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'Legal high' products a growing concern

The sale of a mixture of dried plant material and other substances that have hallucinatory and potentially harmful effects is proliferating nationwide, with vendors exploiting a legal loophole to...

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Ex-prosecutor: 'Aum made preparations to topple the government'

The Aum Supreme Truth cult could have toppled the government and taken power, even only for a short period, by committing mass murder in Tokyo with 70 tons of deadly sarin gas and 1,000 automatic...

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Japan torn over US-led free-trade pact

At first glance, Yoshio Hachiro and Masahiko Yamada look like they have been cut from the same piece of wood. Both men worked in agriculture for decades before turning to politics. Sixty-three-year-old...

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Olympus ex-CEO says Tokyo police can get to truth

Former Olympus Corp CEO Michael Woodford said on Wednesday that Tokyo police were best able to get to the truth behind one of Japan's biggest accounting scandals, as speculation mounts of possible...

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Japan, China eye 'crisis' plan to avoid sea disputes

Japan's foreign minister will on Wednesday meet Chinese leaders to discuss setting up a "crisis" mechanism that will aim to avoid conflict over disputed waters, a Japanese embassy official said. China...

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Analysis: Stark choices face Japan Inc, sick man of Asia

A sign hanging opposite Tadashi Yanai's spacious 31st floor Tokyo office reads: 'Change or die'. The head of Japan's leading apparel chain, Fast Retailing (9983.T), believes it's a message corporate...

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Man fined for riding racing bicycle on road

An Osaka man who rode a racing bicycle without brakes on a public road has been fined 6,000 yen by the Osaka Summary Court after an indictment had been filed against him for violation of the Road...

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Sumo: Hakuho edges nemesis Kisenosato on 11th day

Hakuho moved two wins clear at the Kyushu Grand Sumo on Wednesday and increased the pressure on promotion-chasing Kisenosato in the process by condemning his nemesis to a damaging third defeat at the...

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DPJ postpones raising pension eligibility age

A Democratic Party of Japan committee discussing public pension reform has deferred a plan to raise the eligibility age for private employees to receive pension benefits to between 68 and 70,...

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Late-night dancing should not be a crime in Japan

Imagine a town where playing rock music is under a curfew and police crack down on unlicensed late-night dancing. Are you thinking of the town from the film "Footloose"? Or are you thinking of Fukuoka?...

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Ikawa gambled until just before net closed

Former Daio Paper Corp. Chairman Mototaka Ikawa, who was arrested over huge loans he allegedly borrowed from subsidiaries to gamble, visited a casino in Singapore until just before the case was...

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Magnitude-5.9 quake hits near Japan nuclear site

A strong earthquake struck Thursday morning near the Japan nuclear power plant hit by a powerful tsunami earlier this year. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries. The U.S. Geological...

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Japanese comedian Tatekawa dies at 75

Danshi Tatekawa, master storyteller of Japan's traditional "rakugo" comic stories who inspired many comedians, has died at the age of 75, reports said Wednesday. He died Monday after a long battle with...

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Apple moves production to Sharp for TV debut

Apple Inc. is shifting production of iPhone and iPad displays to Sharp Corp. in Japan and may introduce a television with screens from the same partner as early as the middle of 2012, Jefferies &...

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Woman arrested for stabbing passer-by on Tokyo sidewalk

Police said Wednesday they have arrested a 37-year-old woman for allegedly stabbing a 40-year-old woman in Tokyo on Tuesday night. According to Fuji TV, the victim was walking along a street in...

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Japan looks to future with earnest crown prince

Over the past few weeks, Japanese Crown Prince Naruhito has been in the public eye as rarely before, whether tipping a wine glass in toasts at a state banquet or conferring imperial decorations as he...

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Japan safe, tourism leaders insist

Japan's embattled tourism leaders have delivered a fresh appeal to stay-away consumers by insisting the country is safe and free of radiation risk. The Japan Tourism Agency (JTA) took the step at the...

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Nikkei falls to lowest level since April 2009

The Nikkei average fell more than 1.5 percent to its lowest intraday level since April 2009 on Thursday, hurt by a worrying German bond sale and expectations that mounting European debt concerns will...

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Japan govt repeats economy picking up but warns of more risks

The Japanese government on Thursday left its overall economic assessment unchanged in its monthly report for November after downgrading it last month, but it also warned about growing downside risks...

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Japan's emperor released from hospital

Japan's Emperor Akihito has been released from the hospital after being treated for a high fever and mild bronchial pneumonia. Akihito, 77, was admitted into the University of Tokyo Hospital on Nov. 6....

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