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News of note from Japan and beyond

Kyoto tree topping in at 60 meters dubbed Japan’s tallest

A cedar said to be 1,000 years old has been crowned Japan’s tallest tree after modern measuring equipment confirmed the living giant in a state-owned forest near Kyoto was almost twice as tall as previously thought. The Forestry Agency confirmed… Continue Reading →

Pair of droids start ‘jobs’ at Shiseido factory

Sporting molded plastic front covers marked “11” and “12”, two humanoid robots nimbly labor away on an assembly line at a make-up factory in Shizuoka Prefecture. The scene is part of a pilot project launched by Shiseido Corp. this month… Continue Reading →

China researchers sound alarm on ‘traveling smog’

Airborne pollutants from China caused about 40 percent of deaths related to PM 2.5 in the rest of the East Asian region, according to a recent study.

French survey seeks to unravel logic of behavior at red lights

Japanese pedestrians are 20 times less likely to walk through a red light than their French counterparts, but are quicker to follow suit if someone else does first, according to a French study.

Fukushima to host baseball games for 2020 Olympics

Disaster-hit Fukushima Prefecture has been tapped as the site of some baseball and softball games for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, in an effort to support recovery in the region.

Ehime man’s jog in clogs gets nod from Guinness

Hayato Date has run his way into the record books after being officially crowned as the fastest person to complete a full marathon while wearing geta wooden clogs.

Scientists cure diabetic mouse using pancreas grown in rat

A University of Tokyo-led research team has reversed diabetes in a mouse by injecting it with cells from a healthy pancreas grown in a rat, according to a recently published study.

Underwater census tells story of fish recovery after disaster

A Japanese research team has published a five-year study that offers a colorful snapshot of the recovery of marine life in areas struck by the massive tsunami following the March 2011 megathrust earthquake.

Lawson deploys robot cashier in efficiency drive

A revolution of sorts is under way at a convenience store in Osaka. Its leader is “Regirobo”, an intelligent checkout machine that automatically rings up customers’ purchases and bags them.

Israeli scientists unearth Bronze-Age ‘thinker’

Archaeologists in Israel have uncovered a rare ancient jug adorned with a curious figurine that appears to be a state of contemplation.

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