An aerial shot shows a pyroclastic flow from the May 29 eruption of Mount Shindake on Kuchinoerabujima island approaching homes in the Mukaehama district. (Eiji Hori)
Greater volcanic activity in Japan looks like new norm
The violent eruption of Mount Shindake on Kuchinoerabujima island on May 29 is the latest ominous sign that the Earth's crust around the archipelago is getting restless. And some experts suggest that people get used to it.
The restored Tsubame no Ochaya feudal-era guest house in the Hamarikyu Gardens in Tokyo’s Chuo Ward on May 29 (Hiroyuki Kamisawa)
Feudal guest house that served the shogun restored in central Tokyo park
A guest house used during the Edo Period (1603-1867) has been restored to its original state in central Tokyo on the grounds of the Hamarikyu Gardens where the Tokugawa family kept a residence.
A school uniform belonging to a junior high school student who was killed in the atomic bombing on Hiroshima (Provided by the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum)
A-bomb survivors to share their stories at exhibition in Washington
HIROSHIMA--An 83-year-old from Hiroshima whose last mission in life is to underscore the horrors of nuclear warfare will describe his experiences at the first atomic bomb exhibition held in Washington in two decades.
Yukiya Amano, director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, speaks in an interview in April in Vienna. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
IAEA blames TEPCO's poor preparations for Fukushima disaster
The U.N. nuclear watchdog squarely puts the blame for the Fukushima nuclear crisis on the plant operator’s inadequate preparations against natural disasters and severe accidents.
Volcanic smoke rises above Kuchinoerabujima island after an eruption on May 29. (Provided by Takako Ryo)
UPDATE: Residents safe after volcano erupts on isolated southern island
YAKUSHIMA, Kagoshima Prefecture--All residents of Kuchinoerabujima island were confirmed safe after a volcanic eruption unleashed a plume of smoke reaching about 9,000 meters high and sent a pyroclastic flow to the island’s coastline on May 29.
Japanese swimmer Naoya Tomita speaks to reporters after being convicted of theft at the Incheon District Court in South Korea on May 28. (Toru Higashioka)
Swimmer Tomita found guilty of stealing camera at Asian Games
INCHEON, South Korea--A court here May 28 found Japanese international swimmer Naoya Tomita guilty of stealing a journalist’s camera at the Asian Games, rejecting his argument that an “unknown man” was responsible.
Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko visit a ranch inside the Kodomo no Kuni amusement park that straddles Yokohama’s Aoba Ward and Machida city on May 28. (Kengo Hiyoshi)
Imperial couple celebrate 50th anniversary of park built on wedding wish
YOKOHAMA--Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko on May 28 celebrated the 50th anniversary of an amusement park here that was built to honor their marriage.
Purple sea bell flowers blossom on a 150-meter stretch of Nobiru beach in Higashi-Matsushima, Miyagi Prefecture, on May 23. (Yosuke Fukudome)
PHOTO: Purple flowers returning to tsunami-stricken Miyagi beach
HIGASHI-MATSUSHIMA, Miyagi Prefecture--Purple sea bells are making a comeback on Nobiru beach here after the 2011 tsunami wiped out nearly all of the flowering bindweeds.
A robot built by a team at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology prepares for a test course in Kanagawa Prefecture on May 3. The team is competing at the Robotics Challenge finals in the United States in June. (Hisatoshi Kabata)
Japan's presence grows at contest for nuclear disaster robots
Prompted by government funding, five Japanese teams will compete in an international contest that tests robots’ response and rescue abilities in nuclear disasters.
The fragment of a mold for casting the Tachukyo (mirror with knobs) discovered in Kasuga, Fukuoka Prefecture (Shunsuke Nakamura)
Ancient mold used to cast bronze mirror earliest found in Japan
KASUGA, Fukuoka Prefecture--A fragment of an ancient mold used to produce bronze mirrors that was found here predates any other artifacts linked to mirror production in Japan by up to 200 years.
Ground Self-Defense Force personnel on standby for possible deployment to Iraq conduct live-fire exercises in Hokkaido in 2004. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
54 SDF members committed suicide after missions overseas
Fifty-four Self-Defense Forces personnel who served on overseas missions during the 2000s killed themselves after they returned home, the Defense Ministry disclosed.
Tokyo's Ginza district is home to a large number of bars and hostess clubs. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Sleeping with customers does not harm marriage, judge rules
Having sex with a customer "does not damage peaceful married life," a judge said in dismissing a wife's compensation claim against a bar hostess who was allegedly sleeping with her husband.
A YS-11 turboprop passenger plane, recently refurbished by a private aviation compnay, lands at Takamatsu Airport in Kagawa Prefecture on May 27. (Koji Takahashi)
Historic YS-11 turboprop returns to the skies after 9-year hiatus
One of the last remaining YS-11 turboprop planes, the first Japanese-made passenger aircraft after World War II, flew for the first time in nine years on May 27 thanks to the restoration efforts of a private aviation firm.
Raw pork liver has become popular among meat lovers since the ban on raw beef liver in 2012. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Health ministry removing raw pork, liver from restaurant menus
The health ministry will ban all raw pork, including the “liver sashimi” delicacy, from restaurants because of the risk of hepatitis E infection and parasitic food poisoning.
Volcanic gases spew from Mount Hakoneyama’s Owakudani area in Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture, on May 10. (Eiji Hori)
Volcanologist puts eruption of Mount Hakoneyama at 4%
Despite continued rumblings, the chance that volcanically active Mount Hakoneyama southwest of Tokyo will blow its top is minimal, according to an expert who took issue with media reports that made the public nervous.
Taiji Mizutani shows off ceramic blocks he developed to safely store radioactive water at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant on May 25 in Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture. (Keizo Fukatsu)
Potter creates ceramic cure to help stop radioactive water leaks at Fukushima
YOKKAICHI, Mie Prefecture--A manufacturer of traditional ceramics has created special blocks that can absorb water, a development that could enable radioactive water at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant to be stored safely.
Seized drones, mobile phones and other equipment shown at Asakusa Police Station (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Arrested boy had fans on Internet funding his drone-flying antics, say police
A 15-year-old boy arrested last week after suggesting he would fly a drone at the site of one of Japan's biggest street festivals has received funding from several supporters, police said May 26.
Police officers and Ground Self-Defense Force personnel hold a training exercise to simulate rescue operations in collapsed houses due to a Nankai Trough earthquake in Nishio, Aichi Prefecture, in November 2014. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Steep rise in quake insurance reflects growing probability of disaster striking
Earthquake insurance is set to shoot up by as much as 30 percent as studies point to a growing probability of a devastating temblor striking a large city.
Hana Yasutake, right, cooks miso soup using her late mother's recipe at her home in Fukuoka's Chuo Ward, as her father, Shingo, watches. (Ryo Ikeda)
Young Hana keeps her late mother’s miso soup recipe alive
FUKUOKA--Twelve-year-old Hana Yasutake starts her day by making soup stock, shaving dried bonito into flakes at 6 a.m.
Rie Saito, a member of Tokyo’s Kita Ward assembly, holds an electronic writing board at a news conference on May 25: “I could finally reached the starting line.” (Junichi Bekku)
Tokyo ward adopts system that lets deaf assemblywoman join the action
Tokyo’s Kita Ward assembly on May 26 introduced a 4-million-yen ($33,333) computer system that transcribes voices in real time to accommodate a new member who is deaf.

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