Ban On Free Plastic Bags To Start Next April

Ban on free plastic bags to start next April

Japanese Industry minister Hiroshige Seko says the government plans to ban retailers from giving away plastic bags for free from next April.

A meeting of energy and environment ministers from G20 nations kicked off in Nagano Prefecture, central Japan on Saturday. Seko said ocean pollution caused by plastic waste is a global issue that needs to be tackled by both the public and private sectors.

Okinawa Marines Relocation To Guam May Start 2025

Okinawa Marines relocation to Guam may start 2025

The US military may begin moving some of the Marines stationed in Okinawa, southwestern Japan, to Guam in 2025.

The Japanese and US governments have agreed to relocate about 9,000 Marines and their families from Okinawa to Guam, Hawaii and other places outside Japan. This is part of reorganization plans for the US military in Japan. The two governments say the move will start in the first half of the 2020s.

Online Sale Of Tickets For 2020 Olympics To Start

Online sale of tickets for 2020 Olympics to start

Online ticket sales for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will start on Thursday.

Starting at 10 a.m., applications for ticket purchases will be accepted through a lottery at an official website set up by the organizing committee.

Start Of 'reiwa' Era Marked Around The World

Start of 'Reiwa' era marked around the world

Events to mark the new Reiwa era have taken place in Japan and around the world.

In Tokyo, about 70 senior-ranking wrestlers have celebrated the start of the era by standing in formation to spell out the two kanji characters that make up the name. Among them were Yokozuna grand champions Hakuho and Kakuryu, as well as newly promoted ozeki Takakeisho.

Emperor's Abdication Ceremony About To Start

Emperor's abdication ceremony about to start

Japan is mere hours away from the end of an era. Emperor Akihito will abdicate at the end of Tuesday -- bringing the three-decade-long Heisei Era to a close.

As that happens, people here will witness a new era begin. Crown Prince Naruhito will ascend the throne immediately.

Traffic Congested At Start Of 10-day Holidays

Traffic congested at start of 10-day holidays

A 10-day holiday period has started in Japan. Roads, trains, and airports are congested as people head for their hometowns and other destinations.

The Japan Road Traffic Information Center says that as of 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, several expressway lanes were backed up for up to 21 kilometers.

Local Election Campaigns Start

Local election campaigns start

Preparations are ramping up here in Japan as voters get set to cast their ballots in prefectural and municipal elections early next month.

Eleven prefectures, across the nation, kicked off gubernatorial campaigns on Thursday. Candidates are expected to focus their platforms on how to revitalize local economies in the wake of declining populations.

Olympic Torch May Start At Fukushima Soccer Ground

Olympic torch may start at Fukushima soccer ground

The organizers of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games are close to choosing J-Village, a soccer training facility near the crippled Fukushima nuclear reactor, as the starting point of the Olympic torch relay.

The relay is planned to start somewhere in Fukushima Prefecture, which was devastated by an earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in March 2011. The area's recovery is an underlying theme of the games.

Android Buddhist Deity To Start Preaching At Kyoto Temple

Android Buddhist Deity To Start Preaching At Kyoto Temple


A famed temple built in Japan’s cultural capital of Kyoto by the wife of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a warlord from the 16th century who unified Japan, to commemorate her husband will now have an Android deity preaching to the public. The Android Kannon, with its hands clasped together, adds a touch of modernity to the historical temple.

The Android Kannon is a Buddhist deity of mercy and it was unveiled to the media earlier this month at the Kodaiji temple. It will officially start preaching to the public next month.

Ohtani May Start Throwing Practice In Late March

Ohtani may start throwing practice in late March

Major League Baseball star Shohei Ohtani says he may start throwing the ball in late March if his rehabilitation goes as planned.

The two-way player for the Los Angeles Angels spoke to reporters on Wednesday in Arizona, where his team is in preseason training.

Abe, Putin Start Talks In Moscow

Abe, Putin start talks in Moscow

The leaders of Japan and Russia are sitting together in the Kremlin discussing major diplomatic issues between their countries.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is hoping to move closer to a solution on the issue of Russian-held islands claimed by Japan as well as a peace treaty.

Elephant Kashimashi's Miyamoto Hiroji To Start His Solo Activities

Elephant Kashimashi's Miyamoto Hiroji to start his solo activities

Miyamoto Hiroji's (Elephant Kashimashi) song "Fuyu no Hana" has been picked up as the theme song for Fuji TV's drama 'Gosaigyo' to premiere on January 22. 

'Gosaigyo' tells the story of Takeuchi Sayoko, a woman who targets elderly men and marries them to receive their inheritances. Kimura Yoshino plays the protagonist, and is supported by Takahashi Katsunori, Kimura Tae, Hamada Mari, and Izumiya Shigeru.