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Fukushima operator blames ‘heavy rain’ for latest round of radioactive leaks

Heavy rain at the Fukushima nuclear plant caused a leak of radioactive water containing a cancer-causing isotope, possibly into the sea, its operator said Monday, as a typhoon approaching Japan threatened further downpours. The leak is the latest in a long line of setbacks at the site, and further undermines…

Japan cancels flights as Typhoon Fitow nears Okinawa

Powerful Typhoon Fitow was expected to hit Japan’s southern island chain of Okinawa on Saturday, with flights cancelled and power outages affecting some 200 households, officials said. Japan, Taiwan and China were all bracing for the storm, with Japan’s meteorological agency warning of strong winds and heavy rain, as well…

Japan to pay $3.1 billion to relocate Okinawa Marines to Guam

The United States and Japan said Thursday Tokyo would pay a third of the cost of Washington pulling thousands of Marines out of Japan as it reduces its heavy military presence on Okinawa. US Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Japan’s Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and…

Researchers’ ovary ‘coaxing’ procedure produces newborn in Japan

A new technique that coaxes an infertile woman’s ovaries into producing eggs again has resulted in the birth of a baby in Japan, international scientists said Monday. A second woman has also become pregnant using the same method, according to the study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of…

Japan’s Toshiba to shed 2,000 jobs at foreign TV plants

Japan’s Toshiba said Monday it would shut or sell two of its three wholly-owned overseas television plants in the next six months, shedding 2,000 jobs. The company, which has already ceased domestic production of television sets, said it will “integrate” its manufacturing facilities in China, Indonesia and Poland by the…

Bad weather linked to train suicides in Japan: study

The number of suicides on Japanese railways increases after several days of bad weather, according to a study released Thursday, which urged train operators to increase patrols during rainy periods. The study, which chimes with commonly held beliefs about mood and weather, was an attempt to find reasons behind some…

China will negotiate on nationalized islands if Japan admits they’re in dispute

China said Friday that it was ready to talk to Japan over an increasingly heated maritime row, but only if Tokyo declares the islands to be disputed. Foreign Minister Wang Yi faced questions about ties with the U.S. ally during a visit to Washington, where he called for mutual respect…

Japan baseball league chief quits over ball scandal

The chief of Japanese professional baseball resigned Thursday ending months of calls for him to go after the former diplomat admitted his office secretly changed the design of balls to produce more home runs. Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) commissioner Ryozo Kato had been under pressure since the scandal erupted in…

300,000 central Japan households told to evacuate as Typhoon Man-yi hits

Typhoon Man-yi hit central Japan Monday, with almost 300,000 households told to evacuate and fears the storm could go on to hit the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant. The typhoon made landfall in Toyohashi, Aichi prefecture, shortly before 8:00 am (2300 GMT Sunday), packing gusts of up to 162 kilometres (100…

Japan now nuclear-free as last reactor is shut off

Japan is to start the process of switching off its last working nuclear reactor Sunday for a scheduled inspection with no restart in sight due to public hostility towards atomic power. The move will leave the world’s third largest economy without atomic energy for the second time since the Fukushima…

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