Shiga History January–April 2019

Chronology of Shiga Prefecture’s major news headlines for January–April 2019 (according to the year, month, day, and time posted at GMT).

Originally posted on Twitter under Shiga Headlines by Philbert Ono. Twitter posts are limited to 280 English characters including spaces and links (shortened by Twitter). Dates and times below are based on GMT, not Japan time.

Omi-Hachiman-native Inui Yukiko (front) and Yoshida Megumu at the FINA Artistic Swimming World Series in Tokyo on April 27, 2019.
2019-01-01 00:53:59Happy New Year 2019! Hope we see more good news than bad this new year.
2019-01-05 07:32:58CNN Travel has included Saimyoji Temple in Kora, Shiga as one of the “36 of Japan’s most stunning places.” #西明寺 #甲良町
2019-01-28 04:02:23Higashi-Omi has again decided not to hold the Odako Matsuri Giant Kite Festival this year in 2019. It still has to punish the 3 employees found negligent in the tragic kite crash in 2015 & ensure safety. The city’s hallmark festival has been suspended for four years since 2016.
2019-01-28 04:02:49The Tonda Ningyo Bunraku puppet troupe in Nagahama will perform in Russia for the first time on March 15, 2019 in Saint Petersburg. They will perform “Keisei Awa no Naruto” (傾城阿波の鳴門). #冨田人形
2019-01-28 04:03:11Shiga Prefectural senior policeman Nishimura Takeshi (30) arrested on Jan. 22 in Fukuoka city for hugging and groping a woman in a restaurant’s women’s restroom. He was drunk and denies the charges. #西村健志
2019-01-28 04:04:34On Jan. 25 at Shimin Undo Koen park gutter 市民運動公園 in Yasu, about 70 highly venomous redback spiders were found. They were promptly killed. The female with the red stripe is the nasty one. Kill on sight, but do not touch with bare skin. #セアカゴケグモ
2019-01-28 04:06:35When it’s too snowy/cold to go out, stay home & watch a movie. Watched “Samurai Assassin” (侍) from 1965 starring Mifune Toshiro. Fictional account of one of Japan’s most infamous assassinations when Chief Minister Ii Naosuke was killed near Edo Castle’s Sakuradamon Gate in 1860.
2019-01-28 04:07:43Also watched “Sakuradamon-gai no Hen” (桜田門外ノ変) from 2010 starring Osawa Takao as the assassination plotter. Accurate historical account of Ii Naosuke’s assassination near Edo Castle’s Sakuradamon Gate in 1860. Also covers events after the assassination. Not a happy ending.
2019-02-03 11:56:08RT @USAmbJapan: この週末、琵琶湖の美しい夕焼けを堪能しました。🌅We enjoyed a beautiful sunset  over Lake #Biwa this weekend! #nature #japansunset…
2019-02-09 08:01:18On Jan. 31, a pig farm in Toyota, Aichi shipped 60 piglets to a pig farm in Omi-Hachiman that had to slaughter all its 700 pigs after the piglets were found to be infected with the highly contagious (among pigs) classical swine fever on Feb 6. #豚コレラ
2019-02-09 08:01:31Japan-US joint military exercises are being held at the GSDF Aibano training site in Takashima during Feb. 4–15 with 940 soldiers including US marines from Okinawa. They include two Ospreys landing with soldiers on board. They avoided flying over populated areas. #日米共同訓練
2019-02-09 08:01:42The rookie policeman (19) who shot & killed police sergeant Imoto Akira 井本光 (41) out of anger inside the JR Kawase Station police box in Hikone in April 2018 has been sentenced to 22 years in prison by the Otsu District Court.
2019-02-18 05:13:59Omi-Hachiman City Hall waterworks examiner Yokota Koji (43, 横田孝治) arrested for embezzling ¥97,000 from people who paid their water bill in April 2018. Mayor Konishi Osamu has apologized and promised to prevent a recurrence.
2019-02-18 05:14:37The cost of renovating the Hikone City Hall building is projected increase to over ¥5.2 billion or ¥2 billion+ more than the original estimate due to increasing costs of labor, materials, and consumption tax.
2019-02-18 05:15:14Shiga Prefectural policeman Nishimura Takeshi (30, 西村健志) arrested on Jan. 22 in Fukuoka city for hugging & groping a woman in a restaurant has been released, but was suspended from work for 1 month from Feb. 14. He has resigned. His two police superiors verbally reprimanded.
2019-02-18 05:15:28Garbage bags in Nagahama & Maibara labeled “Y18” for burnable trash have been found to be defective since last Dec. They tear easily. You can exchange them for new bags at your nearest city hall.
2019-02-18 05:15:42Shiga is implementing countermeasures against wild boars to prevent the spread of classical swine fever. Boars are known carriers of the virus. Fences are being built around pig farms to fend off boars. In the Year of the Boar, the boar is getting a bad rap. #イノシシ対策強化
2019-02-18 05:15:55In Sept. 2019, Maibara will start building a new city hall on the east side of Maibara Station. The four city hall branches in Maibara will move to the new building.
2019-02-18 05:16:06For Valentine’s Day, Hikone mascot Hiko-nyan received 195 chocolate gifts from sweethearts in 25 prefectures & even Taiwan. Senders will receive a thank you note. No mention of who eats the chocolates. I hope the chocolates are given to needy or deserving people.
2019-02-18 05:16:17To promote local tourism, some employees at Koka City Hall will be dressed as ninja until Feb. 22, set as Ninja Day by Koka and Iga (Mie Pref.) four years ago.
2019-02-18 05:16:42Congratulations to Ritto International Friendship Association (RIFA) celebrating its 20th anniversary yesterday at Ritto Geijutsu Bunka Kaikan Sakira hall. ~Lefa~ included “Lake Biwa Rowing Song” (in English) in their highlight performance. #栗東国際交流協会設立20周年記念式典
2019-03-04 15:37:21On Feb. 19, 2019, the two Ojiyama Junior High School classmates in Otsu who bullied and caused a 13-year-old student to commit suicide in 2011 were ordered by the Otsu District Court to pay over ¥37.5 million in damages to the parents of the victim. #いじめ自殺
2019-03-04 15:38:03For the 1st time in 60 years, the yearly total of criminal cases in Shiga was less than 8,000 in 2018. The 7,967 cases, including 44 serious crimes (murder, etc.), are 8.8% less than in 2017. Theft was the most common crime with 5,618 cases. Be sure to lock your door. 刑法犯
2019-03-04 15:38:28Shiga’s foreign population has increased for four years in a row. As of Dec. 31, 2018, it was 29,263, 10% more than in 2017. Brazilians are the largest group with 8,525, followed by Chinese/Taiwanese (5,194), Koreans (4,553), and Vietnamese (3,325).
2019-03-04 15:39:41Two years ago, microplastics were found inside Japan’s lake fish for the 1st time. They were found in Wakasagi smelt fish in Lake Biwa. Shiga and a Kyoto Univ. research group will start studying microplastics in Akanoi Bay, Lake Biwa. #琵琶湖のマイクロプラスチック
2019-03-04 15:40:41On Feb. 25, 2019, Nagahama City Council unanimously voted to demand Mayor Fujii Yuji (藤井勇治) to resign for embarrassing the city over his illicit affair with a married woman as reported by a weekly mag in 2018. He refuses to resign, saying he did nothing illegal or immoral.
2019-03-04 15:41:06On March 1, 2019 on YouTube, Konan became the first city in the Kansai Region to debut its official virtual YouTuber named Minami. It (or she) will introduce the city’s tourist sights, etc. #湖南市Vチューバー
2019-03-04 15:42:10Short video of Ritto International Friendship Association (RIFA) singing Lake Biwa Rowing Song in English with ~Lefa~ at its 20th anniversary in Ritto on Feb. 18, 2019. There was an opera singer too. #琵琶湖周航の歌英語版
2019-03-27 08:30:07For its 30th anniversary, Lake Biwa Canal Museum in Keage, Kyoto reopened on March 8, 2019 after major renovations including the incorporation of digital technologies. Free admission. #琵琶湖疏水記念館
2019-03-27 08:30:23On March 9–10, 2019, 65 people who dined at Kusatsu Estopia Hotel in Kusatsu suffered from food poisoning caused by norovirus. Hotel dining operations were suspended for 4 days from March 16. All the victims recovered. #クサツエストピアホテル
2019-03-27 08:30:44Salah-Eddine Bounasr (Morocco) won the 74th Lake Biwa Mainichi Marathon in 2:07:52 on March 10, 2019. Yamamoto Hiroyuki (10th) & Kawai Daiji (11th) qualified for the Marathon Grand Championship to be held on Sept. 15, 2019 to determine Japan’s Tokyo Olympic marathoners.
2019-03-27 08:30:54Average land prices in Shiga as of Jan. 1, 2019 has decreased by 0.2% compared to 2018. Land prices near major train stations increased, while rural areas got cheaper.
2019-03-27 08:31:16On March 17–18, Heiwado and Friend Mart pulled 5,000 bento lunch boxes from 162 branches in Kansai and Chubu due to reports of pieces of plastic (up to 15 mm long and 3 mm wide) mixed in the food. #平和堂
2019-03-27 08:35:51Supreme Court granted a retrial to former nurse Nishiyama Mika (39 西山美香) coerced by police to give a false confession in the murder of a hospital patient in 2003 at Koto Memorial Hospital in Higashi-Omi by detaching his artificial respirator. Not the likely cause of death.
2019-03-27 08:36:16On March 21, Keihan Bus, which has a shortage of bus drivers, tested a self-driving bus between Otsu Station & Lake Biwa along the 700-meter Odori road. It picked up passengers while a human sat in the bus driver’s seat just in case. The bus obeyed traffic rules and drove safely.
2019-03-27 08:36:43The number of tourists visiting Shiga in 2018 reached a record 52.65 million, 0.3% more than in 2017. Only 3.99 million of them lodged in Shiga and the rest were day-trippers. The number of foreign tourists is still being calculated.
2019-04-03 01:09:35April snow on Mt. Ibuki this morning. Snowed in Shiga two days in a row. Cherry blossoms haven’t started blooming yet in Shiga. Will be late this year. (Thanks to my cousin for the pic.)
2019-04-06 13:56:12Cherry blossoms in Shiga have finally started to bloom. Peak bloom is expected around April 11 in northern Shiga and slightly sooner in southern Shiga.
2019-04-11 14:46:35Due to a lack of evidence, Otsu District Public Prosecutor has decided not to prosecute the 3 city employees accused of negligence in preventing the death of a spectator & injury of 6 others by the giant kite that crashed on them during the Higashi-Omi Odako Matsuri in May 2015.
2019-04-11 14:48:27Shiga Lakestars basketball player Sato Takuma 佐藤卓磨 & three other B.League players on the national team who were suspended for one year after hiring prostitutes during the Asian Games in Jakarta in Aug. 2018 have been reinstated early on April 11. They can start playing again.
2019-04-11 14:49:23In Yasu on March 30, 2019, 15 people suffered from food poisoning after eating yakitori chicken at restaurant Jibie じびえ. Caused by the Campylobacter bacteria. Jibie has been ordered to close for three days from April 10. Victims are recovering.
2019-04-11 14:51:33Cherry blossoms in Shiga Prefecture are now in full bloom. This weekend will be prime time, especially Sat. when it should be sunny. Enjoy spring!
2019-04-30 00:41:25Manhole card collecting is becoming popular in Japan. There are over 400 cards, and Shiga has 8 different manholes cards from Hikone, Otsu, Toyosato, Ritto, and Kusatsu. You need to go to each city and know where to get the card.
2019-04-30 00:42:05With Hikone City Council not providing any funds, Hiko-nyan was faced with suspending its activities. However, the group managing Hiko-nyan was able to collect ¥4 million in online donations in April. This is enough for 3 months. No merchandise royalties??
2019-04-30 00:42:27Notre-Dame Cathedral fire in Paris spurred the Cultural Affairs Agency on April 22 to order Japan’s important temples & shrines to inspect their fire alarms, water sprinklers, etc. Shiga has 240 Important Cultural Property and National Treasure buildings including Enryakuji.
2019-04-30 00:43:58The original Uminoko Floating School ship retired in March 2018 will be scrapped after no one wanted to buy it. Scrapping fee will cost the prefectural Board of Education ¥120 million. #初代学習船うみのこ廃棄
2019-04-30 00:44:14At the Asian Athletics Championships held in Doha, Qatar on April 22, Hikone-native Kiryu Yoshihide won gold in the 100m sprint in 10.10 sec. #桐生祥秀
2019-04-30 00:45:02On April 25, 2019, speaking for the Japan Fencing Federation, Otsu-native 2012 Olympic silver medalist foil fencer Ota Yuki said that fencers will also have to pass the Global Test of English Communication to represent Japan in the world championships from 2021. #太田雄貴
2019-04-30 00:45:45Higashi-Omi is finally talking about restarting the Odako giant kite festival suspended since 2015 due to a tragic accident. It won’t be held this year, but the mayor wants the giant kite (100 tatami mats) to be made smaller for the festival restart. Sad, it won’t be the same…
2019-04-30 00:47:00My latest blog post: Comprehensive guide to Biwa-ichi cycling around Lake Biwa.
2019-04-30 00:48:37At the FINA Artistic Swimming World Series at Tokyo Tatsumi Swimming Center on April 27, 2019, Omi-Hachiman-native Inui Yukiko and Yoshida Megumu placed 2nd for their Duet Technical. #乾友紀子 #吉田萌 #アーティスティックスイミング

Shiga History Sept.–Dec. 2018Chronological History of Shiga | Shiga History May–Aug. 2019

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