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Jay Bothroyd: Former England striker on playing in Japan, his one cap and epilepsy

Bothroyd has played in Japan since 2015, first with Jubilo Iwata and then with Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo “People can say I am a one-cap wonder, but they are ignorant. I am proud of that cap.” It’s eight years since Jay Bothroyd made his only England appearance – as a 72nd-minute substitute – in a friendly against France in November 2010. On Saturday, the 36-year-old will start his fourth season in Japan – the latest stop in a 19-year career that has taken him from London to Sapporo. England’s most famous…

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Brexit: Japan trade deal will not be ready by deadline

The UK won’t be able to roll over an EU trade deal with Japan in time for Brexit, Trade Secretary Liam Fox has said. It was one of the most important EU trade deals the UK hoped to replicate ahead of the 29 March withdrawal date. The Department of International Trade also said that the EU’s customs union deal with Turkey will not be ready. In 2017 Mr Fox said the UK would be able to replicate 40 EU free trade deals by Brexit day. But so far his department…

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Science 

Hayabusa-2: Japan mission set to ‘bite an asteroid’

Image copyright DLR Image caption Artwork: Hayabusa-2 arrived at asteroid Ryugu in June last year A Japanese spacecraft is set to “bite an asteroid” as it descends to collect a sample of rock from the surface. The Hayabusa-2 probe will try to grab the sample from a pre-chosen site on the asteroid Ryugu at 23:00 GMT on 21 February. The spacecraft reached asteroid Ryugu in June 2018 after a three-and-a-half-year journey from Earth. It is is expected to return to Earth with the rocky material it has cached in 2020.…

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Science 

Japan approves test of iPS cells for treating spinal injuries

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese scientists will test the use of human-induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) to treat spinal cord injuries, a health ministry panel that approved the research project said on Monday. The research team from Tokyo’s Keio University planned to inject about two million iPS cells into the damaged areas of an individual patient and review the results over the course of a year, according to the plan approved by the health ministry. So-called iPS cells are made by removing mature cells from an individual – often from the…

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Saidaiji Eyo: Near-naked crowds hunt for lucky sticks at Japan festival

Image copyright Getty Images Thousands of near-naked men seeking luck have scrambled to find two sacred sticks as part of an ancient Japanese festival. It’s thought about 10,000 men wearing white loincloths took part in the ceremony at the Kinryozan Saidaiji Buddhist temple in Okayama on Saturday. Participants were purified in water before scrambling to find sticks that had been thrown into the crowd. Those who found the 20cm-long sticks, called “shingi”, are believed to be the luckiest men of the year. Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The annual…

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Valentine’s Day: Japan falling out of love with ‘obligation chocolates’

Image copyright Getty Images Around the world, people use chocolate treats to express sweet nothings on Valentine’s Day. But in Japan, it’s a little more complicated. On Valentine’s Day, only women give chocolate, and not just to their partners, but to their male colleagues too. Critics say the practice sucks all the fun out of Valentine’s Day and instead turns it into a dreary duty where women risk offending co-workers if they leave someone out. Others say “giri choco”, which translates to “obligation chocolate” is a little misunderstood, and besides,…

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Technology 

Apple supplier Japan Display to get $700 million bailout from China, Taiwan group: Kyodo

FILE PHOTO – Japan Display Inc’s logo is pictured at its headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, August 9, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo TOKYO (Reuters) – Ailing Apple supplier Japan Display Inc will receive up to 80 billion yen ($723 million) in a bailout from a group of Chinese and Taiwanese investors, Kyodo news agency reported. A group including China’s state-backed Silk Road Fund and Taiwanese panel maker TPK Holding Co will inject around 60 billion to 80 billion yen, taking a stake of 30-50 percent in Japan Display, Kyodo said, without…

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Science 

Japan sets date for asteroid ‘rock grab’

Image copyright DLR Image caption Artwork: Hayabusa2 arrived at the asteroid Ryugu in June last year The Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa 2 will attempt to collect a sample of soil and rock from an asteroid on 22 February, the country’s space agency (Jaxa) says. Hayabusa 2 reached asteroid Ryugu in June 2018 after a three-and-a-half-year journey from Earth. It will descend to the surface and attempt to grab a sample of rock and soil from a pre-chosen site. The spacecraft will return to Earth with the samples in 2020 after its…

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Nissan chooses Japan over UK to build new X-Trail car

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The Sunderland plant opened in 1986 Nissan has confirmed that the new X-Trail originally planned for its Sunderland plant will instead be made in Japan. In a letter to workers, it said continued Brexit uncertainty is not helping firms to “plan for the future”. In 2016, the carmaker said it would build the new model in the UK after “assurances” from the government. Unions described the news as “disappointing” and said they were “seriously concerned”. The government said Nissan’s decision was “a blow to…

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Sports 

Qatar beat Japan 3-1 to win Asian Cup for first time

Soccer Football – AFC Asian Cup – Final – Japan v Qatar – Zayed Sports City Stadium, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – February 1, 2019 Qatar’s Tarek Salman, Khaled Mohammed and team mates celebrate winning the Asian Cup REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudan’ ABU DHABI (Reuters) – Almoez Ali scored a spectacular overhead kick for a record ninth goal of the tournament to set Qatar on their way to a first Asian Cup triumph with a stunning 3-1 win over four-times champions Japan on Friday. Ali’s 12th minute strike took him past…

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