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.
A worrying phenomenon has been discovered in Tokyo river eels that have been caught by local residents living near the Edogawa River – the eels that they have been catching, and may have eaten at one time or another, have very high cesium levels, in most cases higher than the safe levels required by the Japanese government.
A man accused of killing the mother and grandmother of a woman he was stalking pleaded not guilty to the charges against him at the start of his trial at the Nagasaki District Court. 28 year old Gota Tsutsui is accused of stabbing to death his ex-girlfriend's mother Mitsuko Yamashita, 56, and grandmother, Hisae, 77, on December 26, 2011 in Saikai, Nagasaki Prefecture. He was indicted in April last year for the murders, as well as assault and blackmailing charges.
Japan's Justice Ministry revealed on Friday that two inmates on death row were executed by hanging that morning, marking the fourth and fifth executions of the year, and the second occurrence under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The two convicts were former members of an organized crime gang (yakuza), and had been convicted for shooting two people at a restaurant in Chiba Prefecture in 2005.
A study focusing on attacking cancer stem cells, which is what has been known to cause relapse and spread of the disease, is set to start this April at the National Cancer Center Hospital East in Chiba Prefecture. This should be a first in Japan. The main thrust is to eventually create therapy that would kill off cancer that could not be surgically removed.
The Japanese Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry said that there have already been 1,656 cases of rubella reported for the current year. Shockingly, this is 20 times larger than the number reported during the same period last year. Men in their 20s, 30s and 40s, particularly, account for about 70% of the total reported cases, and spreading in Tokyo and its neighbors Kanagawa, Chiba and Saitama.
A bar Chiba Prefecture has been shut down for its blatant trademark infringement of the Starbucks Coffee Co. logo and name. The owner of the Girl's Star Bar has found himself in hot water after thinking it would be a good idea to print out the worldwide coffee giant's logo and alter it slightly for his own design.
In another case of corporal punishment gone bad, a high school teacher was suspended by Chiba Prefecture's Board of Education for physically punishing students. The teacher from the Chiba Prefectural Matsudo Mabashi High School who also serves as the baseball coach is believed to have broken a first year student's arm.
Booker Prize nominee and writer of Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell, is set to translate an autism memoir with his wife, Keiko Yoshida. The Reason I Jump by Japanese writer Naoki Higishida, who has autism, was written when he was only 13 years old. The book explains the behavior of a child, diagnosed with severe autism at age five. It also explained how Naoki would respond to the people around him, which included his ability to embrace concepts such as self-harm, beauty, noise and time.
With what the Western world expects of prisons, the order and general culture within Chiba prison, a penitentiary just outside Tokyo, will surprise any one. While prisons almost anywhere else in the world are expected to be loud, dirty and violent places, Chiba almost resembles a very quiet retirement home for former soldiers.