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Saitama Prefecture to Charge Climbers for Rescues by Helicopter (News)

The Saitama prefectural government has set details of planned fees for rescues by helicopter that it will charge rescued climbers under an ordinance taking effect next January. The fee for a five-minute helicopter flight for a mountain rescue operation is set at ¥5,000, approximately equivalent to fuel costs. As mountain rescue operations by helicopters take about 60 minutes on average, one …

Time to Stop Nursing the Nuclear Power IndustryYoshioka Hitoshi

The resumption of commercial operations at a nuclear power plant in Kagoshima Prefecture last September might seem to bode well for the comeback of nuclear energy in Japan after the nationwide shutdown precipitated by the 2011 Fukushima meltdown. But the author argues that the government’s policy of “long-term nursing care” for an unsustainable industry is merely delaying the inevitable while exposing the nation to unacceptable risks.

Ferry Disaster Deals a Blow to Korean ConfidenceRoh Daniel

US President Barack Obama visited South Korea on April 25 and 26, immediately after his two-night, three-day state visit to Japan. But the timing of his trip to Seoul could hardly have been worse. He arrived not long after the tragic capsizing of a Korean ferry, the Sewol, in the Yellow Sea off the southwest Korean coast. Obama touched down in Seoul to find President Park Geun-hye and her fellow…

Random Killings Are Not Acts of Evil DemonsKato Yuko

On June 10, in a bustling commercial area called Shinsaibashi in the middle of downtown Osaka, a terrible knife attack occurred, with two passers-by being killed. When I was a newspaper reporter on the police beat, I used to wander around this area, also known as the Minami district, every day. The street of the crime scene is familiar to me, and I still retain a sense of the comforting quiet t…

Fukushima Folk Song “Requiem”

Min’yō are traditional Japanese folk songs, interwoven with the reality of daily life and handed down from generation to generation. Fukushima Prefecture is particularly famous for its rich repertoire of traditional songs. When a group of local musicians got together to make a recording of Fukushima folk songs as a way of soothing the pain from last year’s disaster, Nippon.com was on hand to capture the moment.

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