Volcanic alert level raised for Mt. Hakone near Tokyo

TOKYO, May 19 (Xinhua): The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) on Sunday raised its alert level for Mt. Hakone as seismic activity has been increasing in the popular hot-spring resort area near Tokyo.

On the JMA's alert scale that peaks at five, the agency raised its warning for the first time since 2015 from 1 to 2, advising people not to approach the volcano's crater.

The agency said it made the decision because the number of volcanic earthquakes increased to 45 on Saturday, compared with zero on the previous day.

Japan tests new Shinkansen bullet train prototype

17 May 2019; DW: The next-generation ALFA-X train is on course to become the fastest in the world. Testing will continue for three years, and the train is scheduled to go into use in 2030.

Japan's JR-EAST rail company unveiled a next-generation Shinkansen bullet train codenamed ALFA-X on Thursday. The company said the €82 million ($91 million) 10-car train, which was completed in early May, had already reached speeds of 320 km/h (198 mph).

Japan’s trade negotiator: US won’t impose quotas on autos

TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s trade negotiator said Friday Washington won’t be demanding any numerical restrictions on Japanese auto exports to the U.S.

Toshimitsu Motegi, the economy minister, told reporters he had confirmed this by speaking with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

The comments could not immediately be confirmed after office hours in the U.S. Earlier, media reports said this was a possibility.

Japanese gov't plans to reduce number of dementia patients

TOKYO, May 15 (Xinhua): The Japanese government is planning to reduce the number of people with dementia by setting quantifiable targets to lower the ratio of patients in their 70s, over a six-year period until 2025, sources close to the matter said Wednesday.

The government is hoping the initiative will help counter the rising social security costs involved with caring for sufferers and the scheme will involve the implementation of preventative measures and methods to delay the onset of dementia.

Japan's Uniqlo, GU websites leak over 460,000 customers' personal info

TOKYO, May 14 (Xinhua): Japan's Fast Retailing Co. said Tuesday that personal information from 461,091 customer accounts of its Uniqlo and GU shopping websites may have been breached through unauthorized access.

The two online shopping websites were hacked between April 23 and May 10 and customers' data including names, addresses, phone numbers and credit card information may have been leaked, according to the operator of the two fast-fashion brands.

"We deeply apologize to our customers and pledge to prevent this from happening again," the company said in a statement.

This year’s first Japanese group embarks on visa-free trip to southern Kuril islands

TOKYO, May 10. /TASS/: A group of Japanese citizens - the first in 2019 - has embarked on a visa-free trip to Kunashir Island, part of the southern Kuril Islands, Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported. The group, travelling by the Etopirika vessel, departed from the city of Nemuro on Hokkaido's east coast.

The group of about 60 people will stay on Kunashir Island until May 13. The Japanese will visit their family graves and meet with locals.

Southwest Japan rocked by series of earthquakes, no tsunami warnings issued

TOKYO, May 10 (Xinhua): Miyazaki Prefecture on the southeast coast of Kyushu Island in southwest Japan was rocked by a series of earthquakes Friday morning, the country's weather agency said, although no tsunami warnings or advisories have been issued.

According to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), a magnitude 5.6 offshore quake jolted Miyazaki and neighboring prefectures at 7:43 a.m. local time (2243 GMT Thursday).

Japan says North Korean missiles did not reach its economic zone

TOKYO, May 4. /TASS/: North Korea’s missiles fired in the direction of the Sea of Japan have not reached Japan’s exclusive economic zone, the country’s government said.

"We have not registered any missile in our economic zone," the Kyodo news agency quoted a spokesman for the cabinet as saying. He also rejected reports that Pyongyang had launched ballistic missiles.

Earlier, the Yonhap news agency reported citing South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) that North Korea had fired several short-range missiles, which flew some 70-200 km.

Japan’s private rocket reaches outer space

TOKYO (AP) — A Japanese aerospace startup funded by a former internet maverick successfully launched a small rocket into space Saturday, making it the first commercially developed Japanese rocket to reach orbit.

Interstellar Technology Inc. said the unmanned MOMO-3 rocket exceeded 100 kilometers (60 miles) in altitude before falling into the Pacific Ocean. It was launched from the company’s test site in the town of Taiki on Japan’s northern main island of Hokkaido and flew about 10 minutes.

In first speech, Japan's new emperor vows to stand with the people

Tokyo, May 1 (AFP) New Emperor Naruhito vowed Wednesday he would always stand with the Japanese people, as he prayed for world peace in his first address to the nation after ascending the Chrysanthemum Throne.

He swore to "act according to the Constitution... while always turning my thoughts to the people and standing with them".

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