The Japan Times (721)

IS holds terrified civilians as human shields in Syrian city

Residents of the northern Syrian city of Raqqa live in terror, trapped as a massive human shield in the Islamic State's de facto capital ahead of the final battle with U.S.-backed opposition forces for the militant group's last major urban stronghold. A belt of land mines and militant checkpoints ...

USA Hockey, women reach agreement

While the impending start of the world championships created urgency for USA Hockey and the women's national team to hammer out a deal, the agreement had everything to do with tournaments over the next four years and beyond. The sides finalized an agreement Tuesday night that avoided what would've ...

Change to Japan's marathon team selection in works for 2020

The Japan Association of Athletics Federations is considering changing the national marathon team selection process for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in a bid to bring more transparency to the procedure, a source close to the situation said Wednesday. Under the envisioned plan, two of Japan's three spots ...

Participation in discussions on global issues essential

The Japan Times had the privilege of welcoming William Hiroyuki Saito, a special advisor to the Cabinet Office on cybersecurity to a lecture held at The Japan Times' Nifco Hall on March 13. Having entered the University of California, Riverside, at the age of 16, he later incorporated I/O Software ...

LDP panel urges government to let Japan strike North Korean missile bases in event of attack

A ruling Liberal Democratic Party security policy panel urged the government Wednesday to let Japan directly strike North Korean missile bases in the event Pyongyang stages a ballistic missile attack. The post LDP panel urges government to let Japan strike North Korean missile bases in event of ...

'Nekoatsume House': The cat's meow of Japanese comedy

Japanese audiences never seem to tire of movies about dogs and cats. The millions of devoted pet owners here are certainly one reason, though the Brits, also known for their animal worship, do not express it as often in films. Masatoshi Kurakata's delightful, blood-pressure-lowering ...

'Captain Fantastic': Fantastic viewing for all the family

Matt Ross is probably best known for his role in the HBO comedy series “Silicon Valley,” where he plays the arrogant CEO Gavin Belson of Google-like IT giant Hooli. Belson is a man wired deep into the matrix, for whom nothing matters more than massive functionality in lossless ...

Lead teacher in doomed Tochigi mountaineering excursion said instructors believed conditions safe

The leader of a mountaineering excursion held by a high school in Tochigi Prefecture said Wednesday that instructors thought the conditions were good enough to conduct training before an avalanche killed seven students and a teacher. “At the time, we thought it was absolutely safe” to ...

'Author: The JT Leroy Story': Was there truth behind the fiction?

Call it a massive literary hoax or twisted identity theft. Or just call it art. Either way, “Author: The JT LeRoy Story” will fascinate and at the same time cause much frustrated head-scratching. This documentary by Jeff Feuerzeig puts the novelist Laura Albert on center stage, and boy ...

Samuel L. Jackson: Always looking for the next big adventure

If you're one of those people who bought a Kangol cap in the late 1990s with the notion that maybe it will make you seem as cool as Samuel L. Jackson , then read on. SLJ came The post Samuel L. Jackson: Always looking for the next big adventure appeared first on The Japan Times.

U.K.'s May signs letter triggering British exit from EU

The U.K. started the clock on two years of negotiations to withdraw from the European Union on Wednesday, a divorce that will redefine the country's relationship with its largest trading partner and bring to an end decades of deepening political integration on the continent. Prime Minister Theresa ...

Families of 'karoshi' victims lambaste overtime cap recommendations as legalizing unhealthy working hours

Families of people who have died from overwork blasted a report adopted Tuesday by a government labor reform panel, saying its call for creating a monthly overtime cap of 100 hours could effectively legalize long working hours at the expense of workers' health. Emiko Teranishi, 68, head of the ...

Plans to scrap reactors on hold as NRA raises concerns over nuclear waste

The Nuclear Regulation Authority on Wednesday postponed a decision on whether to approve decommissioning plans for five old reactors, raising questions about whether deadlines for scrapping the units can be met. The NRA is expected to eventually green-light the decommissioning plans, but will for ...

The psychological perils of a Japanese homestay

All the homestays I have done in my life — three of them — were psychologically traumatic in uniquely torturous ways. The post The psychological perils of a Japanese homestay appeared first on The Japan Times.

For long-distance lovers, apps that make the heart grow fonder

Thanks to technology, your loved one can always be with you, in your pocket — or under your thumb. The post For long-distance lovers, apps that make the heart grow fonder appeared first on The Japan Times.

Westinghouse files for bankruptcy after Toshiba approval

Toshiba Corp's troubled U.S. nuclear unit Westinghouse filed for Chapter 11 protection from creditors on Wednesday, as its parent seeks to limit losses that have plunged it into crisis. The post Westinghouse files for bankruptcy after Toshiba approval appeared first on The Japan Times.

Don't obstruct efforts to ban nuclear weapons

It is time for the so-called realists to get real about the existential dangers of a world brimming with nuclear weapons. The post Don't obstruct efforts to ban nuclear weapons appeared first on The Japan Times.

Arrest in China unnerves Australia

China's detention of a Sydney professor spotlights its questionable record when it comes to respect for academic freedom and human rights, and casts a shadow over Sino-Australian relations. The post Arrest in China unnerves Australia appeared first on The Japan Times.

The truth about deflation

It may be time for the government to realize that simple prescriptions that combine monetary and fiscal expansionary policies will not cure Japan's deep-rooted economic problems. The post The truth about deflation appeared first on The Japan Times.

Five things Democrats could do to save party

Republicans could come out of the Trump debacle stronger than they went in if Democrats don't act to avoid political irrelevance. The post Five things Democrats could do to save party appeared first on The Japan Times.

Newly learned skills helped save student mountaineers from deadly avalanche

Testimony from survivors of Monday's deadly avalanche suggests that many used newly learned mountaineering skills to survive the disaster before trying to save others. The post Newly learned skills helped save student mountaineers from deadly avalanche appeared first on The Japan Times.

Dollar hits ¥111 on strong U.S. consumer confidence data

The dollar climbed above ¥111 in Tokyo trading on Wednesday, buoyed by strong U.S. consumer confidence data released overnight, as well as speculation of further interest rates hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve. At 5 p.m., the dollar stood at ¥111.09-10, up from ¥110.68-68 at the same time ...

In Tochigi avalanche, teacher's instruction to 'get down' was a dangerous mistake: experts

As details emerged of Monday's devastating avalanche at a ski resort in Tochigi Prefecture, which killed seven high school students and a teacher, an instruction given by a teacher has come under scrutiny. According to media reports, a supervising teacher shouted “get down” upon noticing ...

Hawks looking to redress balance of Pacific League power

The following is the first of a two-part NPB preview beginning with the 2016 Pacific League. In order of predicted finish: Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks 2016: 83-54-6 The Hawks would be within their rights to enter this season feeling as if they should be the defending champs. Really, if not for an ...

Workplace bullying widespread at fire departments, survey shows

Twenty-eight percent of women working at fire departments nationwide experienced sexual harassment at work in the past year, a government survey has found. The survey of 733 fire departments also found 17.5 percent of male employees experienced power harassment, a type of workplace bullying. Despite ...

Japan and Australia harshly criticized for no-show at U.N. nuke ban talks

A Japanese atomic bomb survivor and an Aboriginal Australian who lived through multiple nuclear tests slammed their respective governments Tuesday for not participating in U.N. negotiations on a treaty to ban nuclear weapons. “I especially condemn the Japanese government's inability to fully ...

Konno out for four to six weeks with broken toe

Gamba Osaka midfielder Yasuyuki Konno, who broke his left toe during Japan's away World Cup qualifier against the United Arab Emirates last week, will need four to six weeks to recover fully from the injury, the J. League club said Wednesday. Konno filled in for Japan captain Makoto Hasebe, who ...

Nikkei edges up on weaker yen, Wall Street's rise

The key Nikkei average closed marginally higher on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Wednesday, supported by the yen's weakening against the dollar and brisk U.S. equities overnight. The 225-issue Nikkei average gained 14.61 points, or 0.08 percent, to end at 19,217.48. On Tuesday, the key market gauge ...

Oilers end 11-year playoff drought

The Edmonton Oilers are finally back in the playoffs. Cam Talbot made 34 saves as the Oilers officially earned a postseason berth for the first time in 11 years with a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night. “It's a special feeling tonight, especially seeing how passionate the ...

Japanese and South Korean investors plow cash into structured products

Yield-starved Japanese investors are taking out the cash stashed under the futon and plowing it into potentially risky securities. Faced with domestic bond yields below zero and a rally in global equities that only recently had some wobbles, domestic retail investors drove sales of bonds tied to the ...

Brazil punches ticket for World Cup

Brazil became the first team to qualify for the World Cup on Tuesday after beating Paraguay to clinch an eighth consecutive victory as Argentina's campaign stumbled after the shock suspension of Lionel Messi. Five-time champion Brazil had been left waiting in suspense after goals from Neymar, ...

Japanese professor among 2017 Gairdner medical prize laureates

Japanese professor Akira Endo will be one of this year's Canada Gairdner Award laureates for his discovery of statins, an achievement that led to the development of cholesterol-lowering medicines, the award's foundation said Tuesday. Endo, 83, a distinguished professor emeritus at Tokyo University ...

In Trump's White House drama, Priebus is favorite target

In the behind-the-scenes drama of who's up and who's down in Donald Trump's White House, chief of staff Reince Priebus is playing a starring role. Priebus, a genial Midwesterner with deep ties to the Republican establishment that Trump toppled, has faced questions about his future since the day he ...

Clinton jabs Trump in first major post-election speech

an Francisco A spirited Hillary Clinton took on the Trump administration Tuesday in one of her first public speeches since she lost the presidential election, criticizing the country's Republican leaders on everything from health care to the shortage of women appointees in top administration ...

Plans for Kyushu 'spamusement park' progress after campaign raises necessary funds

A city in Kyushu that hosts one of the world's largest hot-spring resorts has said it will open an amusement park this summer with a hot-tub merry-go-round and other bathing-themed rides following the success of a promotional video launched in November. Beppu Mayor Yasuhiro Nagano pledged to open a ...

Vision failing, Tsukiji wholesaler carries on

Yutaka Kadono, 80, was supposed to retire from his business as an intermediate wholesaler at the Tsukiji fish market last October. Kadono has glaucoma in his left eye, which means it takes more time to judge a good fish, prompting him to decide to throw in the towel. Wholesalers cut tuna in blocs ...

Satellite imagery shows North Korea may be in final stages of preparing for nuclear test

Satellite imagery of North Korea's main nuclear test site “strongly suggests” that preparations for the country's sixth atomic test are entering the final stages, a leading U.S. website that monitors the isolated nation said Tuesday. The 38 North website, a project of the U.S.-Korea ...

Lower House panel warns against overuse of state secrecy law

A Lower House panel has voiced concern about the classification procedures of state secrets, warning that the nation's controversial secrecy law was being overused. In a report released on Wednesday, the intelligence surveillance panel stopped short of issuing official recommendations, saying its ...

Warriors beat Rockets for 60th win

Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors didn't get much time to celebrate their 60th win, not with a game at San Antonio coming Wednesday night. Curry scored 32 points, Klay Thompson had 25 and the Warriors built a big lead early and held on for a 113-106 win over the Houston Rockets on Tuesday ...

Canon buys U.K. photo startup in bid for smartphone relevance

Canon Inc., the Tokyo-based consumer electronics firm, is buying U.K. startup Kite, a company that helps people order photo albums, mugs or phone cases customized with images from their smartphone cameras. Eighty-year-old Canon, best known for printers and cameras, has struggled to stay relevant to ...

LDP seeking evidence of perjury in Kagoike's Diet testimony

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party said Tuesday it will use parliamentary authority to investigate whether the head of controversial school operator Moritomo Gakuen lied during sworn testimony before the Diet last week. Yasunori Kagoike was hauled before the Diet to answer questions over a murky ...

U.S. may deepen effort against Iran-allied rebels in Yemen

The United States is considering deepening its role in Yemen's conflict by more directly aiding its Persian Gulf allies battling Iran-aligned Houthi rebels, officials say, potentially relaxing a U.S. policy that limited American support. The review of potential new U.S. assistance, which includes ...

A year after taking power, regal Suu Kyi struggles to move Myanmar on from conflict

At the beginning of this year, Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi sat down with one of her advisers to go through priorities for the coming months. She began with an apology for the slow pace of economic reform. “You must be very disappointed,” she said. “You know, my plan had been ...

Black WWII hero recognized six decades late, Carl Clark, dies at 100

Carl Clark, a black Californian who was recognized six decades late with a medal of honor for his bravery during World War II, has died at 100 years old. Clark, who received the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal in 2012, died March 16 at a Veterans' Administration hospital in Menlo Park, said ...

Iran steps up support for Shiite ally in Yemen proxy war

Iran is sending advanced weapons and military advisers to Yemen's rebel Houthi movement, stepping up support for its Shiite ally in a civil war whose outcome could sway the balance of power in the Middle East, regional and Western sources say. Iran's enemy Saudi Arabia is leading a Sunni Arab ...

White House staff, like Trump, will skip annual dinner with correspondents

Along with President Donald Trump, the White House staff will skip this year's White House Correspondents' Association Dinner. The White House Correspondents' Association announced Tuesday evening that they had been informed that staffers would not attend out of “solidarity” with the ...

Trump to meet China's Xi first week in April, senior State Department official says

Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet with President Donald Trump the first full week of April, a senior State Department official said Tuesday. The first in-person encounter between the leaders comes after Trump sharply criticized China during the presidential campaign. But he is now seeking ...

China confirms detention of Taiwan pro-democracy activist

China's government said Wednesday it has detained a Taiwanese pro-democracy activist and is investigating him on suspicion of “pursuing activities harmful to national security.” Spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office Ma Xiaoguang said Lee Ming-che, 42, was in good health, but gave no ...

Former Pentagon chief Ash Carter returns to teach at Harvard

Former Defense Secretary Ash Carter is the latest member of Barack Obama's cabinet heading to the world of academia. Harvard University said Tuesday that Carter is being hired as a professor and as director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, a university think tank. Carter ...

Afghans plan to double special forces from 17,000 as threats grow, sources say

Afghanistan plans to double the number of elite special forces from 17,000 troops, officials said, part of a long-term strategy to bolster units stretched and exhausted by persistent attacks from Taliban insurgents and other Islamist militants. Special forces, who represent a small fraction of the ...