| News from Japan that may raise an eyebrow, or indeed both eyebrows ...
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Japan Airlines (JAL) on Friday carried out the world's first successful test flight of a Boeing aeroplane run on biofuel made primarily of a non-food energy crop called camelina.
Resource-poor Japan just discovered a new source of mineral wealth -- sewage. A sewage treatment facility in central Japan has recorded a higher gold yield from sludge than can be found at some of the world's best mines.
Two Japanese boys brought a World War II bomb to class, flustering teachers on the island of Okinawa which was the scene of the Pacific conflict's bloodiest battle
Known as Mitsukurina Owstoni, the goblin shark is truly an odd and lonely creature. Identified mainly by the unusual shape of its head, or snout, which is much longer than other sharks, and also its odd colored pink skin.
Seven Japanese have fallen ill with one in a critical condition after eating the testes of blowfish, police said Tuesday, renewing public fears over the dangerous delicacy. The group ate raw meat and baked testes of blowfish -- known in Japan as fugu -- at an upscale restaurant late Monday in Tsuruoka, an old castle town by the Sea of Japan (East Sea), 350 kilometres (220 miles) north of Tokyo.
Overwhelmed by a growing number of misbehaving tourists, Tokyo fishmongers banned all visitors from one of the city's most popular tourist destinations — the pre-dawn tuna auctions at the world's largest seafood market. The ban, imposed during the peak New Year buying season, was front-page news before it was lifted last week. Now, the tourists are back, but the debate goes on: Can tourists be trusted around the tuna?
Members of the international whale body are negotiating a compromise to let Japan hunt whales near its shores in exchange for cutting back its Antarctic hunts.
Musou Tsuribashi, known as “Japan’s Scariest Suspension Bridge”, is extremely narrow and precarious. Located in the Southern Japanese Alps, also known as the Akaishi Mountains, the bridge dates back to the 1950s, marking it as not only the scariest, but also Japan’s oldest remaining suspension bridge.
Launched in December, the "Nioi-bu," or Smell Club, has registered more than 160 scents around the world, ranging from "steam coming out of a rice cooker" to "used socks in the summer," and pinpointed their locations on a Google map.
A new study has revealed genetic links between people who inhabited northern Peru more than 1,000 years ago and the Japanese.
Police say that more than 2,200 Japanese committed suicide due to work conditions in 2007. The figure represented only a fraction of the problem, some say. They estimate some 10,000 workers in the same year suffered heart attacks or strokes, which were sometimes fatal, due to stress.
Canon's camcorder production plant in Japan's lush southwestern prefecture of Oita is not only closed to the public, it's not accessible to anyone outside of the company other than the most high-ranking dignitaries. The Emperor himself is one of the few people outside of Canon to tour the factory in recent years.
Japan's apparent attempts to rewrite its wartime past has reignited a row amid reports that new school textbooks will not state that the military coerced civilians into mass suicides faced with certain defeat during the Battle of Okinawa in 1945.
The number of people who made New Year's visits to major shrines or temples in Japan this year has reached a record high, statistics have shown. According to the statistics, 99.39 million people visited shrines or temples, a 1.21 million increase from last year and the highest figure dating back to NPA records in 1974.
Injury-weary Mongolian grand champion Asashoryu is set to make his return to the raised ring at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament kicking off in Tokyo this weekend, his stablemaster Takasago said. Asashoryu missed the entire Kyushu meet with an elbow injury and pulled out midway in the previous two basho, meaning he will be fighting with his career on the line when the 15-day meet opens at Ryogoku Kokugikan on Sunday.
And he doing well in the tournament
But 'bad boy' Asashoryu could be in hot water again
And his stablemaster is reprimanded for Asa's behaviour
Japan's hotline for people considering killing themselves is stretched to its limit, with the economic crisis feared to be worsening the country's suicide problem, its director said on Wednesday. More than 30,000 people kill themselves every year in Japan, giving the country one of the world's highest suicide rates.
Japan's imperial family on Wednesday paid respects at the tomb of the country's wartime emperor, Hirohito, who died 20 years ago.
Big international names rushed to arrive amid boom but travelers are now growing scarce. Bruised by the fallout from the global financial turmoil and signs the tourism industry is shrinking, international luxury hotels, such as Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, in Tokyo are trying to diversify their slim guest portfolios to weather the current crisis.
Japanese researchers have successfully cloned what is believed to have been the progenitor ox of Gifu Prefecture's "Hidagyu" beef. Hida beef is considered of excellent quality and flavor from Hida steers, raised in the meadows of Hida’s plateau.
The Japanese passion for sushi is apparently immune to the global economic crisis. A plump tuna on Monday fetched 9.6 million yen (104,300 dollars) at Tokyo's Tsukiji fish market, the second highest price ever. This year's first auction took place before dawn at the world's largest fish market, with 730 tunas lined up for bidding.
The spirit of Murasaki Shikibu, author of “Tale of Genji,” abounds in Kyoto, as at a purification ceremony with period costumes at the Jonengu shrine. Considered by some to be the world’s first novel, “Genji” evokes particular pride in Japan’s ancient capital.