Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko visiting Okinawa Prefecture on June 26 (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Imperial couple to visit Palau to honor war dead
Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko are set to visit Palau early next year, the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, to pay their respects to the 16,000 Japanese soldiers who died in fighting there.
Sistine Chapel Choir (Provided by Japan Arts)
Vatican’s Sistine Chapel Choir denied concert in Beijing
ROME--A dispute over religious authority has prevented the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel Choir from performing in Beijing, but the singers will hold concerts for the first time in Macao, Hong Kong and Taipei from this week.
A massive landslide washed away houses in Hiroshima's Asa-Minami Ward in the early morning hours of Aug. 20. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Nonlife insurers to shorten policies after weighing risk of natural disasters
Increased costs resulting from typhoons and torrential rain have prompted nonlife insurance companies to do a radical rethink on the length of policy coverage they will offer.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Writers group blasts Seoul for questioning Japanese journalist
The Japan P.E.N. Club, a writers organization, criticized the South Korean government for its actions taken against The Sankei Shimbun’s bureau chief in Seoul over a story about President Park Geun-hye.
Yumeji Takehisa's painting tentatively titled "Oshu no Shojo" (The European girl) (Provided by the Takehisa Yumeji Museum)
Rare works by Taisho Era painter Yumeji Takehisa go on display
An art museum dedicated to the poet and painter Yumeji Takehisa (1884-1934) is displaying two rare works by the artist depicting young women from his European travels.
Mount Asahidake in Hokkaido's Daisetsuzan volcanic group (Hiroyuki Yamamoto)
PHOTO: First snowcap of season observed on Mount Asahidake in Hokkaido
HOKKAIDO--Snow came early this year to Hokkaido with meteorologists reporting a light dusting on the summit of Mount Asahidake.
A helicopter simulates a rescue of a person on a sandbar during a flood drill in Kyoto’s Arashiyama district on Sept. 16. (Noboru Tomura)
Kyoto's Arashiyama district holds first drill against flooding
KYOTO--The Arashiyama district here held its first large-scale drill for flooding on Sept. 16, one year after Typhoon No. 18 caused extensive damage in the popular tourist area.
A portrait of Kazuko To under a cherry blossom in Oshima Seishoen taken in April 1997 (From "Yoyu no toki" by Akio Ota)
Former teacher releases portrait collection of former leprosy patients
TAKAMATSU--Alarmed by the rapid aging of former Hansen’s disease patients at the Oshima Seishoen national sanitarium here, a local photographer has recently published a collection of their portraits.
A mudslide hits an unoccupied car parked at a home in Maebashi, Gunma Prefecture, on Sept. 16. (Naoko Kawamura)
UPDATE: Quake shakes Tokyo and outlying areas; rail services affected
A relatively strong earthquake rattled Tokyo and the Kanto region around lunchtime on Sept. 16, but there were no immediate reports of major damage.
Astronaut Soichi Noguchi poses next to a model of the International Space Station's Kibo laboratory in Chiba in July. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Newly elected astronaut Noguchi seeks greater Chinese inclusion
BEIJING--Soichi Noguchi, the first Asian astronaut elected president of the Association of Space Explorers (ASE), expressed hope that China will join the international community in promoting space projects.
The Asahi Shimbun
New station eyed near Toranomon Hills on Tokyo Metro’s Hibiya Line
The Tokyo metropolitan government has its sights set on a new subway station on Tokyo Metro’s Hibiya Line near the Toranomon Hills commercial complex ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games.
A medical technician hands out leaflets encouraging women to receive cervical cancer check-ups in Sendai in April. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Researchers: Cervical cancer vaccination linked to symptoms affecting nervous system
One-third of side effects felt by patients who received a vaccine against cervical cancer are believed to be caused by a dysfunction within the central nervous system, a study suggests.
Local geisha perform in Kanazawa in July. (Takashi Ogawa)
Geisha finding unlikely patrons in changing times
KANAZAWA--Geisha across Japan have a new bunch of patrons: local municipalities that are counting on the traditional performers to spice up their promotional activities.
Various “maneki-neko” beckoning cats are on display at a festival in Ise, Mie Prefecture. (Yoshihiro Ogino)
Good luck cats grace Ise Jingu in 'search' for owners
ISE, Mie Prefecture--Thousands of cute cats are holding forth at the sacred Ise Jingu shrines.
A minke whale caught for research purposes off Kushiro, Hokkaido. on Sept. 7 (Yasushi Sato)
Japan's whale hunt under scrutiny at IWC meeting
PORTOROZ, Slovenia--Japan's intention to resume whale hunts in the Antarctic--despite a ruling by the top U.N. court--topped the agenda as an international whaling conference opened Sept. 15 in Slovenia's Adriatic Sea resort of Portoroz.
An object being made by a 3-D printer (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Japanese 1st to seek patent for 3-D printing back in 1980s, but still lost out
NAGOYA--The lion's share of patents for 3-D printer technology are owned by the United States and nations in Europe, but it was a Japanese researcher who developed the world's first prototype.
Seniors in an aerobics class in Maizuru, Kyoto Prefecture, on Sept. 9 (Tsukasa Fuke)
One-eighth of population now aged 75 or older
The number of Japanese aged 75 or older reached a record 15.9 million, comprising one in eight people, figures show.
Yuki Iwama, the owner of Chottoshita Cafe, and a friend prepare rice bowl dishes using local vegetables in Nanmoku, Gunma Prefecture, on Sept. 11. (Nobuo Fukuda)
How a Tokyo resident found fulfillment in rural Japan
NANMOKU, Gunma Prefecture--Like many rural communities with a dwindling population, Nanmoku opens its arms to visitors--and one, in particular.
Taro stew is moved to ladles for serving at a festival along the Mamigasaki river in Yamagata on Sept. 14. (Yosuke Fukudome)
Taro stew fit for a giant served to thousands at Yamagata festival
YAMAGATA--A festival dubbed the largest outdoor taro stew party served up a whopping 30,000 bowls here on the weekend with the help of larger-than-life utensils.
Misako Kawagoe, secretary-general of a suicide prevention group in Fukui Prefecture, talks to a man who was the 500th person saved by the group. (Provided by Kokoro ni Hibiku Bunshu Henshukyoku)
Suicide prevention group saves 500th life on Fukui cliffs
FUKUI--Four years after a voice on the radio brought him out of despair, Tatsuya Nakamura prevented a suicidal man from jumping off a cliff, the 500th life saved by a nonprofit organization.

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