Government sources have revealed that the submarine detected plying the waters of the contiguous zone around Minami-Daitojima island in Okinawa Prefecture on Sunday were picked up by a Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) patrol plane using a sonobuoy – a small floating sonar system that emits sound waves, and transmits its data back to the sonar operators. Using the sonobuoy, the plane was able to let the submarine know that it was being monitored.
Kyoto University will become the first Japanese university to be part of edX, a US based free online learning platform created by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. edX currently offers around 50 free courses from 27 international universities and has 900,000 students from all over the world.
The Stone for Peace Association of Hiroshima, a citizen’s group based in one of the only two cities in the world that were victimized by nuclear warfare, presented the former Yugoslav autonomous region of Kosovo with a stone engraved with an image of the Buddhist goddess of mercy. The stone is an actual remnant from the 1945 atomic bombing that devastated Hiroshima, one of the paving stones for the streetcar tracks just 200m from ground zero.
Four Japanese history academics held a press conference in Busan and said that Japan’s claim over the Takeshima Islands (known as Dokdo in South Korea) is wrong, and flimsy at best. They represent a group that opposes Japan’s sovereignty claims over the islands that has caused much of the current tension between the two countries.
Japan's upper and lower houses of parliament finally approved on Wednesday an international treaty on child abductions, as decades of pressure from the United States and the international community finally created the result. Before today, Japan was the only member of the Group of Eight (G8) – the global group of highly-industrialized nations – that has not put into its country’s law articles of the 1980 Hague Convention – an agreement requiring nations to return abducted children to the countries where they naturally reside.
Japanese telecommunications technology outfits NEC and NTT, with the backing of the influential Sumitomo trading house, are investing in and aiding the Myanmar government in building a fiber-optic telecommunications network linking three of the newly-democratized country’s major cities. The Japanese firms are taking advantage of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s pledge of helping in the development of the Southeast Asian country – which has recently transitioned to a democratic government from a military dictatorship – and a 1.71 billion yen (16.7 million US dollars) grant pledged by the Japanese government to Myanmar in late-December.
The Japanese government released data on Wednesday that revealed the country's trade deficit had risen substantially more than expected in the month April. Now standing at 879.9 billion yen (approx. 8.6 billion US dollars), this is a 70% expansion over Japan's trade deficit from the same month a year earlier, the Finance Ministry said.
Two top executives at Denso Corp. – Japan’s largest auto-parts maker in terms of revenue – have agreed to plead guilty to charges of price-fixing in transactions for electronic automobile parts sold to Toyota, and have also chosen to cooperate with the investigators, this revealed by the United States Justice Department on Tuesday. This settlement adds the two executives to 14 more from 9 different companies who have pleaded guilty to a variety of price-fixing charges for transactions selling car parts to different automakers.
Just outside of Japan’s disaster-stricken Fukushima Prefecture, there are people who are saying they have been denied compensation despite experiencing increased radiation levels even from living around the fringes of the nuclear disaster that was caused by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. 700 residents of the Hippo district in Miyagi Prefecture, an area northeast of Fukushima, filed their claims on Tuesday via a government arbitration office, saying that they should at least be getting the same rates of compensation as the residents of Fukushima.
The Lower House passed a bill that would give adults who are under the guardianship of another adult the right to vote. The bill, which was unanimously approved, will now be sent to the Upper House for final passing,which is expected to happen this Friday. The upcoming Upper House election in July will be the first one where adult wards will have the right to cast their own ballot.