Timeline for June 2019
Tokyo police arrest former Vice Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries Kumazawa Hideaki after he called the 110 emergency number to say he had killed his son. On June 21, prosecutors indict him for murder. During questioning after his arrest Kumazawa said his son had acted violently in the home, and he feared he would hurt others.
- Former Japanese Vice Farm Minister Arrested for Attempted Murder
- Nabbed Ex-Vice Minister Cites Fears Spurred by Kawasaki Stabbing
An automated train on Yokohama’s Seaside Line reverses into a station buffer at Shin-Sugita Station, injuring 15 passengers. On June 6, the Seaside Line operator announces that the vehicle had a break in its circuitry. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism is investigating the cause of the problem.
Minister of the Environment Harada Yoshiaki announces plans to introduce legislation banning free plastic bags in supermarkets, convenience stores, and other outlets nationwide by 2020.
- Japanese Food Companies Seek to Reduce Plastic Waste
- Japan to Make Plastic Bag Charges Mandatory from Next April
An 81-year-old driver causes a multi-vehicle accident in Fukuoka in which two people are killed, including himself, and seven injured.
The Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare announces that the total fertility rate, or the average number of births born to a woman in her lifetime, fell 0.01 point from the previous year to 1.42 in 2018, declining for the third successive year.
- Japan's Total Fertility Rate Falls for Third Straight Year
- Japanese Population Decline Accelerates as Annual Births Dip Below 920,000 in 2018
Abdul Hakim Sani Brown breaks the Japanese record for the men’s 100-meter sprint, recording a time of 9.97 seconds as he finishes third representing the University of Florida at the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
Group of 20 finance ministers and central bank heads start two days of meetings in Fukuoka. On June 9, they adopt a joint statement reflecting concerns over US-China trade friction, noting the global economy’s downside risks and intensified trade and geopolitical tensions.
- G-20 Officials Share Concerns over US-China Trade Friction
- G-20 Ready for Further Action on Global Economic Risks
News emerges that author Tanabe Seiko died on June 6 at the age of 91 in a Kobe hospital.
Minister of Finance Asō Tarō says he will not use as a reference a report from the Financial Services Agency that states couples should save ¥20 million for living expenses after retirement.
- Abe Apologizes for Controversial FSA Report on Aging
- Welfare Ministry Provided Basis for Controversial FSA Report: Suga
- Never to Use Controversial FSA Report for Policy Management: Asō
Prime Minister Abe Shinzō visits Iran and talks with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. The two leaders agree to work to reduce tensions in the Middle East. Khamenei says that Iran has no plans to produce, possess, or use nuclear weapons, stressing that the country will maintain the terms of its 2015 nuclear deal.
- Iran Won't Produce Nuclear Weapons, Khamenei Tells Abe
- Iran's Rouhani Vows to Stay with 2015 Nuclear Deal
Two chemical tankers, including one operated by Japanese shipping company Kokuka Sangyō, are attacked in the Gulf of Oman near the Strait of Hormuz. Reports indicate that they were seriously damaged by shells.
- Two Japan-Related Ships Attacked near Strait of Hormuz
- Japan Gathering Info with US on Tanker Attacks; No SDF Dispatch Eyed
- US, Iran Make Conflicting Claims on Tanker Attacks
A man stabs and seriously injures an on-duty police officer in Suita, Osaka Prefecture, and steals his gun. On June 17, the suspect Iimori Yūjirō is arrested in nearby Minō.
- Policeman Found Stabbed Near Osaka Police Box
- Man Arrested Over Police Box Attack, Gun Robbery in Western Japan
Minister of Defense Iwaya Takeshi visits the Akita prefectural government to apologize to Governor Satake Norihisa for errors in documents explaining why the Aegis Ashore land-based missile defense system should be deployed in the prefecture.
- Flawed Data Shown to Akita Prefecture over Aegis Ashore Deployment
- Japan Defense Chief Apologizes for Flawed Aegis Data
A powerful earthquake centered off Yamagata Prefecture causes 6-upper shaking in Murakami, Niigata Prefecture. A 10-centimeter tsunami was recorded in the city of Niigata with smaller tsunamis in nearby areas like Sado. The Japan Meteorological Agency estimated the earthquake’s magnitude as 6.7.
Musician Pierre Taki is sentenced to 18 months in prison, suspended for three years, for use of cocaine in violation of the Narcotics and Psychotropics Control Act.
An amendment to the Child Abuse Prevention Act, which increases the powers of child consultation centers among other changes, is enacted at a plenary session of the House of Councillors. It gives the centers powers to intervene in cases of suspected abuse, as well as clarifying how they can support parents. The amendment also bans physical punishment by parents.
A man convicted of assault and theft goes on the run in Aikawa, Kanagawa Prefecture. On June 23, he is captured by police in a Yokosuka apartment.
Gonzaga University player Hachimura Rui is chosen by Washington Wizards as the ninth pick in the first round of the National Basketball Association draft. He is the first Japanese player to be selected in the first round of the draft.
The government publishes a white paper on traffic safety, which notes that drivers aged 75 or over caused 460 fatal accidents or 8.2 per 100,000 drivers. This was 2.4 times as many as those caused by drivers aged 74 or younger.
As the Diet session closes, the government sets the date of the House of Councillors election for July 21, with campaigning opening on July 4.
- Japan Diet Session Ends; Upper House Poll Set for July 21
- Abe Eager to Make Constitutional Revisions Election Issue
Kumamoto District court orders the government to pay compensation of ¥376.8 million to 541 of 561 plaintiffs who sued for compensation for the discrimination they faced as family members of leprosy patients. It is the first such ruling ordering compensation to family members.
The Group of 20 Summit is held in Osaka. On June 29, leaders adopt the joint statement, “We strive to realize a free, fair, non-discriminatory, transparent, predictable and stable trade and investment environment, and to keep our markets open.” US opposition led to a pledge to fight protectionism being excluded. Dealing with marine plastic pollution and setting international rules for data are two key topics of the summit.
- G20 Discusses Trade Tensions on First Day of Osaka Summit
- G20 Leaders Underscore Free, Fair, Non-Discriminatory Trade
Prime Minister Abe meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Osaka, but there is no concrete progress on the Northern Territories dispute or a peace treaty between the two countries. On June 27, Abe met Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and on June 28, he met US President Donald Trump.
- Abe, Trump Agree to Bolster Alliance, Speed Up Trade Talks
- Xi Accepts Invitation to Visit Japan as State Guest
(Originally published in Japanese. Banner photo: A man makes an offering at the Cornerstone of Peace monument in the Peace Memorial Park, Itoman, Okinawa, on June 23, 2019, 74 years after the end of the Battle of Okinawa. © Jiji.)