Japan Daily News

Hello and welcome to today’s news from Japan Daily News on February 20th, 2024. In our first news story, Ishikawa Prefecture has announced plans to construct a database to support victims of the Noto Peninsula earthquake. The database will be shared with local municipalities to gather information about the evacuees and their specific needs, enabling targeted support such as regular check-ins based on individual circumstances.

Moving on to our second story, a Thai activist working to assist workers exploited in illegal fishing held a press conference in Tokyo. With the rise of ‘IUU fishing,’ which refers to fishing activities that do not comply with international regulations, the activist urged people to consider the origins of the fish they consume and the conditions under which they were caught.

Next, we turn our attention to the significant increase in the confiscation of illegal drugs at ports and airports across Japan. Last year, the amount of seized narcotics, including stimulants, increased by nearly 80% compared to the previous year, reaching the second-highest seizure volume on record. The rise can be attributed to increased international travel, as well as a series of large-scale drug busts.

Shifting gears, we focus on the growing popularity of ‘collective graves’ in public cemeteries established by local governments in the Tokyo metropolitan area. These graves, known as ‘gassōbo,’ allow multiple sets of remains to be interred together. It has been revealed that the number of gassōbo has quadrupled over the past two decades. Experts suggest that people may be opting for collective graves due to the difficulty of asking their children and grandchildren, who live far away, to maintain individual graves.

In other news, a fire broke out at a lodging facility in Suma Ward, Kobe, leaving an octogenarian man unaccounted for. The fire, which occurred on the evening of the 19th, completely destroyed the facility. Authorities are currently investigating the cause of the fire and attempting to locate the missing individual.

Turning our attention to the aftermath of the Noto Peninsula earthquake, a middle school in Niigata City, which has been unable to hold regular classes due to the damage to its buildings, has set up a designated ‘hangout space’ for students. This space allows students to spend their time freely, engaging in activities such as gaming and chatting with friends.

Lastly, in the case of the shooting incident at a Ground Self-Defense Force shooting range in Gifu last year, where three individuals were shot and injured during live-fire training, the Gifu Family Court has decided to return the case of the 19-year-old former Self-Defense Force candidate, who shot the three victims while attempting to seize ammunition, back to the prosecutor’s office. The court deemed the act as a cruel crime that completely disregarded the value of human life and determined that criminal punishment is appropriate. And now for the weather. Today in Tokyo, the weather will be partly cloudy with a maximum temperature of 20°C (69°F) and a minimum temperature of 12°C (54°F). There is a 100% chance of rain and a UV index of 2. The average temperature will be 17°C (62°F). Visit JapanDailyNews.com for the news, yen exchange rates, and a daily Japanese proverb.