An estimated 1,500 tons of illegally disposed tombstones are seen at a site in Minami-Awaji, Hyogo Prefecture, on June 16. (Junko Saimoto)
Abandoned tombstones piling up across Japan in shadow of rapidly aging population
Some 30 minutes by car from JR Takamatsu Station in Kagawa Prefecture, a lonely site on the side of a mountain is where abandoned tombstones go to their final resting place.
Dennis Blair, left, and Cho Sei-young (Photos by Takashi Watanabe and Atsushi Hiroshima)
The implications of Japanese collective self-defense on Korean Peninsula
A military conflict on the Korean Peninsula was one scenario envisioned by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet when it decided to allow Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense.
Fathers and mothers hold a banner celebrating Japan's decision to join the Hague Convention during a rally in Tokyo's Yoyogi Park on March 29, while demanding a "society where parents can meet their children." (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Hague child abduction treaty applied for 1st time to Japanese child at British court
A court in London ordered a Japanese woman living in Britain to return with her child to Japan to sort out custody issues under the terms of the Hague child abduction treaty.
The AX-XP100, the newest model of Sharp Corp.'s Healsio water oven series goes on sale in September. Sharp says the oven can bake and steam food simultaneously. (Tetsushi Yamamura)
Sharp to introduce water oven that can both bake and steam at same time
Sharp Corp. will release a new model of its popular Healsio water oven that can both bake and steam at the same time, which the company said is a world first.
The tarantula found on the campus of Kagoshima University (Kunihiro Hayashi)
Tarantula takes unwelcome tour of Kagoshima campus
KAGOSHIMA--Students and professors at Kagoshima University have been warned to avoid touching any tarantula they may come across after one was found on the campus.
Toyota Motor Corp. President Akio Toyoda at a news conference in Tokyo in May (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Toyota remains at top in sales after first half, beating VW and GM
Toyota remains No. 1 in global vehicles sales after the first six months of this year, followed by Volkswagen which bumped General Motors out of second place as the U.S. automaker grapples with a recall scandal.
The more comfortable wig-like cap developed by the National Cancer Center and medical wig maker TGS for cancer patients who experience hair loss (Tokiko Tsuji)
Comfortable wig developed for cancer patients is light as a scarf
The National Cancer Center in Tokyo and a medical wig maker have developed a lightweight, less constrictive wig-like cap for cancer sufferers experiencing hair loss.
Visitors check out blooming spider flowers at Awaji Hanasajiki park in Awaji, Hyogo Prefecture, on July 29. (Mari Endo)
PHOTO: Awaji Island awash in vivid colors as thousands of spider flowers reach full bloom
AWAJI, Hyogo Prefecture--A hillside that forms part of the Awaji Hanasajiki prefectural park here was ablaze in pink, white and purple July 29 as tens of thousands of vibrant cleome came into full bloom.
Ralph Cossa (Photo by Yuko Lanham)
INTERVIEW/ Ralph Cossa: China will gain respect for U.S. in joint Pacific military exercise
A noted American national security expert welcomed China's first participation in an ongoing U.S.-led maritime exercise around Hawaii, saying the Chinese can see the United States and many of its allies in action up close and realize the disparity with its own forces.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attends the first meeting of the Council for Combating Childhood Poverty held at the prime minister’s office on April 4. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
EDITORIAL: Labor reforms for single mothers needed to alleviate child poverty
The government needs to first tackle the here-and-now problems of poverty if any improvements are to be made in the situation.
Police watch over students on July 29 at the funeral of their 15-year-old female high school classmate who was slain by a 16-year-old fellow student in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture. (The Asahi Shimbun)
VOX POPULI: Callow vagaries of youth lead to teenager's violent and tragic end
The English idiom "salad days" means a time of youthful inexperience. The phrase has a contemporary vibe to it--or so it feels to me, at least. But it was first used in the 17th century in Shakespeare's "Antony and Cleopatra": "My salad days/ When I was green in judgment, cold in blood ..."
The Asahi Shimbun
Global warming blamed for shrinking Ayu trout
Master angler Jiro Shirataki is puzzled that the average size of his catches of tasty "ayu" trout have become “noticeably smaller than before.”
A mock Scud-B missile of North Korea, left, and other South Korean missiles are displayed at the Korea War Memorial Museum in Seoul May 20, 2013. (AP Photo)
South Korea says North Korea fires 4 projectiles
SEOUL--North Korea fired four short-range projectiles toward the ocean off its east coast on July 30 in its latest in a series of missile and artillery tests, officials said.
Theodore "Dutch" Van Kirk, second from right, and other crew members of the Enola Gay while in Tinian, one of the Northern Mariana Islands, in August 1945 (American National Archives)
Last U.S. crew member of Hiroshima bomber dies
Theodore "Dutch" Van Kirk, the last surviving member of the Enola Gay plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, has died at a retirement home in Georgia at age 93.
Tourists crouch as they explore the lava cave called "Saiko Komori Ana" (Saiko lake bat cave) in Fujikawaguchiko, Yamanashi Prefecture, on July 26. (Hiroshi Kawai)
Tourists beating the heat in cool lava cave at the foot of Mount Fuji
FUJIKAWAGUCHIKO, Yamanashi Prefecture--Wearing helmets, vacationers are taking a respite from the sweltering heat here, venturing into a cool, narrow cave that is designated a national natural treasure.
Scoop cake (Photo by Katsumi Oyama)
JAPANESE HOME COOKING: Summer is a good time for “scoop cake” with fruit
The summer holidays have begun, so cooking expert Masayo Waki has come up with a “scoop cake” parents can make with their children.
 "Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal" ((c) Naoko Takeuchi/ PNP/ KODANSHA/ TOEI ANIMATION)
ANIME NEWS: New 'Sailor Moon' audience hits 1 million in just 2 days
The new "Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal" series began its much-anticipated worldwide simulcast July 5, with the first episode gaining one million views in two days.
A Renfro showroom in New York (Provided by Itochu Corp.)
Itochu invests in major U.S. manufacturer of legwear products
Itochu Corp. announced July 30 that the trading house and its New York subsidiary, Itochu International Inc., have acquired 25 percent of the shares in RC Holding LLC, which owns Renfro Corp., a manufacturer and distributor of legwear products in the United States.
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Japan to crack down on illegal uploaders of anime, manga
The economy ministry said that it will begin on Aug. 1 to monitor and remove uploaded pirated copies of 580 works of anime and manga.
A suicide note written by a 25-year-old newspaper reporter appears on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter.
Journalists feeling the heat amid ever-tightening media control in China
BEIJING--The recent suicide of a provincial newspaper reporter underscores the acute pressure facing journalists working under stricter state control in China.

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