Japan's Population Down For 10th Straight Year

Japan's population down for 10th straight year

The population of Japanese nationals has fallen for the 10th straight year, while the ratio of foreign residents topped 2 percent for the first time.

The internal affairs ministry says the number of Japanese living in the country was over 124.7 million as of January 1 this year. The number has been dropping since it peaked in 2009.

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Hayabusa2 Probe Begins Descent Onto Asteroid

Hayabusa2 probe begins descent onto asteroid

Japan's space agency says the Hayabusa2 probe has begun its descent onto an asteroid. It is attempting a groundbreaking mission to collect rock samples from beneath the surface of an asteroid.

At around 10:46 a.m. Japan time, the Hayabusa2 started its descent from an altitude of 20,000 meters onto the asteroid Ryugu.

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At Least 95 Nations To Attend Hiroshima Ceremony

At least 95 nations to attend Hiroshima ceremony

The city of Hiroshima says at least 95 countries and the European Union are expected to send ambassadors and other representatives to an August 6 ceremony to mark the anniversary of the atomic bombing on the city.

City officials announced an outline of the Peace Memorial Ceremony on Wednesday.

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Deer Conservationists In Nara Clean Up Trash

Deer conservationists in Nara clean up trash

A group working to protect wild deer in Japan's ancient capital of Nara has resumed a campaign to pick up trash, after several deer died from eating plastic waste.

The Nara Deer Preservation Foundation says supermarket bags and other plastic waste were found in the stomachs of nine out of the 14 deer that have died in Nara Park since March this year. Plastic waste is believed to have been the direct cause of three of the deaths.

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Japan Govt. Seeks Diplomatic Solution Over Hormuz

Japan govt. seeks diplomatic solution over Hormuz

Japan's Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kotaro Nogami has stressed that the country will continue diplomatic efforts to ease tensions and bring stabilization in the Middle East by coordinating with the United States and other countries.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, he said he is refraining from making comments over media reports that the US is considering forming a coalition of countries, including allies, to ensure safety of the Strait of Hormuz, which is a major shipping lane.

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Ruling Expected On Whether To Suspend Genkai Plant

Ruling expected on whether to suspend Genkai plant

A Japanese high court is about to rule whether operations at two reactors at the Genkai nuclear power plant in Saga Prefecture, southwestern Japan should be suspended.

The Fukuoka High Court will hand down its ruling later on Wednesday.

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Japan Monitoring High - Tech Exports

Japan monitoring high-tech exports

Japan's government has been closely monitoring exports of its advanced technologies and expertise since April. That's when the Trade and Industry Ministry set up a special section.

The government doesn't want the country's expertise in fields such as artificial intelligence and biotechnology used in military applications after it's been exported.

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Japanese 'ekiben' Boxed Meals Debut In Paris

Japanese 'ekiben' boxed meals debut in Paris

The boxed meals that are sold at train stations in Japan are now available at a new store in Paris.

Hanazen, a maker of "ekiben" boxed meals in Akita Prefecture, northern Japan, opened the outlet in central Paris last Friday. The menu features a chicken-rice dish that is a best-seller at JR Odate Station in Akita. Customers can also buy miso soup for their meals.

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Johnny Kitagawa Dies At 87

Johnny Kitagawa dies at 87

Johnny Kitagawa, the founder and president of major Japanese talent agency Johnny & Associates, has died at the age of 87.

Kitagawa died of a stroke on Tuesday at a hospital in Tokyo.

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Grape Auction In Central Japan Fetches Record High

Grape auction in central Japan fetches record high

A high-end grape bunch has fetched a record price of 1.2 million yen, or about 11,000 dollars, in the first auction of the season in Ishikawa Prefecture on the Sea of Japan coast.

The auction of the "Ruby Roman" variety grapes was held in Kanazawa City on Tuesday.

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Japan Eyes Us Military Aircraft Accident Response

Japan eyes US military aircraft accident response

Japan's Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya says the government is calling on the United States to allow Japanese police and fire departments to immediately respond to accidents involving US military aircraft outside its bases.

Iwaya told reporters on Tuesday that the situation must be changed.

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Abe: Govt. Not Appealing Leprosy Lawsuit Ruling

Abe: govt. not appealing leprosy lawsuit ruling

Japan's Prime Minister says the government will not appeal a court ruling ordering it to pay damages to families of former leprosy patients.

The case centered on a policy which sent leprosy patients to isolation facilities over the course of several decades.

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Japan Vows To Maintain Export Controls

Japan vows to maintain export controls

Japan's Trade Minister has stressed that Tokyo has no plans to withdraw the export controls.

Hiroshige Seko said on Tuesday, "The measure is a necessary domestic procedure in Japan for the purpose of properly controlling exports. It's not up for negotiation, and won't be withdrawn."

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