Tesla recalls thousands of cars in China

Electric-vehicle maker Tesla will recall more than 14 thousand cars in China over airbags that contained a part made by the now-defunct Japanese manufacturer Takata.

Japan celebrates Coming of Age Day

Impeccably made-up and dressed in brightly coloured kimonos, young Japanese women take part in Coming of Age Day celebrations in Tokyo. The ceremony marking their transition to adulthood will be the last of the ‘Heisei’ period before Emperor Akihito abdicates later this year.

Lavrov meets Kono amid tensions over disputed Kuril islands

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meets Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono amid increasing tensions around the disputed Kuril islands. A decades-long row over the islands lingers as Moscow and Tokyo never signed a peace treaty after World War II due to the territorial dispute over the islands invaded by the Soviet Union in the final days of the war. IMAGES

Africa Weekly – a round up of news and features from Africa

This week on Africa Weekly, we meet an Ivorian refugee in Spain, one of at least 53,000 migrants who have risked their lives this year making the perilous passage across the Mediterranean, no matter how rough the seas. And we take you to Uganda where legendary Japanese film Rashomon is getting a Ugandan adaptation from the capital’s Wakaliwood studios.FOR SUBSCRIBERS OF AFRICA WEEKLY ONLY

Meet Nyango Star: The Heavy Metal Cat Mascot Saving A Japanese Farm (HBO)

Nyango Star is one of Japan’s most popular mascots, but you might know him best as a meme.

He’s an apple that’s been inhabited by the spirit of a dead cat, and he absolutely shreds on the drums. Very cute but also very metal.

Nyango Star is what’s known in Japan as a yuru-chara — which translates loosely to “chill mascot.”

Japanese yuru-chara can represent everything from police departments to restaurants to government initiatives.

Nyango Star represents Kuroishi City — a farming community in Japan’s northern prefecture of Aomori — where the population is declining and aging. But Kuroishi’s mayor is hoping Nyango Star’s viral success will help the shrinking town maintain economic viability.

VICE News went to Japan to meet with Nyango Star and his management team and get an inside look at yuru-chara culture in Japan.

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Japan: Record $3.1 million paid in New Year’s tuna auction

A Japanese sushi entrepreneur pays a record $3.1 million for a giant tuna as Tokyo’s new fish market, which replaced the world-famous Tsukiji late last year, held its first pre-dawn New Year’s auction.

Japanese emperor gives his final New Year’s address

Japan’s Emperor Akihito delivers his final New Year’s address before his abdication later this year, telling tens of thousands of well-wishers that he was praying for peace.

Japan’s Emperor gives final New Year’s address

Japanese Emperor Akihito gives his last New Year’s address before abdicating. IMAGES

Nation’s oldest World War II vet dies at age 112

(28 Dec 2018) Richard Overton, the nation’s oldest World War II veteran who was also believed to be the oldest living man in the US, died Thursday in Texas, a family member said. He was 112. Overton was at Pearl Harbor just after the Japanese attack in 1941. (Dec. 28)

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