Japan Daily News

Hello and welcome to today’s news from Japan Daily News on October 30th, 2023. In today’s news, we start with a concerning report about bear attacks in Japan. According to NHK, the number of people injured by bear attacks has reached a record high of 173 in 18 prefectures this year. This is the highest number of bear attack victims since the government started keeping statistics, prompting calls for thorough measures from the national and local authorities.

Moving on to our next story, construction has begun on the ‘Kasumidam’ project in the upstream area of the Naka River, which flows through Tochigi and Ibaraki prefectures. The project involves deliberately opening a part of the embankment to allow water to overflow, aiming to prevent major flooding downstream. This initiative is part of a larger disaster prevention plan.

In other news, a Level 4 autonomous vehicle, which was operating under specific conditions, was involved in an accident with a bicycle in Eiheiji-cho, Fukui Prefecture. This is the first time in Japan that a Level 4 autonomous vehicle has been involved in a collision. Although no one was injured, the local third-sector organization responsible for the operation has decided to suspend the service until safety can be ensured.

Shifting gears, the Japanese government is taking steps to support elderly employment by creating new opportunities for seniors to work in community centers and other public facilities. The government plans to include support for transportation costs to these locations in its upcoming economic measures, targeting elderly individuals registered with Silver Human Resources Centers.

In a surprising development related to a 57-year-old murder case, new facts have emerged regarding the retrial of Iwao Hakamada, who was sentenced to death for the murder of a family of four in Shizuoka Prefecture. It has been revealed that nine years ago, the former presiding judge of the Shizuoka District Court submitted an unusual opinion document in response to the prosecutor’s objection, in order to avoid prolonging the trial. The former judge recently expressed regret in an interview with NHK, stating that he feels sorry for Hakamada and his sister Hideko, acknowledging that the lengthy delay in starting the retrial was unfortunate.

Moving on, there is an ongoing legal battle over the construction of the Henoko base in Nago City, Okinawa, which is intended to replace the US Marine Corps Futenma Air Station. The first hearing in the trial for the government’s request for authorization to proceed with the construction, known as ‘dai-shitsugyo,’ will take place today. While the government is pushing for early commencement of the construction work through legal procedures, the prefectural government intends to argue in court that the authorization goes against the will of the people.

Lastly, concerned by the serious labor shortage at Narita Airport, local business leaders and airport officials have embarked on the production of a short film set at Narita Airport to raise awareness about the current situation. The aim is to shed light on the challenges faced by the airport due to the lack of manpower. And now for the weather. Today in Tokyo, the weather will be mostly sunny with a high of 21°C and a low of 16°C. Visit JapanDailyNews.com for the news, yen exchange rates, and a daily Japanese proverb.