The Japanese Ministry of Defense’s Technical Research & Development Institute (TRDI) appears to be nearing completion of the Throwable Type Reconnaissance Robot. It’s a little black orb about 50 percent bigger than a softball that Self-Defense Force members can simply toss into environments otherwise hazardous to humans and have a look around before taking action. It looks kind of awesome.
Dec 26, 2014
This coming spring will mark four years since the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11, 2011. While that’s not nearly long enough for the those who experienced the tragedy first-hand to forget about the destruction, sadness, and fear, some politicians are concerned that in time memories will fade, which is why a bill is being introduced in the Japanese Diet to establish March 11 as an official day of remembrance of the disaster.
Scott R Dixon
Sep 15, 2014
Sitting on several fault lines, Japan is no stranger to natural disasters and the havoc that ensues afterward. While these tragedies can’t be prevented, their effects can be lessened by making a disaster preparedness kit to handle several days without power or access to food and water.
A key item in these kits is usually batteries, and a Japanese company’s recent announcement about a new kind of battery is expected to completely change the way we prepare for disasters. Only needing to be filled with water, the “Mg Box” battery can be used to charge smartphones, and the invention has made the Japanese company’s stock skyrocket as investors rush to back the game-changing technology.
Scott R Dixon
Jul 14, 2014
After a tragedy like the April 16 sinking of the South Korean ferry Sewol, many are left wondering how to appropriately commemorate the lives lost without forgetting the awful truth of the actual incident. Last week a South Korean newspaper revealed that a two-hour documentary about the accident is being planned to be released next year to coincide with the one-year anniversary. The film’s backers are relying solely on donations and are seeking just 400 million won (US$392,000) to finance the low-budget project. And with the entire country paying extremely close attention to every tragic detail to come out of the investigations surrounding the accident, this film is destined to be an instant hit in Korean movie theaters.
Further controversy has emerged surrounding the South Korean Sewol ferry disaster, as a TV crew is accused of setting up footage of a rescue diver. Korean media reports that a member of the rescue team who was not working at the time was put in a wetsuit and drenched in water to give the appearance that he had just come back from a dive. Media crews apparently said that a dry-haired diver would not be realistic and believable enough.
No sooner was it announced the third most at-risk area for natural disasters in the world than the Pearl River Delta in China was hit by extremely severe rain storms with giant hail and damaging winds. The region, which is composed of several major urban centers has experienced flooded subways stations, canceled flights, and destroyed shopping centers due to heavy downpours.
Some of these scenes have been recorded and shared online in video form.
Mar 5, 2014
‘I wonder if you’ll have a grandchild when you get this letter?’ These are the words written by a woman 10 years ago, before she lost her life in the March 2011 tsunami. Her mother and father were shocked to find the letter containing them arrive in the mail this January. While there was no Hollywood movie ending where their beloved daughter turned up alive and well, the letter has at least given them a chance to hear some of the things she never had the chance to tell them in life.
Nov 27, 2013
It’s been three years since the March 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami disaster swallowed up whole cities and caused one of the worst nuclear power disasters in history. For much of the world the devastating event is a distant memory – except for people in California who, for some reason, to this day think swimming in the ocean is going to give them three eyes or four boobs or something.
But for many living near the crippled Dai-Ichi Nuclear Power Plant, like the inmates at a Kagoshima City prison located within the nuclear evacuation zone, the Tohoku earthquake and the persistent effects of the subsequent nuclear disaster altered their lives forever; so says a former inmate who is formally suing TEPCO for emotional distress.
Michelle Lynn Dinh
Nov 21, 2013
Super Typhoon Haiyan left a trail of destruction as it made its way across the island nation of the Philippines on November 13, 2013. In the wake of the disaster, one of our reporters traveled to the Philippine island of Leyte to talk to the victims of this massive storm and give a firsthand description of the damage. Please enjoy his humble account of the situation in Ormoc City, Philippines.
US psychic Ron Bard has spoken out once again via his official Twitter account, warning that the world – specifically Japan – is in great peril, prompting chatter online. This new warning comes after Mr. Bard claimed back in mid-July this year to have foreseen a natural disaster that would occur in Japan “in the next two or three months”, urging people in Japan to follow him on Twitter and prepare for difficult times.
Sep 5, 2013
Living in Japan, it’s easy to take safety and honesty for granted. This is, after all, the country where public trains make ideal spots for a nap.
That said, with over 150 million people in the country, you’re bound to have a few bad apples, such as the lowlifes who’ve decided there’s no better place for a crime spree than the town of Yamamoto, which was hit hard by the massive earthquake and tsunami of 2011.
Ah, Japan. Land of the world’s best vending machines. It’s hard to go anywhere in the country without finding one, including the summit of Mount Fuji. With over five million scattered around the country, someone should put those hunks of metal to work. Three organizations in Japan are doing just that, teaming up to turn the machines into a lifesaving tool in the event of a disaster, and we aren’t talking about the devices giving out free beverages.
Jul 16, 2013
Japan’s Twitterverse is abuzz with the news that US-born psychic Ron Bard has predicted a huge natural disaster in Japan with major loss of life by the end of 2013. Bard, who calls his work “parapsychological consulting”, is well-known in Japan and counts major players at companies like Sega and Merrill Lynch Japan among his clients.
Bard took to Twitter yesterday with a series of translated messages for his fans in Japan including one that read: “I predicted March 11, but no one believed me. You can save lives this time by retweeting this!”
Michelle Lynn Dinh
Mar 15, 2013
The town of Rikuzentakata was once famous for its picturesque shoreline painted with 70,000 pine trees. However, when the ocean waters finally receded after the tsunami of March 11, 2011, only one tree remained. Standing proud at over 80 feet, this single pine battled on for 18 months after the tsunami until finally perishing due to the overwhelming amount of salt that was introduced to the surrounding earth. Although no longer standing tall, the memory of “the miracle pine” will live on thanks to a newly erected monument in its honor.
To mark the second anniversary of the March 11 disaster, student volunteers in Vancouver spent two days dealing with the lingering effects. They collected more than 40 large trash bags of tsunami debris that has been littering beaches on Vancouver Island’s Pacific Rim National Park. Read More
On 8 March 2013, in the second round of the World Baseball Classic, Japan beat Taiwan 4-3. It was a close-fought game, but the real hot topic on the day was the large number of Japanese spectators holding up handmade signs to express their gratitude to Taiwan for humanitarian aid given in response to the catastrophic March 11, 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, which devastated northeastern Japan.
The gesture was organized beforehand through social media. Japanese fans reasoned that “a lot of Taiwanese people will be watching the game,” and so it would be a great opportunity to get the message across by showing simple words of gratitude on placards, broadcast on Taiwanese TV.
Living in an earthquake-prone country like Japan means constant vigilance in terms of disaster preparedness. Though the Great East Japan Earthquake of 11 March 2011 struck during daylight hours, there’s no guarantee that a disaster of similar magnitude won’t strike at night. Most people keep a flashlight or two at home, however, if power is cut as a result of an earthquake, as groping your way around in the dark while in a panicked state might not be as easy as you think.
Thankfully, Tokyo’s Force Media group has come up with an ingenius solution to this problem. And it’s much more than just a regular-old flashlight…
Since the Great Tohoku Earthquake of March 2011, scientists have been anxiously watching the massive volcano known as Mt. Fuji for signs of activity. In September of last year, a report was released stating that Mt. Fuji’s magma chamber pressure had risen to a worrisome 1.6 megapascals, which is estimated to be higher than when it last erupted.
According to retired professor Masaki Kimura of Ryukyu University, this and other recent phenomena indicate an eruption of Mt. Fuji should have taken place in 2011 with a four-year margin of error ending in 2015.
Dec 20, 2012
With only a few more days until the end of the world as we know it, surely everyone has their survival gear all packed and ready to go. But for those lazy-bones last minute disaster preparers Panasonic feels they have developed the “ultimate disaster survival flashlight”, called Any Battery Light.
As the name suggests, this flashlight can run on any common battery you find lying around, regardless of its size, from AAA to D.
Nov 30, 2012
Deep below the ocean lives the squid Chiroteuthis, known in Japan by the name Yurei Ika (Phantom Squid). The Japanese name comes from its ghost-like fluttering and floating movement.
It’s a squid seldom seen by people who don’t have access to a submarine and can visit their habitat 200 to 600 meters beneath the ocean. So when they started turning up in unprecedented numbers around the southeastern coast of Japan, experts became understandably alarmed.
- Japanese wasp-filled crackers: Their sting is far worse than a bite1
- Friends too busy to go to the Pokémon Cafe? No problem! Pikachu himself will sit with you2
- Could this teen’s simple but genius idea help put an end to cyber bullying?3
- Woman’s best friend: Possibly the sweetest photos of a grandma and her cat you will ever see4
- Japanese opera singer records an incredible cover of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”5
- This ‘Rock Climbing’ ramen will make a man out of you!6
- New batch of socks with collars adds sailor suit style for your feet, plus lace and button-downs7
- The first videos ever shared on YouTube & Niconico leave us feeling rather… confused? 【Videos】8
- New magnetic “slate” lets you write on actual paper, digitize your drawings in real-time9
- A visit to Sushi Dai, Japan’s best sushi restaurant according to world travelers10
- Nobel Prize-winner Shuji Nakamura to Japan’s young people: “Get out of Japan”1
- No more photo retouches! New makeup for cosplayers claims to create photo-perfect skin2
- The cat hairband, for when cat ears just aren’t enough3
- New magnetic “slate” lets you write on actual paper, digitize your drawings in real-time4
- Cross-dressing Cosplay Idol Group a Huge Hit in China5
- Cross-dressing talent Matsuko Deluxe: AKB opening the Tokyo Olympics “would embarrass Japan”6
- Chinese netizens left reeling after father of slain Japanese hostage apologizes to the public7
- Do clothes make the man or the man make the clothes? Japanese Twitter user tries to find out8
- Attack on Titan’s Universal Studios Japan attraction opens9
- Side-boob Shirt is the useless evolution of last year’s Boob Turtleneck10
- Nobel Prize-winner Shuji Nakamura to Japan’s young people: “Get out of Japan”1
- Kyoto taxi drivers reduce convenience store robberies by 50 percent by doing absolutely nothing2
- Cosplay ideals vs. cosplay reality, a.k.a. cool vs. funny 【Photos】3
- Internet ready to shut up and take your money as preorders finally start for Cat Ear Headphones4
- Edo era Samurai were pretty gay5
- Ugly-cute makeup genius feeds off negative troll comments on Twitter6
- New magnetic “slate” lets you write on actual paper, digitize your drawings in real-time7
- Teacher draws over students’ doodles to make red pen masterpieces8
- Photos of people lining up outside of the Sapporo Apple Store make us feel positively frozen9
- Netizens hatch adorable baby birds from supermarket eggs, provide evidence10
- Hayao Miyazaki working on new project, says “I’m going to continue making anime until I die”1
- Self-taught Singaporean artist creates unbelievably realistic art on plywood2
- Buyers’ remorse in China: After a record-breaking day of online shopping, the angry selfies begin3
- 1,200 Japanese workers convert above-ground train to subway line in a matter of hours4
- Tiny town in northern Japan creates gorgeous, gigantic artwork out of rice paddies 【Video】5
- Japanese high school holds annual contest to decide the prettiest “girl” in school6
- Nobel Prize-winner Shuji Nakamura to Japan’s young people: “Get out of Japan”7
- Kyoto taxi drivers reduce convenience store robberies by 50 percent by doing absolutely nothing8
- Sorry guys! Video of “sexy ice cream girl” in Taipei only delivers on half its milky promises9
- Oysters’ amazing cleaning skills shock Japanese netizens who question their shellfish habit10
- This ‘Rock Climbing’ ramen will make a man out of you!
- New batch of socks with collars adds sailor suit style for your feet, plus lace and button-downs
- The first videos ever shared on YouTube & Niconico leave us feeling rather… confused? 【Videos】
- New magnetic “slate” lets you write on actual paper, digitize your drawings in real-time
- A visit to Sushi Dai, Japan’s best sushi restaurant according to world travelers
- Team aims to pierce moon with Evangelion’s Spear of Longinus
- Fushigi Yugi stage adaptation gets cast and schedule as Mysterious Play becomes a real one
- Tokyo Disneyland raising admission, because it’s the Happiest Place on Earth, not the cheapest
- How humanity ends: Virtual reality headset hooked up to Tenga love cup for men 【Video】
- Flaptter flying machine from Ghibli’s Castle in the Sky brought to life!
- Chinese netizens left reeling after father of slain Japanese hostage apologizes to the public
- Is Japan’s “Daughter in a box” a myth?【Myth-Busters Series】