Japan Daily News

Hello and welcome to today’s news from Japan Daily News on February 14th, 2024. In tragic news, a fire broke out in a townhouse in Kiyama-cho, Saga Prefecture, in the early hours of the 14th. The remains of two individuals, believed to be an elderly couple in their 80s who lived in the room, were found in the aftermath of the fire. The police are working to confirm their identities and investigate the cause of the fire.

Moving on to wildlife-related news, the Nagano Prefectural Committee is taking steps to separate bear habitats from human living areas. With the increasing incidents of bear-related damage nationwide, the committee aims to establish measures that will effectively capture bears during emergencies while ensuring a clear separation between bear habitats and human communities.

Shifting our focus to the legal sphere, the trial of former Deputy Minister of Justice, Mito Kakizawa, is set to begin today at the Tokyo District Court. Kakizawa is facing charges of violating the Public Offices Election Act, including bribery related to the Tokyo’s Koto Ward mayoral election held last April. It is expected that Kakizawa will acknowledge the charges brought against him, and attention will be on how he explains the circumstances surrounding the provision of cash.

Turning to a tragic incident in Hamanako, Shizuoka Prefecture, the body of a 17-year-old male high school student was discovered. The body showed multiple bruises, indicating that the student had been severely beaten. Police suspect that the student was beaten and then drowned, and they are conducting a detailed investigation into the circumstances that led to this tragic event.

In weather news, unseasonably warm air is expected to continue flowing across the country on the 14th. The warm temperatures are forecasted to persist on the 15th as well, with significantly higher temperatures compared to the average for this time of year. In regions with heavy snowfall, caution is advised due to the risk of avalanches caused by snowmelt.

Shifting gears to childcare support, the Child and Family Agency plans to issue approximately 700,000 discounted babysitting vouchers for the fiscal year 2024, which is 1.8 times the number issued in the previous year. These vouchers are targeted at employees of companies and aim to provide support for working parents in need of childcare services.

Lastly, in a survey conducted by NHK regarding the funding of measures to address the declining birthrate, the government’s proposal to collect contributions for the ‘support fund’ through public health insurance was met with mixed opinions. Among the respondents, 20% considered the proposed monthly contribution of less than 500 yen per person to be reasonable, while 31% found it to be unreasonable, and 33% opposed the support fund system altogether. And now for the weather. Today in Tokyo, the weather will be sunny with a maximum temperature of 15 degrees Celsius and a minimum temperature of 8 degrees Celsius. Visit JapanDailyNews.com for the news, yen exchange rates, and a daily Japanese proverb.