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All the latest news on Japan

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    An earthquake shook southwestern Japan on Thursday, but there were no immediate reports of damage and a tsunami watch was lifted within an hour. (Japan Today)

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    If you’ve watched any of the films from Japanese animation studio Studio Ghibli, you’ll know just how integral the world of nature is to many of their plots and characters. (Japan Today)

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    The Defense Ministry will crank into high gear its research to develop a high-output military laser that can intercept mortar rounds and enemy drones flying at low altitudes. (Japan Times)

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    Bank of Japan policymakers will weigh downgrading their inflation outlook at their meeting later this month to reflect lower crude oil prices, cuts in mobile phone fees and an expansion of free schooling. (Nikkei)

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    With such a revered, sacred background, Ise Jingu is a popular destination during Japan’s most holy of holidays, the New Year period. And as people come to pray and worship here, the famous and well-preserved Okage Yokocho traditional shopping street that leads up to the shrine becomes filled with people, creating a bustling atmosphere. (soranews24.com)

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    The Meteorological Agency has issued an advisory for possible tremors in and around Kumamoto Prefecture in western Japan. (NHK)

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    The arrested driver of a car that plowed into a New Year crowd in Tokyo's Harajuku district has said he was planning to spray kerosene at people at a popular Shinto shrine and set them ablaze, investigative sources said Friday. (Japan Today)

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    Former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn is set to appear in a court in Tokyo next Tuesday to hear the reason for his detention. (NHK)

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    More Japanese companies went under for lack of personnel last year, reflecting the growing toll of the country's ongoing labor crunch on businesses that fail to secure or keep workers. (Nikkei)

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    A Japanese legislator is drawing criticism for his comment that "a nation would collapse" if everyone became LGBT. (Japan Today)

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    Two people died and 13 were injured in a fire early Friday at a lodging house in Yokohama, where many daily laborers stay, police said. (Japan Today)

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    A nine-year-old Japanese girl is set to become the youngest professional player of the Asian board game "Go." (NHK)

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    Heavy snow has forced cancellation of flights to and from Hokkaido, keeping holidaymakers from leaving the northern main island amid the peak of the "U-turn rush." (NHK)

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    A Japanese sushi tycoon paid a record $3.1m for a giant tuna at the first predawn New Year auction in Tokyo's new fish market on Saturday. (aljazeera.com)

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    Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has directed ministries to look into countermeasures after plaintiffs in South Korea took legal steps to seize the local assets of a Japanese steelmaker that has refused to comply with a court order to pay compensation for wartime forced labor. (Japan Today)

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    Flight cancellations due to heavy snow in Hokkaido, northern Japan, left around 2,000 travelers stranded overnight at a key airport through Sunday, right at the end of the country's New Year holidays. (Kyodo)

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    In tennis, Japan's Kei Nishikori has clinched his first title in almost three years by winning the men's singles final at the Brisbane International tournament in Australia. (NHK)

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    A Philippine court has ordered the arrest of Japanese pachinko billionaire Kazuo Okada, about a month after the country's Department of Justice recommended the filing of charges against him over three counts of fraud. (Japan Today)

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    The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is searching for a suitable site on the Ryugu asteroid that it can safely land its Hayabusa2 spacecraft as early as late this month. (Japan Times)

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    Sky watchers across Japan have enjoyed the first partial solar eclipse over the country in three years. (NHK)

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