A drill simulating a terrorist attack is held at Narita Airport in Chiba Prefecture on March 20. (Shoichi Otsu)
Narita Airport to replace security checks with surveillance cameras
NARITA, Chiba Prefecture--The operator of Narita Airport is set to replace security inspections for passengers and visitors with an electronic surveillance system.
Foreign participants in the U.N. World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction take part in a hot spring tour in Sendai on March 14. (Satoshi Kimura)
Tourists said 'Good night' a record 470 million times in Japan in 2014
The number of "overnight guests" in Japan rose to a record high in 2014, but the disaster-stricken Tohoku region is still struggling to reel in foreign tourists.
Parents seeking to meet with their children who were taken overseas without their consent seek help from the U.S. State Department in Washington on March 31, 2014, a day before the Hague Abduction Convention took effect in Japan. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Japan repatriates 8 children in 1st year under Hague abduction treaty
Japan has repatriated eight children to or from other countries in the year since it joined the Hague Convention on child abductions, according to the Foreign Ministry.
The city-supported solar power plant in Miyama, Fukuoka Prefecture, has a capacity of 5 megawatts. (Masanobu Higashiyama)
City challenges Kyushu Electric, sets up company to sell power to households
MIYAMA, Fukuoka Prefecture--Miyama has become the first local government in Japan to establish a company that will sell electricity to households--and at rates cheaper than regional monopoly Kyushu Electric Power Co.
Members of environmental groups call for cancellation of work related to the relocation of U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, to protect the environment in local waters during a news conference in Tokyo on March 25. (Orie Yoshihama)
Activists rally to call for halt to seabed surveys for new Okinawa base
A joint statement released by 31 environmental groups based in Japan and overseas called for an immediate halt to reclamation work for a new U.S. air base in Okinawa, citing damage to marine life in the area.
The lungs of mice infected with influenza viruses that have been injected with fluorescent protein genes (Provided by Yoshihiro Kawaoka)
Scientists develop technique to track flu virus without killing test animal
Japanese researchers have found a way to observe the spread of the influenza virus inside living tissue without the need to dissect, a development that may herald more effective treatments for conditions like pneumonia.
An illustration of the Expocity complex (Provided by Mitsui Fudosan Co.)
Osaka Expo site to reel in tourists with array of attractions
OSAKA--A huge complex featuring an aquarium, shopping center, Ferris wheel and an English learning center is being built on the site where the Osaka Expo was held in 1970.
Atsuko Uehara, a victim of the March 10, 1945, U.S. air raid on Tokyo, speaks of her experiences at a gathering in Jerusalem on March 23. (Takashi Watanabe)
In message to Israelis, Japanese wartime victims detail horrors of bombings
JERUSALEM--Japanese survivors of U.S. bombing attacks in World War II urged the people of Israel to understand the tremendous damage inflicted on civilian populations during wartime.
This photo provided in Paris on March 25 by the BEA, the French Air Accident Investigation Agency, shows part of the voice data recorder of the Germanwings jetliner that crashed on March 24 in the French Alps. (AP Photo)
Cockpit voice tape studied in Airbus crash amid report that pilot locked out
SEYNE-LES-ALPES/ PARIS--Investigators have retrieved cockpit voice recordings from one of the "black boxes" of the German jet that crashed in the Alps, killing everyone on board, and The New York Times said the audio showed one of the pilots left the cockpit and could not get back in before the plane went down.
New signs in front of Himeji Castle's Hishi no Mon gate come in Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean. (Kazuki Endo)
Himeji's World Heritage castle adds amenities for foreign visitors
HIMEJI, Hyogo Prefecture--Foreign tourists will find this city’s prized Himeji Castle significantly more accommodating with the addition of more signs, tour plans and free Wi-Fi service.
A rope hangs from a rescue helicopter flying past debris of a Germanwings passenger jet, scattered on the mountainside, near Seyne les Alpes, France, on March 24. (AP Photo)
Plane crash kills 150 in French Alps; two Japanese believed to be on board
SEYNE-LES-ALPES, France--A black box recovered from the scene and pulverized pieces of debris strewn across Alpine mountainsides held clues to what caused a German jetliner to take an unexplained eight-minute dive on March 24 midway through a flight from Spain to Germany, apparently killing all 150 people on board.
Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou, right, arrives at the Istana, or Presidential Palace, to pay his respects to the late Lee Kuan Yew on March 24 in Singapore. (AP Photo)
In rare visit, Taiwan president attends memorial for Singapore’s Lee
TAIPEI/ BEIJING--Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou on March 24 attended a memorial ceremony for Lee Kuan Yew in a rare visit to Singapore that drew a word of caution from China.
Lee Kuan Yew, the founding father of modern Singapore, left, walks with Japanese Prime Minister Eisaku Sato in Japan in 1967. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Abe to attend funeral of Singapore’s founding father
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to attend the state funeral of Lee Kuan Yew, the former prime minister of Singapore who founded the city state, The Asahi Shimbun has learned.
Pope Francis talks to reporters on Dec. 1 on a flight after visiting Turkey. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Pope cites Fukushima nuclear crisis as a modern-day Tower of Babel
ROME--Pope Francis warned against the dangers of arrogance in comparing the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant crisis to the biblical Tower of Babel, in a talk held with Japanese bishops in the Vatican.
A Bryan's shearwater found on Higashijima island on the Ogasawara island chain in February 2015 (Provided by the Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute)
Rare seabird's nesting ground discovered on isle south of Tokyo
A nesting ground of Bryan’s shearwaters, a rare seabird species once believed extinct, was found for the first time in the world on an uninhabited island nearly 1,000 kilometers south of Tokyo, researchers said.
Cynthia Ruble, left, and her adopted son Micah, center, talk with a woman, who is holding her child, in the Life Hope Network house in Nagoya. (Minako Yoshimoto)
American-led Nagoya group helping women with unwanted pregnancies for 10 years
NAGOYA--On a recent day, Cynthia Ruble, who heads the Life Hope Network (LHN), which helps women with unplanned pregnancies, was speaking with a young woman who was holding a baby here in Nakagawa Ward at her group's office.
Taizo Nishimuro, chairman of an advisory panel on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's statement to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, right, and the deputy chair, Shinichi Kitaoka, speak to reporters after the panel's meeting on March 13. (Shinichi Iizuka)
Panel on Abe’s war statement bickers over meaning of 'aggression'
A heated debate erupted over the definition of “aggression” at an advisory panel meeting discussing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s planned statement to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.
Himeji Castle in Himeji, Hyogo Prefecture, left, after the completion of a major renovation (Asahi Shimbun file photo) and Neuschwanstein Castle in the southern German state of Bavaria (Provided by the Bavarian state government)
World's 2 top must-see castles agree to cooperate in tourism promotion
SCHWANGAU, Germany--With an eye on gaining what the other has, two of the world’s most popular castles--Japan’s Himeji Castle and Germany’s Neuschwanstein Castle here--will ink a friendship pact on March 26 to cooperate in tourism promotional efforts.
The Asahi Shimbun's three public editors, from left, Hatsuhisa Takashima, Keiko Kojima and Michikazu Kono
Asahi to establish 'public editor' system from April
The Asahi Shimbun will establish a "public editor" system in April to serve as a bridge between readers and its news department.
Tourists enjoy a close-up view of the first cherry blossoms of the season in bloom from a ride at Ueno Park in Tokyo’s Taito Ward on March 23. (Takeshi Tokitsu)
PHOTO: Cherry blossoms show their spring colors in Tokyo landmarks
Marking a colorful harbinger of spring, the Japan Meteorological Agency announced on March 23 that cherry blossoms were starting to bloom in central Tokyo.

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