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All the latest news on Japan

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    Japan’s driver’s licenses will start to indicate their expiration date using the Western calendar instead of the Japanese calendar, a draft of revised traffic law regulations showed Thursday. (Japan Times)

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    Mobile carrier NTT Docomo Inc. said Thursday it plans to review its two-year smartphone contracts by next March, a day after rival KDDI Corp. pledged to change its contracts in response to government warnings. (Kyodo)

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    The Japanese government is considering granting pardons to coincide with the abdication of Emperor Akihito and the enthronement of Crown Prince Naruhito next year, government sources said on Thursday. (Jiji)

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    Tokyo Medical University lowered scores of all female applicants in its general entrance examination for its School of Medicine held in February this year, informed sources said Thursday. (Jiji)

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    China's stock market has been overtaken as the world's second-biggest by Japan's, having been swiped this year by the threat of a trade war with the United States and slowing economic growth. (Japan Today)

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    The Japanese economy's ongoing expansion phase is becoming the longest since the end of World War II, a white paper said Friday. (Jiji)

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    Hotel Okura Tokyo, the flagship hotel of one of Japan's top hotel chain operators, has been fully booked during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics thanks to stays by officials connected with the International Olympic Committee. (Kyodo)

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    A university hospital in southwestern Japan says that over the past 2 years, 15 patients appear to have been infected with drug-resistant bacteria. (NHK)

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    Triathlon events at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be staged on the large man-made island of Odaiba in Tokyo Bay and will start early in the morning to counter the heat that is expected in the Japanese capital. (Japan Today)

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    Strong sunshine pushed up temperatures across most of Japan on Friday. (NHK)

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    Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko started their three-day tour of Hokkaido on Friday, which will probably be their last visit to the northernmost Japan prefecture before the Emperor's abdication in late April next year. (Jiji)

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    A 7-month-old Japanese baby has become an Internet sensation for her full head of thick black hair. (NHK)

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    Vegetable prices are soaring in Japan due to effects of record-breaking scorching heat. (Jiji)

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    Holidaymakers have flocked to a maze created with sunflowers in Yamagata Prefecture, northern Japan. (NHK)

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    One of the largest summer festivals in northeastern Japan has started in Akita City, featuring bamboo poles decorated with dozens of lanterns. (NHK)

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    A Russian media report says the country's air force has deployed fighter jets on a trial basis on one of the 4 Russian-held islands claimed by Japan. (NHK)

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    As Kaori Shibo bends her head down and peers at a log through a magnifying glass, she emits a delighted gasp. The object of her adoration? Moss. (Japan Times)

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    A French woman has been missing in eastern Japan since late last month, police announced Sunday. (Japan Today)

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    Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko attended on Sunday a ceremony to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Japan's northernmost main island being named Hokkaido. (Jiji)

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    Extreme heat continues to afflict wide areas across Japan. Temperatures are expected to hit 39 degrees Celsius, or what weather officials call "life-threatening" levels, in some places on Monday. (NHK)

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