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Posted by On 5:22 PM

Top Japanese Official Has No Interest in Trade Deal With Just the US

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Source: Google News Japan | Netizen 24 Japan

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Posted by On 2:40 PM

A Japanese startup is planning an artificial shooting star show by 2020

Who says you have to wait around for a meteor shower? Certainly not ALE Co., a Tokyo-based startup that wants you to wish upon a shooting star anytime you’d like. The company is looking to develop a system that would offer paying customers “shooting stars on demand,” and as per a report by Japan Times, the first man-made meteor shower in the history of the world could take place in just two years.

The system depends upon two satellites, both of which are currently being developed. The first should be launched into orbit in March 2019, while its sibling would take flight sometime next summer. Each satellite will carry around 400 tiny spheres, each of which contain a proprietary chemical formula that would mimic falling stars in the sky. Think of them, in some ways, as extraterrestrial fireworks. Each of the little spheres could be reused, which means that they could be rep urposed for between 20 and 30 artificial shooting star shows.

The satellites purportedly have a lifespan of around 24 months, and would be programmed to send the tiny fireworks flying in the right place, speed, and direction in order to achieve visible illumination even over an extremely crowded metropolitan area (think Tokyo or New York City). And because they would be shot out in space, millions of viewers could be able to enjoy the show from their own homes, ALE claims.

“We are targeting the whole world, as our stockpile of shooting stars will be in space and can be delivered across the world,” ALE CEO Lena Okajami told reporters.

Should all systems continue to operate smoothly during these planning and production phases, both satellites could be in place by February 2020, and an initial test run could be ready to go later in the spring. That means we’ve less than two years to think of all of our most pressing desires and make as many wishes as possible .

The first test is slated to take place over Hiroshima, which was chosen thanks to its weather, landscape, and cultural background, the company said. It’s unclear exactly how much you’ll have to pay in order to order a meteor shower of your own. The initial tests have a budget of $20 million, which includes the cost of launching a pair of satellites.

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Posted by On 2:40 PM

Deadly heat wave to grip Japan early this week

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Deadly heat wave to grip Japan early this week
By Eric Leister, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
By Robert Richards, AccuWeather meteorologist
July 22, 2018, 5:07:05 PM EDT

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A deadly heat wave is expected to continue early this week across Japan.

After Ampil bypassed mainland Japan, generally dry weather will build back across all of southern and central Japan early this week.

While t he dry weather is welcome for ongoing cleanup and recovery efforts, the heat will create dangerous conditions for relief workers and those still homeless following the flooding.

Generally dry weather will build back across all of southern and central Japan early this week.

Japan July 22


The heat wave has already claimed more than two dozen lives, while more than 10,000 other people have been hospitalized for heat-related illnesses, according to the Japan Times.

“AccuWeather estimates the death toll from the Japan heat wave is likely already in the hundreds despite the official toll of somewhat more than two do zen, and we predict the number will climb into the thousands before the heat wave ends,” AccuWeather President and Founder Dr. Joel N. Myers said. “The actual total human toll may not ever be known as heat-related fatality reports are historically underdone since not all deaths are correctly attributed to heat and some result from accelerating serious health issues and the fatalities show up weeks later. The elderly and those with pre-existent conditions, such as asthma and heart failure, are likely to face declining health due to exacerbation of their conditions due to weather. Heat exhaustion and stroke, dehydration, migraines, loss of sleep and mood alteration can all occur due to dangerous heat. Historical data shows that more people are likely to be involved in vehicle crashes due to heat-related impacts, such as decreased ability to concentrate, the poor quality of sleep they get and impaired mood, etc.”

“Further in areas not prone to heat, air conditioners are l ess prevalent and so there may not be places people can go for relief from the heat or they may not realize the toll the heat is taking on their body, and as a result do not drink sufficient water or take other precautions,” Myers said.

“To stay informed about the dangerous heat and to obtain the most accurate forecasts download the free AccuWeather app,” Myers said.

On Wednesday, temperatures soared to the highest levels in five years across Japan as the temperature peaked at 40.7 C (105.3 F) in the city of Tajimi.

Widespread temperatures of 35 C (95 F) will be reported each day this week across inland locations, while coastal communities can only expect modest relief from the heat.

Sweltering humidity will push AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures between 38 and 43 C (100 and 110 F) during the midday and afternoon hours.

Normal high temperatures range from 29 C (84 F) in Tokyo to 30 C (87 F) in Osaka and 31 C (88 F) in Nagoya, so this heat is wel l above normal.

Warm nights will only make the long-duration heat wave more dangerous, especially for the elderly and children.

Be sure to drink plenty of water, avoid outdoor exercise during the extreme heat and seek medical attention if you suffer from signs and symptoms of heat stroke.

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The heat will also hamper ongoing relief efforts following the most deadly flooding in decades earlier this month.

The death toll from the historic fl ooding reached 222 as of Monday evening with at least 21 people still missing according to The Japan Times. This is the deadliest rain-related disaster in Japan since 1982 when more than 300 people were killed in Nagasaki and Kumamoto prefectures.

Another tropical threat is expected to develop in the West Pacific this week and could have impacts on the weather across Japan by next weekend.

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Source: Google News Japan | Netizen 24 Japan

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Posted by On 11:13 AM

Russia receives no mediation requests from Japan, DPRK

MOSCOW, July 22. /TASS/. Moscow has received mediation requests neither from Japan nor from North Korea, Russian Ambassador to Japan Mikhail Galuzin said in an interview with TASS.

According to him, bilateral relations between Japan and North Korea "should be improved through dialogue between Tokyo and Pyongyang."

"Russia and Japan have maintained close contacts concerning the Korean Peninsula issue," Galuzin went on to say. "Japan and North Korea also have channels for communication though they are not very sustainable," he added.

The six-party talks on the Korean Peninsula denuclearization, involving the two Korean states, Japan, China, Russia and the United States, began in 2003 but were suspended in 2008 at Pyongyang’s initiative as the negotiations had not produced any real results. A road map to resolve the issue, developed by Russia and Ch ina, calls for resuming the six-party talks.

Japan remains the only party to the talks that has not yet established direct contact with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Peace treaty issue

Russia and Japan need to reach a compromise on the peace treaty issue, which would be welcome by the two countries’ people and be in line in the strategic interests of Moscow and Tokyo,Galuzin also said.

"Moscow believes that it is important to continue dialogue with Tokyo on the peace treaty issue," he said. "We need to find a mutually acceptable solution, it may be said - a compromise, which would be welcome by the two countries’ people and will also be fully in line with the strategic interests of Russia and Japan," the ambassador added.

Galuzin also said that such a solution was easier to find "in an atmosphere of sustainable and comprehensive development of Russian-Japanese relations." "As dialogue on a peace trea ty goes on, we are focusing on paving the way for joint economic activities on the South Kuril Islands and ensuring visa-free travel between the Island of Sakhalin and Hokkaido," he went on to say. "It will help us create conditions for finding mutually acceptable solutions to issues in the future," Galuzin noted.

The Russian ambassador pointed out that there was no need to put time limits for making a peace treaty. "The reason is that we may find it embarrassing in case we miss the time limit," he said.

South Kuril Islands issue

Since the mid-20th century, Russia and Japan have been holding consultations in order to clinch a peace treaty as a follow-up to World War II. The Kuril Islands issue remains the sticking point since after WWII the islands were handed over to the Soviet Union while Japan laid claims to the four southern islands. In 1956, the two countries signed a common declaration on ending the state of war and restoring diplomatic and all other relations, however, a peace treaty has still not been reached. Moscow has stated many times that Russia’s sovereignty over the islands cannot be called into question.

The parties made another attempt to resume talks on the peace treaty issue during Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to Moscow in April 2013. Since then, Moscow and Tokyo have been holding consultations, which have resulted in an agreement to conduct joint economic activities on the South Kuril Islands.

Iranian oil

If Japan stops to buy Iranian oil it will mean the country has bended to the United States’ policy, Galuzin said.

According to the Russian diplomat, reports about Japan’s possible scaling down imports of Iranian oil have been circulated for quite a time. "But Russia is not a country to profiteer from the problems of its friends, which include Iran," he said. "We are committed to the principle of market economy and trade in oil under our national strategy and, naturally, in cooperation with other oil producing nations."

"We think the United States’ sanctions against Iran that were passed in bypassing of the United Nations Security Council are inadmissible," Galuzin stressed. "I will not approve of the actions of any country’s businesses that this or that way could be interpreted as bending or yielding to the US’ sanctions policy."

Earlier, Japan’s Nikkei business daily said that Japanese oil companies were about to completely stop oil imports from Iran.

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Posted by On 6:37 AM

Rampant bribery in Tokushima sheds light on rise on Japan's uncontested elections

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Rampant bribery in Tokushima sheds light on rise on Japan’s uncontested elections
Shigetomi Hosoi, head of the Kamiyama town council in Tokushima Prefecture, leaves his house for police questioning on July 2, before being arrested on suspicion of bribery. | KYDOO

OSAKA â€" Common sense might tell you that, as small towns and villages in Japan face aging and declining populations, they would do whatever they could to encourage their remaining residents to run for a seat on the council when election time comes.

But in the town of Kamiyama, Tokushima Prefecture, with a population just under 5,400, four of the 10 council members have been arrested on suspicion of bribing a former member to not run again.

The head of the council, Shigetomi Hosoi, has admitted giving former member Mitsuyoshi Yamamoto ¥500,000 in cash but denies allegations the money was intended to persuade Yamamoto not to run.

All 10 seats went uncontested, automatically returning the incumbents. With 40 percent of their elected representatives now under arrest, the town council faces an unclear future. While it does have the minimum five members needed to call meetings in September, when the next session is scheduled, a minimum of eight votes will be needed to dissolve the council and hold emerg ency elections.

“For the moment, all we can really do is observe the situation,” said Kamiyama council member Tetsuo Nishisaki, one of those who brought charges against Hosoi and the others, at a July 2 news conference following their arrests.

Last year, village of Okawa, Kochi Prefecture, also in Shikoku, made national headlines when the mayor suggested it might have to introduce direct democracy due to a lack of willing candidates among its 400 residents, many of whom were old or very old.

The thought of citizens governing themselves panicked bureaucrats in Tokyo, who immediately looked into the problem by establishing a panel to study it. The committee later proposed easing restrictions on running for office and raising salaries to attract more people, while Kochi Prefecture has said it will work more closely with the council members. So Okawa will keep its town council, for now.

In the 2015 round of nationwide local elections, 21.8 percent of the cand idates for town or village assemblies ran unopposed. Explanations from political pundits and academic researchers, foreign and Japanese, tend to focus on detailed statistics and data related to changing demographics, which are offered as reasons for the rise in uncontested seats.

They are not wrong to do so as a basic approach. But as the situation in Kamiyama suggests, sometimes a simpler explanation for the unopposed contests at the local level is just old-fashioned greed.

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Source: Google News Japan | Netizen 24 Japan