China's President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan arrive at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, Vietnam, on Nov. 5, 2015. (AP Photo)
Role as China's first lady silences voice of popular singer
BEIJING--In China in the early 1980s, singer Peng Liyuan became a household name.
Tetsuji Imanaka (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Defiant to the end, last of Group of Six anti-nuclear scientists about to retire
KUMATORI, Osaka Prefecture--Tetsuji Imanaka is the last of the so-called Kumatori Group of Six, a maverick band of nuclear scientists at an elite university here that spent decades speaking out against nuclear energy.
Eriko Imai (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
LDP eyes SPEED member Imai for a run in Upper House election
The ruling Liberal Democratic Party is set to field pop sensation Eriko Imai of the mega-hit dance group SPEED in the Upper House election this summer, sources said Feb. 5.
A baby boy is rescued from a collapsed building after an earthquake in Tainan, Taiwan, on Saturday. (AP Photo)
UPDATE: 7 dead, hundreds rescued and injured in Taiwan quake
TAINAN, Taiwan--Rescuers raced to find additional survivors after a powerful, shallow earthquake struck southern Taiwan before dawn Saturday and collapsed a high-rise residential complex, killing at least seven people and sending scores to hospital.
Junpei Kanazashi, a member of the Takumi Project, makes “washi” traditional paper in Minamata, Kumamoto Prefecture. (Photo by Masako Imaoka)
Crisis in vanishing traditional Japanese crafts prompts new push in Europe
Fourth-generation tatami shop master Yoshiaki Kagami shares Japanese craftsmen's sense of crisis as fewer people are engaged in traditional industries.
Cows wear Gunze Ltd.'s Ushiburu cooling smartwear jacket during an experiment in Ayabe, Kyoto Prefecture. (Provided by Gunze Ltd.)
Cows can 'chill out' in jacket that helps beat the heat
An underwear manufacturer is developing a “smartwear” garment for cows to help them cool off during sweltering summers, facilitating their ability to produce milk.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a Diet session on Feb. 5 (Shinichi Iizuka)
EDITORIAL: Abe’s perverse argument for rewriting Constitution
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been aggressively signaling his eagerness to rewrite the Constitution, which potentially includes the revision of its war-renouncing Article 9.
Police officers cordon off a street to prevent a group of immigrants, who were pulled out from an abandoned industrial warehouse where they where living, in Barcelona on Jan. 7, 2013. (AP Photo)
VOX POPULI: The antidote to vicious rumors is telling the truth
Writer Saiichi Maruya (1925-2012) penned a personal episode in which a situation he faced ended up being portrayed totally in reverse of what had happened.
Workers install a ridgepole on the roof of the main hall of Kasuga Taisha shrine in Nara on Feb. 4. (Yumi Kurita)
Heavy ridgepoles installed on rooftop at Kasuga Taisha shrine in Nara
NARA—Workers installed repaired ridgepoles on the main hall of Kasuga Taisha shrine here on Feb. 4 as part of “shikinen zotai,” or reconstruction work conducted every 20 years on the eighth-century World Heritage shrine.
Japan's Meteorological Agency said Sakurajima on the southern island of Kyushu erupted at around 7 p.m. on Feb. 5. (Provided by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism)
Sakurajima volcano erupts spectacularly in southern Japan
One of Japan's most active volcanos erupted spectacularly Friday evening with a fiery blast that sent lava rolling down its slope.
An F-100 fighter jet similar to the one involved in the accident at the Osan Air Base in South Korea is seen in this 1957 photo taken at the Itazuke Air Base in Fukuoka city. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
U.S. fighter from Fukuoka involved in 1959 nuclear accident in South Korea
Newly uncovered documents and other testimony about a U.S. nuclear weapon accident reveal a Japan connection that was kept hidden from the Japanese public for more than half a century.
Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda replies to a question from Seiji Maehara, a lawmaker of the largest opposition Democratic Party of Japan, in the Lower House Budget Committee on Feb. 4. (Shinichi Iizuka)
BOJ governor doesn't exclude possibility of negative interest rates on individuals' deposits
Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda refused on Feb. 4 to rule out a possibility that negative interest rates are applied to individuals' deposits, but added that it is not "realistic."
A former 'comfort woman' and her supporters attend a protest gathering near the Japanese Embassy in Seoul on Jan. 27. (Toru Higashioka)
14 former 'comfort women' positive about Japan-South Korea agreement
SEOUL--Fourteen of the 46 surviving “comfort women” expressed favorable views about the Tokyo-Seoul agreement described as a “final and irreversible resolution” to the wartime issue, according to media reports.
The Oura Cathedral in Nagasaki (Mahito Kaai)
Japan pulling nomination of Christianity-related sites in Nagasaki for World Heritage list
Japan will withdraw its nomination of Christianity-related sites for listing as a UNESCO World Heritage site this year after U.N. experts called for a sweeping review of the recommendation, government sources said Feb. 4.
Tourists check out a gigantic “Attack on Titan” snow sculpture at Odori Park in Sapporo’s Chuo Ward on Feb. 5. (Kotaro Ebara)
‘Attack on Titan’ colossus invades Sapporo Snow Festival
SAPPORO--A gigantic snow sculpture of a man-eating humanoid from “Attack on Titan” is one of the many attractions at the popular 67th Sapporo Snow Festival, which kicked off on Feb. 5.
A crowd gathers to witness the unique view called “Diamond Fuji” from Meijijingu Gaien, Tokyo, on Feb. 4. (Tatsuya Shimada)
Crowds gather for rare ‘Diamond Fuji’ view from central Tokyo
The “Diamond Fuji” phenomenon of the sun setting over Japan’s emblematic mountain drew a large crowd to Meijijingu Gaien on Feb. 4.
An "oni" goblin performer frightens a local boy during this year's "setsubun" festival in the Ogori district in Yamaguchi on Feb. 3. (Kae Terao)
Scary ‘oni’ goblins kids' video posted by Asahi Shimbun goes viral
YAMAGUCHI--With humorous videos featuring frightened kids being a staple of YouTube, The Asahi Shimbun’s footage of a traditional Japanese “setsubun” festival found a wildly popular home there.
Figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu plays the role of Date Shigemura, lord of the Sendai Domain. ((c)2016 “Tono, Risoku de Gozaru!” production committee)
Olympic champion figure skater to play warlord in samurai movie
Olympic gold-winning figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu will star as a samurai warlord in his first film this May, movie production company Shochiku Co. announced.
Snow huts are illuminated during the Shinhotaka Onsen Nakao Kamakura Matsuri festival in Takayama, Gifu Prefecture, on Feb.1. (Minako Yoshimoto)
PHOTO: Snow huts festival is a winter warmer in chilly Takayama
TAKAYAMA, Gifu Prefecture--People wanting to escape the winter chill of this mountainous city could do worse than the illuminated snow huts of the Shinhotaka Onsen Nakao Kamakura Matsuri festival.
An artist's rendition of the 9000 series train that will be introduced next year on Nishi-Nippon Railroad Co.'s Tenjin-Omuta Line (Provided by Nishi-Nippon Railroad Co.)
Fukuoka’s Nishitetsu railway to run new commuter train in 2017
FUKUOKA--Nishi-Nippon Railroad Co. (Nishitetsu) will introduce a commuter train here next year with modern amenities that will eventually phase out its well-known 5000 series train, it was announced Feb. 4.

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