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Japanese Spacecraft's Moon Landing Appears to Fail

Ground control loses contact as unmanned spacecraft attempts to touch down

(Newser) - A Japanese company lost contact with its spacecraft moments before touchdown on the moon Wednesday, and the lunar lander is presumed to have crashed, per the AP . Contact was lost as the lander descended the final 33 feet while traveling around 16 mph. Controllers peered at their screens in Tokyo,...

'White Rabbit' Moon Landing Will Be a Big First

Hakuto lander from Japan firm ispace will be first spacecraft from private company to land on moon

(Newser) - A Japanese company is about to attempt what no other private business has done: land on the moon. Tokyo's ispace company put its own spacecraft into orbit around the moon a month ago. On Tuesday, flight controllers will direct the craft, named Hakuto (Japanese for "white rabbit")...

He Went to Buy One Plane Ticket. Ended Up Buying 25—Quickly

Herman Yip took advantage of error to scoop up $250K worth of All Nippon Airways tix for $17K

(Newser) - Herman Yip was recently looking online to book a trip from Jakarta to Aruba, and the deal he found underscores the importance of being in the right place at the right time—and having the gumption to take a little risk. Per Bloomberg , the 32-year-old Hong Kong resident discovered he...

Explosive Device Thrown in Direction of Japanese PM

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was evacuated to safety on Saturday

(Newser) - A fishing port in western Japan was the site of a chaotic scene on Saturday as officials say an explosive device was thrown in the direction of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. He was evacuated to safety as bystanders screamed and a suspect was wrestled to the ground by police. No...

Japan Is Building Its First Casino, Controversially

It's set to open in Osaka in 2029

(Newser) - Japan is on course to get its first casino, but the country hasn't rushed into it: Japan legalized casinos in 2018 and it has taken five years for the first project to gain approval. The government announced Friday that a proposed casino complex in Osaka had gotten the green...

Eating Like This Got 2 Men Arrested
Eating Like This
Got 2 Men Arrested
in case you missed it

Eating Like This Got 2 Men Arrested

It's the latest story of alleged 'sushi terrorism' in Japan

(Newser) - A man dipped his used chopsticks into a communal bowl of pickled ginger at a restaurant in Osaka, Japan—and he and a friend have been arrested for it. The Guardian reports that it's the latest development in the wave of "sushi terrorism" that has emerged in Japan....

Now a Vending Machine Thing: Bear Meat

Japan does it again

(Newser) - Japan, the country that brought you whale meat in a vending machine , has a popular new flavor of vending machine meat, and there's a certain four-legged segment of the wild population that's not going to be happy to hear it: bears. That's right, for the bargain price...

With Xi in Russia, Japan PM Makes Surprise Trip to Ukraine

To hold talks with Zelensky, as Chinese leader meets with Putin

(Newser) - Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was heading to Kyiv early Tuesday for talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that coincide with Chinese leader Xi Jinping's visit to Russia , the AP reports. Kishida will “show respect to the courage and patience of the Ukrainian people who are standing up...

As Historic Summit Looms, North Korea Launches ICBM

South Korea, Japan leaders are meeting at first such summit in 12 years

(Newser) - Amid the biggest South Korea-US joint military exercises in five years—and hours before a Tokyo summit between the leaders of South Korea and Japan—North Korea test-launched an intercontinental ballistic missile Thursday morning. It was Pyongyang's third weapons test this week, and its fourth ICBM test in less...

Japan MP Given the Boot After Never Once Showing Up

GaaSyy, aka Yoshikazu Higashitani, has not entered parliament since his election

(Newser) - GaaSyy, real name Yoshikazu Higashitani, is a Japanese gossip YouTuber. Seven months ago he also became an MP in the upper house of Japan's parliament—a tenure that ended Tuesday after he failed to show up even once, leading his Senate colleagues to vote to expel him. It'...

Man on Death Row for Half a Century Gets a Retrial

Iwao Hakamada was sentenced to death in 1968 but long claimed confession was forced

(Newser) - Amnesty International calls him the world's longest-serving death row inmate—but Iwao Hakamada now has a shot at leaving prison. The 87-year-old has been granted a retrial in the case that saw him sentenced to death some 55 years ago, in 1968. Hakamada said he only confessed to robbing...

First Arrests Made in Creepy Japan Trend: 'Sushi Terrorism'

Videos made in restaurants showed people licking items on conveyor belt

(Newser) - "Sushi terrorism" is a viral prank that took over Japanese social media in February and has prompted restaurants that serve sushi on conveyor belts to take legal action—as evidenced by three recent arrests, reports the BBC . One video showing so-called "sushi tero" that garnered early attention showed...

Flight Arrives 10 Minutes Late, Is Forced Into 16-Hour Detour

Japan Airlines Flight JL331 from Tokyo to Fukuoka should've taken just 2 hours

(Newser) - The 550-mile trip across Japan should have taken two hours by plane. It ultimately took 16—all because a Japan Airlines flight missed an airport's cutoff time by a mere 10 minutes and was forced to turn back. The nightmarish scenario began Sunday with weather delays in Tokyo, followed...

Japan Would Like to Know What This Giant Ball Is

No one has yet IDed the hollow metal orb that washed up on the beach in the city of Hamamatsu

(Newser) - As US and Canadian officials are still scratching their heads over a series of mysterious objects that floated over North America earlier this month, a new mystery has cropped up across the Pacific. According to TV Asahi, a woman taking a stroll Tuesday on Enshuhama Beach, located in the Japanese...

Report: Japan Has Twice as Many Islands as It Thought

Recount finds more than 14K islands

(Newser) - For an island nation, Japan appears to have been very bad at counting islands for a very long time. Sources tell Kyodo News that the newest official count will more than double the number of the country's islands, from 6,852 to 14,125. In the last count, about...

US Pro Skier Kyle Smaine Dies in Avalanche

'An all around great skier, an all around great, kind person'

(Newser) - Celebrated American freestyle skier Kyle Smaine was one of two men killed in an avalanche at a ski resort in central Japan Sunday. The Lake Tahoe-based skier's father confirmed the death to NBC . Smaine, 31, posted an Instagram video of himself skiing Sunday, praising the "unbelievable snow quality,...

Japanese Vending Machines Now Dispensing Whale Meat

Conservationists are worried about the development

(Newser) - A Japanese whaling operator, after struggling for years to promote its products amid protests from conservationists, has found a new way to cultivate clientele and bolster sales: whale meat vending machines. The Kujira (Whale) Store, an unmanned outlet that recently opened in the port town of Yokohama near Tokyo, houses...

Deadly Cold Rushes Over Asia
Freezing Temps
Wreak Havoc in Asia

Freezing Temps Wreak Havoc in Asia

Parts of Japan could see coldest weather in a decade; more than 100 are dead in Afghanistan

(Newser) - Snow, wind, and freezing temperatures are wreaking havoc across Asia, and in some places it's turned deadly. Earlier this week, more than 120 people died in Afghanistan from the cold, while in China's northernmost city of Mohe, known as "China's North Pole," record lows of...

Stefani's 'I Am Japanese' Comment Raises a Ruckus

Entertainer defends her embrace of Japan's culture in her career

(Newser) - Gwen Stefani inadvertently sparked a conversation about the difference between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation this week in an Allure interview. At one point, Stefani declared, "My God, I'm Japanese and I didn't know it," then added after a pause, "I am, you know."...

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...

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