• In what’s being described as an “unusual move,” Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko released a statement on the occasion of their 25th wedding anniversary.
  • The prince said he appreciates his wife even though “she may be frustrated as he rarely puts the feeling into words.”
  • Authorities in Shimane mobilized a taskforce of 50 police officers to find out who had been stealing windshield wipers from the cars of local residents. It turns out the culprits were crows, which use the rubber to build nests.
  • It was reported that municipal officials nationwide are increasingly reluctant to issue permits for events that deal with issues such as nuclear power and government-secrecy legislation.


  • A research team that included scientists from Nagoya University has created a high-precision 3-D simulation of the 1959 Ise Bay typhoon, which killed more than 5,000 people and is the deadliest such storm on record.
  • Meanwhile, Dai Nippon Printing announced plans to digitize 55 historic terrestrial and celestial globes—some dating to the 11th century—for viewing on computers and digital devices in 3-D.
  • Officials at JAXA are preparing to launch a rocket carrying a cargo vessel filled with food and water to the International Space Station.
  • Also onboard the craft will be a telescope developed by researchers at Waseda University “for ascertaining the existence of dark matter.”


  • Police in Yokohama detained a 15-year-old boy who “implied” in an online video that he would fly a drone over the Sanja Matsuri in May.
  • The boy had previously raised more than ¥1 million by posting videos of his drones flying over well-known tourist destinations.
  • It was reported—somewhat breathlessly—that the traditional ball-and-cup toy known as kendama is enjoying a rebirth and “attracting attention around the world.”
  • A staff member at the British Embassy in Tokyo organized a 500-kilometer bicycle ride to raise awareness of the plight of young people living in areas hit by the Great East Japan Earthquake.


  • Twenty-four-year-old Karolina Styczyńska of Poland has become the first foreign-born shogi player to receive a three-kyu ranking.
  • Officials at the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry fear the personal data of more than 12,000 members may have been leaked in a data breach.
  • So it’s probably a good idea that authorities at the trade ministry are discussing plans to “erect safeguards against cyber-attacks aimed at stealing personal information.”
  • For the first time in three years, the Tokyo office used by U.S. General Douglas MacArthur during the Allied Occupation will be open to visitors.


  • Illustrator Shusei Nagaoka, whose sci-fi themed works appeared on album covers of the likes of Deep Purple and the Electric Light Orchestra, died of a heart attack in Tokyo at age 78.
  • A district court in Okinawa ordered the central government to pay ¥754 million in damages to residents near a U.S. military base who complained of “aircraft noises.”
  • Members of a labor board in Fukushima have classified the death of a police officer who committed suicide after being harassed by his supervisor as an “accident.”
  • Bottom Story of the Week: “Monuments Erected in Gunma to Mark 70th Year of Deaf Empowerment Group” (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