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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Eda Signing Hang Orders Unsure

Satsuki Eda New Justice Minister Satsuki Eda openly opposes capital punishment but can't decide whether to perform his duty and sign off on executions or stick to his personal beliefs.

Eda became justice chief in Prime Minister Naoto Kan's Jan. 14 Cabinet reshuffle.

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Gasoline Price May Rise

Japan Gas StationThe political unrest in Egypt could trigger rises in the retail prices of gasoline in Japan next week or thereafter, the Oil Information Center warned Wednesday.

While global crude oil prices have been rising amid the political uncertainty in Egypt, the average retail price of regular gasoline in Japan stood at 137.90 yen per liter as of Monday.

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2 Semi - Automatic Guns Found

Processing plant in AizuwakamatsuA worker at a garbage processing plant in Aizuwakamatsu, Fukushima Prefecture, found two semi-automatic guns and 37 rounds of ammunition on Tuesday.

Police suspect the firearms’ owner found proper disposal of the weapons difficult and resorted to throwing them into the incombustible garbage.

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Brain Tissue Regenaration

Nagoya City University hospitalA research team at Nagoya University has succeeded in regenerating stroke-damaged brain tissue in rats using a powdered concentrate of a human stem cell culture.

As the experiment did not require any living stem cells to succeed, the results hold out the possibility of easy mass production on the scale of pharmaceuticals, bringing regenerative therapies to large numbers of patients at low cost.

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Nara Buddhist Statue Changed

ShukongojinA famous weapon-wielding Buddhist statue at Todai-ji temple here, made in a standing posture with its upper body twisted, is most likely to have been changed from the initially designed pose by its sculptor in a flash of sudden inspiration, a researcher has found.

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Snow - Hit Niigata Req Defense Force

Snow-hit NiigataNiigata Gov. Hirohiko Izumida on Wednesday asked the Ground Self-Defense Force to dispatch troops to a city heavily covered by snow, saying the danger of avalanche is increasing as temperatures rise.

The GSDF is expected to dispatch a team from Camp Takada in Joetsu city in the prefecture to Uonuma city where roughly four meters of snow has accumulated.

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Heavy Snow Wreaks Havoc On Trans.

Heavy snow wreaks havoc on transportHeavy snow has wreaked havoc on transportation in areas along the Sea of Japan coast of central Honshu.

The Imajo district of Minami-Echizen, Fukui Prefecture, saw a record 236 centimeters of snow as of 7 a.m. on Jan. 31, the Fukui Local Meteorological Observatory said.

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Kyoto Hotel Closes After 41 Years

Hotel Fujita KyotoThe traditional Hotel Fujita Kyoto closed Saturday after hosting many celebrities including movie stars Yujiro Ishihara and Ken Takakura during its 41-year history in the city, one of Japan’s premier tourist destinations.

John Lennon is also said to have stayed at the hotel, located near the Kamo River and popular tourism spots such as Gion and the Buddhist Kiyomizu temple.

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Kunimasu Trout Goes On Display

KunimasuOne of the fish that helped prove the long-lost species of kunimasu trout still exists went on display Saturday as part of a local festival in Fuji-Kawaguchikomachi, Yamanashi Prefecture.

The specimen put on display at Saiko Wild Birds' Forest Park as part of a juhyo (frost-covered tree) festival in Fuji-Kawaguchikomachi is a male kunimasu trout about 26 to 27 centimeters long.

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Woman Arrested In Sumo Gamble

Woman arrested in sumo gambleA woman arrested on suspicion of helping run an illegal baseball gambling operation together with former sumo wrestlers says that she did so because of massive debts related at least in part to the business of one of her sons, metropolitan police say.

Yoneko Furuichi, 63, was reportedly approached by another of her sons, 34-year-old former sumo wrestler Sadahide Furuichi, asking for her help in setting up a gambling operation.

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Universities Use Mascot Goods

Universities mascot goodsUniversities are turning out more and more original products to help boost their brand recognition, the latest trend being so-called character goods featuring school mascots and famous faculty.

Their efforts appear to be paying off, with the goods popular among current students and those wanting to enroll in the future .

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10th Memorial Train Tragedy

10th memorial train tragedyA decade after a South Korean student in his 20s was killed by a train while trying to rescue a stranger who fell off the platform at a station in Tokyo, the parents of the brave youngster attended a Jan. 26 memorial ceremony.

On Jan. 26, 2001, Lee Su-hyon, 26, a student at a Japanese language school in Tokyo, and Shiro Sekine, 47, a Japanese photographer, jumped off the platform at JR Shin-Okubo Station in an attempt to rescue a drunken man who fell onto the tracks.

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Gov Airplanes Future Questions

Japan Airfoce OneThe future of government airplanes -- used for ferrying top government officials overseas or evacuating Japanese living abroad in emergencies -- has become uncertain as Japan Airlines (JAL) is set to drop maintenance support for the current model and critics call the planes a waste of money.

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