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[VIDEO] Volcano Erupts In Central Japan, Hiker Dead, Dozens Reported Stranded | 御嶽山 大噴火 山頂火口付近 衝撃の山小屋

Dozens of hikers were stranded Saturday on the slopes of an erupting Japanese volcano that has reportedly killed one person and left 30 more seriously injured.

A manager of Japan Meteorological Agency speaks at a press conference to explain the eruption of Mount Ontake, in Tokyo on September 27, 2014 (AFP Photo/Jiji Press)

A manager of Japan Meteorological Agency speaks at a press conference to explain the eruption of Mount Ontake, in Tokyo on September 27, 2014 (AFP Photo/Jiji Press)

Ash, rocks and steam continued to spew from Mount Ontake more than nine hours after it sprang violently to life as around 250 people were trying to scale its peak.

“The speed of the smoke was too fast. You can’t escape.”I’m worried that many more people are still on the mountain.”

— A climber, reported by NHK

Four people were buried by the ash, with one having been dug out, Kyodo News reported.

“I first thought it was thunder as I heard a bang and another bang, two or three times,” a trekker told public broadcaster NHK. “Then volcanic dust fell noisily.”

A picture taken by Nagano Prefectural Police on September 27, 2014 shows ash and smoke billowing from Mount Ontake (AFP Photo/)

A picture taken by Nagano Prefectural Police shows ash and smoke billowing from Mount Ontake (AFP Photo)

“Amateur cameraman Keiji Aoki told Jiji Press: “It was tremendous. I prepared for death when I got caught in the dust under a pine tree.”

— Amateur cameraman Keiji Aoki, to Jiji Press

A suffocating blanket of ash up to 20 centimetres (8 inches) deep covered a large area of the 3,067 metre (10,121-foot) volcano, trapping climbers and forcing up to 150 into mountaintop shelters at one point.

Around 230 people have now reached the bottom but a further 40 are trapped at the summit where they will spend the night in shelters, local media reported.

Aerial footage of Mt. Ontake showed several cabins smothered with the thick dust, some with windows that appear to have been shattered by the force of the eruption. Read the rest of this entry »

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Japan Makes First Arrest Over 3-D Printer Guns

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YOKOHAMA – A 27-year-old man who allegedly made handguns with a 3-D printer was arrested Thursday on suspicion of illegal weapons possession, the first time Japan’s firearms control law has been applied to the possession of guns made by this method.

“I can’t complain about the arrest if the police regard them as real guns.”

–Yoshitomo Imura

Yoshitomo Imura is taken into custody Thursday in Kawasaki on suspicion of illegal possession of guns made with a 3-D printer

Yoshitomo Imura is taken into custody Thursday in Kawasaki on suspicion of illegal possession of guns made with a 3-D printer

The suspect, Yoshitomo Imura, an employee of Shonan Institute of Technology in Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture, had the plastic guns at his home in Kawasaki in mid-April, the police said. No bullets for the guns have been found.

The police launched an investigation earlier this year after Imura posted video footage online of the guns, which he claimed to have produced himself, along with blueprints for them, according to investigative sources.

One of Imura’s postings carried a comment: “The right to bear firearms is part of basic human rights.”

Police searched Imura’s home last month and seized five guns, two which can fire real bullets, the sources said.

Imura, who purchased a 3-D printer for around ¥60,000 through the Internet, was quoted as telling investigators during the search, “I produced the guns, but I didn’t think it was illegal.” Read the rest of this entry »


Snow Storm Hits Japan Again, Grounds Over 100 Flights

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A snow storm hit Japan on Friday, disrupting rail and road travel, grounding more than 100 flights and adding to the piles left behind by an earlier blanketing.

Up to 30 centimetres (12 inches) of snow was forecast for some parts of the country by Saturday morning, a week after the heaviest snowfall in decades left at least 11 people dead and more than 1,200 injured.

Monkeys endure cold weather at Ueno Zoo in Tokyo, on February 14, 2014 (AFP, Toru Yamanaka)

Monkeys endure cold weather at Ueno Zoo in Tokyo, on February 14, 2014 (AFP, Toru Yamanaka)

Tokyo had a thin covering by early Friday afternoon and the weather agency was warning it would continue into the night.

Read the rest of this entry »