Hiroko Masuhara, right, with her partner, Koyuki Higashi (Provided by “Out in Japan”)
'Coming out' project for LGBT people under way in Japan
Hiroko Masuhara wept when she came out as a lesbian, worried about how her friends would react to her long-held secret. They sobbed with her and offered words of encouragement and understanding.
Nobel laureate Satoshi Omura holds up the two things he always carries with him during an interview in Tokyo on Oct. 7--a photo of his wife and daughter and the kind of plastic bag he uses to scoop up soil samples for analysis. (Takuya Isayama)
Malaria is next on Nobel laureate Omura's hit list
Nobel winner Satoshi Omura, the brains behind the drug that has almost eliminated river blindness, has targeted a new enemy--malaria.
The Asahi Shimbun
Child abuse cases soar to record high 89,000 in fiscal 2014
The number of reported child abuse cases across Japan jumped by 20.5 percent to a record 88,931 in fiscal 2014, according to preliminary figures released by the welfare ministry on Oct. 8.
The Asahi Shimbun
National health care tops 40 trillion yen for 1st time
Japan's total annual expenditure on national health care in fiscal 2013 exceeded 40 trillion yen ($333 billion) for the first time, reflecting the growing ranks of elderly people and advances in medical technology.
The Monju prototype fast-breeder reactor operated by Japan Atomic Energy Agency in Fukui Prefecture (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Fault beneath Monju nuclear reactor likely inactive
A fault line beneath the Monju prototype fast-breeder reactor is likely inactive, according to Nuclear Regulation Authority experts.
The Mitsubishi Regional Jet during a ground test at Nagoya Airport on Oct. 7. (Ryo Inoue)
Japan’ first passenger jet undergoes ground trial in Nagoya
TOYOYAMA, Aichi Prefecture--Japan's first domestically produced passenger jet underwent a ground trial Oct. 7 in preparation for its inaugural test flight late this month.
A truck carrying tomato plants departs from Kumamoto on Oct. 7 to promote the local specialty around Japan. The prefecture's mascot, Kumamon, was too big to fit into the passenger's seat. (Haruna Ishikawa)
'Tomato field' hits the road to promote Kumamoto specialty
KUMAMOTO--Famed mascot Kumamon is issuing a red alert for Japan.
The ruins of Takeda Castle loom above low-lying fog Oct. 7. (Shunsaku Kai)
‘Castle in the sky’ looms like magic
ASAGO, Hyogo Prefecture--The ruins of Takeda Castle, known as "the castle in the sky," seem to float upon a sea of clouds on the morning of Oct. 7.
Diaries written by Katsuko Chimura between 1937 and 1942 (Etsuko Akuzawa)
Takarazuka performer a witness to Nazi orgy of violence against Jews in 1938
1938 was a dark time in Europe, but that's when the all-female Takarazuka Revue Co. decided to tour two of the countries that would be central to the conflict that would engulf much of the world.
Students at an elementary school in Cambodia's Svay Chrum district solve problems in an achievement test. (Provided by IVY Youth)
Yamagata students’ group donating early math lessons to boost Cambodian pupils
YAMAGATA--A group of university students here are trying to help children in Cambodia get a better education, by passing on basic mathematics drills they learned in elementary school.
Takaaki Kajita, this year's co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics, receives flowers after a news conference on Oct. 6 at the University of Tokyo. (Shogo Koshida)
Nobel Prize recipient carried on work of mentors at neutrino detector site
Takaaki Kajita’s long list of people who helped him win the Nobel Prize in Physics this year included colleagues, local residents and construction workers. But special emphasis was given to two mentors who made possible his prize-winning discovery of oscillations in ghostly particles called neutrinos.
Kitasato Institute for Life Sciences’ Laboratory of Bioorganic Chemistry where Satoshi Omura provided research guidance to students on Oct. 6 in Tokyo’s Minato Ward (Takuya Isayama)
Nobel laureate Omura still a big presence at laboratory he led
The laboratory where Nobel laureate Satoshi Omura led researchers as head about a decade ago is still a key hub for scientists dreaming of similar success in the same field.
The No. 3 reactor of the Ikata nuclear power plant in Ehime Prefecture in the foreground (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Ehime nuclear plant likely to restart soon after committee gives green light
The Ikata nuclear power plant moved a step closer to restarting after a special committee of the Ehime prefectural assembly gave the go-ahead Oct. 6.
Cattle farmer Yutaka Ogura tends Holstein oxen at his ranch in Obihiro, Hokkaido. (Hiroyuki Yamamoto)
Farmers fear TPP will kill their businesses and communities
Stripped of government protection, farmers across Japan fear their livelihoods and communities could collapse once they are exposed to cut-throat foreign competition when the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal takes effect.
An official of the Tokyo metropolitan government peels off a poster bearing the Tokyo Olympics logo Sept. 1. The design was dumped after allegations of plagiarism were leveled. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Olympics logo competition open to all, even foreign residents
A new competition to design the 2020 Tokyo Olympics logo will be thrown open to the public, and even small children and foreign residents are encouraged to take part.
Sixth-graders at Ogawa Elementary School introduce themselves to their counterparts in Ashburton, New Zealand, via a TV phone connection on Sept. 15. (Junji Kogure)
Japanese students partnering with pupils from around the world on art project through IT
HIGASHIURA, Aichi Prefecture--A unique cultural exchange program, which engages Japanese students in drawing murals with their counterparts from around the world, has drawn support from educators for promoting international classroom exchanges.
The Osaka International Peace Center displays almost no exhibits about Japan’s atrocities. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Don't mention wartime atrocities--at least not at most Japanese museums
Japan's museums tend to shy away from displaying exhibits showing the atrocities committed by the Imperial Japanese forces in World War II, an Asahi Shimbun study has found.
Takaaki Kajita (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Kajita, McDonald win Nobel physics prize for neutrino oscillation discovery
STOCKHOLM--Takaaki Kajita of Japan and Arthur McDonald of Canada have won the Nobel Prize in physics for the discovery of neutrino oscillations.
This photo taken from a crane shows the last panel being lifted from the roof of the 1 reactor building at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. (Provided by Tokyo Electric Power Co.)
TEPCO removes final canopy panel at damaged Fukushima reactor building
Tokyo Electric Power Co. finished dismantling a canopy covering a damaged reactor building at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant to allow workers to start removing debris.
The Radiation Effects Research Foundation in Hiroshima (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Researchers: A-bomb radiation does not increase cancer mortality risk in 'hibakusha' children
Children whose parents were directly exposed to radiation from the 1945 atomic bombings have the same death rate from cancer as the general population, the latest study by a joint Japanese-U.S. research institute showed.

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