With Tokyo bars and restaurants closed, drinkers take to the streets

One recent evening near Shimbashi Station in Tokyo, a mix of drinkers at varying states of inebriation — salarymen who had just finished work and other revelers — had gathered for a casual open-air drink, in what has become an increasingly common scene across the capital. While drinking with friends on the street with booze … Read more

Bill to amend law on vote to revise Japan’s Constitution likely to pass Diet

A bill to amend the national referendum law on revision of the Constitution is likely to be passed by the Diet before the end of the current session, set to run through mid-June, as the pro-revision ruling party agreed Thursday to accept a request from the opposition to adjust it. The debate over the bill, … Read more

How a samurai’s quest for revenge created one of Tokyo’s best cafes, and it’s still open

Not far from Akihabara you’ll find Amanoya, but it wouldn’t be there if not for an assassination. Like a lot of Shinto shrines in Japan, Tokyo’s Kanda Shrine (also known as Kanda Myojin) has a street leading to its entrance lined with shops and restaurants waiting to serve pious pilgrims and secular sightseers alike. The … Read more

City scraps Paralympic flame event planned at Sagamihara massacre site

The city of Sagamihara, near Tokyo, will scrap its plan to hold a Paralympic flame-lighting event at a care facility for people with mental disabilities where one of Japan’s worst mass killings took place in July 2016, local government sources said Thursday. The decision comes after some relatives of the victims of the stabbings at … Read more

Widow of Japanese ‘Don Juan’ allegedly planned to sell pricey paintings after his death

Wakayama – A 25-year-old woman who was arrested last week for the alleged 2018 murder of her older, wealthy husband in western Japan is suspected of having planned to sell at least one of the expensive paintings he owned, investigative sources said Thursday. Saki Sudo asked an art dealer to evaluate the painting owned by … Read more

IOC to provide Tokyo Olympic athletes with Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses

The International Olympic Committee announced Thursday it will provide athletes attending this summer’s Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics with doses of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE. The vaccine has been approved in Japan, although its rollout has been progressing slowly. The IOC has insisted that participants at this summer’s Olympics and … Read more

Japan and South Korea foreign ministers meet but remain apart on key issues

London – The foreign ministers of Japan and South Korea held their first talks in more than a year amid soured bilateral ties, but failed to narrow gaps over issues involving wartime history and Tokyo’s decision to release treated radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea. Meeting with his South Korean … Read more

Ex-“comfort women” appeal South Korea court’s dismissal of case

A group of former “comfort women” in South Korea appealed Thursday a local court ruling that dismissed their damages lawsuit against the Japanese government over their treatment at Japanese military brothels during World War II, their lawyers said. In dismissing the suit, the April 21 ruling at the Seoul Central District Court applied sovereign immunity … Read more