Birthplace Of Toyota Vehicles To Open To Public In Aichi In July

Birthplace of Toyota vehicles to open to public in Aichi in July

KARIYA, Aichi Prefecture--Rescued from demolition, a wooden factory building where Toyota Motor Corp. founder Kiichiro Toyoda built his first passenger car prototype in 1935, will open to the public on July 18.

It will be part of the Prototype Plant at the Establishment of Toyota, an annex of the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology.

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Farthest Star Photographed With Cosmic Lens, Hubble Telescope

Farthest star photographed with cosmic lens, Hubble telescope

The farthest individual star to ever have been photographed, whose light has taken 9 billion years to reach Earth, was captured using cosmic lenses in an international research project by institutions including the University of Tokyo.

The achievement was announced in the digital edition of Nature Astronomy, a British science journal, on April 3.

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Anime News: Seibu Railway's Romantic Short About Chichibu Now Streaming

ANIME NEWS: Seibu Railway's romantic short about Chichibu now streaming

"Chichibu de Buchichi," an original animated short offered by Seibu Railway Co., is now streaming on the company's official website.

Set in Chichibu, Saitama Prefecture, and featuring voice actress and Chichibu native Tomoyo Kurosawa, the anime is aimed at promoting the charms of the city and its surrounding areas.

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Hokkaido Lighthouse Gets Powerful Leds In Beacon Trial

Hokkaido lighthouse gets powerful LEDs in beacon trial

KUSHIRO, Hokkaido--The Japan Coast Guard has begun experimenting with high-output LEDs for the beacon of the Kushiro Saki Lighthouse here in an energy- and cost-saving test.

If successful, the coast guard plans to put the high-intensity chip-on-board LEDs, which are strips of LEDs that are illuminated together, into practical use as a light source.

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Tashirojima, Japan Is Home To Some 200 Cats Who Live Alongside Human Residents

Tashirojima, Japan is home to some 200 cats who live alongside human residents

ISHINOMAKI, Miyagi -- Here kitty, kitty! Visitors to Tashirojima Island here will have no trouble finding the fluffy winter coats of the feline inhabitants.

Often called "cat island," Tashirojima, whose perimeter is 11 kilometers, is home to some 200 cats who live alongside human residents, and are no stranger to tourists from both inside and outside of Japan. On a day in mid-December last year, this cat-loving reporter made a visit to the island and its furry citizens.

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Kumamoto Prefecture Lifts The Ban On Overseas Use Of The Kumamon Mascot Design

Kumamoto Prefecture lifts the ban on overseas use of the Kumamon mascot design

KUMAMOTO--Kumamoto Prefecture has lifted the ban on overseas use of the Kumamon mascot design, sparking anger from local companies that want to keep the popular bear-like character for themselves.

Many companies say the original purpose of the mascot should remain the same: promoting the prefecture on the southern main island of Kyushu and its products.

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Self - Repairing Ceramic Eyed For Aircraft Engines, Shinkansen

Self-repairing ceramic eyed for aircraft engines, Shinkansen

Japanese researchers say they have developed a ceramic material that self-repairs cracks in just a minute and could drastically change manufacturing methods for the transportation industry.

The team from the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) and Yokohama National University said the material could be used in plane engines to keep them operating even if they are damaged in collisions with airborne objects.

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Photoscape / Teenagers Help Preserve Art Of Puppet Theater

Photoscape / Teenagers help preserve art of puppet theater

By Masanori Inagaki / Yomiuri Shimbun PhotographerLeaders of traditional puppet theater are working to pass their art on to future generations, holding workshops for younger people and energetically performing in Japan and overseas.

Hachioji Kuruma Ningyo is a puppet show in Hachioji, Tokyo. The Nishikawa Koryu Troupe headed by fifth-generation leader Nishikawa Koryu, 64, is working hard to ensure its art survives.

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Feature: Japanese Businesses Backing Cancer Sufferers' Wish To Work

FEATURE: Japanese businesses backing cancer sufferers' wish to work

Japanese companies are striving to make it possible for employees diagnosed with cancer to continue their work lives as normal, even while they undergo treatment.

The push has gathered steam following the revision in December 2016 of a law designed to aid in the fight against cancer. The legislation requires companies to do all they can to keep their employees on the payroll after a cancer diagnosis.

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Licca - Chan Birth Reports Available In Katsushika, Her Hometown

Licca-chan birth reports available in Katsushika, her hometown

Babies in Tokyo's Katsushika Ward and elsewhere can now use a birth report featuring Licca-chan, a long-cherished dress-up doll who was "born" in the ward.

The ward office has teamed with toymaker Tomy Co. to launch a series of projects featuring the doll, and the birth report is the first.

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Photoscape / Old Train Just The Ticket For Book - Hungry Kids

Photoscape / Old train just the ticket for book-hungry kids

By Tsuyoshi Yoshioka / Yomiuri Shimbun PhotographerAfter school and kindergarten, children gather at a yellow train car resting in the corner of a Tokyo housing complex in the Misumicho area of Higashimurayama, Tokyo. The old Seibu Railway Co. train carriage, which once ran along an important railway line for local residents, is the home of the Kumegawa train library, which mainly targets children.

The carriage, which holds about 5,000 books and is operated by 25 volunteers, is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Noriko Munemura, 46, visited with her second son Taishiro, 6. "He can concentrate on reading here more than at home," she said with a smile. The library also serves as a place for parents and locals to talk and interact.

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Praying For Success

Praying for success

The Yomiuri ShimbunLocal residents make fukuzasa bamboo branches on Saturday ahead of the Toka Ebisu festival to pray for business prosperity that will be held at Horaisan Sankeiin temple in Tanabe, Wakayama Prefecture. About 5,000 fukuzasa in 10 varieties, decorated with such good luck ornaments as large coins and rice bales, will be sold for ¥1,000 to ¥30,000. The festival expects about 30,000 visitors over three days from Tuesday.

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Forestry Industry Growing In Appeal To Young Women

Forestry industry growing in appeal to young women

The lure of nature and a slower pace of life are attracting a growing number of young women to Japan's traditionally male-dominated forestry business, and their participation may help it cope with an aging workforce and a shortage of manpower.

Junko Iizuka, a 33-year-old graduate of the prestigious University of Tokyo, quit her job as an international trade fair organizer to join lumber company Tokyo Chainsaws in the village of Hinohara in western Tokyo about four years ago.

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