Random Japan



After taking heat for accepting a ¥1.04 million donation from a South Korean expat, Prime Minister Naoto Kan agreed to return the money. Political contributions from foreigners are a no-no in Japan.

The Osaka and Bombay stock exchanges agreed on a tie-up, paving the way for them to “develop financial products linked to their stock indexes and list them at each other’s markets.”

Toyota and Microsoft announced a joint venture to develop automotive software that will be “important for achieving the next-generation low-carbon, energy-saving society.”

The justice ministry ordered Japan’s Prosecutor General to record all interrogations of criminal suspects in an effort to “establish a new criminal justice system.”

The coast guard announced that 170 crewmembers serving on five ships were unable to vote in local elections earlier in the month because they were engaged in relief operations in quake-hit areas.

Nepal’s Ministry of Culture said it will honor the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with its inaugural Gautama Buddha International Peace Award. The prize is worth $50,000.

Japan, the US and India have announced they will begin scheduling regular minster-level talks. The rise of China is “expected to be a major topic.”

A trio of taxis in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka have been festooned with drawings of characters from hit manga and animated TV series Strawberry Marshmallow. Punters who catch these cabs will get a commemorative card designed by the series’ author.



Vending machines operated by the Japan unit of Coca Cola

33 percent

Electricity consumption that Coca Cola believes it will save by not refrigerating the machines during daytime this summer


Rank of Japan in terms of “global information technology competitiveness,” according to a survey by the World Economic Forum

1, 2

Rank of Sweden and Singapore, respectively


One of the eight “countermeasures” proposed by the Japan Sumo Association to restore confidence in the sport is to distribute a survey so that spectators can assess the wrestlers’ “fighting spirit.”

“I’m leaving the details in the hands of my lawyer,” said former ozeki Kotomitsuki, who is suing the JSA for wrongful dismissal after being given the boot from sumo for illegal gambling.

A group of activists canceled plans to stage a protest at the disputed Senkaku Islands “out of sympathy” for Japan following the March 11 quake. The demonstrators were also concerned that the protest would “trigger adverse international publicity.”

The National Police Agency told cops in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures that they can go ahead and crack open safes recovered from the rubble in quake-hit areas. Police in Iwate alone have reportedly found 1,000 safes.

A geophysicist at the U.S. Geological Survey said that aftershocks related to the March 11 earthquake may continue for 10 years.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Kan was quoted as saying that the evacuation zone around the Fukushima plant might be “uninhabitable” for as long as 20 years. He quickly retracted the claim.

The government has confirmed that 23 foreigners were killed in the March 11 quake. That’s 127 fewer than the number who died in the Great Hanshin Earthquake in 1995.

Russia has awarded medals to 63 foreign astronauts commemorating their “services to developing space.” Among the three Japanese awarded was Toyohiro Akiyama, a former TBS correspondent who in 1990 became the first journalist to travel into space.

The residence of Japan’s ambassador to the Ivory Coast was hit by a rocket during the fighting that preceded the ousting of President Laurent Gbagbo earlier this month.

Faster Than A Speeding…

And It’s Back  


I Bribed Them


A Disaster Of One  

Chubu Electric seeks restart of ‘most dangerous’ nuke plant


Chubu Electric Power Co. has produced a controversial plan to restart a reactor at its Hamaoka nuclear power plant on the shores of the Pacific in Shizuoka Prefecture to help alleviate a possible summer power shortage, but it remains unclear whether that will ever happen.

Local governments and residents are fiercely opposed to restarting the No. 3 reactor of what is described as “the world’s most dangerous” nuclear power plant, which sits in the hypocenter of a long-predicted earthquake that could devastate the Tokai region.