2 Japanese held with 12 kg of gold in Bangladesh airport
Payel Pasha, deputy director of Bangladeshi Customs Intelligence and Investigation Directorate, told Xinhua that acting on a tipoff, they detained the Japanese nationals with 30 gold bars worth 60 million taka (about 714,285 U.S. dollars).
He said that the Japanese men were arrested when crossing green channel at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport with the gold bars found hidden in their pant pockets.
According to the official, the Japanese nationals were handed over to the local police.https://nnn.ng/2-japanese-held-with-12-kg-of-gold-in-bangladesh-airport/
Former Japanese justice minister, wife to leave LDP over election scandal
Two Japanese lawmakers have decided to leave Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s main ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) over allegations they violated the election law, sources close to the matter said Tuesday.
Katsuyuki Kawai, a former Justice Minister and his wife Kawai Anri, a member of the upper house of parliament are alleged to have bought votes for the upper house election in 2019 possibly helping Anri to secure her seat in the poll.
Prosecutors allege the pair’s actions violated the Public Offices Election Law and are planning to question the couple on Thursday, once the current Diet session ends, the sources said.
Until now, the couple has denied allegations related to the vote-buying issue during questions they have answered from prosecutors on a voluntary basis.
Kawai left his position as justice minister in October last year after it came to light his wife’s election camp, which he oversaw, may have tried to hide illegally high payments made to staff during the campaign by splitting the amounts over two receipts.
Her office is suspected of paying staff members double the legal amount, with daily allowance payments made to a group of staff members campaigning on her behalf totaling 30,000 yen (280 United States dollars).
The payments may be in violation of Japan’s election law and could be considered a form of bribery, the sources said.
In a bid to conceal the potentially illegal payments, Kawai’s campaign office is suspected of producing separate receipts to be signed by the staff members, to make it look as though the payments were below the legal threshold of a daily allowance of 15,000 yen.
The couple, according to investigators, may have given more than 20 million yen (186,000 United States dollars) in cash to numerous local legislators.
Kawai is believed to have offered between 50,000 and more than 100,000 yen (931 United States dollars) in cash to each of the couple’s supporters in their constituencies, prefectural and city assembly members, as well as local government chiefs.
The pair will tender their resignations to the LDP by Wednesday, sources said, as they do not wish to cause any further trouble for the ruling party, although they are continuing to deny the vote-buying allegations.
Sources close to the couple said, despite the weighty allegations against them, they do not intend to give up their seats in the parliament.
Japanese professors call for fair treatment of foreign students over cash handouts
A group of professors in Japan on Monday sent a petition to the education ministry demanding it stop using “discriminatory” standards of foreign students in terms of cash handouts during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The petition, initiated online by nearly 40 professors, has received 1,701 signatures in the two weeks through June 9.
The professors argued that the government did not treat foreign and Japanese students equally and set them apart by academic grades in the support program meant to ease financial difficulties.
The ministry required that foreign students who were among the top 30 percent of the students are eligible for the financial support of up to 200,000 yen (1,900 United States dollars).
“In a tough period, why are only foreign students being set apart by their academic results and receiving discriminatory treatment different from Japanese students?” the petition said.
Under the support project, of the around 3.70 million students attending universities, colleges and other educational institutions, 430,000 are eligible to receive the cash handouts, constituting just over 10 percent of the total.
Moreover, apart from the conditions imposed on Japanese students, foreign students face tougher criteria which require a grade point average of 2.30 or higher in the previous school year, equivalent to the top 25 to 30 percent of among peer students, according to the ministry.
“We are concerned that the measure would make students hoping to study in Japan feel the country takes the human rights of foreigners lightly and discriminates against them,” the petition said.
“I believe it is important for those who are working in universities to make an appeal so that there is no discrimination,” said Maya Hamada, a professor at Kobe University, who led the campaign urging equality for all financially struggling students regardless of nationality.
Japanese startup’s rocket launch fails over engine problem
A compact rocket developed by a Japanese aerospace startup has failed to reach space due to an engine problem on Sunday, which is the latest setback for a project that has delayed several times.
Interstellar Technologies Inc., which is based in the country’s northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido, launched the MOMO-5 rocket at around 5:15 a.m. from a site in the town of Taiki. The rocket’s engine made an emergency stop 70 seconds after liftoff and the rocket fell into the sea.
According to the company, part of the engine was damaged during the launch and the fuselage could no longer maintain its orientation. Preliminary analysis showed that the rocket reached an altitude of about 11 km.
This was the company’s fifth launch of the “MOMO” rocket. The third rocket launched in May last year was the only one that reached the target altitude of 100 km, making the company the first private Japanese enterprise to send a rocket to the edge of space.
Takahiro Inagawa, president of the company, said at an online press conference, “It was a disappointing result, but there were no major problems except for the damaged (engine) part. We would like to take necessary steps toward the next (launch).”
Police arrest Japanese for keeping mother’s corpse at his home for weeks-report
Police arrested a Japanese who reportedly kept the body of his elderly mother at his home in Tokyo for several weeks after her death, a media agency reported on Wednesday.
“The 54-year-old manager of a landscaping company was arrested for violating a law on how long a body can be kept before a proper burial takes place,’’ the Sankei Shimbun newspaper reported.
The man reportedly told police that when he noticed that his 85-year-old mother was no longer breathing, he was unable to think clearly, adding that he was afraid of calling the authorities.
A member of the family living nearby finally went to his house and discovered the woman after she had not been heard from in many days.https://nnn.ng/police-arrest-japanese-for-keeping-mothers-corpse-at-his-home-for-weeks-report/