Mitsuko Tomon (Photo by Go Katono)
Familiar problems persist on Okinawa 20 years after brutal rape of schoolgirl
When Mitsuko Tomon heard that an Okinawa schoolgirl had been raped by three U.S. military servicemen, her first thought was: “Not again.”
Jakucho Setouchi and Yoji Yamada during a symposium to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in Tokushima on Sept. 3 (Yoshinori Toyomane)
Cultural giants sing praises of new generation of student activists
TOKUSHIMA--Buddhist monk and writer Jakucho Setouchi and filmmaker Yoji Yamada, both influential heavyweights in popular culture, have hailed the new wave of student political activists.
The JR Tokyo Station's Marunouchi North entrance (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Massive underground bus station to be built near Tokyo Station
A huge underground bus terminal with 13 bus stops will be constructed near JR Tokyo Station, part of which will open by the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.
Bluefin tuna are lined up at a fish market in the Showa-machi district of Sakaiminato, Tottori Prefecture, in May. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Pacific bluefin tuna fishing faces ban if population plummets
SAPPORO--Japan has agreed with four nations and Taiwan to ban fishing of the threatened Pacific bluefin tuna if its population nose-dives.
Toshikazu Oshiyama, head of Otama, Fukushima Prefecture, far left, Elard Escala, Peruvian ambassador to Japan, center, and Cesar Yoshiro Nouchi announce sister-city ties between Otama and Machu Picchu in Peru on Sept. 3. Cesar Yoshiro holds a picture of his grandfather Yokichi Nouchi, who contributed to the development of the Peruvian village. (Natsuki Edogawa)
Machu Picchu, Fukushima village forming friendship agreement
OTAMA, Fukushima Prefecture--After rejecting offers from around the world, a famed Peruvian village home to Inca remains picked a small municipality in Fukushima Prefecture for its first sister-city relationship.
The keep of Hirosaki Castle in Aomori Prefecture is moved on a rail on Sept. 3 for restoration work on the castle’s stone base. (Shiro Nishihata)
Earning their keep, workers start 1st renovation of Aomori castle in 100 years
HIROSAKI, Aomori Prefecture--Workers have started the painstaking task of moving the 400-ton tower of Hirosaki Castle to clear the way for the first full restoration of its stone base in a century.
Officials, including Japan Othello Association head Goro Hasegawa, second from right, attend a news conference in Mito on Sept. 3. (Akihiro Inose)
World Othello Championship headed for a return to Ibaraki birthplace in 2016
MITO--In a strategic move sure to please fans, the hugely popular board game Othello will return to its birthplace next year when the World Othello Championship is held in Mito.
Kurashiki city assembly members attend a "jeans session" wearing locally produced denim on Sept. 3.  (Hiroshi Miura)
Kurashiki assembly members stage a 'denim revolution'
KURASHIKI, Okayama Prefecture--A municipal assembly in western Japan is operating a strict dress code--wear denim.
A car leaves the headquarters of the Yamaguchi-gumi in Kobe on Sept. 1 after a regular meeting. (The Asahi Shimbun)
INSIGHT: Financial strains, anti-yakuza rules lead to Yamaguchi-gumi split
Laws, ordinances and a society fed up with criminal elements have pushed gangster organizations into a corner, where they are struggling for ways to make money. But mobsters’ own feelings of being squeezed by the top of the yakuza pyramid may have been the final straw that ignited the recent upheaval in the underworld.
Wakutaro Yagi and his grandfather Susumu read a newly published book based on the grandfather's wartime memories in Toyota, Aichi Prefecture. (Kyosuke Yamamoto)
Boy's book about grandfather's poignant war stories hits store shelves
NAGOYA--A newly published book of wartime memories of a soldier who was conscripted into the Imperial Japanese Army has been drawing a lot of attention here for its candid and unusual format.
A solar power farm in Aichi Prefecture (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Solar power proved its worth this summer
Solar power accounted for 10 percent of the nation’s electricity when demand peaked this summer, showing that alternative energy is a key resource in times of need.
Ground Self-Defense Force members and U.S. Marines jointly participate in Dawn Blitz 2015 on San Clemente Island off San Diego on Sept. 1. (Yusuke Fukui)
Japanese troops attack California island in training exercise with U.S. forces
SAN DIEGO--In joint military exercises off southern California, Japanese and U.S. troops are simulating the defense and reclaiming of remote islands.
Kancho Kobayashi, who fought for China in World War II, is awarded a commemorative medal by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Sept. 2. (Nanae Kurashige)
Japanese war veteran is honored for fighting for China
BEIJING--A Japanese soldier who switched sides to China after being captured in World War II was awarded a commemorative medal here Sept. 2.
Foreign residents in Kusatsu, Shiga Prefecture, are appointed on Sept. 1 as members of a special squad of the city's fire department to support non-Japanese in emergencies. (Ippei Yaoita)
Volunteer squad in Shiga to help foreign residents in disasters
KUSATSU, Shiga Prefecture--The fire department here has formed a special team of foreigners who will assist non-Japanese residents in the aftermath of earthquakes, typhoons and other disasters.
A couple exchange wedding rings at the bottom of the ocean off Iwami town, Tottori Prefecture, during an undersea wedding ceremony on Aug. 30. (Provided by Blue Line Tajiri)
How deep is their love? About 10 meters
IWAMI, Tottori Prefecture--A man and a woman have shown the depth of their love--by holding a wedding ceremony at the bottom of the ocean.
Masahiro Sasaki, the older brother of Sadako, left, and Junko Watanabe hold a "Sadako's crane" that was recently donated to Brazil during the presentation ceremony in Sao Paulo on Sept. 1. (Tsuyoshi Tamura)
Paper crane folded by Hiroshima girl lands in Brazil to spread message of peace
SAO PAULO--An origami crane made by a young victim of the 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima was donated for permanent display at the Sao Paulo state assembly hall on Sept. 1, the first "Sadako's crane" given to South America.
Members of “The Serendipity” student volunteer group at the Japan Red Cross Toyota College of Nursing teach Brazilian children how to create a makeshift mask at a disaster-education seminar in Toyota in early July. (Takunori Yasuda)
Students to organize training camp to help foreigners prepare for disasters
TOYOTA, Aichi Prefecture--Volunteers from a nursing college in Toyota, home to one of the largest concentrations of immigrant workers in Japan, are organizing a special disaster training camp for foreign-born residents here on Sept. 5 and 6.
Visitors to the Tokyo metropolitan government building on Sept. 1 have their photo taken in front of the poster with the Tokyo Olympic emblem that was later withdrawn. (Wataru Sekita)
Sponsors scrambling to deal with abrupt pulling of Olympic emblem
Japanese companies jumping on the Olympic bandwagon as a publicity vehicle were forced to quickly shift gears after the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee sacked an emblem that had become tainted with charges of plagiarism.
Japan Manga Alliance chief Shingo Kunieda, center, at a news conference in Tokyo on Sept. 1 announcing the establishment of the alliance (Shigeto Takeuchi)
Japan Manga Alliance aims to butcher retail pirates in Thailand
Thai pirates who rip off Japanese manga and anime now have a fight on their hands on their own turf.
Sony Corp.'s Aibo robotic dog (Provided by the National Museum of Nature and Science)
Aibo earns place in Japan's history of technologies
The National Museum of Nature and Science in Tokyo added Sony Corp.'s Aibo robotic dog to a list of Japanese technologies that changed people's lives.

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