The poached sea cucumbers confiscated in Tomamae, Hokkaido (Provided by the 1st Regional Coast Guard Headquarters)
Gangsters targeting easier prey--sea cucumbers in Hokkaido
Japan Coast Guard officers surrounded and closed in on 10 shady men with two rubber rafts on a Hokkaido beach, but three of them slipped away in the darkness of the early morning hours.
Visitors read an explanatory sign about the former head office of Yawata Steel Works, visible in the background to the right, in Kita-Kyushu on April 17. (Hiroki Ito)
Public get first view of Meiji Era steel works headquarters, World Heritage candidate site
KITA-KYUSHU--Renovations worth 30.58 million yen ($257,000) are complete, giving visitors a closer look at a key piece of Japan’s history of steelmaking and part of a prospective entry in the UNESCO World Heritage list.
Hidetoshi Fukagawa, a researcher of “sangaku” wooden tablets featuring mathematical questions, guides students from Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Va., at the Tashirojinja shrine in Yoro, Gifu Prefecture, in January. (Yasuyuki Onaya)
Edo Period math tablets still hold right formula to baffle, impress viewers
OGAKI, Gifu Prefecture--When students from a U.S. college came to Japan on a two-week tour, they couldn't help but be in awe as they visited Myojorinji temple here.
The Asahi Shimbun
51% of Japanese support immigration, double from 2010 survey
The majority of Japanese support a more open immigration policy with the number of those willing to accept foreigners who want to permanently settle doubling over the last five years, an Asahi Shimbun survey shows.
Junior high school students interact with residents at a retirement home in Fukuoka Prefecture. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Japan's population continues decline as number of senior citizens rises
Japan's shrinking and aging population continued its inexorable slide in 2014, statistics show.
The Takahama nuclear power plant (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Kansai Electric appeals reactor restart injunction, cites economic impact
Kansai Electric Power Co. filed an objection on April 17 seeking revocation of a court ruling that banned the restart of two reactors at its Takahama nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture.
Single women hoping to find suitable marriage partners parade through the streets in kimono and wear a traditional hairdo at a festival in Himi, Toyama Prefecture, on April 17. (Takeshi Terawaki)
PHOTO: Single women don kimono and old-fashioned hairdos to land mates
HIMI, Toyama Prefecture--Dozens of single women turned out in kimono and elaborate hairdos favored by wives in feudal times at a festival here April 17 intended to help them find suitable husbands.
Kyoto Mayor Daisaku Kadokawa presents a memorial marriage certificate to Britons Stuart Roy Loakes and Emma Michelle Mulcahy after the couple's wedding at Kamigamojinja shrine in Kyoto’s Kita Ward on April 10. (Noboru Tomura)
Kyoto issues 1st commemorative marriage certificate to foreign newlyweds
KYOTO--A British couple who tied the knot at a Kyoto shrine have become the first to receive a memorial marriage certificate from the city, under a newly created program to attract more foreign visitors.
Visitors at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum on April 18 gaze upon the Standard of Ur, an artifact discovered in what is now Iraq. It is part of an exhibition titled “The British Museum Exhibition: A History of the World in 100 Objects” that is on display at the museum. (Sayaka Yamaguchi)
British Museum artifacts on human history packing crowds in Tokyo
An exhibition of artifacts representing 2 million years of history that are on loan from Britain drew a large crowd to the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum on April 18, its opening day.
The Asahi Shimbun
Study: Drunks fall from train station platforms in a matter of seconds
OSAKA--Railway officials here were surprised at how quickly inebriated passengers can fall from station platforms and onto the tracks once they start moving, in a study of platform-related accidents.
The Shinjuku Toho Building in Shinjuku's Kabukicho district. A giant Godzilla head is seen on the terrace on the eighth floor. (Satoru Semba)
Kabukicho's rebirth symbolized with the appearance of Godzilla in the skyline
As if standing watch over the Kabukicho district in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward, a massive Godzilla now rules the skyline, symbolizing hopes of revitalization for the notorious nightlife area.
"No Nukes: Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Fukushima," which will be published by Kodansha Ltd. on April 20 (Hideki Soejima)
Celebrities send 'no more Fukushimas' message in book to commemorate A-bombings
A nuclear-free world is the theme of a book that expresses the thoughts of Japanese celebrities and others that will be released to commemorate the 70th anniversaries of the 1945 atomic bombings.
A worker examines the radiation levels of fish at a market in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, in 2013. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Bogus labels, radiation fears prompt Taiwan to strengthen rules on Japanese food imports
HONG KONG--Taiwan said April 16 it will further tighten regulations on food imports from Japan after forged place-of-origin labels allowed entry of banned products from Fukushima and four other prefectures.
A photo of Typhoon No. 4 taken by the Himawari-8 weather satellite on March 31 (Provided by the Japan Meteorological Agency)
PHOTO: Himawari orbiter snaps images of storm's eye, 'yellow dust' cloud
The Himawari weather satellite captured vivid images of the eye of a typhoon and massive cumulonimbus cloud formations in photos released April 16 by the Japan Meteorological Agency.
The Asahi Shimbun
Seized server connected to Chinese reveals 5 million cases of stolen personal data
About 5.06 million files of stolen personal information, such as online IDs and passwords, were found in a server connected to Chinese users that was seized by police in Tokyo in connection with illegal Internet banking transactions, the Metropolitan Police Department said on April 17.
A man prays where the body of a high school girl was found in Hitoyoshi, Kumomoto Prefecture, in June 2014. The victim is believed to have become acquainted with the assailant via an online community site. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Record number of minors victimized in crimes linked to online community sites
A record high 1,421 minors under 18 years old fell victim to crimes related to social networking services and other online community sites in 2014, a National Police Agency report showed.
Shunichi Tanaka, chairman of the Nuclear Regulation Authority (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Nuclear regulator blasts court injunction against reactor restarts
The head of the government’s nuclear watchdog body took issue with a recent court injunction on reactor restarts, saying the ruling was based on a faulty understanding of the facts.
South Korean investigators and Hiroshima prefectural police officers survey Asiana Airlines' Airbus A320 on April 15 at Hiroshima Airport. Pieces of the instrument landing system can be seen beside the airliner’s engine. (Yoshihisa Aoyama)
Visibility sharply worsened in Asiana airliner accident
MIHARA, Hiroshima Prefecture--Visibility was below safety standards around the time when a South Korean airliner skidded off the runway upon landing at Hiroshima Airport, weather data showed.
Sightseers visit Kenrokuen Garden and Kanazawa Castle Park on April 12 during this year's cherry blossom-viewing season. (Hideki Inoue)
Shinkansen extension brings brisk tourist trade to Hokuriku
Once considered off the beaten path and hard to reach, the Hokuriku region enjoyed an influx of sightseers this spring with the extension of the Shinkansen line to Kanazawa.
Protesters walk along Shibuya Center-gai shopping street in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward on April 15 to demand a pay rise for full-time and part-time workers at fast food chains. (Kazuhiro Nagashima)
Fast food workers rally for higher wages
Dozens of people marched along a shopping street in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward on April 15 in a push for higher wages for full-time and part-time workers at fast food chains.

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