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Kodaira Skates to Gold in the Women’s 500 Meters (Japan in Photos)

Japan’s Kodaira Nao rounds a corner on her way to winning the gold medal in the women’s 500-meter speed skating competition at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics on February 18. She set a new Olympic record with her time of 36.94 seconds. The victory makes her the first Japanese woman to win an Olympic gold medal in speed skating. (© Jiji)

Athleticism Over Artistry? The Jump Obsession in Men’s Figure SkatingAoshima Hirono

Earlier this January, I was watching the men’s singles event in the US Figure Skating Championships on television. I was flabbergasted when the commentator said that Nathan Chen’s free skate performance fell short of expectations. His winning routine featured five successful quadruple jumps, including two quad flips, or jumps launched from the inside back edge of the skate. However, the comment…

Fresh Faces at the Table

With several young table tennis players breaking through on the world stage, Japan is targeting gold at Tokyo 2020. Nippon.com talks to Japan Table Tennis Association Vice President Maehara Masahiro, who changed the way budding players are trained from the youngest ages.

Top Japanese Canoeist Suspended for Framing Rival for Doping (News)

Tokyo, Jan. 9 (Jiji Press)—Top Japanese canoeist Suzuki Yasuhiro intentionally mixed a banned drug in a drink of his rival, Komatsu Seiji, in the domestic canoe sprint championships last September, the Japan Canoe Federation said Tuesday. Over the incident, the Japan Anti-Doping Agency has suspended Suzuki, 32, from competition for eight years from December 2017. Komatsu Seiji (background) …

Antitobacco Campaigners Seize Olympic Opportunity for Clearing Smoke in Japan’s Public PlacesJoanna Pitman

With a powerful protobacco lobby, Japan’s smoke-free policies lag behind those of its international peers. The lead-up to the 2020 Olympic and Paralympics Games in Tokyo, however, offers an excellent opportunity for campaigners to introduce effective legislation that can protect nonsmokers against the dangers of passive smoking.

Harajuku Showroom Looks Ahead to Tokyo 2020 with Official Olympic and Paralympic Goods (Japan in Photos)

A showroom selling official Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic goods opened in Harajuku, Tokyo, on September 14, 2017. It will sell T-shirts, badges, and many other goods featuring the logos of the games until late November. It is open every day, apart from Wednesday, from 11 in the morning until 7 in the evening. Photograph shows the press opening on September 13, 2017. (© Jiji)

Japan Starts Using New Pictogram Signs (News)

Tokyo, July 20 (Jiji Press)—Japan has changed some pictogram signs used on street corners and created new ones, mainly to help foreign visitors get around more easily, the industry ministry said Thursday. A total of 16 new signs were added, including for Wi-Fi wireless Internet access and convenience stores. The designs of seven signs were changed, such as that for parking spaces. The use of…

Japan to Use Cruise Ships as Hotels during Tokyo Olympics (News)

Tokyo, June 29 (Jiji Press)--The government plans to use cruise liners stopping in Japan as hotels for visitors to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, informed sources said Thursday. The government on Thursday held the first meeting of division head-class officials from related agencies to examine problems that must be resolved to introduce so-called hotel ships, the sources also said. …

Women’s Participation to Hit Record 48.8% in Tokyo Olympics (News)

Lausanne, Switzerland, June 9 (Jiji Press)—The International Olympic Committee said Friday it expects women to account for 48.8% of the athletes in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the highest in Olympic history. The percentage, up from the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics' 45.6%, is based on the list of 33 sports and 339 events for the Tokyo Games, which was finalized at an Executive Board meeting of the …

Japan Ranks Fifteenth in Number of Foreign Visitors (News)

Tokyo, May 30 (Jiji Press)—Japan ranked 15th in the world in terms of the number of visitors from abroad last year, a government white paper said Tuesday. The number of visitors to Japan grew 21.8% from the previous year to 24.04 million, according to the 2017 white paper on tourism. Nine of the country's 10 regions saw an increase in the total number of foreign visitors who stayed at accomm…

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