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Tuna sells for record $3 million in auction at Tokyo’s new fish market

TOKYO: The owner of a Japanese sushi restaurant chain on Saturday set a record by paying more than $3 million for a bluefin tuna in the year’s first auction at Tokyo’s new fish market, exceeding his own record price of 2013. Kiyoshi Kimura, who owns the Sushizanmai chain, paid 333.6 million yen ($3.1 million) for the 278-kg (613-lb) fish caught off the coast of northern Japan’s Aomori prefecture, or double what he had paid six years ago. “The tuna looks so tasty and very fresh, but I think I did too much,” Kimura told…

Japanese emperor stresses his peaceful reign ahead of abdication

TOKYO: In a rare emotional address ahead of his abdication next year, Japanese Emperor Akihito said he took "deep comfort" that his long reign had been one of peace as he remembered the "countless lives" lost in World War II.  Akihito, in a pre-recorded speech to mark his 85th birthday Sunday, also paid tribute to the Japanese people and Empress Michiko, the first commoner to join the tradition-bound imperial family who has been at his side for 60 years. His voice trembling as he discussed the legacy of World War II,…

Japan team transplants stem cells into brain to treat Parkinson’s

Japanese researchers said Friday they have transplanted stem cells into the brain of a patient in the first stage of an innovative trial to cure Parkinson's disease. The research team at Kyoto University injected induced Pluripotent Stem (iPS) cells -- which have the potential to develop into any cell in the body -- into the brain of a male patient in his fifties, the university said in a press release. The man was stable after the operation, which was performed last month, and he will now be monitored for two years,…

Japanese,US, German, Australian team targets big battery projects in Asia-Pacific

MELBOURNE: Japan’s JERA, a U.S.-German joint venture, and an Australian firm have teamed up to develop battery projects in the Asia-Pacific, including the world’s biggest, targeting a market expected to be worth several billion dollars by 2022. The move marks a big green push for JERA, a joint venture between Tokyo Electric Power Co and Chubu Electric Power Co that is the world’s top buyer of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and one of the world’s biggest coal traders. The plan is for JERA to fund energy storage projects…

‘Status symbol’: Pair of Japanese premium melons sells for record $29,300

TOKYO: A single pair of premium melons on Saturday fetched a record 3.2 million yen ($29,300) at auction in Japan, where the fruit is regarded as a status symbol. Seasonal fruit offerings in Japan routinely attract massive sums from buyers seeking social prestige, or from shop owners wanting to attract customers to "ooh and aah" over the extravagant edibles. The winning bid was placed by a local fruit packing firm for the first Yubari melons to go under the hammer this year at the Sapporo Central Wholesale Market in…