In recent years, several earthquakes have devastated different parts of the globe. Earthquakes are caused by sudden movement along tectonic plates within the surface of earth. These movements release energy in the form of seismic waves that cause the earth's surface to shake. These geological events disrupt lives and economies, standing as stark reminders of the need for earthquake preparedness. Let's take a look at the top earthquake-prone countries across the world and understand their vulnerabilities. The World's 10 Most Earthquake-prone Countries Japan Japan occupies a precarious position in the Pacific Ring of Fire, an arc characterized by fault lines and volcanic activity in the Pacific Ocean basin. This is the convergence of four tectonic plates: the Pacific, Philippine, Okhotsk, and Eurasian. The primary reason behind Japan's seismic vulnerability is the collision and subduction of these tectonic slabs. The Pacific Plate is subducting beneath the North American Plate, creating deep ocean trenches and mountain ranges. Read more Earthquake Safety Tips for Parents to Keep Children Safe The 2011 Tohoku earthquake, with a magnitude of 9.1, triggered a devastating tsunami, claiming around 19,759 lives. The 2016 Kumamoto earthquake, measuring magnitude 7, caused about 273 fatalities.
Thriving for healthy living and aspiring for an extended life is a common pursuit. People often wonder if there are places where this aspiration transforms into reality. The Blue Zones concept seems to make that imagination come true. This article is going to decode the mysteries of living longer, healthier lives. Let’s try to hold the key to unlock an exceptional sense of well-being. What is the Blue Zone? The origins of the Blue Zone concept can be traced back to the inquisitive demographic research of Gianni Pes and Michel Poulain in 2004. Their discovery led them to Sardinia's Nuoro Province, a place so abundantly endowed with male centenarians that it earned the name. This initial revelation stirred the curiosity of explorer Dan Buettner, prompting him to unveil four additional zones of wonder. These regions each offer a distinct blend of factors contributing to the prolonged, vibrant lives of their inhabitants. Read more: 13 Tips to Avoid Mosquito Bites Blue Zone Locations around the World Nuoro Province, Sardinia, Italy Sardinia, a rugged island off the Italian mainland, where the concept of Blue Zones first took root. This remarkable enclave boasts a population where men live almost as long as women, an unusual occurrence when compared to most other regions worldwide. The diet here consists mainly of whole grains, vegetables, beans, dairy products, and limited meat consumption. Their lifestyle encourages daily chores and walking, as Sardinia is a mountainous island. Many traditional shepherds still can be found walking over five miles. Read more: Superfood Moringa Powder: Know Its Health Benefits, Side Effects Sardinians also enjoy local wine, as part of their social tradition, called Cannonau or grenache. Strong family and community ties are central to their way of life, with multiple generations often residing in the same household. In Sardinia, it's about living better and cherishing family above all else.
The launch of Biman's Dhaka-Narita (Tokyo) direct flight will enhance trade and relations between the two countries, Badal Chaklader, president of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan (BCCIJ), has said. He said this while speaking at a reception programme organised by BCCIJ in Japan's Tokyo on Sunday (September 03, 2023) night. He also thanked the Bangladesh government and Biman Bangladesh Airlines for launching the direct flight. Read: After Narita (Tokyo), Biman eyeing flights to New York, Chennai, Los Angeles, Rome "We expect that the direct flights would not be discontinued like in the past. We want more Japanese investment in Bangladesh," the BCCIJ president said. “For boosting trade with Japan, initiatives should be taken to operate daily flights in phases. The quality of services offered by the airline should also be enhanced so that domestic and foreign passengers show more interest,” the BCCIJ president added. Business leaders said that Japanese investors were often not interested in going to Bangladesh due to lack of direct flights. It also took a long time for Bangladeshis to travel to and from Japan. Relations and trade between the two countries will reach a new height due to the direct Biman flights, they hoped. They also urged Biman authorities to transport dead bodies of Bangladeshi expatriates to the country free of cost. Business leaders also demanded harassment-free services at Dhaka airport. Read: Dhaka-Narita Tokyo direct flights launched State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism, Md Mahbub Ali, said, “We have 50 years of relationship with Japan. This relationship will grow even more due to the direct flights to Japan. Biman resumed flights to Tokyo, Japan after 17 years and it will facilitate passengers as well as cargo transportation.” “Besides, more Japanese businessmen will now come to Bangladesh and invest here as our country has great potential,” he added.
Appreciating Japan’s continued assistance in infrastructure development, Bangladesh has sought Japan’s support in resolving the Rohingya crisis considering its good relations with Myanmar. “On behalf of the people and the government of Bangladesh, we hope that Japan will step up efforts to help resolve the Rohingya crisis,” State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam said while speaking at a programme on Bangladesh-Japan relations as the chief guest. Read: China hopes Bangladesh would make good use of preferential loans, GDI and South-South Cooperation Fund: Ambassador Yao Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Iwama Kiminori spoke as special guest and FBCCI President Mahbubul Alam spoke as the guest of honour at the discussion held at Japanese Embassy, marking the official launch of the Pan-Asia Research Institute (PARI). Former ambassadors of Bangladesh to Japan Jamil Majid and Ashraf-Ud-Doula; Apex Footwear Ltd Managing Director Syed Nasim Manzur; Dhaka University International Relations Department Chairperson Dr Lailufar Yasmin; Foreign Ministry’s East Asia and Pacific Wing Director Sayem Ahmed; JICA Bangladesh Senior Representative Eiji Yamada; Japanese Commerce and Industry Association in Dhaka (JCIAD) President Tetsuro Kano; and Japan-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JBCCI) Secretary General Md Anwar Shahid were present as panelists. At the event, Shahriar Alam mentioned the investment, presence of a growing number of Japanese companies and cooperation in the Matarbari project. Read: Further delay in commencing Rohingya repatriation may put entire region at risk: Bangladesh Govt “We see these brilliant infrastructure projects supported by Japan as solutions to many of the problems the country and its people have been facing,” he said. Earlier, the government of Bangladesh said drastic reduction in humanitarian assistance for the persecuted Rohingya population, which is growing with around 30,000 newborns every year in the camps, is compounding the crisis. Further delay to commence safe, voluntary and sustainable repatriation and shortage of humanitarian support may put the entire region at risk, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had said. The socio-economic, demographic and environmental cost of sheltering more than 1.2 million Rohingyas for such a long time is pushing Bangladesh to the limit, the ministry said. These forcibly displaced people have aspirations and rights to return to their homeland in a safe and sustainable manner. Read: US to pursue justice for Rohingyas and all people of Myanmar: Blinken The state minister said the achievements of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina are absolutely phenomenal and such achievements come with some challenges. “Bangladesh needs to uphold the high aspirations of the people. We have delivered so much and people will be expecting us to do even more to double what we have achieved over the last 50 years,” he said. “It is not going to be easy. Only friends like Japan can help us to achieve that goal,” Shahriar Alam said. He said Bangladesh and Japan will surely work collectively and walk together on the journey for achieving a mutually beneficial future for both countries and their peoples. The state minister said Bangladesh and Japan have presently more than just a G2G (government-to-government) partnership. Read: Rohingya Genocide Case at ICJ: US shares info with The Gambia “It is growing every passing day, and today it includes C2C (country-to-country), P2P (people-to-people) and B2B (business-to-business) ties. Most importantly, P2P partnership is playing a vital role,” he said. From here, the newly-launched think tank PARI can significantly contribute to the improvement of the Japan-Bangladesh relationship, he hoped. “Our country being rich in all the three aspects is considered to be a vast market for Japan,” said the state minister. Bangladesh has been elected one of the four candidate countries of the newly established Official Security Assistance (OSA) to deepen military ties, said the Japanese Ambassador. "This shows how much importance Japan attaches to Bangladesh," he said. Apart from “Official Development Assistance (ODA)” which aims for the economic and social development of developing countries, Japan decided to establish a new cooperation framework “Official Security Assistance (OSA)” for the benefit of armed forces and other related organizations by providing materials and equipment as well as assistance for infrastructures development based on the security needs of the countries. OSA is referred to in the new “National Security Strategy” approved by the Cabinet on 16 December 2022. Ambassador Kiminori said a common dedication to promoting peace and stability in the area and beyond characterises the relationship between Japan and Bangladesh. To do this, both countries place an emphasis on cooperation, making diplomatic efforts and working together to address regional security concerns, he said. The connectivity and overall relationship between Japan and Bangladesh will therefore improve as a result, said the ambassador. According to the Japanese ambassador to Bangladesh, PARI and similar research institutions can serve to improve ties between Japan and Bangladesh. On the other hand, new facilities will also improve Bangladesh's connections with Japan, he added. Speakers at the event highlighted people-to-people connectivity as the key factor in materialising Japan-Bangladesh strategic partnership. Trade barriers to foreign direct investment (FDI), investment-friendly business climate, skills development for harnessing the scope for manpower migration, Japan’s assistance in plugging the potential of the blue economy and marine resources should also be in focus, they said. PARI, a Japan-based multi-modal Asia and Pacific-focused think tank, was launched in Bangladesh through the roundtable discussion styled ‘Materialising Japan-Bangladesh Strategic Partnership: Diplomatic, Economic and People-to-People Relations’. Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) director (local investment promotion) Md Arifur Rahman, Prof. Mohammed Ansarul Alam of Institute of Modern Languages at Dhaka University, Bangladesh IKEBANA Association president Shahinoor Baby, Kokorozashi Japanese Language School principal Okabayashi Kuniaki, Hiroki Watanabe of Ekmatra, Kazuko Bhuiyan Trust manager Masudur Rahaman, The Financial Express senior news consultant M Aminul Islam and Dhaka University student Fahmida Binte Faruque, among others, also delivered speeches as discussants during four different sessions. Read: Sixth year of genocidal attacks against Rohingya: A UN expert demands accountability for the violence PARI president Yuji Ando, PARI vice-president Tareq Rafi Bhuiyan Jun and PARI executive director Dr Abdullah-Al-Mamun moderated the sessions. A host of panelists, including noted Japanologists, academics, bureaucrats, journalists, cultural activists and representatives of youth organisations, also joined the flagship event. PARI carries out multi-stakeholder research and analytical works on a whole gamut of socio-political, economic, business interests and bilateral as well as multilateral diplomatic issues with particular importance to the changing geopolitical reality of the pan-Asia region.
12 boarding bridges will be operational when Dhaka Airport’s 3rd Terminal partially opens this Oct: CAAB
The third terminal of Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport will be partially opened by October this year, and it is set to be fully operational next year, Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) Chairman Air Vice Marshal Muhammad Mafidur Rahman told UNB on Sunday (August 06, 2023). The construction of the terminal is currently in its final stage and over 85 percent work has been completed, he said. Once fully operational, the new Dhaka airport terminal, covering an area of 5,42,000 square metres, will be capable of serving more than one crore passengers annually, the CAAB chairman added. State of the art amenities will also be offered to passengers. Read: Groundhandling contract for Terminal 3 will go to Japan: CAAB chairman “As construction is in its final stage, the magnificent architecture of the third terminal building is now visible. Currently, work on interior decoration and installation of various types of equipment is going on,” the CAAB chief informed UNB. 2 CRORE PASSENGERS WILL BE ABLE TO USE DHAKA AIRPORT EVERY YEAR The CAAB chairman said that currently 120-130 planes of over 30 airlines take off from and land at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport’s Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. “Every day about 20,000 passengers use the two terminals of the airport. As such, Dhaka airport serves around 80 lakh (8 million) passengers annually. It will be possible to serve an additional 1.2 crore passengers when the third terminal is opened,” he said.
A statue has been standing — in remembrance to his loyalty towards his owner — outside Shibuya Station in Tokyo since 1948. The cream white Japanese Akita Inu — popularly known as “Hachiko” — has been memorialized in everything from books to movies to the cult science fiction for his loyalty. All these movies, books tell the true story of Hachiko, the faithful dog who continued to wait for his master at a train station in Japan long after his death. Hachiko was born in November 1923 in the city of Odate in Akita prefecture, the original home of Akitas. Read more: Benefits of Pets for Kids: Why Raising Children around Livestock? The Akita is one of Japan's oldest and most well-known breeds. For its calm, sincere, intelligent, and brave personality, they used to be taught to hunt animals like wild boar and elk. The breed was designated as a national icon in 1931 by the Japanese government, according to the BBC. The famed puppy arrived at the Ueno residence in the Shibuya neighborhood on January 15, 1924. Ueno named him Hachi, or eight in Japanese. Ko is an honorific bestowed by Ueno's students, according to the BBC. Read more: 10 houseplants that are bad for your pets Hachi’s owner took a train to work several times a week. He was accompanied to Shibuya station by his three dogs, including Hachiko. The trio would then wait there for his return in the evening. When Ueno died of a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 53 on May 21, 1925, Hachiko had been with him for just 16 months. "While people were attending the wake, Hachi smelled Dr Ueno from the house and went inside the living room. He crawled under the coffin and refused to move," Prof Mayumi Itoh wrote in a biography about Hachi. Hachiko spent the next few months with different families outside Shibuya but eventually, in the summer of 1925, he ended up with Ueno's gardener Kobayashi Kikusaburo, according to BBC. Read more: First all-female police dog handler team introduced today After returning to the area where his late master Ueno lived, Hachiko soon resumed his daily commute to the station, rain or shine. According to Hachiko’s biographer, Hachi used to stand on four legs at the ticket gate and look at each passenger “as if he were looking for someone." He gained nationwide fame after Japanese daily Tokyo Asahi Shimbun wrote about him in October 1932. The station started receiving donations from across the country. Later, a fundraising event in 1934 to make a statue of him reportedly drew a crowd of 3,000. Read more: Gulistan blast: RAB dog gets award for heroic role Hachiko's eventual death on March 8, 1935 made the front page of many newspapers. At his funeral, Buddhist monks offered prayers for him and dignitaries read eulogies. Thousands visited his statue in the following days. Every year on April 8, a memorial service for Hachiko is held outside Shibuya Station. His statue is often decorated with scarves, Santa hats and, most recently, a surgical mask.
Author Haruki Murakami says he's strongly opposed to the redevelopment of a historic and beloved Tokyo park district that would remove his favorite jogging path and tear down the nearly century-old baseball stadium where he was inspired to become a novelist. The plan approved earlier this year by Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike to put skyscrapers and new stadiums in the heart of the Jingu Gaien green district has become increasingly controversial. Followers of baseball and rugby history are opposed to it, as well as conservationists and civil groups who say the project has advanced without transparency, adequate environmental assessment or explanation to the residents. Runway closed at Tokyo's Haneda airport after 2 planes bump into each other The ball park and a neighboring rugby stadium used for soccer during the 1964 Tokyo Olympics would be demolished under the plan, and hundreds of trees would be removed from what's been a Tokyo park district for centuries. When finished, the new stadiums will be surrounded by nearly 200-meter (650-foot) tall office buildings in a commercial complex. "I'm strongly opposed to the Jingu Gaien redevelopment plan," Murakami said on his Sunday radio show. "Please leave that pleasant jogging course full of greenery and the lovely Jingu Stadium as it is. Once something is destroyed, it can never be restored." Murakami used to sit beyond the outfield fence, stretching out with a beer to watch the game on a grassy slope. He remembers the moment he decided to become a novelist: In the early afternoon on April 1, 1978, when then-perennial underdog Yakult Swallows' unknown American Dave Hilton slammed a clean double into left field and "the satisfying crack when the bat met the ball resounded throughout Jingu Stadium," he wrote in his 2007 memoir, "What I Talk About When I Talk About Running." Dhaka, Tokyo welcome negotiations on transferring defense equipment and tech On his way home, he bought a fountain pen and started writing. His first novel, "Hear the Wind Sing," was finished about six months later. Murakami said Gaien's circular jogging course, which is just over 1-kilometer (1,093-yard) long and has a mark at every 100 meters (yards), is his favorite running area. During the radio show, he described "my secret, nice memory" of regularly passing another runner in the opposite direction, never speaking. Earlier in the weekend, hundreds of people gathered outside the designated redevelopment area in Tokyo for a protest. Novelist Haruki Murakami to open archive at Japanese university The Jingu Gaien dispute comes about two years after the Tokyo Olympics, which involved several newly constructed stadiums and have since been sullied by bribery scandals. Koike said the metropolitan government has appropriately handled the environmental assessment and has urged the companies involved to share information with the public on the redevelopment. The project will take 13 years to complete, but minor construction has begun. The first court hearing on a lawsuit to suspend the work will be held later this week.
The powerful lower house of Japan's parliament on Tuesday passed a bill to promote understanding of LGBTQ+ issues amid protests by activists that last-minute revisions by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's conservative party favored opponents of sexual equality instead of guaranteeing equal rights. The passage followed only a few hours of debate in a lower house committee last Friday, an unusually short period. The bill is expected to be approved quickly by parliament's upper house, which is also controlled by Kishida's governing bloc. Also Read: Japan aims to refocus its foreign aid on maritime and economic security and national interests Japan is the only member of the Group of Seven leading industrialized nations which does not have LGTBQ+ legal protections. Support for same-sex marriage and other rights has grown among the Japanese public, but opposition remains strong within the governing Liberal Democratic Party, known for conservative values and a reluctance to promote gender equality and sexual diversity. LGBTQ+ activists have increased their efforts to achieve an anti-discrimination law since a former Kishida aide said in February that he wouldn't want to live next to LGBTQ+ people and that citizens would flee Japan if same-sex marriage were allowed. Also Read: Japan provides $500,000 to Cyclone-affected Rohingyas, host communities through IOM The final version of the bill passed Tuesday states that "unjust discrimination" is unacceptable but doesn't clearly ban discrimination, apparently because some governing party lawmakers oppose transgender rights. Some party members said more consensus building is needed before anti-discrimination measures are introduced. The bill states that the public's understanding of various sexual orientations and gender identities is "not necessarily sufficient." It says conditions should be created so that "all citizens can live with peace of mind," which critics say shows the governing party prioritized the concerns of opponents of equal rights over the rights of sexual minorities. "We have sought the enactment of an anti-discrimination law," the Japan Alliance for LGBT Legislation said in a statement. "This bill does not focus on the people concerned, and instead focuses on the side that has discriminated against us and caused our suffering. It's the complete opposite of what we need." Also Read: Japan wants to understand what’s happening in Bangladesh and where it’s headed, BNP says as ambassador meets Fakhrul Recent surveys show a majority of Japanese back legalizing same-sex marriage and other protections. Support among the business community has rapidly increased. A court in Fukuoka in southern Japan ruled last Thursday that the lack of legal protections for LGTBQ+ people appears to be unconstitutional. It was the last of five court cases brought by 14 same-sex couples in 2019 that accused the government of violating their equality. Four of the courts ruled that current government policy is unconstitutional or nearly so, while a fifth said a ban on same-sex marriage was constitutional.
The government of Japan has decided to provide the International Organization for Migration (IOM) with USD 0.5 million assistance in response to the super Cyclone Mocha which made landfall on 14 May and hit Rohingya and host communities in Cox’s Bazar. The heavy rains caused damage in both Myanmar and Bangladesh. In Bangladesh, significant damage was observed to camps hosting approximately 930,000 refugees. A total of 4 districts, 26 Upazilas (sub-districts), 99 unions, and 429,337 Bangladeshi nationals were affected by the cyclone, according to the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief. The intense and heavy wind and rainfall destroyed or damaged shelters, water points, latrines, culverts, bridges, and other key community infrastructure. Also Read: Japan, IOM sign $5.7 million assistance to Rohingyas, host communities in Bangladesh This emergency grant is to provide critical WASH services to Rohingya, and host communities affected by the cyclone Mocha through IOM. Activities will include repairing and installation of latrines, provision of hygiene packages to those affected populations and hygiene awareness/promotions activities. “I feel empathy for those who suffer from disasters such as cyclones. Japan is also prone to natural disasters and is committed to supporting the response and the Build Back Better after Cyclone Mocha for both Rohingya and host communities," said Ambassador of Japan to Bangladesh Iwama Kiminori on Tuesday. Also Read: Japan wants to understand what’s happening in Bangladesh and where it’s headed, BNP says as ambassador meets Fakhrul He hoped that the WASH services supported by Japan will contribute to maintaining the hygiene environment and will prevent water-borne diseases which might outbreak after the cyclones. Chief of Mission of IOM Bangladesh Abdusattor Esoev said they are grateful for the generous support of the government of Japan in response to the devastating impact of Cyclone Mocha on the Rohingya refugees and host communities in Cox's Bazar. Also Read: Will continue to work toward resolution of Rohingya issue: Japan "Japan's commitment to supporting the response and the 'Build Back Better' approach demonstrates their empathy and dedication to those affected by disasters. Together with our partners, we will continue our efforts to provide essential assistance and support the recovery of the affected communities," said Abdusattor Esoev. Since the beginning of the emergency in August 2017, Japan has been a steady supporter of the Rohingya refugee response in Bangladesh, contributing over USD $200 million to IOM and other UN agencies as well as NGOs in Bangladesh, including through this new funding.
Japan wants to understand what’s happening in Bangladesh and where it’s headed, BNP says as ambassador meets Fakhrul
Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Iwama Kiminori met BNP’s Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir today (June 4, 2023) and discussed Bangladesh’s next general election and the overall political situation. Talking to reporters after the meeting at the BNP Chairperson’s Gulshan office, the party’s standing committee member Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury said that Japan, like other democratic countries, wants to see a free, fair, and acceptable election in Bangladesh. Read more: Govt to blame for US’s disrespectful visa policy: Fakhrul “Bangladesh’s relations with Japan expanded significantly since we started the free market economy during the BNP government. That is why they (Japan) want that relation to continue even if the government changes,” he said. Chowdhury, along with the party’s Organising Secretary Shama Obaid, was present at the meeting. They discussed the overall electoral system of Bangladesh and the current human rights situation, he said. Like other countries, Japan might have concerns about Bangladesh’s next election, human rights situation, rule of law, press freedom, and people’s security, the BNP leader said. “So, they want to understand what is happening in Bangladesh, what is going to happen in the future, and where is Bangladesh headed?” – he said. Read more: Movement to restore democracy going towards final stage rapidly: Fakhrul Chowdhury, also the foreign affairs committee chairman of BNP, said the Japanese envoy talked about his country’s investment in Bangladesh – both in the private and public sectors. He said they informed Iwama Kiminori about the country’s overall situation, but he declined to elaborate on it. The BNP leader said many countries are concerned about the investment atmosphere and the future of Bangladesh. “The situation we’re going through now has created apprehension among countries. So, they’re trying to understand how Bangladesh will be in the future and how the election will be.” Read more: ‘We’re taking plan according to road map prepared for national election,’ CEC tells Japanese Envoy Asked whether Japan will play any role in ensuring a peaceful and fair election in Bangladesh, Chowdhury said the democratic countries have already expressed their goodwill regarding the elections in Bangladesh. “Japan is no different. Everyone wants a free, fair, and acceptable election in Bangladesh.” He said the new Japanese ambassador has paid a courtesy call on the BNP secretary general. Stating that Bangladesh-Japan friendship is time-tested, the BNP leader said bilaterally, friendly relationship with Japan is above all. Read more: Japan eyes broader ties with Bangladesh under strategic partnership: Ambassador Kiminori