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Japan Aiming for 30% Cut in Suicide Rate by 2026 (News)

Tokyo, July 25 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government said Tuesday it will aim to lower the country's suicide rate, currently the worst among the Group of Seven advanced nations, by at least 30% by 2026 to levels equivalent to those in its G7 peers. The target is included in the government's new five-year guidelines for suicide prevention, adopted at the day's cabinet meeting. In Japan, the n…

Japan to Install Wireless LANs at National Parks (News)

Tokyo, July 24 (Jiji Press)—Japan's Environment Ministry will set up public wireless LAN services at national parks by the end of fiscal 2017, hoping to draw more overseas tourists. Under a project announced last week by the ministry, free wireless connectivity will be available in 63 visitor information centers within the parks, excluding those in Oze and Minami Alps national parks, and in two…

Opposition-Backed Candidate Wins Sendai Mayoral Poll (News)

Sendai, Miyagi Pref., July 23 (Jiji Press)—Opposition-backed former House of Representatives lawmaker Kōri Kazuko won Sunday's mayoral election in the city of Sendai, the capital of Miyagi Prefecture, dealing another blow to Prime Minister Abe Shinzō's administration. First-time independent candidate Kōri, 60, supported by the Democratic Party and three other opposition parties, defeated compan…

Two Vocal Dissenters Leave BOJ Board (News)

Tokyo, July 23 (Jiji Press)—Two Bank of Japan Policy Board members who were vocal in their opposition to the BOJ's current monetary policy left office Sunday as they reached the end of their five-year terms. The departure of the two, Kiuchi Takahide and Satō Takehiro, who were brokerage house economists before joining the BOJ, raises concerns about a loss of diversity in opinions among the cent…

Japan Eyes Removal of Expressway over Landmark Tokyo Bridge (News)

Tokyo, July 21 (Jiji Press)—The Japanese infrastructure ministry plans to consider removing the expressway over Tokyo's landmark Nihonbashi Bridge, in a bid to improve the landscape, it was learned on Friday. The ministry is looking at moving underground the Inner Circular Route's 2.9-kilometer section between Takebashi Junction and Edobashi Junction. For the project, expected to cost sever…

Crimes on Track to Hit Postwar Low in 2017 (News)

Tokyo, July 20 (Jiji Press)—The number of criminal offenses reported to police in Japan in January–June 2017 fell 7.7% from a year earlier to 450,887, on track to hit an annual low for the postwar era, a National Police Agency report showed Thursday. The annual crime figure has kept declining since peaking at 2,853,739 in 2002. The number of crimes continued to drop after the police acknowle…

Hakuhō Equals Kaiō’s Record 1,047 Career Wins (News)

Nagoya, July 20 (Jiji Press)—Yokozuna sumō grand champion Hakuhō on Thursday picked up the 1,047th win in his professional career in the Japanese national sport, equaling former ōzeki champion Kaiō’s record victories. Hakuhō holds a board to mark his 1,047th win on July 20, 2017. Kaiō appears on the left. (© Jiji) “I felt very focused in the ring today,” Hakuhō, 32, said after the day’s bou…

Japan Starts Using New Pictogram Signs (News)

Tokyo, July 20 (Jiji Press)—Japan has changed some pictogram signs used on street corners and created new ones, mainly to help foreign visitors get around more easily, the industry ministry said Thursday. A total of 16 new signs were added, including for Wi-Fi wireless Internet access and convenience stores. The designs of seven signs were changed, such as that for parking spaces. The use of…

BOJ Delays Timing of Attaining Inflation Target to Fiscal 2019 (News)

Tokyo, July 20 (Jiji Press)—The Bank of Japan said Thursday it has pushed back the expected timing of attaining its 2% inflation target by one year to around fiscal 2019, which ends in March 2020. The bank thus gave up achieving the inflation target before BOJ Governor Kuroda Haruhiko's current term ends in April 2018. The achievement of the target is "likely to happen around fiscal 2019," K…

January–June Visitors Hit Record for Fifth Straight Year (News)

Tokyo, July 19 (Jiji Press)—The number of visitors to Japan in January–June is estimated to have risen 17.4% from a year earlier to 13,757,300, rewriting the first-half record high for the fifth year in a row, the Japan National Tourism Organization said Wednesday. An increase in the number of flights to Japan, including those operated by low-cost carriers, helped boost in-bound visitor figures…

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