Japan Daily News

Hello and welcome to today’s news from Japan Daily News on March 31st, 2024. In our top news stories today:

First, it has been three months since the Noto Peninsula Earthquake. Many ‘self-evacuation centers’ were set up by local communities in addition to the designated shelters by the local governments. However, it has been revealed that some municipalities were unable to accurately assess the situation for about two weeks after the earthquake. This delay in gathering information has become a challenge to overcome.

Moving on to our second headline, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare conducted an on-site inspection at a factory in Osaka that produced the red yeast rice ingredient used in health food products by Kobayashi Pharmaceuticals. This inspection was prompted by cases of people who consumed the health food and subsequently developed kidney diseases. Today, the inspection continues at the factory in Wakayama Prefecture, where the production facilities were relocated.

In other news, a lodging facility for government officials and staff from various municipalities providing support in response to the Noto Peninsula Earthquake has been completed at Noto Airport in Ishikawa Prefecture. The facility will begin accepting guests starting today.

Moving on, OpenAI, an American venture company, has announced the development of a generative AI that can reproduce human voices. While this technology can be beneficial in assisting individuals who have difficulty speaking due to illness, the company has decided not to release it publicly at this time to avoid the risk of misuse, particularly in elections and other sensitive contexts.

In regional news, a serious accident occurred on the Nagara River in Gifu Prefecture. Two jet skis collided, resulting in the driver, a 38-year-old man, suffering from broken ribs, and his 7-year-old son being in critical condition and unconscious.

Next, a joint memorial service was held on Iwo Jima, where nearly 30,000 Japanese and American soldiers lost their lives during the intense battles of the final stages of World War II. Families of the fallen soldiers paid their respects and offered prayers to honor their memory.

Lastly, to support the educators who have been living and working in school buildings since the Noto Peninsula Earthquake, residential spaces with privacy have been provided in elementary and junior high schools in the affected areas. And now for the weather. Today in Tokyo, the weather will be sunny with a maximum temperature of 25°C and a minimum temperature of 15°C. Visit JapanDailyNews.com for the news, yen exchange rates, and a daily Japanese proverb.