Abe gives Trump and family golden table runner, golf cap, other summit gifts

The Japan Times

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gave U.S. President Donald Trump a golden table runner on Monday to commemorate their summit in Tokyo, the Foreign Ministry said. The table runner, shiny and embroidered with intricate patterns, was made by Tatsumura Textile Co. in Kyoto. Abe also offered one of the golf caps he and Trump autographed with Japanese golf pro Hideki Matsuyama during their nine-hole outing at the Olympic venue in Saitama Prefecture on Sunday. The cap carries an embroidered message reading: "Donald & Shinzo, Make Alliance Even Greater." When they met in New York in November last year immediately after Trump won the presidential election, the two leaders, both avid golfers, exchanged golfing items as gifts.

Sailors rap Japan for having dolphin show at World Cup opening

The Japan Times

The Japanese organizer of the World Cup sailing competition has been criticized for having included a dolphin show in the opening ceremony. World Sailing, a governing body that seeks to protect marine cetaceans, said in a statement it was "disappointed" that the organizing committee of the World Cup Series in Enoshima, Kanagawa Prefecture, had the sea mammals jump during the ceremony held at an aquarium on Saturday. Some foreign competitors who took part in the ceremony raised questions about the dolphin show on social networking sites. The competition through next Sunday offers sailors the first opportunity to test the venue for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. All content in the opening and closing ceremonies of World Sailing events must be approved in advance, the body said, adding no such approval was sought by the organizing committee.

Japan to mobilize over 9,000 police officers during Rugby World Cup

The Japan Times

Japan will mobilize up to around 9,100 police officers to ensure safety during the Rugby World Cup starting Sept. 20, the National Police Agency said Thursday. A total of 48 matches will be played at stadiums in 12 prefectures in Asia's first Rugby World Cup through Nov. 2. The Metropolitan Police Department will mobilize the largest number of officers, about 1,700, as the department will be responsible for guarding the tournament opener between Japan and Russia at Tokyo Stadium (Ajinomoto Stadium), among other matches. The police in Kanagawa Prefecture, where the tournament final will be held at International Stadium Yokohama (Nissan Stadium), are planning to deploy around 1,500 personnel. Police in the other 10 prefectures are planning to deploy around 500 to 800 members each, according to the agency.

Upcoming referendum on food imports strains Taiwan's ties with Japan

The Japan Times

TAIPEI – Taiwan's Central Election Commission formally announced this week that a record nine referendums will be held in conjunction with next month's nationwide local elections, one of which is on whether to maintain a ban imposed on food products from five Japanese prefectures after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011. Japan's de facto ambassador to Taiwan, Mikio Numata, last week expressed disappointment over the vote scheduled for Nov. 24, saying that the issue has become a political tool of the party that initiated it, referring to the main opposition Kuomintang (KMT). As it is unusual for Japan's diplomatic mission to comment on Taiwanese affairs, Numata's press release suggests that Tokyo is becoming impatient over the continuation of the ban long after it has been lifted elsewhere. China is the only other country still restricting comprehensive imports from Fukushima and nearby Ibaraki, Gunma, Tochigi and Chiba prefectures. The matter could also have been resolved earlier in Taiwan had politics not gotten in the way.

Robots galore as Asia's biggest tech fair kicks off SAMAA TV


Japan s Murata Manufacturing Co. Ltd s latest concept robots, the Murata Cheerleaders, demonstrate how they balance on balls and synchronise as a team by utilising sensing and communication technology, at CEATEC JAPAN 2016 at the Makuhari Messe in Chiba, Japan. CHIBA, JAPAN: A Japanese inventor is hoping a robot that still needs humans will win over Asia's largest tech fair, offering a counterpoint to major technology firms pushing the boundaries of artificial intelligence (AI). Katsumori Sakakibara was showing off his little droid called Caiba at the Cutting-Edge IT & Electronics Comprehensive Exhibition (CEATEC), which kicked off Tuesday near Tokyo. Waist-high Caiba -- whose name means hippocampus, a key area of the brain, in Japanese -- is controlled by a human wearing a virtual reality handset and mechanical arms. If the person waves their arms, the little robot follows suit.