Kyodo News Digest: May 12, 2024

This year’s “ukai” traditional cormorant fishing starts on Nagara River in the central Japan city of Gifu on May 11, 2024. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

The following is the latest list of selected news summaries by Kyodo News.


More Japan workers turning to job resignation services after holidays

TOKYO – Unable to face going back to their jobs after the Golden Week holidays that ended in early May, an increasing number of Japanese workers are turning to private services to resign on their behalf, including a rise among graduates who started in April.

The services, which have grown in popularity in recent years, enable workers to quickly leave companies without doing so in-person for reasons that can include harassment or an adverse working environment.


Sumo: Onosato beats yokozuna Terunofuji on upset-filled opening day

TOKYO – Newly promoted komusubi Onosato overpowered lone yokozuna Terunofuji as the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament opened Sunday with a stunning string of upsets.

The 23-year-old Onosato was the only winner among the three distinguished “sanyaku” ranks below yokozuna, claiming victory after all four ozeki and both sekiwake lost their opening bouts at Ryogoku Kokugikan.


Auroras illuminate night skies across world, parts of Japan

LONDON – Auroras have been observed across the world, including parts of Japan, after a series of solar flares erupted from the sun, while sightings may continue over the coming days.

Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology said that since Wednesday there have been at least seven eruptions on the sun’s surface, which likely triggered a geomagnetic storm. The government agency cautioned that global positioning and communications systems could be disrupted.


Japan, U.S., EU to beef up countermeasures against counterfeit trade

BRUSSELS – Japan, the United States and the European Union are planning to reinforce countermeasures against the illicit trade in counterfeit products in cooperation with online marketplace operators, sources familiar with the matter said Saturday.

With the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development playing a central role in the move, the like-minded partners will cooperate with online marketplace operators such as Inc. and Rakuten Group Inc. and aim to formulate guidelines in 2025 or later to prevent fake brand goods from being traded online.


Atomic bomb survivor who met G7 leaders gets U.S. honorary doctorate

LOS ANGELES – An atomic bomb survivor who met world leaders at Hiroshima’s peace museum during the Group of Seven summit last year has been awarded an honorary doctorate by an American university.

Keiko Ogura, 86, received the honor at a graduation ceremony held by the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho, on Saturday. The university hailed her continued efforts to share her experiences in surviving the atomic bombing of her home city during World War II.


Less domestic travelers seen in Japan’s Golden Week amid inflation

TOKYO – The number of domestic travelers decreased during this year’s Golden Week holiday period as many residents of Japan refrained from traveling far from home amid rising prices, private sector data showed Saturday.

Based on an analysis of data collected in the vicinity of 60 major train stations across Japan, 53 locations saw the number of domestic travelers drop during the holiday period when compared with a year earlier. This coincided with a surge in accommodation fees due to an increase in inbound tourism backed by the weaker yen.


Teleworking in Japan shrinks after COVID, hybrid working on rise

TOKYO – The ratio of teleworkers in Japan continued to fall as the COVID-19 pandemic wanes while more turn to “hybrid work” combining remote work and in-office work, a fiscal 2023 government survey showed.

The online survey, conducted by the transport ministry in October and November, found that 5,832 of the 36,228 respondents, or 16.1 percent, worked from home or elsewhere outside the office in the last year, down 2.7 percentage points from the previous survey.


Tokyo police to set up 24-hour lost and found lockers

TOKYO – Tokyo police will introduce 24-hour lost and found lockers this summer to make it easier for owners to claim their missing belongings and reduce the workload of its personnel handling the retrieval of items.

The move comes after the police recorded 4,087,000 cases of lost property last year, as foot traffic in the capital returned to pre-pandemic levels following the downgrading of COVID-19 to the same category as seasonal influenza.

Video: This year’s “ukai” traditional cormorant fishing starts central Japan city of Gifu

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