Small Print: October 29, 2015

Small Print: October 29, 2015

Prismatic predictions, baton breakthroughs, sinewy seniors, and more ...


(Comic by Adam Garwood)


  • Members of a group of atomic bombing survivors expressed regret that they didn’t receive a Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons.
  • During a speech at the U.N., Okinawa governor Takeshi Onaga said hosting U.S. military bases “undermines the human rights of local people.”
  • A newspaper survey found that 83 percent of mayors in northeastern Japan are concerned that construction projects for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will divert resources from recovery efforts in disaster-hit areas.
  • An advisor to the Obama administration on science and technology said he’s concerned about Japan’s “sizable stockpile of separated plutonium.”


  • Officials in Shiga have teamed with a local meteorological company to offer Japan’s first daily rainbow forecast.
  • A research team led by a professor at Tohoku University found that “minor volcanic eruptions are not preceded by earthquakes to the extent previously thought.”
  • Meanwhile, municipalities near 26 of Japan’s 50 active volcanoes have failed to draw up evacuation plans in case of eruptions, despite the central government asking them to do so.
  • Fast Retailing has launched an initiative—dubbed 10 Million Ways to Help—that seeks to provide clothing to refugees around the world.


  • 0: Number of teams in the history of the Rugby World Cup that won three matches in the pool stage but failed to reach the knockout stage, before Japan managed to pull off the feat in this year’s tourney
  • 12: Age of a schoolgirl in Aichi who received a patent for a trash bin that automatically separates steel and aluminum cans


  • Members of a hunting club in Kumamoto shot a boar that had entered a 78-year-old man’s backyard and bitten him more than 10 times.
  • Toyota plans to cut its vehicles’ CO2 emissions by 90 percent by 2050.
  • Staff at the Wild Bird Society of Japan say the drop in the number of swallows in central Tokyo is likely due to the predations of crows and “the removal of nests by humans.”
  • Japanese researchers succeeded in transplanting functional kidneys in rats, and hope to do the same in humans within 10 years.
  • Headline of the Week: “Kinki University Sells Catfish That Tastes Like Eel” (via Jiji)


  • It was announced that the Emperor and Empress will visit the Philippines next year—their first trip to the country since way back in 1962.
  • Engineers at JAXA are hoping to make Japan’s space program more competitive by developing an electric propulsion system for satellites.
  • The first snow on Mt. Fuji this autumn appeared 11 days later than the average year.
  • A sports ministry survey found that elderly Japanese people are more physically fit than at any time since the annual poll began in 1998.


  • Two famed WWII battleships share a new link now that curators at the USS Missouri Memorial Association in Hawaii have formed a partnership with their counterparts at the Yamato Museum in Hiroshima.
  • A Buddhist temple in Kanazawa put on display a collection of farewell notes written by seven Japanese Class-A war criminals shortly before they were executed.
  • Representatives from five prefectures are part of a new initiative targeting foreign tourists by “promoting ninja culture.”
  • Bottom Story of the Week: “World Record for Most People Twirling Batons Broken in Osaka” (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.