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LDP OKs Diluted Draft Bill against Passive Smoking (News)

Tokyo, Feb. 22 (Jiji Press)—The health, labor, and welfare division of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Thursday broadly approved a diluted draft bill for strengthening measures against passive smoking in public places, including restaurants. The draft bill to revise the health promotion law, presented by the health ministry to the LDP division, allows as an exception smoking at exist…

669 Cases of Dubious Cryptocurrency Transactions Reported in Japan in 2017 (News)

Tokyo, Feb. 22 (Jiji Press)—A total of 669 cases of dubious cryptocurrency transactions, such as suspected money laundering cases, were reported by exchange operators to authorities in Japan in 2017, a National Police Agency report released Thursday showed. About 500 cases, or over 70% of the total, were reported in the final three months of the year. Beginning April last year, cryptocurrenc…

Reflationist Wakatabe Seen as Key in BOJ Monetary Policy (News)

Tokyo, Feb. 21 (Jiji Press)—Market attention is focusing on whether Waseda University Professor Wakatabe Masazumi, known as a reflationist and candidate for Bank of Japan deputy governor, will continue to call on the central bank to take additional monetary easing steps after assuming the key BOJ post. Early next month, both chambers of the Diet, Japan's parliament, are expected to invite Wakat…

Japan Government Announces Osaka as Venue for G20 Summit in 2019 (News)

Tokyo, Feb. 21 (Jiji Press)—The first Group of 20 summit to be chaired by Japan will take place in 2019 in Osaka, western Japan, Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide announced Wednesday. Prime Minister Abe Shinzō has made the final decision on the venue, Suga told a press conference. "Osaka's experience as a host of an APEC summit was taken into account, as well as its accommodation capac…

Abe Seeks Steps to Prevent Economic Slump after Tokyo Olympics (News)

Tokyo, Feb. 20 (Jiji Press)—Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzō on Tuesday instructed related cabinet ministers to consider measures to prevent a possible fallback of the country's economy after the consumption tax hike planned for October 2019 and the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics and Paralympics. At the day's meeting of the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy, a key government panel, Abe said, …

Japanese Mobile Game “Tabikaeru” Big Hit in China (News)

Beijing, Feb. 20 (Jiji Press)—Tabikaeru, or "travel frog," a free Japanese mobile game in which players look after a frog in a virtual house, has become a major hit in China, despite being available only in Japanese. Japanese mobile app Tabikaeru has been a runaway hit in China. (© Jiji) The game has been at the top of the list of most downloaded free game apps for Apple Inc.'s mobiles in C…

Japan Steel Industry Protests Proposed US Measures against Imports (News)

Tokyo, Feb. 19 (Jiji Press)—Japan Iron and Steel Federation Chairman Shindō Kōsei voiced Monday his strong displeasure at US Commerce Department-recommended measures against steel imports. The anti-import recommendations, including options of imposing tariffs and quantitative restrictions, to President Donald Trump "are very regrettable," Shindō said in a statement. The department asked Trum…

International Ninja Research Association Founded in Japan (News)

Iga, Mie Pref., Feb. 19 (Jiji Press)—An international academic society designed to promote research on ninjas was established last week in Iga, Mie Prefecture, central Japan, known as the home of the traditional covert agents in the country. Some 200 researchers from countries, including Japan, South Korea, China, and Britain, attended an inaugural ceremony for the International Ninja Research …

Japan May Defer Announcement of New Era Name (News)

Tokyo, Feb. 16 (Jiji Press)—The Japanese government is considering deferring until year-end or later the announcement of the name of a new Japanese era to start with Crown Prince Naruhito's accession to the throne, set for May 1, 2019, informed sources said on Friday. The government plans to decide and release the new era's name early enough to prevent confusion in people's daily lives and econ…

Hanyū Defends Olympic Figure Skating Title, 1st in 66 Years (News)

Pyeongchang, South Korea, Feb. 17 (Jiji Press)—Japan's Hanyū Yuzuru won gold in men's single figure skating in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics on Saturday, becoming the first man in 66 years to earn two consecutive Olympic golds in the sport. Making a stellar comeback from an injury, Hanyū, 23, defended the title he gained in the 2014 Sochi Olympics in Russia. He also marked Japan's first Pyeon…

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