“The question is whether cyber-attackers find loopholes first, or we find them first and close them.”
—Akitsugu Ito of Tokyo-based software company Cybozu, Inc., which is offering bounties to “good-willed engineers” who can find security flaws in its programs


  • Officials at the Japan Tourism Agency are urging hotels to prepare for emergency situations by stockpiling “necessities” for foreigners, including halal food and Bibles.
  • The organizers of the Eiken English proficiency test have an eye on the international market—they’ve signed a study-abroad agreement with education authorities in Australia.
  • About 1,000 demonstrators attended a rally last month in Shibuya to protest the state secrets protection law.


  • A research team led by a professor at Keio University has proven that “pigeons can recognize themselves in a mirror.”
  • It was reported that an increasing number of courts around the country are limiting the display of graphic photographs in trials attended by lay judges.
  • A research group that includes a professor at the Primate Research Institute of Kyoto University has found that chimpanzees can trace pictures but “lack the imagination to fill in missing parts.”
  • Crown Princess Masako, who suffers from a stress-related disorder, appeared at a banquet to welcome King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of Holland. It was the first time in 11 years for her to attend such a function.


  • Percent of Americans who view Japan as America’s “most important partner in Asia,” according to a survey by Nielsen Consumer Insights


  • Percent of Americans who view China as the U.S.’s closest ally in the region


  • Cars and vans being recalled by Toyota over defects that include a faulty safety belts and cracked fuel pipes


  • The Cabinet has created a new ministerial post charged with overseeing preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
  • The minister will be expected to handle issues ranging from “transportation networks to antiterrorism.”
  • MSDF officials are hoping to develop a new breed of high-speed destroyers that can also conduct minesweeping operations.
  • A group of fifth-graders from an elementary school in Shinagawa ventured to Asakusa to conduct interviews with foreigners in English on such topics as “what their hobbies are” and “what impressions they have of Japan.”


  • Celebrated anime purveyor Hayao Miyazaki got a standing ovation as he took the stage to accept a lifetime achievement Oscar at a ceremony in Hollywood.
  • The Tokyo Regional Taxation Bureau has accused executives at film production company Sedic International—whose hits include 2008’s award-winning Departures—of hiding about ¥1 billion in income.
  • A 45-year-old Japanese woman visiting the city of Yellowknife in Canada’s Northwest Territories has gone missing. She was last spotted walking along a local highway.
  • Workers at the Genkai nuclear plant in Saga Prefecture managed to extinguish a fire that broke out in the basement of its auxiliary building. No one was injured.


  • The University of Tokyo placed 24th in U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of the world’s 500 top institutions of higher learning. That was the best in Asia.
  • In all, 17 Japanese schools made the list, including Kyoto, Osaka and Tohoku universities.
  • Officials at the environment ministry say they’re heartened by an increase in the number of sea turtles that have been coming ashore to lay eggs.
  • Amazon Japan has signed a deal with Yamato delivery company that will allow customers to receive orders at about 3,000 Yamato locations around the country.

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