Japan Enacts Law To Lower The Legal Age Of Adulthood

Japan’s upper house of parliament has enacted a law to revise the current Civil Code and lower the legal age of adulthood from 20 to 18.  One of the major changes that has been brought about with the enacted changes to the Civil Code and laws, which will be actualised in April 2022 as the government plans, is that those aged 18 and 19 years old will legally be able to marry without parental consent.

The move comes as the Japanese government continues to grapple with the nation’s demographic crisis as the population here continues to rapidly age and simultaneously shrink.

The government believes that the demographic crisis can be partly mitigated if more younger members can become active contributors to society.

Prior to the law’s enactment, males aged 18 years old and over and females aged 16 years and older could marry in Japan, but parental consent was required by law for all persons marrying under the age of 20.

Under the new adulthood changes, the legal age for women marrying has also been raised to 18.

More than 20 related laws have been passed with the lowering of the adulthood age, but the current laws pertaining to the prohibition of drinking alcohol, smoking and gambling by people aged under 20 years old, have been kept in place.

Japan, China And South Korea Cooperate Over North Korea Denuclearisation

The leaders of Japan, China and South Korea held a summit in Tokyo on Wednesday agreeing to cooperate over the denuclearisation of North Korea.

The leaders discussed Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programme and supported free trade as Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, hosted the trilateral meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and South Korean President Moon Jae In.

“The momentum of the complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and peace and stability in North-East Asia has to be led to North Korea’s concrete actions,’’ Abe said after the meeting.

Moon, who took office a year ago, is the first South Korean president to visit Japan in more than six years, while Li is the first Chinese premier to travel to the country in seven years.

Abe attempted to improve Japan’s relations with the two neighbouring countries that have been strained over differing views of Japanese wartime atrocities and territorial spats.

While the three leaders were holding talks on Wednesday, US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, arrived in Pyongyang to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ahead of the first-ever US-North Korean summit between President Donald Trump and Kim, Japanese broadcaster NHK reported.

The Tokyo gathering comes less than two weeks after inter-Korean talks between Moon and Kim and ahead of the planned US-North Korean summit, which is expected to be held later this month or in June.

The Korean leaders held a summit in the border village of Panmunjom on April 27 and agreed to pursue a set of historic goals, including a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula and an official end to the 1950-53 Korean War.

Kim met President Xi Jinping in the north-eastern Chinese port city of Dalian on Monday and Tuesday, the second meeting between the two, according to China’s state news agency Xinhua.

The two heads of state had an “all-around and in-depth exchange of views” about China-North Korea relations and “major issues of common concern,” Xinhua said.

During his meeting with Xi, Kim said the Korean Peninsula’s denuclearisation was Pyongyang’s “clear and consistent position.’’

“As long as relevant parties eliminate the hostile policy and security threats against North Korea, North Korea does not need to have nuclear weapons, and denuclearization is achievable,’’ Kim said, according to Xinhua.

In late March, Kim made a surprise visit to Beijing and held talks with Xi, his first known trip abroad since he assumed power in 2011.

Trump spoke with Xi by telephone on Tuesday and they “agreed on the importance of continued implementation of sanctions on North Korea until it permanently dismantles its nuclear and missile programmes,’’ according to the White House.

Abe talked to Xi over the phone on Friday ahead of Li’s four-day trip to Japan and they agreed to closely cooperate in resolving the issue of Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programme.

World Cup: Japan Fires Coach

Japan appointed veteran Akira Nishino as its new national football manager on Monday, taking an “emergency measure” after the strategic sack of Vahid Halilhodzic only two months before the World Cup.

The 63-year-old Nishino boast of impressive records of  domestic silverware and masterminded one of Japanese football’s proudest moments defeating  a Brazil side containing Ronaldo and Roberto Carlos 1-0 at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

Nishino will have only 70 days with the Blue Samurai before their first gameagainst Colombia in a tough World Cup pool that also includes Poland and Senegal.

“We thought the new director should be appointed from inside, given we have just two months left before the World Cup,” Japan Football Association President Kozo Tashima told reporters.

“We have asked Nishino to take this position as an emergency measure.”

A former international midfielder who won 12 caps for his country, Nishino is best known for his stint at the helm of Gamba Osaka, which he steered to the team’s first Asian Club Championship in 2008.

This earned them the biggest match in their history, a World Club Cup semi-final clash with a powerful Manchester United side featuring Cristiano Ronaldo, Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney, which they lost in a 5-3 thriller.

Despite the famous win over Brazil in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, Nishino came under fire for being overly defensive. But in 2012 he wrote a newspaper column on “the thrills of attacking football”, setting out an offensive style of play.

Tashima said the “basics will remain the same” under the new manager, adding that a fast, attacking style was “much needed.”

Communication ‘weakened’

The writing was on the wall for Halilhodzic after a series of disappointing results, including a loss to Ukraine and a snatched draw with Mali from the last kick of the game.

The straight-talking Halilhodzic was also reported to have ruffled feathers in the dressing room with his no-nonsense approach.

Tashima said the reason for the sacking was that “communication and trust with players have become weakened”.

He said he had given the news over the weekend to Halilhodzic, who had reacted with a mixture of confusion and anger.

“I told him that we have reached this decision so that Japan would have more chance of winning,” said Tashima.

Franco-Bosnian Halilhodzic, who recovered from being wounded in 1992 during the Bosnian war, insisted he was no “dictator” — but acknowledged his frank approach was capable of “wounding” some people in Japan.

In 2016, as Japan struggled to qualify for the World Cup, he told AFP he felt his players were too respectful.

“Sometimes I’d really like them to be more aggressive, more street-smart, more vicious,” said the former Nantes and Paris Saint-Germain striker.

He once reportedly banned his players from smiling, and he found himself in trouble with authorities on two separate occasions after traffic accidents in 2015 and 2017.

‘No progress, no hope’ –

“No progress, no hope, lots of worries over the World Cup,” blared a headline in the Sports Nippon last month, raising the prospect that Japan might lose all its group games in June.

The Nikkan Sports daily said Monday “the association made the decision as it has a growing sense of crisis over the team’s performance, which has shown no sign of improvement with fewer than 70 days until the World Cup”.

The tournament in Russia will be the sixth successive World Cup appearance by the Blue Samurai, who made it to the last 16 in 2002 when Japan co-hosted the tournament with South Korea and again in 2010.

However, it was not a smooth path through to the finals.

Japan lost 2-1 at home to the United Arab Emirates in the first qualifying match and rounded off an unconvincing campaign with a 1-0 loss to Saudi Arabia.

It is not the first time Halilhodzic has been jettisoned just before a major tournament.

He missed out on leading Ivory Coast during the tournament in 2010 when he was fired as national coach just months before the finals following the team’s disappointing performance in the African Cup of Nations.

Before moving to Japan, Halilhodzic took Algeria to the last 16 at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Teenage Girl Sues Govt. For Forcing Her To Dye Her Hair Black

A Japanese teenager is suing the government of Osaka, saying her public high school repeatedly forced her to dye her naturally-brown hair black or be banned from attending school, local media reported on Friday.

In a lawsuit filed in Osaka District Court, the 18-year-old girl said her mother informed Kaifukan School in Habikino city upon her enrolment that she was born with brownish hair, as the school had a policy banning hair colouring, media reported.

Educators, however, instructed her to colour her hair black, telling her repeatedly that the dye job was insufficient and forcing her to “either dye the hair black or quit school”, citing the lawsuit.

The girl has not attended school since September 2016, suffered pain and irritation from the hair dye, and is seeking damages of about 2.2 million yen (19,300 dollars), said media, adding that Osaka prefecture is asking the court to reject the claim.

Masahiko Takahashi, head of Kaifukan School, said he could not comment directly on the case, but noted the school’s policy prohibiting students from dyeing or bleaching hair.

He declined to say whether it was permissible to dye brown hair to black. The girl could not be reached for comment.

In Japan, where conformity is the cultural norm, many schools have strict rules about hair color, accessories, make-up and uniforms, including the length of skirts for girls.

 

 

Source: NAN

Trump, Abe Agreed To Increase Pressure On North Korea

U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister  agreed to work together to raise pressure on North Korea, Yasutoshi Nishimura, a deputy chief cabinet secretary, said on Monday.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump and spoke by telephone after the Japanese premier’s ruling coalition scored a big win in an election on Sunday.

Nishimura told reporters that Abe and Trump were planning to play golf together on Nov. 5, when Trump makes his first visit to Japan.

 

SON Confiscates Expired Drinks, Beverages In Osun

The Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) in Osun has impouned expired drinks and beverages worth N3 million in a raid on major supermarkets and shops across the state.

The State Coordinator of SON, says choose water over diet drinks,  Mr Jerome Umoru, told reporters on Wednesday in Osogbo that the expired products were seized on Monday.

Umoru said the items were confiscated during raids carried out by the organisation’s task force.

He said many of the shop owners where the expired products were seized claimed ignorance of the expiration of the products while few others were aware.

The state coordinator said that the shop owners had been warned against selling expired products, adding that anyone caught doing so again would be dealt with according to the law.

Umoru, who decried the influx of expired products into the market, said the organisation would not relent in enforcing standards and standardisation of products in the markets.

He said the confiscated expired products would be destroyed in collaboration with the Osun Waste Management Agency. The state coordinator urged consumers to always check for the manufacture and expiry dates of products before purchase.

Umoru said the organisation would not relent in its mandate of getting rid of fake and sub-standard goods from markets across the state. “We are sustaining our enforcement and compliance activities in the state to ensure that expired goods are reduced to the barest minimum in the market,’’ Umoru said.

 

6.0-Magnitude Quake Hits Off Japan Coast

Officials have said that there is no risk for a tsunami, as a 6.0-magnitude earthquake hit off the coast of Fukushima in Japan on Friday but there was no risk of a tsunami, officials said.

The quake hit at a relatively shallow depth of 10 kilometres (six miles) at 04:59 pm (0759 GMT), 255 kilometres east of Ishinomaki, according to the United States Geological Survey. The Japan Meteorological Agency said the quake posed no tsunami risk.

Recall that a 9.0-magnitude earthquake in March 2011 triggered a massive and deadly tsunami, which smashed into the Fukushima nuclear power station and sparked the world’s worst atomic accident since Chernobyl in 1986.

Its operator is working to clean up and dismantle the reactors in a process that is expected to take at least four decades.

Japan In Defence Deploy Missile To Protect Northern Island

North Korea launched a missile over the island, sparking emergency warnings to take cover, while Japan deployed Tuesday an additional missile defence system on its northern island of Hokkaido, days after.

“As part of measures to prepare for emergencies, we will today deploy a PAC-3 unit” to a base of the nation’s Ground Self-Defense Force in the southern tip of Hokkaido, Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera told reporters.

The Patriot Advanced Capability-3 system arrived at the base later on Tuesday, a local defence official told AFP.

The move came with tensions on the Korean peninsula at fever-pitch after Pyongyang carried out its sixth nuclear test and fired two missiles over Japan in the space of less than a month.

North Korea “may take further provocative actions including launching ballistic missiles that would fly over Japan again in the future”, Onodera said, adding that his ministry “would take appropriate measures to protect people’s safety”.

According to local officials, Japan has already deployed the PAC-3 system to another part of Hokkaido.

But defence officials declined to confirm where in Japan other systems were deployed, citing the sensitive nature of defence information.

North Korea has threatened to “sink” Japan into the sea and said Saturday it sought military “equilibrium” with arch-enemy the United States by developing a full nuclear arsenal.

Hawkish Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said he would “never tolerate” the North’s “dangerous provocative action” and has urged the international community to ramp up pressure on Pyongyang.

The UN Security Council, which condemned the launch as “highly provocative,” will hold a new ministerial-level meeting Thursday on the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, focused on enforcing sanctions on the North Korean regime.

Missile Launch: North Korea Says They Still Have More Coming

North Korea had on Tuesday launched a missile across Japan that left citizens terrified. North Korea leader Kim Jong-Un has after the first launch promised more missile flights over Japan, insisting his nuclear-armed nation’s provocative launch was a mere “curtain-raiser”, in the face of UN condemnation and US warnings of severe repercussions.

The Hwasong-12 intermediate-range missile that Pyongyang unleashed on Tuesday represented a major escalation in the face of tensions over its weapons programmes.

In recent weeks it has threatened to send a salvo of missiles towards the US territory of Guam, while President Donald Trump has warned of raining “fire and fury” on the North.

After the latest launch Trump said that “all options” were on the table, reviving his implied threat of pre-emptive US military action just days after congratulating himself that Kim appeared to be “starting to respect us”.

The UN Security Council — which has already imposed seven sets of sanctions on Pyongyang — said in a unanimous statement the North’s actions “are not just a threat to the region, but to all UN member states”.

Both the North’s key ally China and Russia, which also has ties to it, backed the US-drafted declaration, but it will not immediately lead to new or tightened measures against Pyongyang.

The Rodong Sinmun newspaper, the mouthpiece of the North’s ruling party, on Wednesday carried more than 20 pictures of the launch near Pyongyang, one showing Kim smiling broadly at a desk with a map of the Northwest Pacific, surrounded by aides.

South Korea’s military said Tuesday that it had travelled around 2,700 kilometres (1,700 miles) and reached a maximum altitude of 550 kilometres.

The official Korean Central News Agency cited Kim as saying that “more ballistic rocket launching drills with the Pacific as a target in the future” were necessary.

Tuesday’s launch was a “meaningful prelude to containing Guam, advanced base of invasion”, he said, and a “curtain-raiser” for the North’s “resolute countermeasures” against ongoing US-South Korean military exercises which the North regards as a rehearsal for invasion.

Wednesday’s statement was the first time the North has acknowledged sending a missile over Japan’s main islands. Two of its rockets previously did so, in 1998 and 2009, but on both occasions it claimed they were space launch vehicles.

North Korea Fires Missile Over Japan

Citizens were thrown into terror this Tuesday when a Nuclear-armed North Korea fired a ballistic missile over Japan.

A visibly unsettled Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said it was an “unprecedented, serious and grave threat”, while the UN Security Council called an emergency meeting at Tokyo and Washington’s request.

Sirens blared out and text messages were fired off across northern Japan warning people in the missile’s flight path to take cover.

Trains were delayed as passengers were urged to seek shelter inside stations.

“All lines are experiencing disruption,” said one sign on Sapporo’s metro system. “Reason: Ballistic missile launch.”

The last time a North Korean rocket overflew Japan was in 2009, when Pyongyang said it was a satellite launch. Washington, Seoul and Tokyo believed it was a clandestine test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

Pyongyang last month carried out two overt ICBM tests that appeared to bring much of the US mainland within reach for the first time and heightened strains in the region.

At the time, US President Donald Trump issued an apocalyptic warning of raining “fire and fury” on the North, while Pyongyang threatened to fire a salvo of missiles towards the US territory of Guam.

South Korea said the latest missile was launched from Sunan, near Pyongyang and flew around 2,700 kilometres (1,700 miles) at a maximum altitude of around 550 kilometres.

Guam is about 3,500 kilometres from North Korea — although the missile was fired in an easterly direction and not towards the US outpost, home to 160,000 people and host to major military facilities.

Abe said the overflight was an “outrageous act” that “greatly damages regional peace and security”.

In a 40-minute telephone call with Trump, he said, the two allies had agreed to “further strengthen pressure against North Korea”.

Robert Wood, US Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament at the UN in Geneva labelled it “another provocation” that was “a big concern”.

But China, the North’s key ally and main trading partner, urged restraint on all sides, with foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying saying the situation had reached a “tipping point” but warning pressure and sanctions “cannot fundamentally solve the issue”.

Russia, which also has ties to Pyongyang, said it was “extremely worried”, hitting out at a “tendency towards escalation”.

 

Lost U.S WW2 Warship Found After 72 years

The World War Two heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis has been found in the Pacific Ocean, 72 years after its sinking by a Japanese submarine.

The warship was discovered 18,000 feet (5.5km) beneath the surface.

The USS Indianapolis was destroyed returning from its secret mission to deliver parts for the atomic bomb which was later used on Hiroshima.

Of the 1,196 men on board, just 316 were rescued – the largest loss of life at sea in the history of the US Navy.

The Navy learned of the sinking when survivors were spotted four days later by the crew of a PV-1 Ventura on routine patrol.

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, who led the civilian search team, said the discovery was “truly humbling”.

The USS Indianapolis was destroyed on 30 July 1945 when, somewhere in the Philippine sea between Guam and Leyte, it was hit by a torpedo from a Japanese submarine.

Between 800-900 escaped the sinking ship. But no distress call was ever received, and by the time the survivors were found by chance four days later, just 316 were left alive in the shark-infested waters.

The ship’s rapid sinking – in just 12 minutes – and the lack of a distress call meant the ship’s location had long been a mystery.

Mr. Allen’s crew discovered the vessel on 18 August, after new research from a naval historian pointed them to a specific region of the ocean where the warship had been sighted the night before its destruction.

The ship is well-known for its final, secret mission, carrying parts for the atomic bomb nicknamed “Little Boy” as well as enriched uranium fuel for its nuclear reaction.

Those supplies were delivered to Tinian island, an American base in the final year of the war which launched the world’s first nuclear bombing.

Four days later, the Indianapolis sank – less than a week before the nuclear bomb it helped to make destroyed Hiroshima.

Along with the bomb named “Fat Man” dropped on Nagasaki, it forced the Japanese surrender and the end of World War Two.

“To be able to honour the brave men of the USS Indianapolis and their families through the discovery of a ship that played such a significant role during World War Two is truly humbling,” Mr Allen said.

“As Americans, we all owe a debt of gratitude to the crew for their courage, persistence and sacrifice in the face of horrendous circumstances.”

The USS Indianapolis remains the property of the US Navy, the search team’s statement said. It will now be considered a protected war memorial.

A spokesman for the survivors, 22 of whom are still alive, said each of them had “longed for the day when their ship would be found”.

Mr. Allen’s specially-outfitted research vessel, the Petrel, has been designed for exploration and research with a crew of 16.

It previously discovered the wreckage of both a Japanese warship, the Musashi, and an Italian naval vessel, Artigliere – both from the World War Two era.