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Timeline for September 2018

Typhoon Jebi and an earthquake in Hokkaidō cause severe damage, Ōsaka Naomi becomes the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam singles tournament at the US Open, and Japan and the United States agree to start negotiations on a bilateral trade agreement. These were the top headlines in Japan in September 2018.


Keidanren Chairman Nakanishi Hiroaki announces plans to abolish guidelines for companies on college graduate hiring schedules, beginning with those students due to graduate in spring 2021.

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The Japan Meteorological Agency publishes a report on the weather in summer 2018. It finds that the average temperature in eastern Japan exceeded that in a typical year by 1.7 degrees, and was the hottest since records began in 1946.

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Typhoon Jebi comes ashore at Shikoku with considerable force, causing the most severe damage in Kansai and the Tōkai region. Runways at Kansai International Airport are submerged due to high waves, and a tanker collides with the bridge connecting to the mainland, leaving 8,000 passengers stranded in the airport.

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Tamaki Yūichirō defeats Tsumura Keisuke in an election to become leader of the Democratic Party for the People.


An earthquake with a hypocenter in the Iburi region of Hokkaidō causes shaking of 7 on the Japanese intensity scale in the town of Atsuma. A total of 40 people are killed in multiple landslides and structure collapses. Power is lost temporarily in all 2.95 million of the prefecture’s buildings.

Hillsides carved up by landslides occurring over a wide area. Taken from the sky above Atsuma, Hokkaidō, on September 6, 2018. (© Jiji)

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A third-party panel investigating irregularities at Suruga Bank publishes a report describing them as a systemic problem. Five executives resign, including Chairman Okano Mitsuyoshi, a member of the founding family, and President Yoneyama Akihiro.

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Ōsaka Naomi defeats Serena Williams in the final of the US Open women’s singles competition to become the first Japanese tennis player to win a Grand Slam singles tournament.

Ōsaka Naomi in action at the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo on September 19, 2018. (© Jiji)

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The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries announces that it has discovered a case of swine fever at a pig farm in Gifu, Gifu Prefecture. It is the first such case in Japan since December 1992.

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The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office indicts Shiraishi Takahiro for the robbery-murders of nine people at his apartment in Zama, Kanagawa Prefecture, in 2017.

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While Prime Minister Abe Shinzō is attending the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russian President Vladimir Putin proposes concluding a peace treaty with Japan by the end of the year without preconditions. Abe also talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Vladivostok, as part of preparations for his visit to China in October.

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Actress Kiki Kirin, known for memorable television and film roles, dies at the age of 75.

Kiki Kirin narrating a documentary film in June 2014. (© Jiji)

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Singer Amuro Namie retires from show business at the age of 40 after a final live concert held in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, on the previous day.

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The Ministry of Defense announces that the Maritime Self-Defense Force submarine Kuroshio participated in a military exercise in the South China Sea. Excluding training submarines, it is the first time for a Japanese submarine to take part in such an exercise in the region.

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Police officer Seino Hiroaki is killed by a knife-wielding attacker in a police box in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture. The attacker, Aizawa Yūta, is shot dead by another police officer on the scene.

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Prime Minister Abe defeats Ishiba Shigeru in the Liberal Democratic Party leadership election by 553 votes to 254 to win a third consecutive term as president.

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Osaka-based cryptocurrency exchange operator Tech Bureau announces that a cyberattack on its Zaif exchange led to losses of around ¥7 billion worth of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

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Vice Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology Todani Kazuo and Takahashi Michiyasu, director-general of the ministry’s Elementary and Secondary Education Bureau, resign in connection with a series of corruption scandals.

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Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency announces that two small robotic explorers released from its Hayabusa2 spacecraft have successfully landed on the asteroid Ryūgū. They also succeed in moving to another part of the asteroid. It is the first time that a robotic explorer has been able to move on the surface of a low-gravity astronomical body.

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The Hiroshima High Court accepts an appeal by Shikoku Electric, overturning an injunction ordering the suspension of reactor 3 at the company’s Ikata Nuclear Plant in Ehime Prefecture.

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Former yokozuna Takanohana submits his resignation to the Japan Sumō Association.

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Publisher Shinchōsha announces that it will suspend the October edition of its Shinchō 45 magazine following criticism of an article for prejudice against sexual minorities.

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Prime Minister Abe talks with US President Donald Trump in New York. The two agree to start negotiations on tariffs, including farm products, with the aim of concluding a trade agreement on goods, expanding bilateral trade and investment.

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Hida Jun’ya, a suspect charged with rape and other crimes who escaped from a police station in Osaka Prefecture in August, is arrested for shoplifting in Yamaguchi Prefecture after 48 days on the run.

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Tamaki Denny is elected governor of Okinawa Prefecture on a platform of opposition to the relocation of a US military base to Henoko in the city of Nago. The election was held following the death of the former Governor Onaga Takeshi, also an opponent of the relocation plan.

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  • [2018.10.01]
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