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.
Atsuko Maeda, the former leader of the uber-popular J-pop idol group AKB48, made her first trip to Taiwan over the weekend only to be greeted by numerous fans as she attended the premiere of her debut movie, Kuroyuri Danchi. While 21 year old Maeda "graduated" from the girl group in August of last year, a crowd of over 1,000 AKB48 fans were waiting at the Taipei airport to see her step off the plane.
Amid Hashimoto scandal, Japan Restoration Party expels lawmaker Nishimura for Korean prostitutes remarkFeatures National Politics Adam Westlake on May 21 2013
As Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto continues to dig himself into a deeper hole over comments he made last week about Japan's use of sexual slavery during World War II, his Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) made the decision to expel lawmaker Shingo Nishimura for making a statement in what can only politely be deemed a lapse of judgement. On Friday of last week, House of Representatives member Nishimura stated that Japan was overrun with South Korean prostitutes.
The leader of Japan's Your Party, a minor opposition political party, has stated that they intend to back out of their agreement to cooperate with the Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) after leader Toru Hashimoto made several offensive comments last week about the country's use of "comfort women," or sexual slavery, during World War II. The two parties were going to work together in the Upper House election to be held this summer.
Yahoo Japan Corp. revealed on Friday of last week that it suspected as many as 22 million user IDs had been stolen as part of a malicious attempt to access the web portal's administrative system. The company stated that the information that was taken did not include users' passwords or the verification information needed to reset passwords, however they are urging their roughly 200 million customers to change their passwords right away.
Police in Chiba Prefecture, Japan revealed on Friday that they discovered an apartment with a family of four all dead inside in the city of Kashiwa. In what appears to be a murder-suicide, the two adults and two children were found by the building manager at around 2:00 PM the day before.
As hard as it is to believe, the Fast & Furious movie series will continue with a seventh installment in 2014. While the series is widely known its action, cars, and fast driving, the movies have also been filmed on location in various spots around the world over the years, and Vin Diesel, who not only serves as the star but also producer, has revealed that the seventh will be shot in Japan and the Middle East.
Japanese authorities revealed on Thursday that a fire broke out on a cargo freighter docked in Hokkaido, the northernmost island. It took firefighters nearly 11 hours to put out the blaze, eventually finding six bodies inside the ship that are believed to be those of missing Russian crew members, however identities have yet to be confirmed.
Following the news that Isao Iijima, a Cabinet Secretariat Advisor, had arrived in North Korea on Tuesday for unannounced diplomatic meetings, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stated that he would be willing to personally meet with leader Kim Jong-Un, if the conditions were right. The Japanese premier declined to comment any further on Iijima's visit, however, only saying that it was an attempt to improve relations. Unnamed sources have revealed that Iijima is not expected to return to Japan until Friday.
A Ferrari race event at Japan's Suzuka Circuit ended in horror last month as one driver lost control of his vehicle and crashed into an inside wall at nearly 200 MPH (322 km/h). Incredibly, two men, the driver and a track worker who was standing right at the spot of the crash, who by all odds should be dead, survived the April 21st incident, with the one in the car expected to make a full recovery.