“Every once in a while, when I enjoy happiness like this, I’m glad that I make movies”
—Kiyoshi Kurosawa, whose Kishibe no Tabi won the director’s prize in the “Un Certain Regard” category at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival
THE END IS NIGH
- Executives at Uniqlo announced plans to open a store on the French Riviera.
- Officials in charge of preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics announced an initiative “to promote clean, environmentally friendly toilets.”
- Spectators reportedly erupted into laughter as players slogged through the mud at the inaugural Rice Paddy Rugby Competition in Fukuchiyama, Kyoto.
- Visitors have been flocking to Nasu Animal Kingdom in Tochigi to watch a pair of anteaters “feeding themselves with spoons.”
- In an effort to utilize the empty space under railroad tracks, Tokyo Metro has set up a “vegetable factory” beneath the Tozai Line between Nishi-Kasai and Kasai stations.
- Officials at JAXA say they’ll launch Japan’s first lunar probe in fiscal 2019.
- To commemorate the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a gallery in Chiyoda-ku will exhibit 60 unretouched photographs taken shortly after the attacks.
- Japan is competing against Germany and France to win the “largest defense procurement program in Australia’s history”—a $40-billion deal to equip the Australian Navy with a new line of submarines.
- Former Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara was taken to a hospital in Shimane after complaining of “heaviness in his head.”
- A survey by the National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology has found that 60 percent of men suffering from dementia continue to operate motor vehicles.
- To overcome a decline in the number of people visiting sento, bathhouse operators have begun offering services aimed at fitness enthusiasts.
- John Dolan, the new commander of U.S. military forces in Japan, has an interesting connection to the Maritime Self-Defense Force: in 1992, he was rescued by SDF personnel after a midair accident forced him to eject from his F-16.
- 2,174,331: Number of people who received welfare in Japan in March, the most on record
- ¥1.035 billion: Salary paid by Nissan to CEO Carlos Ghosn last year
- ~1 million: Number of elementary school textbooks recalled by Tokyo-based publisher Sanseido, because an illustration depicts a little girl with three arms
DEAD TREE RISING
- An education ministry survey has found that 54.4 percent of elementary schools employ librarians, compared to just 48.1 percent three years ago.
- Researchers at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology have discovered that northeastern Japan tends to be hit by major earthquakes and tsunamis every 500 years.
- Members of the Hiroshima prefectural government approved a plan to quake-proof the Atomic Bomb Dome.
- Headline of the Week: “Japanese Technology Revives Production of Delicious Palestinian Watermelons” (via The Mainichi)
- At 1,200-plus days in office, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has become the sixth longest-serving PM of the postwar era.
- Denso Corp has developed a smartphone controller that can be attached to a car’s steering wheel.
- Kosei Tanaka, a 19-year-old college sophomore in Aichi, won the World Boxing Council’s minimumweight title by a unanimous decision over Julian Yederas of Mexico.
- Bottom Story of the Week: “Drawings Reveal Evidence of Early Cormorant Fishing” (via The Japan News)
Compiled from reports by AP, Japan Today, The Japan Times, Jiji, The Tokyo Reporter, The Mainichi, The Japan News, AFP, Reuters and Kyodo