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Panda Leaves Tokyo to Tears
Panda Leaves Tokyo to Tears

Panda Leaves Tokyo to Tears

Thousands at zoo say goodbye to Xiang Xiang, who's headed to China

(Newser) - Thousands of Japanese fans, some wiping away tears, bid farewell to a beloved Japanese-born giant panda that made her final public appearance Sunday before flying to her home country, China. The panda fans gathered at Tokyo's Ueno Zoo for one last look at Xiang Xiang, the park's idol...

Japan Offering Families Hefty Sum to Leave Tokyo

New incentive is announced

(Newser) - Japan wants to push some of its population out of Tokyo and into other parts of the country, and it's using money as a carrot. The Guardian reports the government is making a dramatic increase to its relocation fee, which had been 300,000 yen (about $2,250) per...

Lights Out, Tokyo—It's Going to Be a Hot One

Government asks 37M residents to use less electricity to avoid power outages amid heat wave

(Newser) - Temps in Japan usually hover below 85 degrees Fahrenheit in the month of June, but a heat wave that's descended upon Tokyo and surrounding areas has led the government to plead with 37 million residents to switch off their lights to avoid power outages. The BBC reports that the...

Man Stabs Passengers on Tokyo Train, Sets Fire
Man Dressed as Joker
Stabs Tokyo Train Passengers

Man Dressed as Joker Stabs Tokyo Train Passengers

Riders jumped through windows to flee fire set by attacker

(Newser) - A man dressed in Batman's Joker costume and brandishing a knife on a Tokyo commuter train stabbed several passengers on Sunday before starting a fire, which sent people scrambling to escape and jumping from windows, police and witnesses said. The Tokyo Fire Department said 17 passengers were injured, including...

'It's Like Somebody Hit Me In the Face With a Shovel'

Canadian Rocker stunned to get back guitar stolen in 1976

(Newser) - An amateur internet sleuth needed a project for the pandemic lockdowns, so he took a break from researching the DB Cooper mystery to help an aging Canadian rocker reunite with his favorite guitar. William Long is a fan of Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive guitarist Randy Bachman. He heard the...

They Were Promised 'Paradise.' The Destination: North Korea

Lawsuit in Japan seeks retribution for decades-long repatriation program

(Newser) - Some 93,000 people moved from Japan to North Korea in the latter half of the 20th century, many believing they would encounter a "paradise." North Korea—desperate for labor amid efforts to rebuild following two tragic wars—suggested these migrants, many of whom were ethnic Koreans who'...

2 Evacuees Reach Tokyo to Compete in Paralympics

International effort gets athletes safely out of Kabul, to Paris, then to the Paralympic Village

(Newser) - An international, multi-organization effort has delivered two Kabul evacuees to Tokyo, by way of Paris, in time to compete in the 2020 Paralympics. Zakia Khudadadi and Hossain Rasouli have safely arrived in Paralympic Village, CNN reports. The Afghanistan Paralympic Committee had said they wouldn't be able to go to...

2020 Paralympics Open in Empty Stadium

A volunteer carried Afghanistan's flag in Tokyo

(Newser) - The Paralympics began Tuesday in the same empty National Stadium—during the same pandemic—as the opening and closing ceremonies of the recently completed Tokyo Olympics. Japanese Emperor Naruhito got it all started again, this time under the theme “We Have Wings.” Among the few on hand were...

Hurdler Who Won Gold Thanks Volunteer Who Got Him to the Race

Hansle Parchment almost missed his chance at Olympic medal after he went to wrong venue

(Newser) - If your mother always told you give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport, or to your Olympic 110-meter hurdling competition, we hope you've listened. Hansle Parchment will likely leave the house way early from now on, after the Jamaican hurdler almost missed his chance to compete...

10 Injured in Stabbings on Tokyo Train
Assailant Stabs 10
on Tokyo Train

Assailant Stabs 10 on Tokyo Train

Suspect is arrested; no fatalities are reported

(Newser) - A man with a knife stabbed at least 10 passengers on a commuter train in Tokyo on Friday and was captured by police after fleeing, fire department officials and news reports said. NHK public television said one passenger was seriously injured, per the AP . It said the suspect left his...

Fleeing the Games, Sprinter Made a Last-Minute Switch

Wary of security, Belarus sprinter changed flight plans from Warsaw to Vienna at last minute

(Newser) - Change of travel plans for Krystsina Tsimanouskaya—she's headed to Vienna instead of Warsaw, at least initially. The Washington Post reports on the continuing drama swirling around the 24-year-old Olympic sprinter, who boarded a plane bound for Poland on Wednesday, less than three days after Belarus authorities took her...

High Jumpers' Unusual Request Is an Olympic Hit

Competitors from Qatar and Italy decide to share gold medal rather than go to a jump-off

(Newser) - It’s the ultimate moment in game recognizing game. Mutaz Barshim of Qatar had been competing against, and making friends with, Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi for years. Both had suffered ankle injuries that took a season away from them. Tamberi was in Barshim’s wedding, the Washington Post reports. Sunday,...

Japan Had Never Hit 10K COVID Cases— Until Yesterday

Country expands its virus emergency

(Newser) - Japan expanded a coronavirus state of emergency to four more areas in addition to Tokyo on Friday following record spikes in infections as the capital hosts the Olympics. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga declared an emergency in Saitama, Kanagawa and Chiba, near Tokyo, as well as in the western city of...

Olympian Refuses to Face Israeli Opponent

Fethi Nourine bowed out rather than face Tohar Butbu

(Newser) - An Algerian athlete is being sent home from the Tokyo Olympics after refusing to face an Israeli opponent. Fethi Nourine bowed out of men's judo 73K division late Thursday and told Algerian television that his support for the Palestinian people precludes him from facing Tohar Butbul. Per Reuters , Nourine...

Athletes Will Really Feel the Heat in Tokyo

This could be the hottest Olympics on record, bringing risk of heatstroke

(Newser) - Tokyo claimed "mild" summer weather made it an ideal candidate to host the Olympic Games in 2020. Consider that an oversell, as athletes could now be in for the hottest Olympics on record. The daily maximum temperature recorded at a Summer Olympics was in Sydney, Australia, in 2000 and...

Composer Who Made Kid Eat Feces Quits Olympics

Keigo Oyamada resigns from Opening Ceremony

(Newser) - A Japanese composer will no longer be participating in the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, an event for which he wrote music. Keigo Oyamada, who performs as Cornelius and has been likened to American musician Beck, resigned after apologizing for bullying classmates years ago, the Washington Post reports....

At Tokyo Olympics, a 'Very Significant Change'

Athletes will put on their own medals to protect against COVID

(Newser) - Athletes at the Tokyo Olympics will put their medals around their own necks to protect against spreading the coronavirus. The "very significant change" to traditional medal ceremonies was revealed Wednesday by International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, per the AP . "The medals will not be given around the...

Amid COVID Surge, Tokyo Bans Fans From Olympics

City declares state of emergency

(Newser) - The celebration was premature. Less than three weeks after it was announced that local fans would be allowed at the Summer Olympics, Japan reversed course on Thursday because of a surge in COVID cases, reports the AP . Per the New York Times and the AP , the city reported 920 new...

First Came the Rain. Then, a Mudslide 'as Fast as a Car'

At least 19 are missing in Atami, Japan

(Newser) - A powerful mudslide carrying a deluge of black water and debris crashed into rows of houses in a town west of Tokyo following heavy rains on Saturday, leaving at least 19 people missing, officials said. Dozens of homes may have been buried in Atami, a town known for hot springs,...

Olympics Have Twice Forced This Man From His Home

Kohei Jinno describes 'sad, lonely feeling' as start date approaches

(Newser) - Kohei Jinno is among the minority in Japan who feel this summer's Olympic Games should go on. Otherwise, it would mean he was booted from his home of a half-century for nothing. The 87-year-old and his wife, Yasuko, were one of some 200 families forced out of a public...

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