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Study confirms lavender can help people relax
24 October 2018 - A new study has presented compelling evidence that smelling lavender can ease stress and anxiety. Scientists from Japan confirmed that linalool can relax the brain. The pretty purple flower has long been a fixture of traditional folk medicine. While there have been numerous previous study backing the effectivity of lavender for stress relief, there has not been a lot of research done to figure out how exactly it affects the body. This new study by scientists from the Kagoshima University in Japan explains how the linalool in lavender relaxes the brain. (more)

Japanese Prime Minister Abe hails 'fresh start' to Japan-China ties after Xi meeting
11 November 2017 - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping hailed a 'fresh start' to the relationship between the countries after a meeting that saw them agree to work more closely on North Korea. ...Ties between China and Japan, the world's second- and third-largest economies, have been plagued by a long-running territorial dispute over a cluster of East China Sea islets. (more)

With new technology, Mazda gives spark to gasoline engine
24 October 2017 - In the high-stakes, high-cost battle among global automakers to develop ever more efficient vehicles, one of the biggest breakthroughs in internal combustion engine technology in years looks to be coming from one of the industry's smaller players. Japan's Mazda Motor Corp has zoomed past its larger global rivals to develop an engine which ignites gasoline using combustion ignition technology, a fuel-saving process considered something of a holy grail of efficient gasoline engines. (more)

Quiet energy revolution underway in Japan as dozens of towns go off the grid
19 September 2017 - A northern Japanese city's efforts to rebuild its electric power system after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami mark a quiet shift away from the country's old utility model toward self-reliant, local generation and transmission. The city's steps illustrate a massive yet little known effort to take dozens of Japan's towns and communities off the power grid and make them partly self-sufficient in generating electricity. (more)

US: Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibit looks at Japan's fine craft of bamboo basketry
12 July 2017 - Bamboo is getting attention these days as a versatile and sustainable material for housewares, so the timing is good for a Metropolitan Museum of Art [in New York City] exhibit that explores Japan's ancient craft of basketry. 'Japanese Bamboo Art: The Abbey Collection' is devoted to masterworks, including a half dozen works by two artists designated as Living National Treasures in Japan. To highlight the works' virtuosity and context, they have been displayed alongside paintings, ceramics, bronzes, kimonos, and other pieces from different genres. (more)

Japanese interactive art exhibition dazzles Beijing, China
24 May 2017 - A new digital interactive exhibition in Beijing allows visitors to create their own art and see it immediately reflected in the work being displayed around them. The project, 'Living Digital Forest and Future Park', is the first to be opened in China by the Japanese art collective teamLab. The Beijing exhibition includes a digital garden of floating flowers and forest animals, and a crystal universe of light sculptures. (more)

Japan January flash manufacturing PMI shows fastest expansion in almost three years
23 January 2017 - Japanese manufacturing activity expanded in January at the fastest pace in almost three years as export orders surged, suggesting that overseas demand is not as weak as some economists and business leaders had feared. The flash index for new orders, which measures both domestic and external demand, rose to the highest in 13 months. The flash PMI index offers evidence that global trade is picking up, which is a benefit for Japan's export-focused economy. (more)

Japanese throng shrines to pray for profitable 2017
4 January 2017 - Thousands packed a 1,300-year-old Shinto shrine in downtown Tokyo on Wednesday (4 January), the first official working day of 2017 in Japan, to pray for good luck and economic success in the new year. Investors did their part to kick off the year on a positive note, sending the Nikkei 225 index .N225 soaring 2.5 percent to its highest in 13 months. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was greeted by [joyful] crowds as he visited the Ise Grand Shrine, the holiest site in Japan's Shinto religion, near where Group of Seven leaders met last year for a summit. In downtown Tokyo, the Kanda Shrine was packed -- typical of many shrines and Buddhist temples over New Years. 'I'd like to do my best as company president and I prayed for my employees' health,' said businessman Yoshimichi Morishita. (more)

Toyota chief shifts gear, to boost electric vehicle division
30 November 2016 - Toyota Motor Corp on Wednesday appointed its president to lead their newly formed electric car division, flagging its commitment to develop a technology that the automaker has been slow to embrace. The change comes as the United States, China, and European countries are encouraging automakers to make more all-electric battery cars as they push alternative energy strategies. (more)

Japan's economy grows 2.2 percent year-on-year in last quarter
14 November 2016 - Stronger exports and housing investment helped Japan's economy grow at a 2.2 percent annualized pace in the July-September quarter, better than many analysts had anticipated, according to a report released Monday, 14 November. (more)


Success of Maharishi's Programmes
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Japan: National Transcendental Meditation facility features Maharishi Vastu design
28 March 2015 - The national headquarters of the Transcendental Meditation organization in Japan, the Maharishi Institute of Total Education, is located in Nasu, approximately one and a half hours north of Tokyo. It is not only an organizational headquarters but offers many residential courses to those already practising Transcendental Meditation, as well as the opportunity to learn TM in this serene setting. The largest wood structure in all of Japan, 4,800 sm (51,500 sf), with a striking copper roof, it is a wonderful example of the use of natural materials--a key element in Maharishi Vastu construction, according to a recent newsletter featuring Maharishi Vastu architecture and design in Japan. (more)

Japan: Maharishi Vastu homes designed to connect individual and cosmic life
24 March 2015 - The second of three Vastu buildings in Japan featured in the current Maharishi Vastu newsletter was completed in the autumn of 2014. It is the most recent of several private homes in Ryugasaki, northeast of Tokyo, that have been designed and built according to Maharishi Vastu architecture. Like another Vastu home in the area, it features lovely wood interiors, traditional Japanese features, and an abundance of natural light on both levels. (more)

Japan: Homes combine traditional Japanese elements with benefits of Maharishi Vastu architecture
1 March 2015 - The first of three Vastu buildings in Japan featured in the current Maharishi Vastu newsletter was built in 2008. It is one of several private homes in Ryugasaki, northeast of Tokyo, that have been designed and built according to Maharishi Vastu architecture. (more)

Three examples of Maharishi Vastu architecture in Japan
15 February 2015 - This month's Maharishi Vastu newsletter reports on three 'especially striking buildings' in Japan that have been designed according to Maharishi Vastu architecture. Two are private homes built in Ryugasaki, northeast of Tokyo and the other is the national headquarters for the Transcendental Meditation organization. All are 'excellent examples of how Maharishi Vastu architecture can incorporate any local traditions of design' while creating beneficial effects for their owners. (more)

Japan: Maharishi University of Management hosts large delegation from Tokyo
2 June 2014 - Maharishi University of Management graduates Naoki Mizutani and his wife Yoko, who are directors of the Akasaka Transcendental Meditation Centre near Tokyo, recently brought a delegation of 29 Japanese practitioners of Transcendental Meditation to Fairfield, Iowa, USA for a weeklong tour of the MUM campus. The group visited many departments and heard presentations from faculty members. By the end of the week, the group was transformed. 'Everyone is still talking about what a great time they had in Fairfield and how inspired they all felt to see so many bright and blissful children, students, staff, and faculty, and the whole creative community,' said Mr Mizutani. (more)

Be-Japan: Corporate development with a helping hand
18 July 2013 - Be-Japan is a corporate development company established three years ago in Japan, to bring the Transcendental Meditation programme to business leaders and people in organizations throughout the country. After the devasting earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 2011, Mr Kawai Yuji, CEO of Be-Japan, traveled to the damaged area and, together with his wife, taught Transcendental Meditation to 250 people. At a recent conference in the Netherlands, Mr Kawai reported that research conducted on a large group of refugees who learned the technique showed a dramatic reduction of all stress factors. (more)

Japan: Maharishi Ayur-Veda health expert gives hundreds of consultations
18 July 2013 - Dr Manohar Palakurthi, a leading Ayurvedic physician from India and now the permanent Maharishi Ayur-Veda expert for Japan, toured the country this year giving courses, seminars, and consultations. About 350 people had Maharishi Ayur-Veda consultations, and 90 attended a one-day seminar in this field of natural health care in Tokyo. (more)

In post-disaster Japan, citizens look for charitable ways to help and heal
14 July 2012 - One of the charitable programmes undertaken by teachers of Transcendental Meditation (TM) in Japan is a relief programme that teaches refugees from last year's nuclear disaster the stress-reducing meditation technique. The programme has been seeing significant results. 'Two hundred and fifty refugees have learned Transcendental Meditation recently with significant results,' said a TM teacher involved in the project. 'A local scientist measuring psychological and physiological response to TM measured a 45% reduction in anxiety after only one week of the refugees practising.' (more)

Japan well underway on the path to recovery: Transcendental Meditation contributes to rising coherence
14 July 2012 - Japan is the safest nation in the world, with fewer crimes than any other nation. It's the healthiest nation in the world, with the longest lifespan, and the third most significant nation in innovation and technology. Japan is also the world's third largest economy behind the United States and China, and the fifth most peaceful nation in the world. Although recovery from last year's earthquake is still in progress, these statistics bode well for Japan's future, commented a Transcendental Meditation teacher recently, going on to describe how Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's technologies of consciousness can bring invincible peace, progress, and prosperity to the country, ensuring a strong, disaster-free future. (more)

Japan: In recent months, 50% more people learn Transcendental Meditation
14 July 2012 - The number of people learning Transcendental Meditation in Japan has increased by 50% in the last few months. Wada Takao Sensei, a Transcendental Meditation teacher and president of Maharishi Institute of Total Education, attributes this rapid increase to the launching of a new website for Japan, modeled after the United States' www.TM.org website. The Japanese site also has a page on Facebook and a blog. (more)


Flops
Short Summaries of Top Stories


Japan hit by deadly earthquake and mudslides
6 September 2018 - Japan's northern island of Hokkaido has been hit by a powerful earthquake, triggering landslides that engulfed houses. The magnitude 6.7 quake cut power to around three million homes after a thermal power plant was damaged. The earthquake comes on the heels of a deadly typhoon lashing the west of Japan over the past few days. (more)

Heatwave blankets Japan, kills 14 people over long weekend
17 July 2018 - An intense heatwave killed at least 14 people over a three-day long weekend in Japan, media reported on Tuesday (17 July), and high temperatures hampered the recovery in flood-hit areas where more than 200 people died last week. Thousands more were treated in hospitals for heat-related conditions. (more)

Japan hit by worst weather disaster in decades: Why did so many die?
11 July 2018 - Torrential rains unleashed floods and set off landslides in western Japan last week, killing at least 176 people, forcing millions to evacuate and leaving dozens missing in the country's worst weather disaster in 36 years. [Reuters give] some reasons for the high death toll. (more)

Rescuers search for survivors after Japan floods kill at least 126
10 July 2018 - Rescuers in western Japan dug through mud and rubble early on Tuesday, racing to find survivors after torrential rain that began last week unleashed floods and landslides that killed up to 130 people, with dozens missing. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe canceled an overseas trip to deal with Japan's worst flood disaster since 1982, with several million people forced from their homes. (more)

Thousands of Fukushima evacuees face hardship as subsidies to be slashed
17 January 2017 - Nearly six years after Noriko Matsumoto and her children fled Japan's Fukushima region, fearing for their health after the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl, they confront a new potential hardship -- the slashing of vital housing subsidies. Matsumoto is among nearly 27,000 people who left areas not designated as mandatory evacuation zones, spooked by high levels of radiation after nuclear meltdowns unleashed by a powerful earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011. Now, as the Fukushima local government prepares to slash unconditional housing assistance on March 31, many face the painful choice of returning to areas they still fear are unsafe, or reconciling to financial hardship . . . (more)

Japan: Woman breaks silence among Fukushima thyroid cancer patients
7 June 2016 - She's 21, has thyroid cancer, and wants people in her prefecture in northeastern Japan to get screened for it. That statement might not seem provocative, but her prefecture is Fukushima, and of the 173 young people with confirmed or suspected cases since the 2011 nuclear meltdowns there, she is the first to speak out. That near-silence highlights the fear Fukushima thyroid-cancer patients have about being the 'nail that sticks out,' and thus gets hammered. The thyroid-cancer rate in the northern Japanese prefecture is many times higher than what is generally found, particularly among children, but the Japanese government says more cases are popping up because of rigorous screening, not the radiation that spewed from Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant. (more)

AP Interview: Fukushima plant's new ice wall not watertight
28 April 2016 - Coping with the vast amounts of ground water flowing into the broken Fukushima nuclear plant -- which then becomes radiated and seeps back out -- has become such a problem that Japan is building a 35 billion yen ($312 million) 'ice wall' into the earth around it. But even if the frozen barrier built with taxpayers' money works as envisioned, it won't completely block all water from reaching the damaged reactors because of gaps in the wall and rainfall, creating as much as 50 tons of contaminated water each day, said Yuichi Okamura, a chief architect of the massive project. (more)

Death by overwork on rise among Japan's vulnerable workers
19 April 2016 - Japan is witnessing a record number of compensation claims related to death from overwork, or 'karoshi', a phenomenon previously associated with the long-suffering 'salary man' that is increasingly afflicting young and female employees. Japan has no legal limits on working hours, but the labor ministry recognizes two types of karoshi: death from cardiovascular illness linked to overwork, and suicide following work-related mental stress. Work-related suicides are up 45 percent in the past four years among those 29 and younger, and up 39 percent among women, labor ministry data show. (more)

Researcher: Children's cancer linked to Fukushima radiation
8 October 2015 - A new study says children living near the Fukushima nuclear meltdowns have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer at a rate 20 to 50 times that of children elsewhere, a difference the authors contend undermines the government's position that more cases have been discovered in the area only because of stringent monitoring. 'This is more than expected and emerging faster than expected,' lead author Toshihide Tsuda told The Associated Press during a visit to Tokyo. Making sense of the relationship between radiation and cancer is precarious: It's scientifically impossible to link an individual cancer case to radiation. (more)

Thyroid cancer diagnosed in 104 young people in Fukushima
24 August 2014 - The number of young people in Fukushima Prefecture who have been diagnosed with definitive or suspected thyroid gland cancer, a disease often caused by radiation exposure, now totals 104, according to prefectural officials. The 104 are among 300,000 young people who were aged 18 or under at the time of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster and whose results of thyroid gland tests have been made available as of 30 June. They were eligible for the tests administered by the prefectural government. The average age of those diagnosed was 14.8 when the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami triggered the meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in March 2011. The figure can be extrapolated for comparison purposes to an average of more than 30 people per population of 100,000 having definitive or suspected thyroid gland cancer. The figure is much higher than, for example, the development rate of thyroid cancer of 1.7 people per 100,000 among late teens based on the cancer patients' registration in Miyagi Prefecture. (more)

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