High - Tech Japanese Toilets To Become More Foreigner Friendly

High-tech Japanese toilets to become more foreigner friendlyAs more foreigners choose Japan as a holiday destination, the country's toilet manufacturers have joined forces in an effort to simplify the sometimes complicated business of washing and drying -- Japanese style.
The Japan Sanitary Equipment Industry Association said recently they will introduce eight standardized pictograms for the multifunction toilet seats, including icons depicting warm water washing, drying and seat heating.
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Hokuriku's Sole Whisky Distillery Gets Face - Lift With Crowdfunding

Hokuriku's sole whisky distillery gets face-lift with crowdfundingA sake brewery with over a century of history has turned to crowdsourcing to help revamp its whisky distillery -- the only one in the Hokuriku region near the Sea of Japan -- and bring in tourists.
Wakatsuru Shuzo located in Tonami, Toyama Prefecture, has been raising money via crowdfunding and other sources to refurbish the dilapidated distillery, which has fallen on hard times since the company branched into whisky-making more than 60 years ago.
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Ana Plane Overshoots Runway, Plows Into Snow In Hokkaido

ANA plane overshoots runway, plows into snow in HokkaidoAn All Nippon Airways (ANA) plane overshot the runway at New Chitose Airport here while landing at around noon on Jan. 19, plowing into nearby snow.
According to the Chitose fire department, no injuries were reported among the 25 passengers and crew aboard Flight 1831 out of Akita.
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Yamashita Wins Akutagawa Literary Award, Onda Wins Naoki Prize

Yamashita wins Akutagawa literary award, Onda wins Naoki PrizeNovelist Sumito Yamashita has won the prestigious Akutagawa Prize for up-and-coming authors, while the Naoki Prize for popular fiction has been awarded to writer Riku Onda, the selection committee said Thursday.
Yamashita, 50, who also leads a theater troupe, won the 156th prize for his autobiographical novel "Shinsekai" (New World), which is based on his experience of joining an acting school.
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Abe Pledges To Work For Regional Peace

Abe pledges to work for regional peaceJapan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pledged to work for peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.
He made the comment during a speech he gave in Hanoi, at the end of a tour to the Philippines, Australia, Indonesia and Vietnam.
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Snow, Frigid Temps Forecasted To Continue Across Japan

Snow, frigid temps forecasted to continue across JapanThere was no letup in Japan's snowy spell on Jan. 16 as frigid temperatures gripped the country, with the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) projecting continued snowfall until the winter pressure system weakens on the afternoon of Jan. 17.
The agency warned of damage to transportation systems and icy roads, and called on people to exercise caution when clearing snow.
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