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Japan to Seek to Limit “Furusato Nōzei” Rewards to Local Specialties (News)

Tokyo, March 30 (Jiji Press)--Japan's internal affairs ministry will urge regional governments to limit the rewards they give to furusato nōzei donors to local goodies, ministry officials said Friday. The ministry hopes to remedy a situation in which some local governments are sending specialties from other regions or even abroad as gifts in return for donations. It sees such moves running c…
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Okinawa Aims to Make Coffee New Signature Product (News)

Nago, Okinawa Pref., March 30 (Jiji Press)--Farmers in the southernmost Japan prefecture of Okinawa are trying to popularize homegrown coffee while the country mostly depends on imports for its coffee consumption. Local farmers established a producers association in 2014, hoping to make coffee beans a new signature agricultural product of the island prefecture. The association is set to mark…
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Owner of Camera Found in Taiwan Identified as Japanese Woman

Taipei, March 29 (Jiji Press)--The owner of an underwater camera that was found washed ashore in Taiwan by an elementary school boy earlier this week has been identified as a Japanese woman after the child's teacher posted on Facebook about the discovery. The camera covered with seaweed and shells after its journey from Okinawa to Taiwan. (Courtesy Yueming Elementary School, Taiwan; © Jiji) …
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Far More Foreign Caregivers Pass Certification Exam in Japan (News)

Tokyo, March 28 (Jiji Press)—Japan has seen a sharp increase in the number of caregivers accepted from other countries under economic partnership deals who have passed the national certification examination, the welfare ministry said Wednesday. A total of 213 foreign caregivers passed the fiscal 2017 exam, more than double the previous year's 104. Vietnamese accounted for 89 of the successfu…
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Japan FY 2018 Budget Enacted with Government Mired in Scandal (News)

Tokyo, March 28 (Jiji Press)—The Diet, Japan's parliament, enacted the government's ¥97,712.8-billion budget for fiscal 2018 on Wednesday, at a time when the opposition camp continues to grill the administration of Prime Minister Abe Shinzō over a high-profile cronyism scandal. The fiscal 2018 budget, with spending set to hit a record high for the sixth straight year, was approved by a majority…
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Emperor, Empress Visit Okinawa Island of Yonaguni (News)

Yonaguni, Okinawa Pref., March 28 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko made their first-ever visit to the Okinawa Prefecture island of Yonaguni, the westernmost part of Japan, on Wednesday. The couple, who arrived in the southernmost Japan prefecture on Tuesday for a three-day tour, flew to the island from Naha, the capital of Okinawa, aboard a special jet. The Emperor …
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Sony Likely to Raise Annual Pay by 5% (News)

Tokyo, March 28 (Jiji Press)—Sony Corp. plans to raise employees' annual pay by around 5% in fiscal 2018, which starts in April, according to informed sources. The Japanese electronics and entertainment giant plans to offer annual bonuses equivalent to 6.9 months' salary, a record high, and increase basic monthly salaries, the sources said. Sony aims to secure highly skilled technicians thro…
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Ex-MOF Official Denies Abe’s Instruction about Document Tampering (News)

Tokyo, March 27 (Jiji Press)—Former Japanese Ministry of Finance official Sagawa Nobuhisa told parliament on Tuesday that there was no instruction from the prime minister's office about altering documents on a dubious state land transaction with private school operator Moritomo Gakuen. It was the MOF's Financial Bureau that dealt with the document changes in question, Sagawa, who was director-g…
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“Kiki’s Delivery Service” Author Kadono Eiko Wins Hans Christian Andersen Award

Tokyo, March 27 (Jiji Press)—Kadono Eiko, a Japanese author of children's literature, has won the author's award of the 2018 Hans Christian Andersen Awards, it has been learned. An official of the Switzerland-based International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) on Monday informed Kadono, 83, of her winning the award. Kadono Eiko pictured in April 2014, when it was decided that she wou…
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Almost Half of Refugee Status Seekers in Japan in Their Twenties (News)

Tokyo, March 23 (Jiji Press)—Nearly half of foreigners who applied for refugee status in Japan in 2017 were in their twenties, the Justice Ministry said Friday. The number of applicants came to 19,629, up 8,728 from the previous year and up 1 from the preliminary figure released in February, the ministry said. Of the total, men and women in their twenties accounted for 48% and 46%, respectiv…
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