Technology • Games
Pac-Man turns 40
Pac-Man arcade machine
Pac-Man arcade machine Credit: Peter Handke (Creative Commons Attribution 1.0)

Developed by Toru Iwatani and released by the Japanese company Namco, the first Pac-Man machine was unveiled in a Tokyo arcade on May 22, 1980.
With more than 400,000 gaming cabinets sold to arcades around the world, Pac-Man is the best-selling arcade game of all time.

Former U.S. Green Beret and his son arrested over Carlos Ghosn escape from Japan
Carlos Ghosn
Carlos Ghosn Credit: Bertel Schmitt (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

On a Japanese extradition warrant, federal marshals arrested Michael and Peter Taylor in Harvard, Massachusetts this Wednesday.
Authorities claim Michael, a 59-year-old former U.S. Army Green Beret, and his son Peter were charged by Japanese authorities with planning and aiding in Carlos Ghosn's escape from Japan in December.

Japan sees decline in suicides during lockdown

Japan sees a decline in suicide rates this April, dropping by 20% compared to the same time last year. 1,814 people took their own lives in April 2019 compared to 1,455 in 2020.

The Covid-19 lockdown was initially thought to show an increased rate in suicides because of suicide prevention helplines not working and the pandemic was believed to be a heightened stress factor. While Japan saw a growing number of suicides of children in the last years, triggered by bullying and academic problems, it's believed this number has decreased due to children being safe at home with their families.

Politics • Asian
Japan partly lifts state of emergency as Covid-19 cases fall

The prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abo, has announced that the country is lifting the state of emergency for most of the country but urges people to keep up physical distancing, wearing masks and upholding hygiene standards. The island Hokkaido, Tokyo and Osaka are still subject of the state of emergency as new cases are still emerging in these regions.

Turkey charges seven people over escape Carlos Ghosn from Japan
Former Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn charges a Nissan Leaf
Former Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn charges a Nissan Leaf Credit: Nissan Motor Co. Ltd (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Turkish prosecutors have charged seven people, four pilots, an MNG Jet company official and two flight attendants for their alleged roles in former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn’s escape from Japan to Turkey and from there to Beirut, Lebanon.
Carlos Ghosn fled Japan in December after claims of financial misconduct, which he denies.

Tokyo Olympics next year could be cancelled without a coronavirus vaccine

It will be difficult for Tokyo to host the Olympic Games next year unless there is an effective vaccine against the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19, Yoshitake Yokokura, the head of the Japan Medical Association (JMA) said Tuesday.
Japan and the International Olympic Committee agreed to postpone the Tokyo Games until July 23, 2021, because of the coronavirus pandemic. Japan is under a month-long state of emergency amid a rapid increase of infections across the country.
The president of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee Yoshiro Mori states there would be no more delays: “No, in that situation, it will be canceled,” he said. “In the past, when there were such problems, like wartime, it has been canceled. This time, we are fighting an invisible enemy.”.

Tokyo Summer Olympics postponed to 2021

After talks with IOC President Thomas Bach, the prime minister of Japan, Shinzō Abe announced the postponement of the Summer Olympic games to 2021.

Influenza drug from Japan effective against Covid-19 according to Chinese authorities

A flu drug named favipiravir, developed by a subsidiary of the Japanese company Fujifilm, appears to be effective as a treatment for the coronavirus. According to Zhang Xinmin, an official from the Chinese science and technology ministry, “It has a high degree of safety and is clearly effective in treatment". The drug has been tested in clinical trials ni Wuhan and Shenzhen. In total 340 patients have been treated with it and on average been tested negative for the virus only four days after being tested positive. In addition, the lung condition of 91% of the patients had improved. This is 29% higher than for patients without the flu drug.