Japan's welfare ministry says the number of households receiving assistance hit a record high in the fiscal year ending in March 2018.
The ministry puts the monthly average number of households on welfare for fiscal 2017 at 1,640,854. That's up about 3,800 from the figure for the previous fiscal year.
A record more than 200 people were injured this fiscal year starting last April while interacting with deer in a park in the ancient capital of Nara, western Japan.
Nara Park is a popular tourist destination in which visitors can feed and take pictures with deer that roam freely through the area. The animals are protected as designated national treasures.
With the number of visitors to Japan and related spending at record highs, tourism authorities hope to keep the good times rolling by zeroing in on those from high-spending countries.
A whopping 31.192 million people came to Japan last year and spent a total of 4.5 trillion yen ($41.3 billion), according to preliminary data from the tourism ministry and the Japan Tourism Agency (JTA).
On December 30, the final selection for the '60th Japan Record Award" was held, and Nogizaka46's "Synchronicity" won the grand prize.
Nogizaka46's "Influencer" won the 'Japan Record Award' last year making this their second consecutive year winning the award. Shiraishi Mai commented, "I am very happy. I didn't think we would win the grand prize, so I am full of gratitude." Sakurai Reika similarly stated, "I was proud to receive it last year, and because of it, this year has been a wonderful year. Since we received it again this year, I hope to do my best so that we can jump even further." Finally, Nishino Nanase, who will be graduating from the group, expressed, "This was the happiest thing this year. Thank you very much."