“I want to create my own musical genre that surpasses existing ones like jazz and classical.”

—13-year-old Gen Okuda of Saitama, the youngest composer to be registered with the Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers


  • TEPCO officials are demanding that a 21-year-old woman repay ¥9 million in compensation she received following the Fukushima nuclear disaster because she has changed her residential address and is attending college outside the prefecture.
  • A man suspected of killing a 6-year-old girl in Kobe in September admitted that he lured the victim to his apartment by asking her to “model for a drawing.”
  • A 64-year-old Niigata resident phoned in a bomb threat to a university in Hokkaido because the school employs an instructor who previously worked as a reporter for the Asahi Shimbun.
  • The caller was upset over the paper’s treatment of the comfort women issue.


  • A history museum in Yokohama has put on display “a 1,500-year-old carbonized block of rice that resembles an onigiri.”
  • Members of the Imperial Guard Music Band performed a song written by Emperor Akihito for his and his wife’s 80th birthdays.
  • A survey has found that just 40 percent of people in Japan who use conventional mobile phones will switch to smartphones the next time they replace their handsets.
  • Japan Mint has won an order from the government of Myanmar to make a silver coin commemorating the 60th anniversary of bilateral ties.


  • Prefectures that are hoping to host training camps for athletes ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, according to a newswire survey


  • Coal-fueled power stations that are either under construction or being planned in Japan

50 million

  • Annual emissions of carbon dioxide, in metric tons, that the plants are projected to produce


  • Japan has decided to follow the lead of 170 other countries in using the English pronunciation for the name of the nation of Georgia, instead of the one derived from Russian.
  • Officials had been reluctant to make the switch because they feared people might confuse the country for the U.S. state of the same name.
  • A Japanese scientist and his colleagues at the University of Chicago have determined that a new drug with the snazzy name of OTS964 can eradicate lung cancer cells.
  • Authorities at the agriculture ministry say that, by 2025, nearly 6 million elderly people will have trouble shopping for daily necessities “due to accessibility issues.”


  • For the first time ever, an MSDF ship was used to repatriate the remains of Japanese soldiers killed during World War II. The vessel brought home the bones of 137 troops killed on Guadalcanal.
  • Meanwhile, about 50 people took part in a ceremony at Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium to memorialize a 1943 rally in which thousands of students were mobilized to boost the flagging war effort.
  • A survey by the justice ministry has found that just 3 percent of drug addicts who serve time in prison receive treatment after their release.
  • Sentence of the Week: “A middle-aged transplant is helping revitalize a depopulated town [in Shimane] through such audacious projects as selling gelato made from an unusual local fruit and manufacturing clocks from the rotary blades of discarded mowers.” (via The Japan News)


  • Someone stole a Jomon-period necklace that was on display at a museum in central Hokkaido.
  • The theft was discovered by the museum’s curator, who described the 2,300-year-old artifact as having “academic importance … but almost no monetary value.”
  • A signpost from a road in Miyagi that washed up on the coast of British Columbia is thought to have been swept out to sea by the March 2011 tsunami.
  • Officials at the Board of Audit say 106 dams around the country are in danger of failing because of a buildup of sediment in their reservoirs.

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