”
  • A research study found that 8,000 urbanites have relocated to the countryside thanks to incentives from municipal governments.
  • TMG officials have set a goal of quadrupling solar power generation capacity in the city by 2024.


  • Authorities at the health ministry say 649,000 couples tied the knot last year, a drop of about 12,000 from 2013.
  • Meanwhile, the number of couples getting divorced—222,000—also fell, by around 9,000.
  • A Japanese doctor who provided medical treatment to Ebola patients in Sierra Leone reports that the disease has resulted in an “excessive quarantining” of children.
  • Headline of the Week: “Blind Man Releases Album Seeking Understanding for Visually Impaired and Their Dogs” (via Mainichi Japan)


  • Babies born in Japan in 2014, the fewest since officials began keeping count in 1899, according to the health ministry


  • Suicides in Japan last year, a drop of 7 percent from 2013, according to the NPA


  • Used cars sold in Japan in 2014, an all-time low, according to the Japan Automobile Dealers Association


  • Students from the earthquake-ravaged Tohoku region were joined by a marching band from Nara at the 126th Parade of Roses in Pasadena, California.
  • The TMG’s consumer watchdog says it has received a number of complaints about dodgy scouting activities targeted at youngsters hoping to become entertainers or fashion models.
  • A researcher in Osaka has discovered a trove of 800 documents related to the development of railways during the Meiji Era.
  • Among the papers are a set of English-language guidelines—probably intended for staff at foreign embassies—with instructions such as “no one is allowed to ride a train without a ticket.”


  • Officials at JAXA are getting ready for a manned test flight of their next-generation electric aircraft … whose motor produces a measly 82 horsepower.
  • Staff at Kyoto University and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan are developing an infrared telescope with a mirror that measures 3.8 meters in diameter—the largest in Asia.
  • Authorities at the agriculture ministry say they’re on the alert for foot-and-mouth disease after an outbreak in South Korea.
  • Bottom Story of the Week: “Ex-Japanese Lawmaker Meets China’s 4th-Ranked Politician” (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