Collaborating Authors

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.

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.

Okinawa village has nation's longest life expectancy for third straight time, survey finds

The Japan Times

For the third consecutive time, the life expectancy average for women in 2015 was highest in the village of Kitanakagusuku, in Okinawa Prefecture, hitting 89.0 years, a health ministry survey released Tuesday showed. The village of Nakagusuku and the city of Nago, both also in Okinawa, came in Nos. 2 and 3 at 88.8 years, according to the survey conducted every five year. The two municipalities were followed by Kawasaki's Asao Ward and Nonoichi, Ishikawa Prefecture, with both at 88.6 years. For men, the average life expectancy was highest in Yokohama's Aoba Ward at 83.3 years. Asao came in second, at 83.1 years, followed by Tokyo's Setagaya Ward, at 82.8 years, Tsuzuki Ward in Yokohama, at 82.7 years and Kusatsu, Shiga Prefecture, at 82.6 years.

Two people dead, nearly 2,000 suffered from heat exhaustion as heat wave continues across nation

The Japan Times

Two people died and more than 2,000 people suffered heatstroke or exhaustion Sunday as a heat wave continued to scorch Japan over the three-day weekend, a Kyodo News tally showed. Temperatures rose above 35 C in many parts of western and eastern Japan with the highest for the day at 38.8 C recorded in Fukuchiyama, Kyoto Prefecture, and in the town of Ibigawa, Gifu Prefecture. The tally showed that two people died in Shiga and Saga prefectures while 2,061 people across the nation were taken to hospital due to heatstroke or exhaustion on Sunday. The extreme heat made it harder to carry out relief operations in the regions ravaged by the recent flooding and landslides. In the hardest-hit prefectures of Okayama, Hiroshima and Ehime, a total of 145 people, including volunteers for removing and cleaning up debris, were taken to hospitals, as the mercury reached 36 C in some areas in the prefectures.

Nearly 4 out of 5 of A-bomb survivors find it difficult to pass on experiences: poll

The Japan Times

Osaka – About 78 percent of atomic bomb survivors are finding it difficult to pass on their experiences of the 1945 bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a Kyodo News poll showed Friday, highlighting the challenges and limitations presented by aging. Held ahead of the 75th anniversary of the U.S. bombings in August, the survey also found that 63.1 percent of the survivors think the global outbreak of the novel coronavirus is preventing them to some extent from promoting the abolition of nuclear weapons. The issue of passing on memories of the bombings is becoming more urgent as witnesses are declining in numbers. The questionnaire survey was sent to about 4,700 survivors in May and received valid responses from 1,661 people between the ages of 74, who were exposed to radiation in their mother's womb, and those in their 100s. The coronavirus pandemic has further hampered some of the survivors' activities in sharing their experiences since seniors are considered to have a high risk of developing severe symptoms, prompting many cancellations of seminars and meetings. "For the first time, I had prepared to deliver a lecture to tell of the misery of nuclear weapons, but it was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic," said Hiroyuki Kinoshita, 79, who lives in Oguchi, Aichi Prefecture.