Japanese mission reached asteroid Ryugu

A Japanese probe has reached an asteroid 300 million km away to collect information about the birth of the solar system and the origin of life after a more than three-year voyage through deep space. The Hayabusa2 probe successfully settled into an observation position 20 km above the Ryugu asteroid, officials from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

Japan’s women clinch Uber Cup

Japan’s women clinched the Uber Cup, the Womens World Badminton Championship, defeating Thailand 3-0 in Bangkok. It ends an Uber Cup drought for Japan that stretches back to 1981. The Uber Cup is second in prestige only to the Olympics as a national team event. As of the 2018, China is the most successful team, having won fourteen times. Japan is second, having won it six times.

Shoplifters won Palme d’Or 2018

The Japanese family drama Shoplifters has received the coveted award for best film, the ‘Palme d’Or’, at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. ‘Shoplifters’ has been hailed as a modest masterpiece from a veteran filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda that centres on a small-time thief who takes a young girl home to his family. The Palme d’Or is the highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival.

California’s economy is world’s 5th biggest

California’s economy has surpassed that of the United Kingdom to become the world’s fifth largest economy. California’s GDP of $2.7 trillion has overtaken the UK’s $2.6 trillion. California’s economic output is now surpassed only by the total GDP of the United States, China, Japan and Germany. All economic sectors except agriculture contributed to California’s higher GDP.

Giant Mosquito Found In China

Scientists have discovered a giant mosquito from the ‘Holorusia mikado’ species with a wingspan of 11.15 cm in China.First found in Japan, the Holorusia mikado species normally has a wingspan of about 8 cm. These mosquitoes do not feed on blood & the adults have a lifespan of only a few days and mainly feed on nectar.

World’s oldest person Nabi Tajima died

The world’s oldest person Nabi Tajima has died in Japan at the age of 117. Tajima was born on August 4, 1900, and had more than 160 descendants, including great-great-great grand-children. She became the world’s oldest person seven months ago after the death in September of Violet Brown in Jamaica.

Japan activated its 1st marine unit since WW2

Japan has activated its 1st marine unit since 2nd World War to counter invaders from occupying Japanese islands.The Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade is the latest component of a growing marine force that includes amphibious ships & assault vehicles. After WW2, a clause was written into Japan’s constitution which stated that armed forces with potential to wage war would not be maintained.

India & JICA signed a ?500-cr loan agreement

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will provide a concessional loan of ` 500 crore for smarter mobility project in Chennai to develop Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS).ITS will make traffic management system more efficient to ease the city’s congestion.The project will optimise the way traffic lights work and reduce long vehicle queues at city’s main intersections.

9th India-Japan Strategic Dialogue in Tokyo

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj attended the 9th India-Japan Strategic Dialogue in Tokyo. Japanese FDI in India during 2016-17 was USD 4.7 billion, an increase of 80% over the last year. India‘s import from Japan for 2016-17 was USD 9.76 billion. India and Japan concluded a Special Strategic and Global Partnership during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Japan in 2014.

3R –‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ forum in Indore

India will host the 8th ‘3R (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) Regional Forum in Asia and the Pacific’ in its cleanest city, Indore from 9-12 April 2018. The forum has provided a platform for addressing the needs and priorities of 3R in Asian countries and sharing best practices in waste management. The ‘Regional 3R Forum in Asia and the Pacific’ was launched in 2009 in Tokyo, Japan.

Naomi Osaka won her first WTA Title

Naomi Osaka became the first Japanese player to win the Indian Wells final, beating Russian Daria Kasatkina for her first WTA Tour title. Osaka was only the fourth unseeded player to reach =The Indian Wells‘ final. Osaka captured the title on her first match point by blasting a backhand into the open side of the court.

Yuzuru Hanyu retains gold medal

Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu has become the first figure skater in 66 years to win back-to-back Winter Olympic gold medals in the men’s singles event.Hanyu won the title with 317.85 points, beating compatriot Shoma Uno and multiple world champion Javier Fernandez of Spain to the second and third spots. He also became the 1,000th gold medal winner in the history of Winter Olympics.

Security conference begins in Munich

The Munich Security Conference, in its 54th edition, began in Munich, Germany.World leaders and ministers are meeting in Munich to discuss pressing security issues, including North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs and the Syrian civil war. Among this year’s attendees are US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono.

Tiniest Satellite Carrying Rocket launched

Japan has successfully launched the world’s smallest satellite-carrying rocket following a failed attempt in January last year.The rocket is about the size of a utility pole, measuring 10 meters in length and 50 centimeters in diameter.The launch was aimed at verifying JAXA’s technology to send a small rocket made with commercially available components to the sky at a lower cost.

Buddhist Fest ‘Global Shanti’ kicks off

The ‘Global Shanti: Amaravati Buddhist Heritage Festival’ has kicked off in Andhra Pradesh.The three-day festival, organised by the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Authority, aims to set a world record for ‘largest online chanting session’.More than 1000 monks from various countries including like China, Myanmar, Japan, Thailand will participate in the festival.

Missile Tracking Drill

US, Japan & South Korea will hold 2 days of missile tracking drills as tension rise in the region over North Korea’s fast-developing weapons programs. The exercise will be the 6th drill sharing information in tracking ballistic missiles among the 3 nations. North Korea regularly threatens to destroy South Korea, Japan & US & says its weapons programmes are necessary to counter US aggression

Japan approves Akihito’s abdication

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet has formally approved April 30, 2019, as the abdication date for Japanese Emperor Akihito, which will end the current Heisei era in its 31st year.After the abdication, Akihito’s elder son Crown Prince Naruhito will ascend the throne on May 1, 2019.Japan’s parliament enacted a law in June to enable him to pass the throne onto the crown prince.

Japan to acquire air-launched missiles

According to Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, Japan will acquire medium-range, air-launched cruise missiles, capable of striking North Korea.The new missiles would be for defence, with Japan still relying on US to strike any enemy bases.Japan is also looking to mount Lockheed Martin Corp’s extended-range Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM-ER) on its F-15 fighters.

Cooperation in Indo-Pacific Region

Officials from India, Australia, the US and Japan met and discussed issues relating to cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region. It is seen as a first move to set up a quadrilateral grouping to pursue common interests in the strategically key area. The move to set up the quadrilateral comes in the backdrop of growing Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea.

Tokyo’s AI ‘boy’ gained a residency

An AI character was made an official resident of Tokyo district in Japan. He doesn’t exist physically. He is a virtual chatty seven-year-old boy. The virtual boy was named “Shibuya Mirai”. Mirai, whose name means “future” in the Japanese language. He can have text conversations with humans on the widely used LINE messaging app. His hobbies are taking pictures and observing people.

First SAP Leonardo Centre in Bengaluru

SAP launched the Asia Pacific Japan region’s first SAP Leonardo Center, in Bengaluru. The Leonardo Centre in Bengaluru is the first in Asia Pacific Japan region and the fourth SAP Leonardo Center globally. The Leonardo Centre in Bengaluru will consist of digital transformation elements like IoT, Blockchain, Analytics, Machine Learning, Big Data, Data Intelligence and SAP Cloud Platform.

Indian Naval Ships visit Sasebo, Japan

Indian Naval Ships Satpura and Kadmatt are visiting Sasebo, Japan from 12th to 15th October 2017. It is done in pursuance of India’s Act East Policy and demonstration of India’s commitment to peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific Region. The visit is part the Indian Government’s initiatives to strengthen the long standing, mutually supportive and strong relationship between Japan and India

MoC between India and Japan on TITP

The Union Cabinet has approved the signing of “Memorandum of Cooperation” between India and Japan on the “Technical Intern Training Program”. The TITP is an ambitious program to send Indian technical interns to Japan for on the job training for a period of three to five years. MoC will pave the way for bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the area of skill development.

MoC for Global LNG Market

Cabinet has approved the signing of the MoC between India and Japan on establishing a liquid, flexible and global LNG Market. The MoC will promote bilateral relationship between India and Japan in the energy sector. It will contribute to the diversification of gas supplies for India. It will strengthen our energy security and lead to more competitive prices for consumers.

India’s holdings of American securities

India has sharply increased its exposure to US government securities with holdings worth $135.7 billion at the end of July. Neighbouring China continued to top the charts withholding to the tune of $1.166 trillion, followed by Japan with exposure worth $1.113 trillion. India is the 12th largest holder of US government securities just behind Saudi Arabia.

Postage stamps on Indian yoga experts

Japanese postal department has released postage stamps on yoga legend Bishnu Ghosh & his family members to acknowledge the role played by them in spreading Indian postural yoga in Japan. Stamps on Bishnu Charan Ghosh, his son Biswanath, daughter Karuna & Karuna’s father in law Asutosh Ghosh were released in Japan. It is the 1st time Japan has released postal stamps on any yoga experts.

India, Japan ink 15 agreements

India & Japan have signed 15 agreements for enhancing bilateral cooperation in several key areas including investment promotion, civil aviation & science and technology. The agreements were signed after 12th annual summit talks in Gandhinagar. The two countries also agreed upon a mutual investment support road map. Japan invested $4.7 bn in India during 2016-17, 80% higher than last year.

Adviser for bullet train project

Sanjeev Sinha, former Tata executive in Tokyo & the first IIT-ian from Barmer, Rajasthan, has been appointed as adviser for Ahmedabad-Mumbai High-Speed Rail project by Japan Railways. The project, largely funded by low-cost financing from Japan, is planned to be built based on Japanese technology by a consortium of six rail companies. He will be the interface between govt of India & Japan.

China opens first overseas base

China has formally opened its first overseas military base in Djibouti. It will be used to resupply navy ships taking part in peacekeeping and humanitarian missions off the coasts of Yemen and Somalia. China’s agreement with Djibouti ensures its military presence in the country up until 2026, with a contingent of up to 10,000 soldiers. Djibouti also hosts troops from US, France & Japan.

Agreement on N-energy comes into force

20 : India-Japan agreement for Co-operation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy has come into force from today. The agreement was signed on 11th November last year in Tokyo during Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Japan. The agreement seeks to promote full cooperation b/w the 2 countries in the development and uses of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes on a stable, reliable and predictable basis.

Japan to Build War Museum in Manipur.

Japan’s Ambassador to India Kenji Hiramatsu said that Japan will build a war museum at Maibam Lokpa Ching in Manipur’s Bishenpur district. Maibam Lokpa Ching is a historical place where the British and the Japanese fought during the Second World War. Japanese ambassador sought cooperation from the people in locating mortal remains of about 70,000 Japanese soldiers in Imphal and Nagaland.

NSG still a far cry for India

China obliquely criticised the India-Japan agreement on nuclear energy. China pointed out that all countries are entitled to peaceful use of atomic energy, so long as they abide by “the international nuclear non-proliferation regime.” China maintains that the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which India has not signed, is the cornerstone of preventing the spread of atomic weapons.

7.8-magnitude earthquake strikes off Japan

A powerful undersea earthquake south of Japan has shaken buildings in Tokyo. The US Geological Survey said the 7.8-magnitude earthquake was centred 874km (543 miles) from the Japanese capital, at a depth of almost 700m. It struck at 18:30 local time (11:30 GMT). Buildings in the capital swayed for almost a minute as the quake built in intensity. Tokyo Electric Power Company said there were no abnormalities at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant following the quake. The runways at Tokyo’s Narita airport were operating normally but the high-speed bullet train service between Tokyo and Osaka was halted due to a power outage.

Four Indians to be conferred with 2015 Spring Imperial Decorations of Japan

Four Indians will be conferred with the Spring Imperial Decorations of Japan which were announced on 29 April 2015. These Indians are among the 85 foreign recipients who will receive the award at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on 8 May 2015. The awards will be conferred by Emperor of Japan Akihito.
The Order of the Rising Sun, GOLD and Silver Star –
• Thottuvelil Krishna Pillai Aiyappankutty Nair (75): He is a former Advisor and Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh.
• Chintamani Nagesa Ramachandra Rao (80): He is the Honorary President of Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advance Scientific Research, Bangalore and a former Chair of the Japan-India Science Council.
The Order of the Rising Sun,GOLD and Silver Rays
• Nikunj Parekh (74): He is the President of Indo-Japanese Association, Mumbai and Director of Bonsai Study Group of Indo-Japanese Association, Mumbai.
The Orders of the Sacred Treasure, GOLD and Silver Rays
• Topgay Bhutia (64): Former local employee of the Embassy of Japan in India was awarded for his contribution to the activities of the Japanese overseas establishment.