Small Print: October 29, 2014

Small Print: October 29, 2014

Teacher assault, revenge porn, spider silk and more…


Comic by Adam Garwood

“I feel happy because I look more attractive.”

—Mieko Ichimaru, 79, after attending a seminar on “cosmetic therapy” at a nursing home in Tokyo


  • Officials at the justice ministry will no longer require municipal authorities to investigate birth registrations submitted by new mothers aged 50 and over.
  • An 81-year-old man and his 78-year-old wife in Itabashi-ku were hospitalized after the husband drove their car off the third story of a parking garage.
  • Members of an advisory panel to the education ministry have recommended that fifth-graders take English classes as part of their regular curriculum.
  • An 18-year-old high school student in Akita assaulted his teacher after she scolded him for being “noisy.” The boy was arrested and the teacher was taken to the hospital in serious condition.


  • A court in Osaka ruled that a man who lost ¥810 million betting on horse races can deduct the money from his taxes.
  • Officials at satellite broadcaster WOWOW say they signed up a record 153,000 new subscribers last month, thanks largely to Kei Nishikori’s historic run to the finals of the U.S. Open.
  • A contingent of Ainu and Okinawans traveled to the UN to attend the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples.
  • Executives at DoCoMo say “no financial damage” has been reported in a security breach that affected more than 6,000 customers.


  • Number of children under the age of 13 who were victims of kidnapping in 2013, according to the National Police Agency


  • Used autos sold in Japan during the first half of fiscal 2014—a record low, according to the Japan Automobile Dealers Association


  • Number of train cars that Hitachi will provide to a Dutch railway company in a deal worth some ¥40 billion


  • With an eye on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the Cabinet adopted a bill that would lower the legal age for shooting an air gun from 14 to 10.
  • Officials at Tokyo Metro say they’ll also open a new station on the Hibiya line (between Kasumigaseki and Kamiyacho) in time for the Games.
  • LDP lawmakers have drawn up a bill making so-called revenge porn a crime punishable by up to three years in prison.
  • The Tokyo Metropolitan Government bestowed distinguished citizen awards on artist Kunitami Mitsuhashi, movie director Yoji Yamada and baseball legend Shigeo Nagashima.


  • Officials at the education ministry say the number of college dropouts is rising, with “financial difficulties” being the leading cause.
  • Meanwhile, the labor ministry says 22 percent of salaried employees under age 35 work more than 50 hours a week.
  • Members of the Board of Audit claim that, between fiscal 2010 and 2012, medical associations in 34 prefectures overcharged the central government by more than ¥1.3 billion for reimbursements related to treatments for the elderly.
  • And the National Federation of Health Insurance Societies reports that a record number of Japanese people have medical expenses of at least ¥10 million a month.


  • Japanese researchers say they’re having difficulty mass producing spider silk strings. The reason? Arachnids “tend to eat each other if they are kept together.”
  • The government approved a plan by Hokkaido Electric Power Co. to raise its rates by 15.3 percent early next year.
  • Authorities at the Fire and Disaster Management Agency are crediting “a relatively cool August” with the nearly 4 percent drop in heatstroke cases this summer compared to last.
  • Bottom Story of the Week: “More Japanese Turning Nouns Into Verbs in Conversation: Survey” (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