Researchers from Japan, including experts in stem cell development and the medical sciences, are set to discuss today possible ground rules for experiments involving animal-human embryos. This group of Japanese researchers is currently seeking permission for tests that could allow them work towards human organs being produced inside the growing body of an animal via human induced Pluripotent Stem (iPS) cells introduced into an animal embryo creating a so-called "chimeric embryo", which they can then implant into an animal's womb.
Why did the ducks cross the road? Apparently in Japan, that is an actual, literal question you can ask when observing the ducks at a man-made pond in Tokyo's Otemachi business district. And the answer is simple: to get to the other side, where the Imperial Palace moat is.
BBC Worldwide, famous for its amazing nature documentary footage and films, is teaming up with Japanese gaming outfit Sega Corp. in putting together a multi-sensory nature theme park that will use BBC’s films and Sega’s technology let visitors to experience natural environment and wildlife that inhabits the planet. The ambitious project called Orbi – obviously from its almost 360-degree screen which is one of the highlights of this joint effort – was first shown to the public in Tokyo on Wednesday, with the new park looking to open in Yokohama, south-west of the Japanese capital, on August 19.
The continuous decline in eel hauls has caused the Environment Ministry to include the Japanese eels on its Red List. The ministry admitted to be wary for unagi, a dish that is a favourite summer treat, to “face extinction in the wild in the very near future.” The Japanese Fisheries Agency announced last Thursday a 25% lower catch of eel fry from December last year until April this year. The agency said it is the fourth consecutive year for poor eel catches.
Government sources have revealed that Japan plans to reject the recent decision by signatory countries of the 1973 pact that is officially called the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) that seeks to regulate international trading in sharks, whose populations have sharply declined due to over-hunting for the aquatic predators’ fins. These same sources say that Tokyo will file a reservation, similar to the nation’s rejection of the CITES agreement on whale hunting. The move will once again put Japan in the spotlight, as this is another evidence of the country’s negative attitude toward global efforts to preserve endangered marine resources.
Japanese fable “The Cat Who Ran” by Naoko Kudo will be brought to life in a stage performance for the first time in America. Brandon Yagel, together with Jose Miguel Vasquez, will present the story of a cat and a fish that both found an unusual friendship. Young audiences, even those young at heart, may watch the production in Orlando, Florida on June 8 and 9. It was adapted by Toyoko Nishida and translated by Yuriko Kobayashi.
Japanese pet food company Michinoku Farms announced in a press release on Wednesday that it was pulling its new dog treats product that was revealed to contain meat from fin whales exported by Iceland. The four environmental organizations that brought attention to the issue this week, including Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), and the Iruka & Kujira [Dolphin & Whale] Action Network (IKAN), praised Michinoku Farms' decision not to sell the product.
An announcement from the Ueno Zoo in Tokyo might just prove to be the future event that can lessen the tension between Japan and China. A press release from the zoo announced that Shin Shin the female panda will not be "displayed" starting on June 4 because of changes "that can usually be found during pregnancy".
The Environmental Investigation Agency says that endangered fin whales are being exported from Iceland to Japan where they are turned into luxury dog treats. While the practice of hunting and exporting whales for human consumption is not new, being turned to pet food is something different.
It sounds like the result of a brainstorming session of elementary school girls, but the idea to make a cat the train's stationmaster proved to be the saving grace of the Kishi Station, located in Kinokawa, 30 minutes from Wakayama City in southeast Japan. A calico cat named Tama has spawned a whole tourism industry in the rural town.