Of course, all of the nation’s media are focused on the earthquake tragedy that hit Iwate prefecture over the weekend. So far, there are nine people confirmed dead and a further 13 reported missing. Over 150 quakes hit the area on Saturday, causing numerous landslides and even a mountain to crumble.
However, the Japanese press is already focusing on other stories, including the following top stories from this morning:
The Asahi Shimbun leads with news that at 5am this morning, 10 Taiwanese boats trespassed into Japanese waters. Nine patrol boats and one fishing boat were found close by the Senkaku Islands near Okinawa prefecture. The Japan Coast Guard (formerly the Maritime Safety Agency) warned the ships to leave Japan’s territorial waters and by 8:44am, all ships were confirmed to have exited.
The Yomiuri Shimbun this morning leads with the story that The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport’s Chief is under investigation for corruption in “collusive bidding at the initiative of government agencies” over a dispute for a river repair project. Sapporo district prosecutors office special detective department have decided to conduct a simultaneous hearing for the road development departments management regarding this allegation.
The other top story for the Yomiuri is the release of Satoshi Nakamura, 23, a Yokohama National University student who was kidnapped by armed groups in Tehran in October last year. According to the newspaper, Nakamura was kept in severe conditions for eight months, in a place where temperature differences ranged from boiling hot to freezing cold and being made to walk on foot when moving from place to place.
The Mainichi Shimbun’s top story is about the Akihabara rampage last week in which 17 people were killed or wounded. According to the article, the flower donation altar has been moved 30 meters away to a different crossing from the scene of the crime. The stand had to be moved as it became cramped and over-burdened with flowers from people paying their respects.
Other news includes the arrest of suspected arsonist who allegedly torched a mentally-handicapped institution in Kanagawa prefecture. Threepeople were killed and one injured during a fire on June 2. According to the police, the owner of the building, a 64-year old woman, has confessed to burning down the building after “trouble with the tenants.”
After the fire, the woman reportedly went missing as the police tried to call her in for a discretionary interview. At the time, she reportedly said “I was shocked which is why I left the scene.”
The institution is where mentally-handicapped people are able to live independent lives. After the fire, three bodies were found dead and another is in a serious condition after smoke inhalation. The neighboring houses were also destroyed.
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