Man Jumps from Plane at Narita Airport

A 33-year-old man was arrested after he opened the emergency door and jumped from a Philippine Airlines plane as it was approaching the terminal at Narita airport on Saturday.

According to police, the suspect, identified as Hirokatsu Tachihara, got out of his seat and opened the emergency exit door as Flight 434 was approaching the terminal at around 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Fuji TV reported.

Police said he jumped about 4 meters to the tarmac and ran for about 150 meters before he was apprehended by security guards.

Japan travel agent forgets school trip booking, so forges student suicide note

A Japanese travel agent who forgot to book a fleet of buses for a school trip tried to cover his tracks by forging a student’s suicide note in a failed bid to get the excursion cancelled. Regulators from the Japan Tourism Agency raided the offices of JTB Corp, the country’s biggest travel agency, after a 30-year-old employee failed to order 11 buses for a high school in central Japan for its trip scheduled for April 25. The man noticed his mistake on the day before the students were due to depart, but instead of owning up to his error, he hatched a wild-eyed plan to get himself off the hook.

The man, who has not been identified, drafted a note in the style of a student threatening to commit suicide unless the trip was cancelled. He then handed the note to the school’s principal, saying he had found it nearby.

Read the rest of the story: Japan travel agent forgets booking, forges suicide note.

Public Toilet Shows All for All to see

A “smoke toilet” was recently put in the Japanese city of Oita. The idea being that the transparent window goes opaque, or smokes when someone enters.

Yet, the toilet seems to be exposing those inside for all to see!

The sensor is triggered upon entering and makes the window opaque, hence creating privacy, but in Japan and according to the Oita Press, the opaque window can accidentally go transparent.

But, why? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose?

The sensor will actually switch the window back to transparent, if there is no movement in the toilet for 35 seconds. The sensor thinks the toilet is empty and the private smokey window shade goes away. And then, “Hello World!”

Currently, the company has no plans to lengthen the duration…

Passengers in Japan Push 32-ton Train Car to Free Woman

Dozens of Japanese train passengers pushed a 32-ton train carriage away from the platform to free a woman who had fallen into the 20-centimeter eight-inch gap between the train and platform. The act of heroism was captured by a newspaper photographer.

A public announcement that a passenger was trapped prompted about 40 people to join train officials to push the carriage, whose suspension system allows it to lean to either side, the Yomiuri newspaper reported.

The unnamed woman in her 30s was then pulled out uninjured to applause from onlookers at JR Minami-Urawa station, just north of Tokyo.

After just an eight-minute delay, the train went on its way.

Japan: Hallucinogenic dispensing vending machines legit?

Vending machines may be ubiquitous, but one that is selling quasi-legal hallucinogens has raised the eyebrows of police and health authorities as they clamp down on the sale and use of such drugs.

Kanagawa police last week raided a self-proclaimed “general merchandise store” in Yokohama for allegedly selling herbs containing cannabislike ingredients like those in illegal drugs like marijuana and stimulants.

Vendors of quasi-legal hallucinogens take advantage of legal loopholes. Unless illegal ingredients are found in the drugs, police can only request that sales be restrained. Even if illegal substances are found, most vendors claim they are unaware of the fact, according to police.

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Japan’s loo with a view is world’s largest too

A Japanese town has opened what is claims is the world’s largest public lavatory – a single toilet in a glass cubicle surrounded by more than 2,150 square feet of carefully tended gardens.

Japan has a reputation for providing first-class toilet facilities – there is even a guide book to the best rest rooms in Tokyo – but the latest addition to the nation’s public lavatories takes that to a new level.

Officials in the otherwise unremarkable town of Ichihara, east of Tokyo, opened the largest public toilet in the world in April. Conveniently sited alongside Itabu Station, the lavatory comprises a single sit-down toilet surrounded by glass and with a stylish ivory curtain. Trains on the Kominato Railway Line provide the background noise.

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Boat crashes into ‘whale’ in Japan – 5 injured

Five people were slightly injured Sunday morning after a high-speed boat they were on crashed into what appeared to be a whale off Kagoshima Prefecture, according to a local coast guard office. Two passengers and three crew members suffered blows to their shoulders or hips when the 140-ton vessel collided with what appeared to be a whale shortly before 9 a.m. on its way from Kagoshima to Yakushima island, Kagoshima Prefecture, the Kagoshima Coast Guard Office said.
The ship left the prefectural capital at 7:45 a.m., carrying about 190 people. It was traveling at about 80 kph at the time of the accident, two kilometers west of Sata Cape.

Future Uncertain for Japan’s Cat Cafes

For the young women whiling away their evenings with a cappuccino in hand and a cat on their lap, Tokyo’s “neko cafes” are the ideal place to unwind and soothe their stresses.

“After a long day at work, I just want to stroke cats and relax,” said saleswoman Akiko Harada.

“I love cats, but I can’t have one at home because I live in a small apartment. I started coming here because I really missed having fun with cats and touching them.”

For Harada and others like her, the “neko cafes” of the Japanese capital are a harmless institution where customers pay a premium for their coffee in exchange for the chance to pet the cats that stroll among them.

But for animal rights activists, these cafes are exploitative places where animals are subjected to unnatural stress.

Read the rest of the story: AFP: Uncertain future for Japan’s cat cafes.

New Tech: Interactive ‘posters’ react to being kissed

If you’ve ever been to Tokyo or any other large Japanese city, you’ll have noticed the huge variety of billboards plastering the urban landscape, often featuring the month’s most popular idol. Now researchers at Keio University are working on a system that will allow passers-by to interact with said posters via an ultrasound sensor setup. The sensor will detect the motion of people in front of it, and display appropriate pictures in response — “appropriate” may not be the right word for everyone, though, as the main use case demonstrated by the researchers so far is the ability to “kiss” the idol on screen. After you’ve expressed your affection for the poster and moved your head away, the girl blushes with embarrassment, for example.

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Police Poodles Busy with PR Not Crime

Two toy poodles have been tied up doing promotional events instead of crime-fighting duties since they became police dogs in Tottori Prefecture in January. The female poodles — Karin, who turns 2 on Sunday, and Fuga, also 2, — passed the police canine exam in November and have been making TV appearances ever since.They debuted in mid-January at a Tottori Prefectural Police event to publicize 110, the emergency telephone number

Read the rest of the story: Police dogs busy with PR not crime.