14 prefectures get boosted bluefin tuna catch quota

The Japan Times

The Fisheries Agency has given 14 prefectures an additional quota of 122.2 tons for small Pacific bluefin tuna catches in total, though the nation's overall catches this season exceeded the limit under an international accord. Japan's total catches of small Pacific bluefin tuna, defined as those weighing less than 30 kg, late last month topped the ceiling of 4,007 tons set for the season ending in June. Fisherman in areas where catches of tuna in the category have not reached regional annual limits are now allowed to continue operations within the additional quota. In return for the boosted quota, the 14 prefectures will see their catch limits lowered in the next season that starts in July. The 14 prefectures are Hokkaido, Aomori, Miyagi, Tokyo, Niigata, Toyama, Ishikawa, Fukui, Kyoto, Hyogo, Tottori, Shimane, Saga and Nagasaki.


11 killed, dozens injured in recreational accidents over Bon holidays

The Japan Times

Eleven people died and more than 30 were injured Sunday as leisure activity surged nationwide over the Bon holidays, according to a tally compiled by Kyodo News. Many of the deaths occurred near water, including a 7-year-old boy from Aichi Prefecture who was found dead in a river in Ogaki, Gifu Prefecture. Other accidents took place near beaches in Hokkaido, Niigata, Kyoto, Tottori, Shimane and Kagoshima prefectures. Many people across the country engaged in some kind of outdoor recreation on the last day of a three-day weekend. The deceased included Sapporo resident Masaki Ogiyama, 29, who died while visiting a beach in the town of Yoichi, Hokkaido, and Hideaki Aomatsu, 71, from Yokohama, who drowned while collecting shells off Sado Island in Niigata.


Nine die, dozens injured while engaging in summer leisure activities on Bon holiday

The Japan Times

Nine people died and around 30 sustained injuries while engaging in leisure activities at sea, on mountains or at other spots Sunday, when people were taking advantage of the Bon holiday season, according to a tally compiled by Kyodo News. Of the nine, seven died at sea off or near beaches in Hokkaido and Niigata, Kyoto, Tottori, Shimane and Kagoshima prefectures, while the remaining two died in rivers, including a 7-year-old boy from Aichi Prefecture who was found in a river in Ogaki, Gifu Prefecture. Many people across the country engaged in some kind of outdoor recreation on the last day of the nation's three-day weekend. Among the victims of fatal accidents were Masaki Ogiyama, 29, from Sapporo, who was visiting a beach in the town of Yoichi, and Hideaki Aomatsu, 71, from Yokohama who drowned while collecting shells off Sado Island in Niigata. In Tottori, Nobuhiko Yamada, 69, from Kobe, went missing at a beach in Aoya, and a rescue helicopter found his body.


Local governments in Japan expanding scope of disabled applicants eligible for public-sector job exams

The Japan Times

An increasing number of prefectural governments and ordinance-designated major cities are expanding the scope of disabled people eligible to take exams for regular jobs at public-sector offices to include those with mental or intellectual disabilities. Previously, the job exams had been available to people with physical disabilities. Local governments are moving to open their employment exams to more people with disabilities, following the revelation last year that central government agencies had padded their numbers of disabled workers. Prefectures including Iwate, Tokushima, Saga and Kumamoto, and such cities as Chiba, Niigata and Hiroshima, will allow people with mental or intellectual disabilities to take their exams from the current fiscal year, which started April 1. The prefectures of Kanagawa and Shimane began to do this in fiscal 2018, while Tokyo and Tottori Prefecture made the same move earlier.


Residential land prices level out on solid demand in major cities

The Japan Times

Residential land prices in 2017 stopped falling for the first time in nine years, supported by solid demand in three major metropolitan areas and other big cities, government data showed Tuesday. The average nationwide residential land price as of Jan. 1 rose a marginal 0.022 percent from a year earlier, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism said in an annual survey covering 26,000 locations. The average price of residential land edged up 0.5 percent in the Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya metropolitan areas and grew 2.8 percent in the four major regional cities of Sapporo, Sendai, Hiroshima and Fukuoka. But around 60 percent of locations in regional areas saw a continued year-on-year fall, indicating a widening gap between major regional cities and rural areas. The rise in prices was attributable to a moderate economic recovery and the government's policies to expand housing demand, including mortgage tax relief as well as continuing low interest rates under the Bank of Japan's aggressive monetary easing policy, ministry officials said.