Temps in manufacturing feel full brunt of slump

NATIONAL The deepening recession is worrying workers nationwide, particularly temporary employees in the manufacturing industry. [THE JAPAN TIMES]

Proposal calls for 30 percent cut in big-eyed tuna catch

NATIONAL Big-eyed tuna catches need to be cut by 30 percent, says the Commission for the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean. [MAINICHI]

Top court notifying lay judge candidates

NATIONAL Over the next few days, some 295,000 Japanese can expect to find a large envelope from the Supreme Court in their mailboxes with the following notice: “This is to inform you that, as a result of a lottery, you are listed as a prospective lay judge of the court.“ (1) [THE JAPAN TIMES]

331 students had their job offers annulled

NATIONAL At least 331 students graduating next March had their job offers canceled, while an estimated 30,000 nonpermanent employees have lost or will lose their jobs during the six months through March, the labor ministry said Friday. [ASAHI]

Survey finds 87% of private video parlors violate law

NATIONAL A government survey found 87 percent of private-video-watching facilities do not have fire-suppression systems or other equipment required by the Fire Service Law, it was learned Tuesday. [YOMIURI]

963 apply to become JAXA astronauts

NATIONAL A total of 963 people applied to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to become astronauts, after the agency began accepting applications for the first time in 10 years, officials said. (1) [MAINICHI]

Flood of ‘Akihabara-style’ murder threats posted on Internet

NATIONAL Over a dozen threats of murder and other crimes were posted on the Internet following the random street killings in Tokyo’s Akihabara earlier this month, police said. [MAINICHI]

Ambulances ‘treated like taxis’ in Japan

NATIONAL Many people request ambulances for nonemergency purposes, according to a Yomiuri Shimbun survey of fire departments in 51 major cities. [YOMIURI]

Japanese whalers stand firm as controversy grows

NATIONAL As controversy grows over Japan’s whaling, the small coastal towns with a history of the hunt are sticking to their guns, fearing that their way of life is under threat. [AFP]

Heavy rain, thunderstorms likely to hit eastern Japan

NATIONAL Heavy rain and thunderstorms are expected in wide areas from southwestern to eastern Japan on the Pacific side until late Sunday as a seasonal rain front hangs over areas from mainland China and Kyushu to the Kanto region, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. [KYODO]

Candle Night to shine light on slow life

NATIONAL Tokyo Tower will not be illuminated between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Saturday. Nor will the Sapporo Clock Tower in the Hokkaido capital. Nor will Matsumoto Castle in Nagano Prefecture. But don’t worry; it’s not a solar storm or a rolling blackout–it’s part of the Candle Night movement. [YOMIURI]

Justice Ministry to create new type of family register for kids without records

NATIONAL The Ministry of Justice has informed an Osaka woman without family register records that it will create a new type of family register for her children, listing each child as the head person on the register, it has been learned. (1) [MAINICHI]

Number of foreign trainees in Japan surge as more take on low-paid work

NATIONAL The number of non-Japanese who began two years of skilled practical activities after a year of training under Japan’s foreign trainee program surged to a record 53,999 in 2007, a government survey has found.

Suicides in Japan top 30,000 for 10th year in a row

NATIONAL The number of suicides in Japan hit 33,093 last year, topping 30,000 for the 10th year in a row, a report from the National Police Agency has shown. [MAINICHI]

JAL unions to go on strike this week, JAC begins strike

NATIONAL Two Japan Airlines pilot unions notified the airline’s management Tuesday that their members will gone on strike this week, likely leading to a series of cancellations and delays, company officials said. [KYODO]

Knives on sale in Asakusa, Tokyo.

Photo: Jad 23. Creative Commons

Gov’t cracks down on dagger sales following Akihabara attack

NATIONAL The government has urged knife manufacturers and retailers to refrain from producing or selling daggers after the suspect in the Akihabara stabbing rampage used such a weapon in his attacks, officials said. [MAINICHI]

Serial killer Miyazaki executed

NATIONAL Tsutomu Miyazaki, the notorious serial killer who butchered four girls and sent a letter and remains to a victim’s parents, was among three criminals executed Tuesday, the Justice Ministry said. [ASAHI]

Number of reported child abuse cases tops 40,000

NATIONAL The number of child abuse cases reported to consultation centers across the nation has topped 40,000 for the first time, a government survey has found. (1) [MAINICHI]

Japan News Review to resume service in June

NATIONAL Japan News Review has not been updated the past two weeks because of a staff shortage, and will remain inactive for the next month. Service will be resumed on June 10. We apologize for any inconvenience caused.

Textbook screening too focused on trivia

NATIONAL The school textbook screening process in 2007 is coming under fire for nit-picking over trivial matters. The problem seems to have arisen because no social studies textbooks, a major source of controversy in past screenings, were submitted for approval last year. [YOMIURI]

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Autumn leaves in Matsudo city, Chiba Prefecture.

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