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Features Japan Timeline
Timeline for August 2018

The government reveals that employment figures for disabled workers at its agencies are inflated, manga creator Sakura Momoko dies at the age of 53, and swimmer Ikee Rikako wins six gold medals at the Asian Games. A summary of the top Japan stories of August 2018.


The Japan Meteorological Agency announces that the average temperature in eastern Japan for July was 2.8ºC higher than for an average year, reaching the highest level since statistics began in 1946.

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The Liberal Democratic Party warns affiliated lower house lawmaker Sugita Mio for describing LGBT couples as “unproductive” in an article she wrote for a monthly magazine. The LDP states on its website that she showed insufficient understanding of the issue and a lack of consideration for people concerned.

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Momota Kento beats Shi Yuqi of China in the men’s singles final at the World Badminton Championships in Nanjing, China. He is the first Japanese man to win a gold medal at the competition.


Hiroshima marks 73 years since the atomic bombing with a ceremony attended by 50,000 hibakusha and relatives. On August 9, Nagasaki holds a ceremony on the anniversary of its bombing, which is attended by António Guterres. It is the first time that a United Nations secretary-general has appeared at the Nagasaki event.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres offers flowers at Nagasaki Peace Park during a ceremony on August 9, 2018, marking the seventy-third anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city. (© Jiji)

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An investigative panel reports that Tokyo Medical University raised the scores of 19 male applicants in entrance examinations in 2017 and 2018 to effectively reduce the number of successful female applicants.

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Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications Noda Seiko announces that she will give up her ministerial remuneration for the year to take responsibility for leaking about a request for information disclosure.

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Okinawa Governor Onaga Takeshi dies at the age of 67 after suffering pancreatic cancer.

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Japan Amateur Boxing Federation head Yamane Akira resigns after admitting a friendship with a member of an organized crime group.

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Representatives of the US and Japanese government conduct “free, fair, and reciprocal” talks in Washington until August 10. While the US side wishes to start negotiations for a bilateral free trade agreement, Japan stresses its focus on multilateral frameworks. Talks will continue in September.

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The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism announces that Suzuki, Mazda, and Yamaha Motor falsified fuel economy and emissions data during vehicle testing.


A disaster response helicopter crashes into a mountain in Nakanojō, Gunma Prefecture, killing all nine crew members.

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Prime Minister Abe Shinzō announces plans to propose amendments to the Constitution, including Article 9, during the autumn parliamentary session

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Princess Ayako—the third daughter of Emperor Akihito’s cousin Prince Takamado—and Moriya Kei are officially engaged at a ceremony in Tokyo.

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Suspect Hida Jun’ya escapes from the detention house of a police station in Tondabayashi, Osaka Prefecture. He apparently breaks an acrylic plate in the visiting room to make his getaway after a visit from his lawyer. The police do not notice he is missing for over an hour.

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An official ceremony is held in Tokyo on the anniversary of the end of World War II, commemorating those who died in the conflict. In his last appearance at the ceremony before he abdicates next April, Emperor Akihito expresses “deep remorse,” as on the previous three occasions.

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Two-year-old Fujimoto Yoshiki is discovered alive and well in Suō-Ōshima, Yamaguchi Prefecture, three days after he went missing. He is found in the woods by “super volunteer” Obata Haruo (78), who traveled from Ōita Prefecture to take part in the search.

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The Asian Games begin in Jakarta, Indonesia. On August 19, four members of the Japanese men’s basketball team are stripped of their membership after they paid for sex. On August 24, Ikee Rikako secures victory in the women’s 50-meter freestyle event to become the first Japanese swimmer to win six gold medals at the Asian Games. (She goes on to be named the first-ever woman MVP of the Asian Games on September 2.) On August 25, Inoue Hiroto wins the men’s marathon event.

Ikee Rikako (center) at the medal ceremony for the women’s 50-meter freestyle event at the 2018 Asian Games after winning her sixth gold in the event. Chinese swimmers Liu Xiang (left) and Wu Qingfeng take silver and bronze, respectively. Picture taken in Jakarta, Indonesia, on August 24, 2018. (© Jiji)

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Osaka Tōin defeats Kanaashi Nōgyō 13–2 in the final of the 100th annual National High School Baseball Championship. It becomes the first team to win both the spring and summer tournaments in the same year twice.

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The Ministry of Defence announces that five US Air Force CV-22 Osprey aircraft will be officially deployed to Yokota Air Base from October 1. It is the first deployment of Ospreys to a US base in Japan outside Okinawa.


It is announced that Sakura Momoko, creator of the popular manga and televised anime Chibi Maruko-chan, died of breast cancer on August 15 at the age of 53.

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The government announces that published numbers of disabled workers at central government agencies had been inflated by 3,460. There were counting irregularities at 27 of the 33 agencies.

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The Okinawa prefectural government cancels permission granted by former Governor Nakaima Hirokazu for landfill work in the Henoko coastal area ahead of the planned construction of a US military facility. The national government will take legal action against the move.

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  • [2018.09.03]
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