The Fukuoka prefectural government said Tuesday it will start an experiment using fuel cells at 150 households in two housing complexes, which it claims will be the world's first example of setting up household fuel cell systems on such a scale, with 100 units in a single concentrated area. The experiment is aimed at proving the practicality of using environmentally-friendly household fuel cells for supplying electric power and heat, the prefecture said, noting that the experiment will be conducted jointly along with Nippon Oil Corp and Saibu Gas Energy Co. A single unit of the system will be able to cover about 60% of power supply needs and about 80% of hot water needs of an ordinary household, resulting in a reduction of energy consumption of roughly 30%, according to the prefecture.

Top Japanese and Chinese police officials agreed Monday to spur investigations into toxic dumpling cases by offering evidence the two countries have collected to each other, Japanese officials said. The accord was reached when top officials from Japan's National Police Agency held talks with their Chinese counterparts in Beijing on Monday night. They also agreed on greater collaboration to settle the food poisoning cases involving Chinese-made dumplings, which caused 10 people in two Japanese prefectures to fall ill, the officials said.

A man from Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in southern China has died of bird flu, the Health Ministry said Thursday. The ministry said on its website that a 41-year-old man surnamed Liang fell sick on Feb 12 and was hospitalized two days later.

The Environment Ministry said Thursday it has set a target of reducing per capita household garbage generation, excluding recyclables, by 20% from the fiscal 2000 level to about 530 grams a day by fiscal 2015. The ministry also recommended that business operators slash garbage generation by 20% over the same period to around 14.5 million tons a year.