THE MORE THINGS CHANGE…
- In the first case of its kind, the MPD arrested a man for selling computer software that lets people cheat in online games.
- Members of a finance ministry advisory panel have proposed levying fees on people who request ambulances for “minor injuries or mild conditions.”
- South Korean fighter jets, patrol planes, and naval vessels took part in a military drill near the disputed Takeshima Islets in the Sea of Japan.
- According to an industry ministry survey, the number of Internet of Things devices around the world was five billion in 2013, but is expected to climb to 25 billion by 2025.
INCREDIBLE SHRINKING JAPAN
- A total of 42,000 elementary and junior high school teachers will lose their jobs because the declining birthrate has lowered classroom attendance.
- Authorities at the education ministry say 9,351 people took law school entrance exams this spring—the lowest number on record.
- Included among the health ministry’s new food safety guidelines is a ban on serving raw pork in restaurants.
- Officials in Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture, are seeking to tie up with 11 other cities to form a coalition of municipalities that host castles featuring donjon keep towers.
- A group of 1,063 people filed a lawsuit with the Tokyo District Court seeking an end to Japan’s involvement in the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade talks.
- The plaintiffs argue that, somehow, the “pact would undermine their basic human rights.”
- Headline of the Week: “Natto Allergy Caused by Jellyfish Stings, Says Japanese Study” (via Japan Today)
- 64: Percentge of Japanese adults who say they’re “embarrassed” by their handwriting
- 16: Consecutive months that McDonald’s restaurants in Japan have seen falling sales
- ¥9.43 billion: Exports of bonsai in 2013, a tenfold increase from 2003
- Japanese consumers can now buy medication for hay fever and athlete’s foot over the counter thanks to an overhaul of the health ministry’s prescription drug system.
- Meanwhile, new TMG regulations require streetside bento vendors to “implement thorough temperature controls.”
- Officials in Shizuoka, Yamanashi, and Niigata have published a list showing the difficulty levels of popular mountain-climbing routes in their prefectures.
- Mount Yurigatake in Nagano earned the most severe rating, which warns that climbers are “in constant danger of falling or sliding.”
- NHK says it collected ¥649.3 billion in viewer fees in fiscal 2014—the highest total ever.
- Saihoji Temple in Takamatsu held a ceremony to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the sinking of the ferry Shiun Maru. The disaster killed 168 people, most of them schoolchildren on a field trip.
- Filmmakers in the U.K. are working on a project to document the lives of about 100 Japanese people who emigrated to Britain in the postwar era.
- Bottom Story of the Week: “Former Engineer Runs Japanese Restaurant in Eastern Germany” (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