Japan Weather 

First snow falls in Sapporo on Nov 20, the latest date ever recorded in history

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow, in Sapporo. The capital city of the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido saw its first snowfall of the season early on Tuesday (Nov 20), which matches the latest date ever recorded in history. Japanese newspaper Mainichi Shimbun, quoting the Sapporo District Meteorological Observatory, reported on Tuesday that the date was 23 days later than the first snowfall in an average year. It was also 28 days later than last year’s. The last time snow first fell on Nov 20, marking the…

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Japan 

Death toll in western Japan rain deluge tops 100

TOKYO – The death toll from days of torrential rain and landslides in western Japan topped 120 on Monday (July 9), with scores still missing, in what has been recognised by the government as a “serious disaster”. Some 123 people are confirmed dead, two are in cardiac arrest and another 61 are unaccounted for, according to a tally by public broadcaster NHK at 10pm local time (9pm in Singapore). Tens of thousands remain displaced. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called off his eight-day trip to Belgium, France, Saudi Arabia and Egypt that was…

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Travellers leaving Japan to pay ¥1,000 ‘sayonara tax’ from 2019

TOKYO: From January 2019, travellers leaving Japan will have to pay a departure tax of ¥1,000 (US$9.40), Japanese media reported on Wednesday (Apr 11). The Diet, or Parliament, has passed the legislation and the new levy, coined the “sayonara tax”, is scheduled to be implemented on Jan 7, 2019. Travellers, both Japanese and foreign, will be required to pay the tax when they leave Japan by plane or ship, effectively adding to airfares and ship fares. Children under the age of two and transit passengers leaving Japan within 24 hours of…

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Japan 

Coincheck to reimburse investors from next week after US$530 million hack

Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck Inc plans to reimburse from next week investors who lost digital money in the late-January theft of US$530 million, it said on Thursday in a statement. TOKYO: Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck Inc plans to reimburse from next week investors who lost digital money in the late-January theft of US$530 million, it said on Thursday in a statement. The exchange also said it plans to resume services for some cryptocurrencies from next week. Coincheck froze all withdrawals of yen and cryptocurrencies following the heist, and resumed yen…

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Asia China Japan Jobs Thailand 

A Sino-Japanese tug-of-war taking place in Thailand

KYOTO – Japan and China have become locked in a subtle competition for increased influence in Southeast Asia. And Thailand has played a part in intensifying such competition. Seeking to cement ties with Japan and China to lessen the impact of Western sanctions, the Thai junta has allowed the two countries to exploit its political crisis for their national interests. Thailand has undoubtedly emerged as the region’s critical playground for the Sino-Japanese rivalry. Investments in mega-projects is one key area in which Japan and China have competed fiercely in Thailand. The…

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Asia Japan Jobs Maylasia Singapore 

Japan will make all-out bid for KL-Singapore high-speed rail project

KUALA LUMPUR – Japan is making an all-out bid to construct the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR), touted as South-east Asia’s largest infrastructure project. In an interview with national news agency Bernama, Japan’s ambassador to Malaysia said the Japanese bid would be a comprehensive package based on Japan’s technological expertise in its renown bullet train system, the Shinkansen. The bid will include a total transfer of technology and local vendor development to greatly benefit Malaysian and Singaporean companies, including small and medium enterprises, said Mr Makio Miyagawa. “We will…

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Asia Hong Kong Japan North Korea South Korea USA 

North Korea threatens to ‘sink’ Japan, reduce US to ‘ashes and darkness’

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reacts during a celebration for nuclear scientists and engineers who contributed to a hydrogen bomb test, in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang on September 10, 2017. KCNA via REUTERS SEOUL/TOKYO: A North Korean state agency threatened on Thursday to use nuclear weapons to “sink” Japan and reduce the United States to “ashes and darkness” for supporting a U.N. Security Council resolution and sanctions over its latest nuclear test. The Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee, which handles…

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Hiroshima News 

Japan marks 72 years since Hiroshima atomic bomb

People praying at Hiroshima’s Memorial Cenotaph yesterday for the victims of the 1945 atomic bombing. Japan is the only country to have suffered atomic attacks, which claimed 140,000 lives in Hiroshima.PHOTO: REUTERS  TOKYO • Japan yesterday marked 72 years since the world’s first nuclear attack on Hiroshima, with the nation’s traditional contradictions over atomic weapons again coming into focus. The anniversary came after Japan sided last month with nuclear powers Britain, France and the United States to dismiss a United Nations treaty banning atomic weapons, which was rejected by critics…

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Australia Japan Melbourne 

Australia sends navy ships, divers after aircraft crash, three US Marines missing

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Marine MV-22B Osprey aircraft land on the deck of the USS Bonhomme Richard amphibious assault ship off Sydney  MELBOURNE: The Australian government said on Sunday it would deploy its armed forces to assist in recovery efforts after the U.S. Marine Corps suspended a search for three Marines missing since their aircraft crashed off Australia’s northeast coast a day earlier. The Marine Corps said earlier they had shifted from a search-and-rescue effort to a recovery operation, which could last several months, and had notified the next-of-kin of the…

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Earthquake Japan 

Magnitude 5.8 quake hits off Japan’s Honshu

SYDNEY: An earthquake with an initial magnitude of 5.8 hit northeast of Tokyo off Japan’s main island of Honshu on Thursday (Jul 20), the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) and the USGS reported. The quake, which struck at 9.11am (8.11am, Singapore time), was measured at a depth of 33km about 79km east-northeast of Iwaki on Honshu. There was no immediate warning of a tsunami issued by the Hawaii-based PTWC Japan’s meteorological agency said there was no risk of tsunami from the earthquake. “We have found no (new) abnormality so far”…

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