Chongryon Head Office Prem. Seized

Chongryon headquartersThe government-backed Resolution and Collection Corp has seized the head office and premises of the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan in central Tokyo over a loan repayment case involving the pro-Pyongyang group known as Chongryon, sources close to the matter said Friday.

The seizure on Monday was in line with the Tokyo District Court’s approval of the decision Friday last week.

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Seiko Noda Files Marriage

Seiko NodaHouse of Representatives lawmaker Seiko Noda filed her marriage to her common-law husband with a local authority after giving birth to a baby boy last month by becoming pregnant through artificial insemination after years of fertility treatment, Noda's office said Wednesday.

The husband of 50-year-old Noda had conveyed his hope to be registered as the baby's father and changed his last name to Noda, according to her office.

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Dpj Lawmakers At Takeshima Day

Takeshima Day Two lawmakers of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan attended the Shimane prefectural government’s contentious ceremony Tuesday to promote Japan’s claim to a group of South Korean-controlled islets for the first time from the party.

The sixth ceremony to commemorate ‘‘Takeshima Day’’ saw a record-high 13 parliamentarians in total among some 500 participants, but has had no central government official attending since its 2006 start .

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Japan, Mexico Liberalize Trade

Seiji MaeharaJapan and Mexico have agreed to amend a bilateral free trade agreement to further liberalize their trade in areas such as farm products and auto parts, Japanese government officials said Tuesday.

Since 2008, the two countries have engaged in negotiations to amend the free trade pact that took effect in April 2005.

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3 Chinese Indicted In Jewelry Heist

Sapporo PoliceThree Chinese men charged with stealing watches and other valuables from a department store in Tokyo have been arrested over a similar theft in Sapporo, the Metropolitan Police Department announced.

The three are Zeng Heyong, 53, Yang Chaosen, 51, and Xu Xinfa, 54, all of no fixed address. Police accuse the three of belonging to the "Bakusetsudan" crime group, a name that refers to their use of force to break into and rob stores.

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Japan Five - Toed Shoe Market

Marathon Tabi shoesMaybe you've noticed them on a Tokyo train or at the sports club, those oddly simian five-toed shoes.

Made by the Italian firm Vibram, the FiveFingers, as the toe shoes are called, were named by Time Magazine as one of the "Best Inventions of 2007," an accolade that helped propel the current boom in minimalist and barefoot running.

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Komukai Denies Drug Allegations

Minako KomukaiFugitive Japanese TV personality, actress and stripper Minako Komukai, 25, who is accused of buying stimulants, spoke with Japanese media for the first time after the allegations were announced earlier this month.

“I’m not a fugitive or a criminal,” Komukai told a Shukan Post journalist, who flew to Manila and succeeded in arranging an interview with her on Feb 14.

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Chain - Eating Deer At Nara

Chain eating deer at NaraThe unusual sight of deer gnawing on iron chains is attracting tourists at a temple here, while baffling animal experts.Tourists will find the deer at the Todai-ji temple located at Nara Park in Japan's ancient capital.

They are usually found around the temple's Nandai-mon gate, located in the middle of the approach to the hall housing the famous Great Buddha.

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Bamboo/reef Will Enrich Fishing

Artificial ReefA new kind of artificial reef has been built just off the coast here in the hope that it will attract fish and enrich the local fishing ground.

The new reef, located in about 10 meters of water some 200 meters from this city's Kamaguchi fishing port, is made out of ceramic tiles and bamboo.

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Japan First Extreme Trail Race

Mount FujiRunners are being invited to take part in the first 100-mile trail race around Japan’s iconic Mount Fuji in the first international sister race to Europe’s famous Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc.

Scheduled for the weekend of May 20 to 22, the Ultra-Trail Mount Fuji will start at 3pm on Friday, May 20, with a course stretching 160km around the base of the tallest mountain in Japan.

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Chisso's Spin - Off Plan Ok

Chisso CorpChisso Corp, the chemical maker responsible for the Minamata mercury-poisoning disease that was first discovered in 1956, said Tuesday it will spin off its business operations to its subsidiary JNC, as approved by the Osaka District Court, to secure compensation costs for victims.

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Ueno Zoo 100th Anniversary

Ueno Zoo hippopotamusA festival commemorating the 100th anniversary of the first arrival of a hippopotamus in Japan will be held at Tokyo's Ueno Zoological Gardens later this month.

During the upcoming event called "Kaba Matsuri" (hippopotamus festival) starting on Feb. 15, a directory of hippopotamuses that were kept at the zoo since 1911 will be put on display, along with art works and goods featuring the beloved mammal.

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Condemned '70s Nagata Dies

Hiroko NagataDeath-row inmate Hiroko Nagata, who participated in the early 1970s mass murder of her comrades in the now-defunct United Red Army, died at the Tokyo Detention House at the age of 65 Saturday evening after a long battle with brain cancer.

Nagata underwent surgery for a brain tumor in 1984. In 2006, she collapsed at the detention facility after suffering from brain atrophy and impaired consciousness, and was transferred to a medical prison in the city of Hachioji in western Tokyo.

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Hello Kitty Sandals Lead To Arrest

Hello Kitty SandalsA 36-year-old truck driver suspected of involvement in hundreds of burglaries in Gunma and Saitama prefectures between 2004 and 2010 was likely wearing Hello Kitty sandals during the crimes, just like when he was arrested, Saitama police have said.

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