Paralympic Minister Says He Will Work Harder

Paralympic minister says he will work harder

Japan's minister in charge of the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games says he will work harder to provide information about the event.

Shunichi Suzuki met International Paralympic Committee President Andrew Parsons in Tokyo on Thursday. Parsons is in Japan for a meeting to check preparations for the game.

Russia Says Its Navy Held Missile Drill On Etorofu

Russia says its navy held missile drill on Etorofu

The Russian Defense Ministry's newspaper says the military fired new surface-to-ship missiles in a drill last autumn on one of the four Russian-controlled islands that Japan claims.

Krasnaya Zvezda reported on Wednesday that a missile unit belonging to the Russian Pacific Fleet conducted the exercise on Etorofu Island with the Bal system.

Miata Buyers Prefer A Manual Gearbox, Says Mazda

Miata buyers prefer a manual gearbox, says Mazda

Earlier, we wrote about Toyota's underwhelming 2018 manual transmission sales figures. To recap – as Toyota's representatives told CarBuzz – the automatic Corolla outsold its manual equivalent to a ratio of 100 to 1, and just one in three Toyota 86 buyers picked a manual version of the rear-drive coupe.

What about the other famous rear-wheel-drive offering from Japan, Mazda's MX-5 Miata? A case can be made that an 86 buyer cross-shops the Miata, and vice-versa, but what kind of split do Mazda's sales figures reflect in comparison?

Supreme Court Says Lay Judge System Working Well

Supreme Court says lay judge system working well

Japan's Supreme Court has released a report saying that the lay judge system has largely worked well since it was launched a decade ago.

The system, which will mark its 10th anniversary next Tuesday, has so far handled 12,000 cases, with about 90,000 citizens taking part as lay judges.

Mazda Says Skyactiv-x Will Come To The U.s, But Not When

Mazda says Skyactiv-X will come to the U.S, but not when

Mazda executives say the new 2.0-liter Skyactiv-X powerplant will still take some time to arrive to the North American market. The Skyactiv-X is a high-compression gasoline engine, and its 16:1 compression ratio is comparable to that of a diesel engine.

"We have a lot of technology. And we are introducing each technology in each region when the time is right," said Mazda North America CEO Masahiro Moro at the SAE International WCX Conference, according to Automotive News. Moro stated that while the Skyactiv-X can indeed pass EPA emissions regulations, it's not in the immediate pipeline for U.S-bound Mazdas; the slightly less hardcore Skyactiv-G will be amended first.

Citizens' Panel Says Prosecutors Need To Reopen Moritomo Case

Citizens' panel says prosecutors need to reopen Moritomo case

A prosecution inquest panel concluded that prosecutors did a woefully inadequate job in investigating the dubious sale of state-owned land to an educational institution whose one-time head touted his close ties to the wife of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The decision released March 29 obliges prosecutors to reopen their investigation into a scandal that has dogged Abe for well over a year, which also involves the tampering of public documents.

Swimming Star Ikee Says She Will Not Give Up

Swimming star Ikee says she will not give up

Eighteen-year-old Japanese swimming star Rikako Ikee, who is battling leukemia, says she will not give up her efforts to take part in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Ikee updated her social media posts on Wednesday to express her determination to compete in the Tokyo Games.