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Japan’s tsunami refugees brace for harsh winter

ISHINOMAKI, Japan — As the mercury plunges in Japan’s disaster-hit northeast, thousands of people in temporary homes are digging in for what could be a long, hard and very cold winter. Snow and driving winds will add to the misery of tsunami survivors in a region where the temperature frequently…

Japan eases self-imposed arms export ban

Tokyo on Tuesday eased a decades-old self-imposed ban on arms exports, paving the way for Japanese firms to participate in multinational weapons projects. In a move intended to bolster the domestic arms industry and reduce national defence spending, officially pacifist Japan will for the first time in decades routinely allow…

Japan recovery ‘has paused’, warns central bank

TOKYO — The Bank of Japan said Wednesday that the country’s economic recovery “has paused” because of the slowing global economy, leaving its key rate unchanged at between zero and 0.1 percent. “The pick-up in Japan’s economic activity has paused, mainly due to the effects of a slowdown in overseas…

WATCH LIVE: Hillary Clinton press conference with Japan’s foreign minister

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton holds a joint media availability with Japan’s Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba. Watch this video from MSNBC, broadcast Dec. 19, 2011. Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy…

Japan using quake disaster budget for whaling aid

Japan on Wednesday confirmed it planned to use some of the public funds earmarked for quake and tsunami reconstruction to boost security for its controversial annual whaling hunt. Greenpeace charged that Tokyo was siphoning money from disaster victims by spending an extra 2.28 billion yen ($30 million) on beefed up security amid…

Japan scientists study oyster ‘language’

Scientists in Japan have begun studying the “language” of oysters in an effort to find out what they are saying about their environment. Researchers are monitoring the opening and closing of the molluscs in response to changes in seawater, such as reduced oxygen or red tide, a suffocating algal bloom, that can…

Olympus ex-presidents approved loss cover-up: panel

The committee probing a massive cover-up of losses at Japan’sOlympus said Tuesday two former presidents approved the long-running scheme and that core management at the firm had been “rotten”. The panel of lawyers and an accountant chosen by Olympus said Tsuyoshi Kikukawa and his predecessor Masatoshi Kishimoto had backed the plan to…

Japan supercars in $4 million highway pile-up

Speeding was fingered as a possible cause Monday of what is believed to be Japan’s most expensive ever road accident when up to $4 million-worth of supercars ended up in a crumpled heap on a highway. Eight Ferraris and a Lamborghini — plus a Toyota Prius — were among the…

Japan, Russia see chance to clone mammoth

Scientists from Japan and Russia believe it may be possible to clone a mammoth after finding well-preserved bone marrow in a thigh bone recovered from permafrost soil in Siberia, a report said Saturday. Teams from the Sakha Republic’s mammoth museum and Japan’s Kinki University will launch fully-fledged joint research next…

Japan

In light of the earthquake in Japan, I don’t think any kind of Friday fun blogging is appropriate. Thoughts are with the people of this small but dense island country, and all others that are in the way of the tsuamis that are spreading out from this 8.9 earthquake.…

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