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Timeline for June 2018

An earthquake rattles Osaka; foreign ministers of Japan, the United States, and South Korea meet in Seoul; and Japan takes part in the World Cup in Russia. These are the main stories of June 2018.


The government decides to bestow the People’s Honor Award on figure skater Hanyū Yuzuru, who won his second successive gold medal at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. At 23, he is the youngest ever recipient of the award and also the first Winter Olympian to be honored.

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Astronaut Kanai Norishige returns from the International Space Station after a five-and-a-half-month stay, traveling on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft that lands in Kazakhstan.

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The Ministry of Finance announces punishments for 20 former and current officials involved in a document-tampering scandal related to the Moritomo Gakuen land sale. Sagawa Nobuhisa, who was then head of the Financial Bureau, receives the heaviest punishment, equivalent to three months’ suspension from duty.

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Two US military CV22 Osprey transport aircraft make emergency landings at Amami Airport in Kagoshima Prefecture. There are no injuries or damage to civilian aircraft.


The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office and the Metropolitan Police Department of Tokyo raid the Kobe Steel headquarters in Shinagawa and other offices connected with a product quality data manipulation investigation.

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Chiba University Hospital admits to misdiagnoses of nine computed tomography images, leading to two patient deaths. On June 22, Hyōgo Cancer Center announces that it covered up a mistaken diagnosis for three years. On June 25, Yokohama University Hospital also confesses to problems like inadequate sharing of information leading to 11 patients not being diagnosed with cancer, of whom one died.


Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko begin a visit to Fukushima Prefecture until June 11. They attend a tree-planting festival and view postdisaster reconstruction work. It is likely to be their last visit to areas affected by the 2011 tsunami before the emperor abdicates at the end of April 2019.

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A man with a knife kills one passenger and injures two more on a Tōkaidō Shinkansen high-speed train shortly after it leaves Tokyo Station bound for Osaka. He is arrested on the scene.

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Tokyo High Court overturns a Shizuoka District Court ruling allowing the reopening of a 1966 murder trial against Hakamada Iwao, who was released from death row in 2014 after the lower court decision. On June 18, a group of lawyers files a special appeal to the Supreme Court.

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An F15 fighter jet attached to Kadena Air Base crashes offshore from the city of Naha in Okinawa. The pilot is rescued by the Self-Defense Forces after an emergency ejection from the craft. The US military temporary halts flights of F15 jets following a request from Okinawa Prefecture, but begins flight training again on June 13.

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A plenary meeting of the House of Councillors approves and enacts a law lowering the age of adulthood to 18. The legal age of marriage for women is raised from 16 to 18, bringing it in line with the legal age for men. The law will go into effect on April 1, 2022.

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President Kobayakawa Tomoaki of TEPCO announces that the company plans to decommission all four nuclear reactors at its Fukushima Daini Power Plant after a meeting with Fukushima Governor Uchibori Masao. It is the first clear statement of the company’s intention to decommission the facility, which lies some 12 kilometers south of the stricken Fukushima Daiichi plant.

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Foreign Minister Kōno Tarō meets with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha in Seoul. They agree to work together toward the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula agreed on at the US-North Korean summit on June 12.

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Toyota wins the Le Mans 24 Hours race at Circuit de la Sarthe in western France for the first time. It is 27 years since the last Japanese victory in the race.


An earthquake measuring lower six on the seismic intensity scale rocks Osaka, killing five people and injuring more than 400.

Volunteers clear rubble from a temple damaged in the June 18 earthquake in Ibaraki, Osaka Prefecture, on June 24, 2018. (© Jiji)

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Prime Minister Abe Shinzō states at a House of Councillors Budget Committee that he will have to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un himself. He expresses a strong desire to resolve the issue of abductions of Japanese citizens through a summit.


Kake Gakuen head Kake Kōtarō gives his first press conference since problems emerged related to the planned construction by his educational institution of a veterinary school in Imabari, Ehime Prefecture. He denies meeting Prime Minister Abe, contradicting prefectural government records.

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A man stabs an officer at a police box in the city of Toyama, taking his gun and shooting a security guard at a nearby elementary school. Both of the victims are killed in the attack. Another police officer shoots the man and arrests him.

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The Imperial Household Agency announces that Princess Ayako of Takamado will get engaged to Moriya Kei, an employee at the shipping company Nippon Yūsen.

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The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency announces that its spacecraft Hayabusa 2, launched in 2014, has reached its target—the asteroid Ryūgū, located 300 million kilometers from Earth. It will conduct observations of the asteroid for around 18 months.

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Despite losing 1-0 to Poland in its final Group H game, Japan progresses to the knockout tournament at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Japan beat Colombia 2-1 on June 19 and drew 2-2 with Senegal on June 24.

Makino Tomoaki (no. 20) and other Japan players celebrate progressing to the World Cup knockout stages in Volgograd, Russia, on June 28, 2018. (© Jiji)

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The Diet enacts a work-style reform bill with a majority vote at a plenary meeting of the House of Councillors. It includes legislation setting an upper limit for overtime and stipulating equal pay for equal work.

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The Hidden Christian Sites in the Nagasaki Region are registered by UNESCO as a World Heritage site at a meeting in Bahrain.

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  • [2018.07.05]
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