- Police in Osaka arrested a college student for stealing a ¥16 million Nissan GT-R from the parking lot of a vehicle shipping company.
- The best part of that story: the kid drove the car in an officially sanctioned Japan Automobile Federation race—and won.
- A set of 15,000 metro cards bearing photos of Japanese adult video star Yui Hatano sold out within four hours of being released in Taiwan.
- Headline of the Week: “Livestock Researcher Now a Guitar Echo Innovator” (via The Japan News)
YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK
- A Muslim detainee at Yokohama’s immigration center went on a hunger strike after officials served him lunch that had bacon in it.
- The MPD announced that cops at Haneda Airport will be the first in Tokyo to use Segway scooters on the job
- As part of the government’s growth strategy, the education ministry is planning to export “the structure and content of Japan’s educational system.” Good luck!
- Among the sounds that companies have been seeking to copyright since the revised Trademark Law went into effect in April are “shuwatchi” (Ultraman’s color timer) and “kasa-kasa” (ochazuke being poured over rice).
- 11.3 Percent of Japanese high schoolers who say they have more than 50 friends online that “they’ve never met in real life”
- 1.67 million Number of people who took part in drills around the country last month to mark Disaster Prevention Day
- 69.5 tons Haul of salmon caught off Hokkaido last month on the first day of the fixed-net fishing season; last year, the total was 18.9 tons
- Researchers in Hyogo discovered a pair of dotaku bronze bells dating to the Yayoi Period—and, for the first time with such a find, pieces of rope were still attached to the tongues.
- Rising water levels thought to be caused by global warming are causing mass cancellations of yakatabune river cruises in Tokyo, as the boats can no longer fit under bridges during high tide.
- For the first time ever, biologists have observed coral spawning in waters off the coast of Numazu in Shizuoka.
- Authorities at the meteorological agency are creating a database with detailed information on past eruptions of 47 major volcanoes around the country.
LOOK OUT BELOW
- Officials at the transport ministry are concerned about a dramatic surge in the number of “potentially dangerous” aviation incidents caused by human error.
- The number of such cases last year—207—was twice as many as in 2013.
- For the first time since 1983, Japan’s contribution to the U.N. budget looks set to fall below 10 percent.
- Just five years ago, Japan accounted for 20.57 percent of the organization’s budget.
- Consumer affairs authorities lambasted a Tokyo-based precious metals company for selling bogus numismatic goods under the rubric “British Royal Baby Anniversary Coin.”
- JAXA announced that astronaut Norishige Kanai will blast off for a six-month stint aboard the International Space Station in November 2017.
- Officials at the health ministry are having second thoughts about the tradition—which began more than 50 years ago—of awarding cups made of pure silver to anyone who turns 100 years old.
- The primary consideration is cost: in 1963, there were only about 150 centenarians in Japan; this year, there are around 32,000.