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Scientists survey seabed fractured by Japan quake

Scientists on Thursday launched a mission to the seabed off Japan where a massive quake triggered last year’s devastating tsunami, to get their first proper look at the buckled ocean floor. Researchers from Germany and Japan are sending high-tech vehicles to probe the seabed up to 7,000 metres (23,000 feet)…

Sanity Break: 10,000 member choir sings Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’

In this video from Osaka, Japan, a 10,000 member amateur choir performs the “Ode to Joy” section of Beethoven’s Symphony Number Nine. The concert is an annual event, but this year’s performance — recorded in late December 2011 — was dedicated to the victims of the March 2011 earthquake and…

Osaka mayor’s call for a ‘dictatorship’ strikes chord with voters

TOKYO (Reuters) – “What Japan needs most now is a dictator.” Toru Hashimoto, a lawyer and TV celebrity-turned politician, was quick to add when he made that widely publicized remark last year that a Hitler-style dictatorship was neither desirable nor possible given Japan’s democratic checks and balances. But the call…

Into the no-man’s land of Fukushima

FUKUSHIMA DAIICHI, Japan — Every two minutes on the bus ride through the ghost towns surrounding Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, a company guide in a white protective suit holds up a display showing the radiation level. And it is rising. Passing through the disaster exclusion zone visitors catch sight…

A year on, only brief home visits for Japan nuclear evacuees

OKUMA, Japan (Reuters) – Back home for just three hours, a tearful Miyoko Takeda sorted through her belongings. She left behind the kimonos she once wore as a traditional dancer, fearful they might be contaminated by radiation. Nearly a year has passed since a massive 9.0 magnitude earthquake hit Japan,…

Fukushima reactor may be overheating again

Temperature readings at one of the crippled Fukushima nuclear reactors have risen above Japan’s stringent new safety standard but there was no immediate danger, its operator said Sunday. Tokyo Electric Power said one of three thermometers on the number-two reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant indicated gradual heating this…

U.S. to move 4,700 Marines from Japan to Guam: reports

TOKYO — Tokyo and Washington have agreed to move 4,700 Marines from the Japanese island of Okinawa to Guam in a bid to revive a stalled plan for the realignment of US forces in Japan, according to reports. The two countries in 2006 agreed to the transfer of around 8,000…

Newspapers in Japan defy West’s media malaise

Printed newspapers may be in crisis in the West but circulations remain enormous in high-tech Japan – and its media will even resort to medieval methods to get copies to readers. When the March 2011 tsunami struck a great swathe of the northeast coast, leaving 19,000 people dead or missing and triggering…

Treasury secretary Geithner heads to Asia

The US treasury secretary will Tuesday begin a trip to China and Japan to discuss new sanctions on Iran that could raise tensions between Washington and Beijing and pose difficulties for Tokyo. Both China and resource-poor Japan rely heavily on oil supplies from Iran and are under pressure from the…

UPDATED: Powerful quake rocks Japan on New Year’s day

A major 7.0-magnitude earthquake rocked Tokyo Sunday as Emperor Akihito led Japan’s New Year celebrations by urging people to work together in rebuilding the nation from March’s quake-tsunami disaster. The tremor struck at 2:28pm (0528 GMT) with its focus deep at about 370 kilometres (230 miles), Japan’s Meteorological Agency said.…

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