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Biden: Support for Japan, Philippines Is 'Ironclad'

China's actions at sea have caused growing concern

(Newser) - President Biden reinforced the US defense commitment to Pacific allies on Thursday as he gathered Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at the White House. The meeting took place against a backdrop of growing concern about provocative Chinese military action in the Indo-Pacific, the AP...

In 500 Years, Everyone in Japan May Have the Same Name

Japan's residents may all have surname Sato if an antiquated civil code isn't updated, researcher says

(Newser) - An antiquated law in Japan could lead to an unusual happening in about five centuries: everyone with the same surname. That surname would be Sato, which is the conclusion on the universally shared surname by the year 2531 arising from the research of Tohoku University economics professor Hiroshi Yoshida. More...

K-Pop Star at Center of Boyfriend Brouhaha Has News

Karina, who faced scolding and threats for relationship, has split with Lee Jae-wook

(Newser) - The relationship that roiled South Korea is over. Yonhap reports K-pop star Karina and her beau, actor Lee Jae-wook, have parted ways, just a few weeks after they took their pairing public, to much backlash. "Lee decided to end the relationship to focus on the work that he is...

Oppenheimer Gets a Mixed Reaction in Japan

Film finally premieres in land devasted by two atomic bombs

(Newser) - Oppenheimer finally premiered Friday in the nation where two cities were obliterated 79 years ago by the nuclear weapons invented by the American scientist who was the subject of the Oscar-winning film. The film's release in Japan, more than eight months after it opened in the US, had been...

Japanese Health Supplement Proved Not That Healthy

Now 5 in Japan are dead, 100 are hospitalized after taking products with benikoji, a red mold

(Newser) - Five people who took Japanese health supplements have died and more than 100 have been hospitalized as of Friday, a week after a pharmaceutical company issued a recall of the products, officials said. Osaka-based Kobayashi Pharmaceutical Co. came under fire for not going public quickly with problems known internally as...

Diaper Maker Won't Make Them for Japan's Babies Anymore

Manufacturer to switch to making diapers for adults, citing low demand for infant version

(Newser) - With births at a record low for modern times in Japan, a diaper manufacturer will transition from producing diapers for little ones to those for adults. Call it a late response to the market: Japan's elderly have used more diapers than the nation's infants for more than a...

Japan Plans Another Break From Its Pacifist Principles

Public opinion on plan to sell fighter jets is divided

(Newser) - Japan's Cabinet on Tuesday approved a plan to sell future next-generation fighter jets that it's developing with Britain and Italy to other countries, in the latest move away from the country's postwar pacifist principles, the AP reports. The contentious decision to allow international arms sales is expected...

Crew Called for Help, Then the Tanker Capsized

South Korean vessel carrying acrylic acid ran into rough seas

(Newser) - A South Korean chemical tanker capsized off an island in southwestern Japan on Wednesday, authorities said, killing eight people on board. One crew member survived, while the fate of two others was unknown, reports the AP . Officials said the tanker was carrying 980 tons of acrylic acid, a corrosive organic...

Town's Residents Warned About 'Abnormal' Cat

The cat is thought to have fallen in a chemical tank in Fukuyama, Japan

(Newser) - "Chemical kitty" might sound like the name of a punk band, but it's apparently a very real thing in one Japanese city. Fukuyama has warned its residents that it appears a cat fell into a tank of toxic chemicals at a metal plating factory and emerged covered in...

Japanese Rocket Explodes Seconds After Launch
Rocket Launch
Does Not Go Well

Japanese Rocket Launch Does Not Go Well

Space One stumbles in its quest to become first private Japanese company to launch a satellite

(Newser) - Space One hoped to become the first private company in Japan to put a satellite into orbit. While the dream is still alive, the company's first attempt went horribly wrong as the rocket exploded seconds after takeoff around 11am local time Wednesday, or 10pm ET Tuesday. Livestream footage showed...

He Was a 'Big Tree' to Manga Artists Worldwide
He Was a 'Big Tree' to
Manga Artists Worldwide

He Was a 'Big Tree' to Manga Artists Worldwide

Akira Toriyama, creator of 'Dragon Ball' comic series, other popular manga and anime, dies at 68

(Newser) - Akira Toriyama, the creator of the bestselling Dragon Ball and other popular manga and anime that influenced Japanese comics, has died, his studio said Friday. He was 68. Toriyama died March 1 of a blood clot in his brain, Bird Studio said in a statement. "He was working enthusiastically...

24 Fishermen Rescued From Half-Submerged Ship

Ship was rocking in rough seas off Japanese island

(Newser) - A Japanese coast guard helicopter rescued 24 fishermen as they desperately clung to the deck of a tilting, half-submerged ship being pounded by high waves Monday morning off an island chain southwest of Tokyo. One crewmember thrown from the rocking ship into the rough seas before the arrival of the...

Japan's Stock Market Surges Back to Where It Was in 1989

The country's financial bubble burst 34 years ago

(Newser) - Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index has surged past the record it set in 1989 before the country's financial bubble burst, ushering in an era of faltering growth. The index closed Thursday at 39,098.68, up 2.2%. Its previous record was 38,915.87, set on Dec....

Joining the Retro Revival: Cassette Tapes

Sales are on the rise in Japan as well as in the US

(Newser) - Cassette tapes are starting to catch some of the retro, nostalgic shine of vinyl records, spurring one manufacturer in Japan to bring back personal Walkman-type players. Younger Japanese music lovers are driving this trend, Nikkei Asia writes, despite many being born well after tapes were eclipsed by CDs, and later...

Space Success Leaves Japan's Agency 'So Relieved'
Space Success
Is a Relief in Japan

Space Success Is a Relief in Japan

Rocket makes orbit and releases observation satellites

(Newser) - Japan's flagship H3 rocket reached orbit and released two small observation satellites in a key second test following a failed debut launch last year, buoying hope for the country in the global space race. The H3 rocket blasted off from the Tanegashima Space Center on time Saturday morning, two...

Japan Is No Longer World's 3rd-Largest Economy

It's been overtaken by Germany and will likely slip behind India in 2026

(Newser) - Japan's economy is now the world's fourth-largest after it contracted in the last quarter of 2023 and fell behind Germany. The government reported the economy shrank at an annual rate of 0.4% in October to December, according to Cabinet Office data on real GDP released Thursday, though...

Killer Whales Trapped Under Sea Ice Make a Break for It

Orcas off coast of Japan, spotted huddled together and bobbing in the waters, appear to have escaped

(Newser) - As a nation held its breath, so, too, did a pod of killer whales trapped beneath the ice off of the northern shores of Japan, bobbing their heads up and down from a small gap in the ice to breathe. Now, officials say the dozen or so orcas appear to...

Ukrainian-Born Miss Japan Resigns Over Affair
Miss Japan Resigns Over Affair

Miss Japan Resigns Over Affair

Ukrainian-born Karolina Shiino largely blamed for relationship with a married man

(Newser) - The first woman of European descent to be crowned Miss Japan has given up her title following a report that she had an affair with a married man. Shukan Bunshun reported last week on Ukrainian-born model Karolina Shiino's relationship with Takuma Maeda, a married doctor and influencer. The Miss...

This Nation Just Weighed In on Swift at the Super Bowl

DC's Japanese Embassy says star could technically get to Vegas 'comfortably' after her Tokyo concert

(Newser) - There's still no official word on whether Taylor Swift will be swooping into Las Vegas' Allegiant Stadium on Feb. 11 to watch boyfriend Travis Kelce play in the Chiefs-49ers Super Bowl—but Japanese officials are stepping in to assuage fears that the "Karma" singer won't be able...

Go for the Latte, Stay for This Guy
Go for the Latte,
Stay for This Guy

Go for the Latte, Stay for This Guy

Japan brings us the hottest new trend, the pig cafe

(Newser) - First there were cafes that allowed pets. Then came cat cafes, where lattes took second place to feline interaction. The latest craze in Japan: The pig cafe. "It was wonderful. Very relaxing and enjoyable," said Brad Loomis, a software engineer from Pullman, Washington, after visiting Tokyo's Mipig...

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