“A nation that can’t even save the life of a small being will never be able to save the life of a human being." This is a strong statement from 61 year old Toru Oki, who has made it his life mission to train therapy dogs to bring comfort to those who need it. He is now turning his focus on the abandoned canines from Fukushima that he will train to bring solace to victims of the 2011 disasters.
The third time is definitely not the charm for Tokyo Electric Power Co. as it struggles to continue the decommissioning process of the stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant, for the third time in five weeks the process has been halted by rodents. TEPCO revealed on Monday that it once again had to stop the cooling of used uranium fuel rods to remove the rats from the cooling pool and to install a net to prevent it from happening again.
A nationwide research by non-profit organization Bird Research together with Iwate Medical University and other institutions show that the population of sparrows in the urban areas is steadily declining. There are now an average of 1.8 chicks per nest compared to the rough estimate of 3-4 chicks per nest in the 1970s-80s.
A dog, who might be angling for a job with the Russian police, dug up a large stash of old Japanese weapons in Russia's Sakhalin island. Police said the animal unwittingly uncovered around 500 Japanese shells, ammunition cases and cartridges just 200 meters from the Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk-Sinegorsk highway.
For the second straight year, a crested ibis chick has hatched in Sado Island in Niigata Prefecture. While the chick hasn't been caught on film yet, the Environment Ministry confirmed that there was video footage of a pair of crested ibises feeding a chick. Since the parents are a brother-sister pair, the chick will have to be isolated for 10 days to check on any risks related to its genetic make-up. Last year was the first time in 36 years that a crested ibis chick hatched out of captivity.
Yume, the Akita puppy that former Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda gave in behalf of Akita Prefecture to Russian president Vladimir Putin a year ago, made her first "public appearance" as her pictures were posted on the president's official website. The puppy was a thank you gift for Russia's help to the prefecture during the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011.
A large wild boar ran riot in Taishi, Hyogo Prefecture, injuring eight people, most of them senior citizens. A 62 year old woman suffered severe injuries while six other people in their 60s and 70s, plus a 13 year old schoolgirl received various wounds and bruises, after run-ins with the wild animal.
The Tobu Zoo in Japan's Saitama Prefecture was excited to celebrate the birth of four healthy white tiger cubs in mid-March. The adorable felines are still being kept away from public viewing until sometime in May, however the media was given a brief glimpse this week. With around 30 white tigers living in captivity in Japan, these were the first to be born at the Tobu Zoo.
Known as the largest species of crab in the world, one lucky Japanese spider crab was recently saved from his destination at a fish market and exported to Britain. Affectionately named "Big Daddy," the 2.7 meter (8.9 feet) crab has become the largest on exhibit at the Blackpool Sea Life Centre.
Scientists have confirmed that a fossilized jaw bone discovered in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan is from a tiny, primitive mammal from 112 million years ago, or the early Cretaceous period. Paleontologists say the jaw features sharp, point teeth and molars, much in line with what is found in modern mammals, and that the creature it belonged to came from a group of mammals with unique, shared features called Eutherian.