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.
- The 11 Cat Islands of Japan 【Photos】1
- ISIS-inspired gang kills middle school boy: “We’ll cut off your head while you’re still alive!”2
- Japanese netizens rediscover “Full Armor Game Boy,” question how the ’90s defined portability3
- Staggering servings of salmon roe are waiting for you at these four Tokyo restaurants4
- American man’s dramatic nine-second snow struggle captivates Japanese netizens 【GIFs】5
- After Obama’s otaku outing, images surface of Love Liver Joe Biden getting cozy with anime idols6
- Anime pillow responds to your rubbing with moans and groans, gets angry if you get too grabby7
- Images of man pickpocketing wearing a sign reading “I’m a pickpocket” go viral in China8
- Japanese netizens stare at red dot for 30 seconds, freak out when they see what happens9
- D Free: a new wearable device that gives you a 10-minute warning to find a toilet 【Video】10
- Anime pillow responds to your rubbing with moans and groans, gets angry if you get too grabby1
- Japanese netizens stare at red dot for 30 seconds, freak out when they see what happens2
- Time to quit your job – Company in Japan now hiring for the position of Ninja Master3
- Fan film ‘Dragon Ball Z: Light of Hope’ – two years in the making, but well worth the wait【Video】4
- Creepy news: Estimate a complete stranger’s breast size with this new plastic folder!5
- Pretty kitty says “Good morning” in Japanese, not just a doting owner’s imagination!6
- Revenge bento show us it’s a dish best served cold (and boxed) with insults and hidden chilies7
- “Hell on Earth” as Tokyo subway station floods with sewage8
- ISIS-inspired gang kills middle school boy: “We’ll cut off your head while you’re still alive!”9
- Malaysian girl who got famous for holding things has a beautiful sister【Photos】10
- Hachiko, Japan’s most loyal dog, finally reunited with owner in heartwarming new statue in Tokyo1
- Anime pillow responds to your rubbing with moans and groans, gets angry if you get too grabby2
- Literal breastplate will give you a cosplay-ready, anime-class bust in seconds 【Photos】3
- English hot spring manners poster is so thorough, even Japanese people are learning from it4
- Meet Asuna, the hyperreal android that will leave your jaw hanging 【Video】5
- Keanu Reeves tries to be a tourist in Akihabara, gets mobbed by fans instead6
- Japanese netizens stare at red dot for 30 seconds, freak out when they see what happens7
- Man beats up woman for not looking like “goddess” he spent thousands of dollars to meet8
- This amazingly detailed theme park map is what Tokyo Ghibli Land would look like9
- The number one thing that foreign men find “not so kawaii” about Japanese women10
- Hachiko, Japan’s most loyal dog, finally reunited with owner in heartwarming new statue in Tokyo1
- Self-taught Singaporean artist creates unbelievably realistic art on plywood2
- Anime pillow responds to your rubbing with moans and groans, gets angry if you get too grabby3
- Literal breastplate will give you a cosplay-ready, anime-class bust in seconds 【Photos】4
- Nobel Prize-winner Shuji Nakamura to Japan’s young people: “Get out of Japan”5
- Kyoto taxi drivers reduce convenience store robberies by 50 percent by doing absolutely nothing6
- Buyers’ remorse in China: After a record-breaking day of online shopping, the angry selfies begin7
- Historic Kyoto temple first in Japan to offer gay weddings8
- Cosplay ideals vs. cosplay reality, a.k.a. cool vs. funny 【Photos】9
- Internet ready to shut up and take your money as preorders finally start for Cat Ear Headphones10
- After Obama’s otaku outing, images surface of Love Liver Joe Biden getting cozy with anime idols
- Anime pillow responds to your rubbing with moans and groans, gets angry if you get too grabby
- Images of man pickpocketing wearing a sign reading “I’m a pickpocket” go viral in China
- Japanese netizens stare at red dot for 30 seconds, freak out when they see what happens
- D Free: a new wearable device that gives you a 10-minute warning to find a toilet 【Video】
- Boys’ turn: The top 10 most common shonen manga scenarios, according to Japanese fans
- Here’s what happens if you buy all the drinks in the combini and mix them together 【Video】
- Kitties keeping the gods company: Check out these photos of cats in Japanese shrines!
- We visit a reasonably-priced sushi shop so good you’ll forget all about that “Jiro” guy
- Japanese watch maker shirks labor law, says “time’s up” on factory in Guangzhou, China
- Online seller pulls cruel trick, sells pencil lead photographed alongside Nintendo 3DS XL
- Resort in the Philippines decides to stop ripping off Gundam, rip off another robot instead
- New nail art technique produces beautiful nails, sticky abominations in equal measure