Small Print: November 26, 2015


(Comic by Adam Garwood)

“I learned the wonder and profundity of picture books by visiting this store. It’s sad to see it close.”
—A customer at Tom’s Box, a children’s bookshop in Kichijoji that’s scheduled to shut its doors this month


  • Editors at Forbes ranked Prime Minister Shinzo Abe 43rd on their list of “The World’s Most Powerful People.”
  • Abe was 63rd last year, which makes him “the biggest upward mover” of 2015.
  • Meanwhile, the PM became the first sitting Japanese leader to board a United States aircraft carrier when he visited the newly arrived USS Ronald Reagan in Yokosuka.
  • Government sources say Russian President Vladimir Putin is unlikely to hold a summit with Abe before the end of the year, but they’re hopeful about a meeting in early 2016.


  • Police in Maebashi arrested a 19-year-old man for pushing his girlfriend off a nine-meter-high platform in a scenic viewing area, causing injuries to her chest and back.
  • The suspect was quoted as saying: “I caused her to fall following relationship trouble, but I didn’t intend to kill her.”
  • Officials at the agricultural ministry say last winter’s avian flu epidemic was likely caused by “migratory birds that spent the winter in Japan after breeding in Siberia.” The outbreak forced the culling of some 350,000 Japanese chickens.
  • The MPD arrested a junior high school student in Sapporo for allegedly possessing a computer virus used for “fraudulent remittances.”


  • 300,000: The number of Halloween-themed garbage bags the TMG gave away “in an effort to keep the capital’s streets clean amid the fun.”
  • 0.6 millimeter: Diameter of an artificial blood vessel developed by researchers at the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center—the thinnest ever.
  • ¥980: Price of a 330-square-meter parcel of land in Fukagawa, Hokkaido. Officials are hoping the low cost will attract new residents.


  • Executives at Toyo Tire, who have already confessed to falsifying data for their earthquake shock absorbers, now say they failed to test vibration-dampening products used in trains and ships.
  • Administrators at Waseda University announced that they would revoke the doctorate of disgraced RIKEN researcher Haruko Obokata.
  • Hall of Fame golfer Isao Aoki and former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld were among the 3,964 people that the Japanese government awarded with this year’s autumn decorations.
  • A group of Hiroshima residents filed a lawsuit requesting that they be officially recognized as A-bomb survivors due to their exposure to a “black rain” of radioactive materials.


  • The head of a post office in Nagano admitted to running a Ponzi scheme that bilked 180 customers out of ¥890 million.
  • Arbitrators in Stockholm ordered Osaka-based NTN Corp to pay $94.2 million to Volvo in a case involving defective ball bearings.
  • A government white paper found that police made a record-high 4,300 arrests for indecent assault in 2014.
  • McDonald’s Japan posted a $30 million loss from January to September—the worst result for the nine-month period since the company debuted on the TSE in 2001.


  • Library staff in Tenri, Nara Prefecture, discovered a stash of 212 previously unknown haiku by the Edo-era poet Yosa Buson (1716-1783).
  • One of the poems reads, “I am surprised by a burned field, flowering grass.
  • A high-ranking Indonesian official indicated that his country is interested in buying US-2 amphibious rescue aircraft from the MSDF.
  • Bottom Story of the Week: “Commemorative Plate for Late Japanese Diplomat Unveiled at Russian Hotel” (via The Mainichi)

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