The Rokkasho processing plant in Aomori Prefecture (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Completion of nuclear fuel processing plant postponed for 21st time
AOMORI--Complications in safety screening have led to the 21st postponement of work to complete a key nuclear processing facility in Rokkasho, Aomori Prefecture.
A slide showing iPS cells produced from a patient's skin (Provided by Riken)
Heart muscle cells from iPS cells to be mass-produced for drug tests
A public research organization announced Oct. 30 that it has entered into a joint venture to develop a new technology to mass produce cardiac muscle cells from human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, which could reduce the costs of drug trials.
Koji Morooka’s photo shows two women strolling through the high-end Ginza shopping district of Tokyo in 1935. (Provided by the Edo-Tokyo Museum)
Photo exhibition shows decades of change in Tokyo's Ginza
An exhibition of photos capturing the transformation of Tokyo’s Ginza, from quake and war disaster zone to one of the world’s swankiest shopping districts, is under way at the Edo-Tokyo Museum.
Shop manager Masayuki Shimizu, barber Atsushi Ota and receptionist Hong Trang in front of the Ginza Matsunaga shop in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, in July 2014. (Manabu Sasaki)
Japanese barber finds some customers want more than just a cut in Vietnam
HO CHI MINH CITY--In a city where haircuts are still mostly obtained out of a chair on a street corner, a Japanese barber has found a demand for old-fashioned pampering in an upscale shop.
Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako head for the imperial banquet at the Imperial Palace on Oct. 29. (Pool)
Masako brightens up formal occasion to help welcome Dutch royal family
Crown Princess Masako, usually a no-show on such occasions, attended a banquet at the Imperial Palace on Oct. 29 to welcome the king and queen of the Netherlands.
Protesters rally in Tokyo's Shinbashi district on Oct. 29. (Wataru Sekita)
Anti-nuclear protesters try to fire up corporate workers in Tokyo
Men and women in business attire thronged the Shinbashi district of Tokyo on Oct. 29 to encourage fellow office workers to protest against moves to restart the Sendai nuclear power plant in southern Japan.
Senior officials of Rengo, the Japanese Trade Union Confederation, listen to complaints voiced by temporary workers in January. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Survey: 52% of female breadwinners in temporary jobs live in red
More than half of female temporary workers in Japan who are the main providers of their households are living in the red, according to a survey by a think tank.
Representatives of operators of the Isumi Railway and the Jiji Line celebrate their sister railway agreement at Taipei Station in Taipei on Oct. 28. (Takeshi Owada)
Japan-Taiwan railway tie-up to give passengers a ticket to ride
TAIPEI--A Japanese rail operator has formed a sister relationship with its counterpart in Taiwan to make tickets interchangeable on both railways in the future.
Francesco Losapio carefully prepares a prayer book for digitization. (Hiroshi Ishida)
Vatican Library enlists NTT Data to digitize precious centuries-old documents
VATICAN CITY--The Vatican Library has introduced a project to digitize documents, some dating to the second century, and has enlisted Tokyo's NTT Data Corp. to play a key role in the delicate process, given the fragile condition of some of the items.
A company owner with gender identity disorder talks to The Asahi Shimbun in the western part of Shizuoka Prefecture. (Cho Tsuin)
Woman waging lawsuit to eliminate prejudice against gender identity disorder
HAMAMATSU, Shizuoka Prefecture--A company owner with gender identity disorder is facing off against a private golf club operator that denied her membership on the grounds that she changed her sex to a female on her official family registry.
Anti-nuclear protesters stage a rally outside the city hall in Satsuma-Sendai, Kagoshima Prefecture, on Oct. 28. (Koichi Ueda)
Mayor says Sendai plant able to withstand any disaster, despite misgivings
SATSUMA-SENDAI, Kagoshima Prefecture--Mayor Hideo Iwakiri asserted that the Sendai nuclear power plant can withstand any disaster, a position that is at odds with the nuclear watchdog's contention that 100-percent safety can never be guaranteed.
Crown Price Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako travel to the Imperial Palace to attend the welcoming ceremony for King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and his wife, Queen Maxima, on Oct. 29. (Reina Kitamura)
Princess Masako attends welcoming ceremony for first time in 5 years
Crown Princess Masako attended a welcoming ceremony for King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and his wife, Queen Maxima, at the Imperial Palace on Oct. 29, marking her first appearance at such a ceremony in five years.
Director Yojiro Takita, along with cast members of "Departures," accepts an Oscar for best foreign language film at the 81st Academy Awards on Feb. 22, 2009, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo)
Production company behind Oscar-winning movie cooked the books
A filmmaking company behind the Academy Award-winning movie "Departures" was found to have been hiding 1 billion yen ($9.25 million) in income from the National Tax Agency.
A Maritime Self-Defense Force ship enters a naval dock in China in 2011. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
SDF to resume exchanges with S. Korean, Chinese military personnel
Japan’s Self-Defense Forces will resume exchanges with high-ranking personnel of the South Korean and Chinese armed forces next month in an attempt to mend soured diplomatic relations in East Asia.
Inmates at work at a prison in Yokohama on Oct. 17. Portions of the photo are intentionally blurred. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Growing calls for harsher penalties depriving indefinite-term prisoners of ‘last hope’
With more serious offenders being incarcerated under indefinite-period sentences, the prospect of dying behind bars has risen substantively in the face of calls by crime victims for stricter punishment.
A topographic map of Etorofu island, one of the Northern Territories, created at a scale of 1:50,000 in 1922 (Provided by the Geographical Information Authority of Japan)
Topographic map of Northern Territories updated for first time since 1922
A topographic map of the disputed Northern Territories off the coast of Hokkaido has been updated for the first time in 92 years using satellite images, since territorial issues render them off limits to Japan for ground and aerial surveying.
Sitting in a wheelchair, Jack Schwartz, a 99-year-old former U.S. prisoner of war, looks at lists of POWs who died during World War II, in the Ryozen-Kannon war memorial in Kyoto on Oct. 18. (Takashi Ishihara)
99-year-old former U.S. POW returns to Japan for first time since captivity
When Jack Schwartz last set foot in Japan, he was being released at the end of World War II after four long years of captivity.
Elementary school children receive lecture on gender equality in Shizuoka in June. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Global poll shows Japan still way behind in gender equality
Despite being the world's No. 3 economy, Japan placed 104th among 142 surveyed countries in terms of gender equality, according to the World Economic Forum's 2014 report on gender disparity.
A craftsman makes washi paper at his workshop in Higashi-Chichibu, Saitama Prefecture, on Oct. 28. (Hikaru Uchida)
'Washi' traditional paper-making set to be tacked onto UNESCO list
Japan's traditional art of "washi" paper-making is in line to be added to UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage list, the U.N. organization announced on Oct. 28.
Worshippers offer prayers at Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo on Aug. 15, the anniversary of Japan's 1945 surrender in World War II. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
War-bereaved group demands Yasukuni remove Class-A war criminals
FUKUOKA--For the first time, an association of families of soldiers killed in World War II adopted a resolution demanding Yasukuni Shrine separate the 14 Class-A war criminals enshrined there from the other war dead.

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