Idemitsu Kosan Co and two other oil distributors plan to cut wholesale prices of gasoline for shipments to gas stations by 22 to 23 yen from Tuesday as a temporary gasoline tax is expected to expire M

China's northwestern region of Xinjiang was hit by a major earthquake and several strong aftershocks early Friday, the country's official media and earthquake monitoring centers reported.

A distinctive red double-decker bus from London on loan to the city of Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture, was unveiled to the press Wednesday ahead of the start possibly this spring of its scheduled

In an attempt to face a possible food scarcity in the country next year, Cabinet has decided to set up a Presidential Task Force to promote local foods.

The concentration of pesticide detected in Chinese-made frozen dumplings which sickened family members in Chiba Prefecture in January was found to be up to about 10,000 times in excess of the quarant

The season's first yellow dust from mainland China hit wide areas of Japan from Sunday night through Monday, lowering visibility to a degree that could adversely affect traffic, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. Visibility fell below 5 kilometers in the cities of Kumamoto and Nagasaki and less than 10 km in the cities of Tottori, Matsuyama, Fukuoka and Naha, all in western and southwestern Japan, agency officials said. Weather agency officials said the yellow dust was observed in all the prefectures of the Kyushu-Okinawa, Chugoku, Shikoku and Kinki regions, as well as in Mie, Aichi, Gifu, Fukui, Ishikawa and Fukushima prefectures.

Exports to Japan of some Chinese-made food items have come to a halt as Chinese inspectors are taking time to rigorously check product safety following the discovery of tainted meat dumplings in Japa

A strain of influenza virus resistant to the antiviral drug Tamiflu was found in a total of five flu patients in Yokohama city with three of them believed to comprise a case of group infection, health officials of the city said Thursday. Relenza, another antiviral drug, was effective for the patients, who were all infected with the type A Soviet Union flu. The Yokohama City Institute of Health advised caution in selecting a drug for that type of influenza. The five were residents aged 8 to 13 of the same ward in Yokohama who saw doctors on Jan 28. Three were students at the same elementary school, while the other two were diagnosed at the same health care institution.

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