Small Print: October 15, 2014

Small Print: October 15, 2014

Lego heritage, Skytree milestones, Kei Nishikori and more...


Comic by Rodger Sonomura


  • A 62-year-old primatologist who has “devoted himself to gorilla research in remote areas of Africa for over 30 years” was named the next president of Kyoto University.
  • An online retailer that sells shoes embedded with cameras has earned the wrath of authorities in Kyoto, who say the devices are for the sole purpose of taking upskirt photos.
  • Officials at the National Police Agency say they’re concerned about the growing number of child sex abuse cases linked to smartphone messaging apps like Line and KakaoTalk.
  • Police from Tokyo busted a 16-year-old Kumamoto high school student for hacking the servers of gaming company GameOn. It was the first-ever arrest in Japan for a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack.
  • The Chofu Parco department store in Western Tokyo put on display Lego models of Mount Fuji and 40 other World Heritage sites. More than 450,000 blocks were used to create the replicas.


  • Imperial granddaughter Princess Mako, 21, decamped for England to pursue a master’s degree at the University of Leicester.
  • It was reported that the Emperor and Empress will visit the island nation of Palau next year “to console souls of war dead.”
  • The New York Times published an op-ed slamming the Imperial Household Agency’s newly compiled biography of Emperor Hirohito, saying it “perpetuates the false but persistent image… of a benign, passive figurehead.”
  • It’s taken two years, but staff at the National Diet Library have managed to restore 116 volumes of historical documents that were damaged by the March 2011 tsunami.


  • The value of the land in the Higashi-Azabu neighborhood that houses the Russian embassy has been estimated at ¥2.33 million per square meter.
  • Officials at the iconic Hotel Okura announced plans to open properties in Manila and Bangkok.
  • Yutaka Kume, who led Nissan Motor during the automaker’s heyday in the ’80s and ’90s, died of stomach cancer in Yokohama. He was 93.
  • For the second straight year, the editors of Times Higher Education named Tokyo University as the top school in Asia, and the 23rd best in the world.


  • Officials at Tokyo SkyTree say more than 100 million people have visited the tower since its debut in May 2012.
  • Hiroko Ando, 64, a graduate of Chuo University law school, became just the third woman to be appointed chief justice of a Japanese high court. She’ll serve in Takamatsu.
  • Japan’s shortest railway tunnel—a 7.2-meter-long stretch of track on the JR Agatsuma line in Gunma—has been taken out of service to make way for the construction of a new dam.


  • US Open runner-up Kei Nishikori—the first Asian man to reach the finals of a grand slam tennis tournament—turned down an honorary award from his home prefecture of Shimane.
  • By way of explanation, Nishikori said, “I’m 24 years old and still a work in progress.”
  • Officials in the historic Higashi Chaya district of Kanazawa have put up notices in Japanese and English urging tourists not to eat while walking.
  • Bottom Story of the Week: “Municipalities, Firms Team Up to Make IT-Embedded Manhole Covers” (via Mainichi Japan)

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