|State of Japan
|Area 377,915 sq km
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- Japan became a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), an organization commenced to deal with the rules of trade between nations, on 1 January 1995.
- Japanese archaeologists have unearthed the tomb of an ancient beer brewer in the city of Luxor in Egypt that is more than 3,000 years old, according to an official announcement on 3 January 2014.
- Japanese animal enthusiast Mika Komatsu was announced as the Panda Champions for Global Goals by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on 5 January 2017. The aim of the recognition is to build a team of enthusiastic individuals from around the world to achieve the UN sustainable development goals by 2030.
- Japan and Turkey on 7 January 2014 signed an agreement to set up a joint international university of science and technology in Istanbul aiming to nurture experts in the field of nuclear energy.
- Japanese scientists and broadcasters said on 7 January 2013 they have captured footage of an elusive giant squid roaming the depths of the Pacific Ocean, showing it in its natural habitat for the first time ever.
- On 7 January 1985 Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency launched Sakigake, Japan's first interplanetary spacecraft and the first deep space probe launched by any country other than the United States or the Soviet Union.
- Okimura Kazuki, director of the Agency for Science and Technology of Japan, was awarded China's International Cooperation Award in Science and Technology on 8 January 2016.
- Japanese passport, which allows its holders to visit 190 countries without visa, was ranked as the most powerful in the world according to the Henley Passport Index published on 9 January 2019.
- The Japanese Cabinet approved a fresh stimulus package of more than 20 trillion yen ($224 billion) on 11 January 2013, aiming to lift the economy out of recession and create 600,000 new jobs.
- An international team of astronomers, including researchers from Japan, have spotted a cosmic explosion about 200 times more powerful than a typical supernova, as published on 15 January 2016 in the journal Science. At its peak intensity, the explosion—called ASASSN-15lh—shone with 570 billion times the luminosity of the Sun.
- The design of the gigantic construction of the Kaohsiung National Stadium in Taiwan, world's first solar-powered stadium, is attributed to Japanese architect Toyo Ito. The construction of the stadium was completed in 2009 and on January 15, 2009 the lighting facilities were tested for the first time.
- Japan and Thailand have agreed to increase cooperation under the existing framework of Japan-Thailand Economic Partnership Agreement (JTEPA) on the basis of mutual interest. The agreement was reached during discussions between the Prime Ministers of both the countries on 17 January 2013.
- Japanese space agency JAXA on 18 January 2018 launched Epsilon-3, the third Epsilon launch vehicle which encapsulates NEC Small radar satellite "ASNARO-2", from the JAXA Uchinoura Space Center.
- An unmanned Japanese rocket was launched on a mission to deliver cargo to the International Space Station on January 22, 2011. The rocket was launched to carry more than 5 tons of cargo, including food for astronauts.
- Japan was ranked as the world's second best country to live, according to a new ranking from U.S. News & World Report published on 23 January 2019.
- On January 23, 2009 Japan launched a world's first satellite to monitor greenhouse gases around the world in the hope that the data it gathers will help global efforts to combat climate change.
- Japan launched the X-band defense communications satellite-2 aboard the H-2A Launch Vehicle No.32 on 24 January 2017 from Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)'s Tanegashima Space Center in Japan's southwestern Kagoshima prefecture.
- Japanese scientists Dr. Masato Sagawa was announced as the winner of the 2012 Japan Prize, one of the world's most prestigious awards in science and technology, on 25 January 2012 for developing the world's highest performing Nd-Fe-B type permanent magnet and contributing to energy conservation.
- Japan's tennis star Naomi Osaka became world number one after beating Petra Kvitova 7-6 (7/2), 5-7, 6-4 to win Australian Open Women's Grand Slam crown on 26 January 2019.
- Japan’s Hakuto was named as one of the winners of the Google Lunar XPrize Milestone Awards in the Mobility category on 26 January 2015. Team Hakuto’s mission is to trail-blaze non-governmental space missions, highlight Japanese robotics technology and inspire people through the dream of reaching the Moon.
- Japan on 28 January 2016 unveiled its first homegrown radar-evading stealth aircraft X-2 at a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. factory in central Japan.
- Researchers in Japan and the USA have discovered a simple, cheaper, faster and more efficient way to make embryo-like stem cells by exposing blood cells briefly to dilute acid. The technique demonstrated so far only in mice, published in the journal Nature on 29 January 2014, could transform the ability of scientists to develop personalised medicine where a patient’s own healthy skin or blood cells can be used to repair damaged tissues, such as heart disease or brain injury.
- Japan won the Asian Cup soccer tournament with a 1-0 victory over Australia in Doha, Qatar on January 30, 2011. Japan became the first team to win the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup four times when the substitute striker Tadanari Lee scored the only goal of the final in second half of extra time.
- Japanese ballet dancer Niyama Haruo won the top prize at the 42th Prix de Lausanne, a prestigious international competition for young ballet dancers in Switzerland, on 1 February 2014.
- Japanese astronaut Chiaki Mukai was awarded the Legion of Honour, the highest decoration in France, on 3 February 2015 for her passion for space science.
- The 1972 Winter Olympics Games were held in Sapporo, Japan from February 3 to 13, 1972. The Sapporo Games were the first to be held outside Europe or the United States.
- Japanese scientists have successfully used mice stem cells to grow kidneys in rat embryos, using a technique that could one day help grow human kidneys for transplant, as revealed in Nature Communications on 5 February 2019.
- Japanese scientist along with an international team have identified brain chemicals that allow seals to sleep with half of their brain at a time, according to a study published on 6 February 2013 in the Journal of Neuroscience. The discovery may help millions — including an estimated 40 percent of North Americans — who suffer from insomnia or other sleep disorders.
- The 1998 Winter Olympic Games were held in Nagano, Japan from 7 to 22 February 1998. The Olympic Winter Games returned to Japan after 26 years.
- A team of Japanese scientists has discovered a new species of polychaete, a type of marine annelid worm, 9-meters deep underwater near Japan’s Syowa Station in Antarctica, providing a good opportunity to study how animals adapt to extreme environments. The team named the new species Flabegraviera fujiae, as revealed on 8 February 2017.
- Researchers in Japan have successfully used a tiny drone to pollinate an actual flower, a task usually accomplished by insects and animals, as published in the journal Chem on 9 February 2017.
- A sea turtle that lost her front legs to a shark attack was fitted with two prosthetic flippers after 27 attempts at the Suma Aqualife Park in Kobe in Japan, as reported on 12 February 2013.
- Japanese researchers discovered a sea slug, called Chromodoris reticulata, that is able to detach, re-grow and then re-use its penis. Their findings were published on 13 February 2013 in the Royal Society's journal Biology Letters.
- Japan and Armenia on 14 February 2018 signed an agreement on investment liberalization, encouragement and protection between the two countries in Yerevan, the capital of the Republic of Armenia.
- Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan won gold in Men Free Skating at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
- A research video presented on 14 February 2013 by Japanese researcher Tetsuro Matsuzawa at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) showed Chimpanzees apparently have better short-term memories than humans.
- Japan’s Sota Yamamoto won the Men's Free Skating gold at the Lillehammer 2016 Youth Olympic Games.
- A remote controlled robot that uses dry ice to vacuum up radiation was unveiled by Japanese researchers on 15 February 2013, the latest innovation to help clean-up of nuclear plants.
- Japanese archaeologists led by Waseda University Professor Jiro Kondo discovered a previously unknown tomb in the Theban necropolis in Egypt, as revealed on 16 February 2017. The beautifully decorated tomb is thought to date to the Ramesside period (c. 1200 BCE) based on stylistic characteristics.
- Japan on 17 February 2016 successfully launched a new generation X-ray astronomy satellite ASTRO-H, also named as Hitomi, into orbit aboard the H-2A Launch Vehicle from the Tahegashima Space Center.
- Researchers from Japan and Malaysia have found dinosaur fossil teeth in the rural interiors of Pahang — the first known discovery of dinosaur remains in Malaysia. The discovery was announced on 18 February 2014.
- Busicom LE-120A "HANDY-LE" the first truly pocket-sized calculator made in Japan by Nippon Calculating Machine Corporation (now known as Business Computer Corporation). It first went on sale in January 1971 and this news was notably published on Electronic Design, a web site and print magazine for electronic design engineers and engineering management, on February 18, 1971 issue.
- Japan ranked as the world’s safest country for the newborn with lowest newborn mortality rates, according to an official report published by UNICEF on 20 February 2018.
- Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa2 sent to collect samples from an asteroid 300 million kilometres away for clues about the origin of life and the solar system landed successfully on 22 February 2019.
- Japanese filmmaker Yōjirō Takita's film Departures won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 81st Oscars in 2009. The story of the film follows an unemployed cellist and shows the profound reflection of life.
- Scientists from Japan, Australia and Sweden, with the help of elephant seals wearing head sensors, have discovered how the ocean's coldest, deepest waters are formed, providing vital clues to understanding its role in the world's climate, according to a research published on 24 February 2013 in the journal Nature Geoscience. The tagged seals, along with sophisticated satellite data and moorings in ocean canyons, all played a role in providing data from the extreme Antarctic environment, where observations are very rare and ships could not go.
- Japan successfully launched a rocket on 28 February 2014, carrying a hi-tech satellite to monitor global rainfall and help meteorologists forecast big storms.
- Japanese doctors successfully carried out the country's first heart-transplant operation on February 28, 1999.
- Japan is home to a number of world renowned automotive industries. Daihatsu, a Japanese manufacturer of cars, was the first to establish on March 1, 1907.
- A ceremony marked the completion of the Tokyo Sky Tree, a broadcasting and observation tower in Tokyo, was held on 2 March 2012. The 634m (2,080ft) high tower was completed as the world's tallest free-standing broadcasting tower.
- A study published on 4 March 2013 in the Journal of Dental Research by Japanese and English researchers demonstrated the possibility of growing new teeth on patient's jaw from the combination of human gum tissue and tooth stem cells taken from a mouse embryo.
- Japanese architect Arata Isozaki, renowned for his versatility and transnational approach to design, won the 2019 Pritzker Architecture Prize - a prestigious award often called the Nobel Prize of the profession.
- Sayaka Osakabe of Japan was honored with the 2015 International Women of Courage Award by the United States Department of State at a presentation ceremony in Washington for her initiatives to reform the Japanese workplace to accommodate women and families.
- Researchers at Japan's Kyoto University have discovered a bacteria, named Ideonella sakaiensis, that is capable of consuming plastic, according to a study published in the journal Science on 11 March 2016.
- Japanese scientists at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) have succeeded in transmitting energy wirelessly, in a key step that could one day make solar power generation in space a possibility, as revealed on 12 March 2015.
- Japanese film director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Shoplifters won the Best Film Award at the 13th Asian Film Awards on 17 March 2019 in Hong Kong.
- Japanese actress KIKI Kirin received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 10th Asian Film Awards on 17 March 2016 in Macau.
- Japan’s Tokyo International Haneda Airport ranked as the World's Fourth Best Airport at the World Airport Awards published by Skytrax on 17 March 2016.
- Japanese architect Toyo Ito, whose buildings have been praised for their fluid beauty and balance between the physical and virtual worlds, was announced winner of the 2013 Pritzker Architecture Prize.
- Japanese director Takeshi Kitano won the Best Director prize at the 7th Asian Film Awards in Hong Kong on 18 March 2013 for his sequel Outrage Beyond.
- Researchers at Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology in Japan have developed a “smelling screen” that makes smells appear to come from the exact spot on any LCD screen that is displaying an image. This research is presented on 19 March 2013 at the IEEE Virtual Reality Conference in Orlando, Florida.
- In a world first, scientists have studied the DNA of giant squid from across the globe to discover that they all belong to the same species. The genetic diversity of giant squid (Architeuthis) is surprisingly low and indeed far lower than that of other marine species studied to date. The findings were published on 20 March 2013 in the British journal the Proceedings of the Royal Society B by an international team including researcher from Japan.
- Japan's Tokyo Haneda Airport was named as the World's Cleanest Airport by air travellers at the 2018 Skytrax World Airport Awards.
- Japan and Bahrain signed thirteen memorandums of understanding and agreements on 21 March 2013 designed to promote economic cooperation and joint investment between the two countries.
- Japanese Production Designer Hayashida Yuji won the Best Production Designer award for the film “13 Assassins“ at the 5th Asian Film Awards in Hong Kong on March 21, 2011.
- Japanese whisky Yamazaki and Nikka won the World’s Best Single Malt Whisky and World’s Best Blended Malt Whisky titles respectively at the 6th Whisky Magazine’s World Whisky Awards on 22 March 2012.
- Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, who has used high-strength cardboard tubes to make temporary housing for victims of natural disasters and refugees fleeing conflicts, was named the 2014 winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize.
- Japan on 25 March 2015 unveiled Izumo, its largest warship since World War II, at a ceremony in Yokohama. The 248 meters long home-built vessel can carry up to 14 helicopters.
- Japanese actress Ikewaki Chizuru won the Best Supporting Actress Award at the 9th Asian Film Awards on 25 March 2015 in Macau for her performance in The Light Shines Only There.
- Japanese film director, producer, screenwriter and editor Akira Kurosawa accepted the Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement on March 26, 1990 for accomplishments that have inspired, delighted, enriched and entertained audiences and influenced filmmakers throughout the world.
- Japan's Mao Asada won her third Women's World Figure Skating title on 29 March 2014 before a roaring home crowd.
- Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan won second world title in the Men’s Free Skating event at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Helsinki on 1 April 2017.
- In a key step towards reading dreams precisely, scientists in Japan have found a way to read people's dreams using MRI scanners to unlock some of the secrets of the unconscious mind. Their findings were published on 4 April 2013 in the journal Science.
- The Akashi Kaikyo Bridge located in Japan, with a main span of 1,991m, was opened for traffic on April 5, 1998 as the longest suspension bridge in the world.
- Narisawa in Japan was named as the World’s 18th Best Restaurant for 2017.
- Japan and Australia agreed on a historic Free Trade Deal on 7 April 2014 to cut import tariffs.
- Japanese design group, AMAM, was announced as the Grand Prix winner of the Lexus Design Award 2016 for their new environmentally-friendly plastic alternative prototype ‘Agar plasticity — a potential usefulness of agar for packing and more’.
- Japanese table tennis player Miu Hirano won the Women's Singles title at the 2017 Asian Table Tennis Championships and became the first Japanese to win Asian Championships after 20 years.
- Japanese automaker Nissan on 15 April 2014 officially opened its $1.5 billion industrial complex in Resende, Rio de Janeiro, one of the largest automotive investments yet by any manufacturer in the country.
- Researchers from Japan and Australia successfully teleported wave packets of light, potentially revolutionizing quantum communications and computing, according to a research publication appeared on 15 April 2011 in the journal Science. This is the first-ever teleportation, or transfer, of a particular complex set of quantum information from one point to another.
- Disneyland, one of the world's most famous theme parks, was opened in Tokyo on April 15, 1983.
- Scientists from Japan, Brazil and Switzerland have discovered four new insect species in Brazil that display what they say are the world’s first discovered instances of female penises. Their study, also found males' vagina-like openings, was reported in Current Biology on 17 April 2014.
- The UN Economic and Social Council on 19 April 2017 elected Japan as a member of its Commission on the Status of Women for a four-year terms.
- Dr Shinya Yamanaka, a pioneer in stem cell research from Japan, was named joint winner of the 2012 Millennium Technology Prize in recognition of his discovery of a new method to develop induced pluripotent stem cells for medical research that do not rely on the use of embryonic stem cells. The award is one of the largest technology prizes in the world and is awarded once every two years by Technology Academy Finland.
- Yuriko Koike, governor of Tokyo, was named as one of the most influential people, according to Time Magazine’s 2017 list of 100 Most Influential People.
- Japan won approval from participating countries to join talks on a U.S.-led Asia Pacific free trade agreement on 20 April 2013. The formal invitation for Tokyo to join the negotiations was extended at a meeting of members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation gathering in Surabaya, Indonesia. Japan will join 11 nations already in talks on the TPP.
- Japan's maglev train broke its own world speed record, hitting 603km/h (374mph) in a test run near Mount Fuji, on 21 April 2015.
- Japanese earth scientist Dr. Taro Takahashi was awarded the prestigious Champions of the Earth Award by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on April 22, 2010. Dr. Takahashi, the pioneer of research into how the oceans cycle carbon, was awarded by UNEP in Science and Innovation category.
- Japanese car manufacturer Nissan has developed the world’s first ‘self-cleaning car’ which it predicts will make car-washing obsolete, according to an official announcement on 24 April 2014, with the help of its nano-paint technology that stops a car getting dirty.
- Kei Nishikori of Japan successfully retained his Barcelona Open Tennis title by defeating local hero Pablo Andujar 6-4, 6-4 in the final on 26 April 2015.
- Japanese tennis player Kei Nishikori beat Colombia's Santiago Giraldo 6-2, 6-2 to win the Barcelona Open on 27 April 2014 for his first career title on clay.
- A team of researchers from Japan and Germany have found evidence in a lunar meteorite that water once existed on the moon, according to their paper published on the open access site Science Advances on 2 May 2018.
- Japan won a lucrative deal to build Turkey's second nuclear plant, signing a $22bn deal on the nuclear plant project on 3 May 2013 in the Black Sea province of Sinop in Turkey.
- Japan switched off country's last active nuclear reactor on 5 May 2012, leaving the world's third-biggest user of atomic energy with no nuclear-derived electricity for the first time since 1970. Though the shut down took place for maintenance work, it is expected to remain closed in the foreseeable future under current public concerns.
- Japan ranked as the ninth most tourism-friendly country in the world in the 2015 World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index.
- Japanese and Brazilian researchers have found a large mass of granite on the seabed off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, suggesting a continent may have existed in the Atlantic Ocean, the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology and the Brazilian government announced on 6 May 2013.
- Japanese capital Tokyo was named as the world's second best student city, according to the fifth edition of the QS Best Student Cities Ranking published on 9 May 2018.
- A team of international scientists from Japan, China, Australia and the U.S. has sequenced and annotated the genome of the "sacred lotus," which is believed to have a powerful genetic system that repairs genetic defects, and may hold secrets about aging successfully. The scientists sequenced more than 86 percent of the nearly 27,000 genes of the plant, Nelumbo nucifera, which is revered in China and elsewhere as a symbol of spiritual purity and longevity. The research was published on 10 May 2013 in the journal Genome Biology.
- Japan placed 4th in the global school ranking published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), as revealed on 13 May 2015.
- Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT) in Japan on 15 May 2018 successfully demonstrated for the first time in the world 100 Gbps wireless transmission using a new principle — Orbital Angular Momentum (OAM) multiplexing — with the aim of achieving terabit-class wireless transmission to support demand for wireless communications in the 2030s.
- A team of Japanese and international astronomers have detected the most distant known source of oxygen in a galaxy of stars called MACS1149-JD1 13.28 billion light years away formed only 250 million years after the Big Bang. Their findings were reported in the journal Nature on 17 may 2018.
- Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa from Japan, partners in the architectural firm, SANAA, were awarded the prestigious Pritzker Prize, considered as one of the highest honors for architects, on 17 May 2010.
- Japanese film director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Shoplifters won Palme d’Or at the 71st Cannes Film Festival on 19 May 2018.
- A 73-year-old Japanese mountaineer, Tamae Watanabe, who became the oldest woman to conquer Mount Everest a decade ago smashed her own record on 19 May 2012 when she reached the 8,850 meter (29,035 feet) summit once more.
- Japanese garden, an Alcove (Tokonoma) Garden, won Best Artisan Garden prize at the Chelsea Flower Show in the United Kingdom on 21 May 2013 for depicting a traditional tatami room.
- Yuichiro Miura, an 80-year-old Japanese mountaineer, on 23 May 2013 became the oldest person to reach the top of Mount Everest.
- Japan won the 2014 Women’s Asian Cup soccer tournament for the first time, beating defending champion Australia 1-0 in the final in Ho Chi Minh City.
- Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda's "Like Father, Like Son" won the Jury Prize at the 66th Cannes Film Festival on 26 May 2013.
- Legendary Japanese mountaineer Yuichiro Miura conquered the height of Mount Everest at the age of 75 on May 26, 2008. Yuichiro Miura became the first man in the world to summit Mount Everest twice as a septuagenarian.
- Japanese driver Takuma Sato won the Indy 500 on 28 May 2017 representing Honda and became the first Japanese driver to win the race.
- Japan signed an agreement on 5G mobile technology research collaboration with the European Union (EU) on 29 May 2015. With the new 5G agreement, the EU will join forces with Japan to cope with the increasing need for wireless Internet.
- The 2002 FIFA World Cup was held in Japan and Republic of Korea from 31 May to 30 June, 2002. It was the first soccer World Cup held in Asia.
- Japan’s H-IIA rocket on 1 June 2017 successfully launched a satellite named Michibiki-2 aimed at providing more accurate geolocation information in combination with GPS.
- Japanese restaurant Narisawa ranked 8th in the World's 50 Best Restaurant awards in London on 1 June 2015.
- Hideki Matsuyama became the fourth Japanese player ever to win on the PGA Tour when he captured the Memorial golf tournament in a playoff over American Kevin Na on 1 June 2014.
- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged African leaders a $32 billion in public and private support on 1 June 2013 to help growth on the continent and encourage Japanese firms to invest there over the next five years. The package was unveiled at the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) in Yokohama in front of some 50 African leaders.
- Japan and China started direct currency trading on 1 June 2012 for the first time, without having to use the US dollar as an intermediary currency, to boost ties between the two Asian economic giants.
- On 1 June 2007 archaeologists revealed they discovered a 2,100-year-old melon in western Japan. Based on a radiocarbon analysis, researchers estimated the half-rounded piece of fruit to be about 2,100 years old.
- A team of Japanese astronomers has pinpointed the farthest known galaxy to date from Earth using the Subaru and Keck Telescopes, according to an official announcement on 3 June 2012. The galaxy, called SXDF-NB1006-2, was discovered at a distance of 12.91 billion light years from the Earth.
- An international team of astronomers, including researchers from Japan, has discovered the hottest known exoplanet, a world where temperatures exceed those on the surface of most stars. The Jupiter-like planet, named as KELT-9b, was detailed in the journal Nature on 5 June 2017.
- Japanese firm Softbank unveiled a robot called Pepper, the world's first personal robot that can read human emotions, on 5 June 2014.
- Japan was ranked as the ninth most peaceful country in the world according to the 2018 Global Peace Index (GPI) produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP).
- The Sony Corporation, a Japanese multinational corporation, displayed the first black‐and‐white home videotape recorder on 7 June 1965. It went on sale for $995.
- Researchers from Japan, Indonesia and Australia have uncovered the fossilised remains of the 700,000-year-old ancestor of the tiny primitive human, affectionately dubbed the ‘Hobbit’. The discovery was made at a site named Mata Menge on the Indonesian island of Flores and detailed in the journal Nature on 8 June 2016.
- Japanese tennis players Shingo Kunieda and Yui Kamiji won their respective wheelchair Men’s and Women’s French Open singles titles on 9 June 2018.
- The University of Tokyo topped the Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings 2015.
- Japan's Sharp Corporation has achieved the world's highest solar cell conversion efficiency of 44.4 per cent to date, using a concentrator triple-junction compound solar cell, as revealed on 14 June 2013.
- Japanese astronomers and a team of international researchers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), detected a clear signal from oxygen in a galaxy named SXDF-NB1006-2 located 13.1 billion light-years away from earth. This is the most distant oxygen detected to date, as reported in the journal Science on 16 June 2016.
- Japan ranked as the eighth most peaceful country in the world at the 2015 Global Peace Index published by Institute for Economics & Peace.
- Japanese actress Naomi Fujiyama won the Best Actress award at the 19th Shanghai International Film Festival for her role in the film Danchi.
- Japanese immunologist Tasuku Honjo and American James P. Allison were announced as the winners of the first Tang Prize in Biopharmaceutical Science on 19 June 2014 for their contributions to immunotherapy, specifically for their separate discoveries of CTLA-4 and PD-1 as immune inhibitory molecules, discoveries which have opened up new, revolutionary possibilities in the treatment of cancer.
- Tomioka Silk Mill and related sites in Japan, an historic sericulture and silk mill complex established in 1872 in the Gunma Prefecture north west of Tokyo, was inscribed in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)’s World Heritage List on 21 June 2014.
- Japan's cone-shaped, snow-topped volcano, Mount Fuji, was granted World Heritage status by UNESCO on 22 June 2013. The United Nations body selected the mountain as a cultural heritage site.
- Japanese footballer Keisuke Honda made football history for Japan after scoring an equalizer against Senegal (2-2) on 24 June 2018 in a FIFA World Cup match and became the first Japanese player to score at three World Cups.
- Ogasawara Islands, the Japanese islands situated some 1,000 km south of the country's main archipelago, was inscribed on UNESCO's 2011 World Heritage List for the wealth of their ecosystems which reflect a wide range of evolutionary processes.
- Japanese scientists have cloned a mouse from a single drop of blood. For the first time ever, researchers have created such clone using circulating blood cells collected from the tail of a donor mouse. Their findings were published on 26 June 2013 in the journal Biology of Reproduction.
- The Japanese movie Sayonara Keikoku (The Ravine of Goodbye) won the Special Jury Prize or Silver George Award at the 35th Moscow International Film Festival on 29 June 2013.
- Japanese scientists have found a way to slow down the ageing process in flowers by up to a half, meaning bouquets could remain fresh for much longer. Their study, published on 2 July 2014 in The Plant Journal, has found the gene believed to be responsible for the short shelf-life of flowers in one Japanese variety of Morning Glory.
- Scientists in Japan have created a functional human liver from stem cells derived from skin and blood, according to a study published on 3 July 2013 in the journal Nature. Although preliminary, the results offer a potential path towards developing treatments for the thousands of patients awaiting liver transplants every year.
- A collaborative effort by cancer researchers from Japan, Austria and the USA has identified a new drug target in leukemia and creation of a candidate drug that hits the target. The newly identified target is a binding pocket on a protein called BRD9. The drug to bind at that pocket, called a bromodomain, is provisionally called BI-7273, as revealed on 4 July 2016 in Nature Chemical Biology.
- A Panda was born on 5 July 2012 at Tokyo's popular Ueno zoo for the first time in 24 years.
- Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe addressed a special joint sitting of Australian federal parliament on 8 July 2014 on the first full day of his visit to Australia.
- The UNESCO World Heritage Committee on 9 July 2017 inscribed Sacred Island of Okinoshima and Associated Sites in the Munakata in Japan as the World Heritage sites.
- Japanese students won four gold, one silver and one bronze medals in the prestigious 2014 International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) held in Cape Town, South Africa.
- Fossilized teeth from a species of giant tyrannosaurs dinosaur have been discovered for the first time in Japan from a stratum that dates back 81 million years, as announced on 14 July 2015.
- A team of Japanese and international scientists has suggested that the rise of ceramic production was closely linked with intensified fishing at the end of the last Ice Age. The study, examined 800 earliest known pottery remains, was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on 16 July 2018.
- Japan signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the European Union (EU) on 17 July 2018 that covers 600 million people and almost a third of the global economy.
- Japan won Women’s Soccer World Cup champions for the first time after a penalty shootout victory over USA, following a 2-2 draw in the regulation time, on July 17, 2011. Defender Saki Kumagai had the honour of hitting home the decisive spot-kick as Japan triumphed 3-1 in the shootout.
- ANA All Nippon Airways of Japan received the World's Best Airline Cabin Cleanliness award at the prestigious 2018 Skytrax World Airline Awards.
- Japan ranked tenth at the 2018 United Nations (UN) E-Government Survey, which measures countries’ use of information and communications technologies to deliver public services.
- Japanese government on 19 July 2013 gave its seal of approval to the world's first clinical trials using stem cells harvested from a patient's own body. The approval will allow researchers to begin tests aimed at treating age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a common medical condition that causes blindness in older people, using induced Pluripotent Stem (iPS) cells.
- A Japanese H-2B rocket carrying the unmanned Kounotori 3 cargo vehicle bound for the International Space Station successfully lifted off on 21 July 2012. The powerful H-2B No. 3, the nation's largest domestically made rocket, blasted off from Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Tanegashima Space Center in the town of Minami-Tane, Kagoshima Prefecture.
- Japanese researchers have discovered that African Elephants have the largest number of genes dedicated to smell of any mammal. Their study was published on 22 July 2014 in the journal Genome Research.
- A Russian Soyuz space capsule carrying a Japanese, an American and a Russian astronauts successfully docked with the International Space Station on 23 July 2015. The Soyuz TMA-17M capsule carried Oleg Kononenko of Russia, NASA's Kjell Lindgren and Kimiya Yui of Japan.
- Akiko Kojima from Japan won the 1959 Miss Universe contest at the age of 22. Akiko was the first Asian woman to win the contest.
- Researchers from the Okinawa Institute of Science & Technology Graduate University, Japan have discovered two new ant species and named them Pheidole drogon and Pheidole viserion. Their discoveries were revealed in the journal PLOS ONE on 27 July 2016.
- Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers won the prestigious 2016 Ramon Magsaysay Award for their commitment to the values of peace and understanding.
- Japan claimed the East Asian Cup football championship for the first time on 28 July 2013 with a 2-1 win for the men's team over hosts South Korea.
- Japanese researchers revealed the speed secrets of the Cheetah's by mapping the muscles fibres of the big cat. Their study is the first to investigate muscle fibre distribution across the whole of the cheetah's body. The findings were published online in the journal Mammalian Biology on 31 July 2012.
- Japanese mathematician Masaki Kashiwara was awarded one of the most prestigious prizes in the mathematics world, Chern Medal Award, on 1 August 2018.
- Japan and Brazil on 1 August 2014 signed mutual cooperation treaties in the infrastructure, pharmaceutical, energy, mining and educational areas.
- Japan successfully launched a cargo-carrying rocket on 4 August 2013 loaded with supplies for the crew of the International Space Station. A small talking robot was accompanied the launch, designed to act as a chatting companion for Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata, who is set to arrive at the space station later this year. Sending the robot to space is part of a study aimed at seeing how a non-human companion can provide emotional support for people isolated over long periods.
- Japanese and Colombian researchers on 4 August 2013 announced, in a study published in the journal Nature Genetics, they had developed a rice plant with deeper roots that can sustain high yields in droughts that wipe out conventional rice crops.
- Japan on 6 August 2013 unveiled its biggest warship, Izumo, since World War II, to be used in anti-submarine warfare and border-area surveillance missions. The vessel has a flight deck nearly 250m (820ft) long and can reportedly carry more than nine helicopters.
- Kohei Uchimura of Japan won gold in the Men's Individual All-Around Gymnastics at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Brazil.
- Researchers from Japan and an international team have set out the first comprehensive map of mutational processes behind the development of tumors - work that should in future lead to better ways to treat and prevent a wide range of cancers. Their study, published on 14 August 2013 in the journal Nature, discovered the genetic imprints and signatures left by DNA-damaging processes that lead to cancer.
- Japan on 19 August 2017 successfully launched a H-2A rocket carrying a geo-positioning satellite into orbit from Tanegashima Space Center.
- Japan on 19 August 2015 successfully launched an unmanned cargo transfer vehicle KOUNOTORI5 to deliver supplies to the International Space Station (ISS).
- Japan won the 2012 Women's Baseball World Cup beating Team USA 3-0 in the gold medal final in Edmonton, Canada. It is their third straight world cup title.
- Karaoke, an entertainment system in which amateur singers sing along with recorded music, was invented by Daisuke Inoue from Osaka, Japan. In 1999, TIME Magazine named Daisuke Inoue to its list of "The Most Influential Asians of the Century" in its August 23-30, 1999 VOL. 154 NO. 7/8 issue.
- Issey Miyake, a Japanese fashion designer, for whom high-tech fibers has been an obsession and nature has been an inspiration. In his three decades in design, Miyake has worked at the intersection of art and fashion, nature and technology, innovation and tradition and, notably, East and West. TIME Magazine named Miyake to its list of "The Most Influential Asians of the Century" in its August 23-30, 1999 VOL. 154 NO. 7/8 issue.
- Japanese marathon runner Hiroto Inoue won a gold medal with a time of 2 hours, 18 minutes and 22 seconds at the 18th Asian Games in Indonesia on 25 August 2018.
- Nozomi Okuhara became Japan’s first-ever Women’s Singles World Badminton champion by beating India’s Pusarla V Sindhu at the world championships in Glasgow on 27 August 2017.
- Japanese runner IIzuka Shota won the gold medal in the men's 200 meters at the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta on 29 August 2018.
- Japan’s women's soccer team won the Asian Games gold medal after defeating China 1-0 at Sriwijaya Stadium in Jakabaring Sorts City, Palembang, South Sumatra on 31 August 2018.
- Japan and India have upgraded their partnership to the level of Special Strategic and Global Partnership with the signing of a defense pact for regional stability and Tokyo's decision to increase foreign investment in India over the next five years for boosting India's infrastructure, including bullet trains. The agreements, officially revealed on 1 September 2014, were signed during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Japan.
- Kei Nishikori became the first Japanese man in 96 years to reach the US Open Tennis semi-finals on 3 September 2014 after securing an epic 3-6 7-5 7-6 (9-7) 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 win over Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka.
- Japanese scientists have found evidence of a mid-sized black hole in a gas cluster near the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, which they believe could be the missing link in the development of supermassive black holes that has been theorized, but never officially found. Their study was published in the journal Nature Astronomy on 4 September 2017.
- In a world first, Japanese and a team of international researchers have transformed tissue cells into skin cells to help heal serious wounds, a technique that could revolutionise care for victims of burns and other severe injuries. Their study was published on 5 September 2018 in the journal Nature.
- Scientists from Japan, the UK and the US have discovered the single largest volcano in the world, a dead colossus deep beneath the Pacific waves, according to their researched published on 5 September 2013 in the journal Nature Geoscience.
- A collaborative effort by researchers from Japan and their international colleagues has identified compounds that act on a novel target in the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. Their experiments that cured mice of the disease were detailed in the journal Nature on 7 September 2016.
- Naomi Osaka of Japan defeated Serena Williams, 6-2, 6-4, to win the 2018 US Open women’s singles tennis title, becoming the first Japanese player to win a major singles title in the history of the sport.
- Japan's Kei Nishikori became the first Japanese or Asian man to play a grand slam tennis tournament final at the 2014 US Open. Kei had to settle for the runner-up trophy in the final losing 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 against Croatian Marin Cilic.
- Japanese and English scientists have successfully ‘reset’ human pluripotent stem cells to the earliest developmental state – equivalent to cells found in an embryo before it implants in the womb (7-9 days old). The discovery, published in Cell on 11 September 2014, will lead to a better understanding of human development and could in future allow the production of safe and more reproducible starting materials for a wide range of applications including cell therapies.
- A new Creative Productivity Index developed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) ranked Japan as the most efficient country in the Asia and Pacific region at turning creative inputs into tangible innovation, as revealed on 12 September 2014.
- Japan on 14 September 2013 launched the first Epsilon Launch Vehicle (Epsilon-1), a new generation of solid-fuel space rocket, carrying a telescope for remote observation of planets hoping the design will make missions more affordable. The Epsilon rocket is about half the size of Japan's previous generation of space vehicles, and uses artificial intelligence to perform safety checks.
- Scientists in Japan have created a microscopically thin film that can coat individual teeth to prevent decay or to make them appear whiter. This is the world's first flexible apatite sheet, which is expected to protect teeth or repair damaged enamel, as reported on 17 September 2012.
- A team of Japanese researchers has successfully generated human oogonia inside of artificial mouse ovaries using human stem cells. Their study was published in the journal Science on 20 September 2018.
- Japan's space agency (JAXA) made history by successfully landing two robotic explorers – released by the Hayabusa2 space probe – on the surface of an asteroid, 1km-wide space rock known as Ryugu, on 22 September 2018.
- An unmanned Japanese space capsule KOUNOTORI7 was successfully launched to the International Space Station filled with cargo including food, experiments and new batteries from the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan on 23 September 2018.
- A joint Japanese-Mongolian team has unearthed a giant dinosaur footprint in the Gobi Desert in Mongolia, which measures 106 centimetres (42 inches) long and 77 centimeters wide, as revealed on 30 September 2016.
- Japan ranked as the sixth most competitive country in the world, according to a World Economic Forum report released on 30 September 2015. This report, provides insight into the drivers of a country’s productivity and prosperity, suggests Japan has been nurturing innovation and talent.
- Japanese telco NTT Docomo on 30 September 2013 unveiled an augmented reality glasses at the Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies (CEATEC) fair in Japan that translates a menu in real time, that's set to be ready in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The device using character recognition technology enables instant language translation for users travelling abroad and reading restaurant menus and other documents.
- The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2018 was awarded jointly to Tasuku Honjo of Japan and James P. Allison of the USA for their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation.
- Yoshinori Ohsumi of Japan won the 2016 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for his discoveries of mechanisms for autophagy.
- Japanese swimmer Kosuke Hagino was announced as the recipient of the Samsung MVP Award for the 2014 Asian Games. Hagino won 4 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze medals and recognized for his dominant performances in the pool.
- The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2015 was awarded, one half jointly to William C. Campbell of Ireland and Satoshi Ōmura of Japan for their discoveries concerning a novel therapy against infections caused by roundworm parasites and the other half to Youyou Tu of China for her discoveries concerning a novel therapy against Malaria.
- Professor Takaaki Kajita of Japan and Professor Arthur B. McDonald of Canada jointly won the Nobel Prize in Physics for 2015 for the discovery of neutrino oscillations, which shows that neutrinos have mass.
- Akira Suzuki from Japan jointly won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2010 for the development of palladium-catalyzed cross coupling. This chemical tool has vastly improved the possibilities for chemists to create sophisticated chemicals, for example carbon-based molecules as complex as those created by nature itself.
- Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano of Japan and Shuji Nakamura from the USA jointly won the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics for the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources.
- Japan successfully launched Geostationary Meteorological Satellite Himawari-8 on 7 October 2014 atop an H-IIA carrier rocket from the Tanegashima Space Center.
- The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2012 was awarded jointly to Japanese physician Shinya Yamanaka and British developmental biologist John B. Gurdon for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent.
- Japanese chemist Osamu Shimomura was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2008 for the discovery and development of the green fluorescent protein (GFP). Shimomura was associated with Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), Woods Hole, MA, USA and Boston University Medical School, MA, USA in 2008.
- Professor Masatoshi Koshiba at the University of Tokyo, Japan jointly won the 2002 Nobel Prize in Physics for pioneering contributions to astrophysics, in particular for the detection of cosmic neutrinos.
- Eisaku Sato, former Prime Minister of Japan, jointly won The Nobel Peace Prize in 1974 for renouncing nuclear options in Japan and his work with regional reconciliation in Asia after WWII.
- Japanese passport was ranked as the most powerful in the world, according to the 2018 Henley Passport Index, having visa-free/visa-on-arrival access to 190 destinations.
- Japan's Kohei Uchimura won a record-extending fifth straight all-around title at the 2014 World Gymnastics Championships. The 25-year-old, nicknamed "King Kohei", collected 91.965 points through six apparatus events with Britain's Max Whitlock second on 90.473.
- The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded one half of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2002 jointly to Koichi Tanaka from Japan and John B. Fenn from United States. They were awarded for their development of soft desorption ionisation methods for mass spectrometric analyses of biological macromolecules.
- Ryoji Noyori from Nagoya University, Chikusa, Nagoya, Japan, was jointly awarded one half of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2001 for his contribution on chirally catalysed hydrogenation reactions.
- Hideki Shirakawa from the University of Tsukuba, Japan was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2000 for the discovery and development of conductive polymers.
- Japan was the proud organizer of the 1964 Summer Olympics Games. The games were held in Tokyo, Japan from October 10 to October 24, 1964. The 1964 Summer Games were the first Olympics held in Asia.
- The Nobel Prize in Literature for 1994 was awarded to Japanese author Kenzaburo Oe who with poetic force created an imagined world, where life and myth condense to form a disconcerting picture of the human predicament today.
- United Nations General Assembly on 15 October 2015 elected Japan to serve as non-permanent members on the Security Council for two-year terms beginning on 1 January 2016.
- Researchers from Japan, China, the UK and the USA have discovered the earliest known complete nervous system exquisitely preserved in the fossilized remains of a never-before described creature that crawled or swam in the ocean 520 million years ago. The fossil, recently discovered in South China, was reported on 16 October 2013 in the journal Nature.
- Japanese scientists have discovered a huge moon cave that could one day shelter astronauts from dangerous radiation and wild temperature swings. It is believed to be lava tube created by volcanic activity about 3.5 billion years ago, as revealed in U.S. science magazine Geophysical Research Letters on 17 October 2017.
- Japan unveiled its first passenger aircraft made in nearly four decades at a ceremony in Komaki on 18 October 2014.
- Professor Kenichi Fukui from Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan jointly (with Professor Roald Hoffmann from USA) won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1981 for their theories, developed independently, concerning the course of chemical reactions.
- Scientists from Japan and their international colleagues have unearthed fossils in Mongolia’s Gobi Desert that have allowed them for the first time to build a complete picture of one of the most unique dinosaurs, Deinocheirus mirificus. Their study was published on 22 October 2014 in the journal Nature.
- The International Bar Association (IBA) on 23 October 2014 presented Mr Yohei Sasakawa of Japan its Rule of Law Award in recognition of his dedication over the past four decades to eliminating leprosy and ending the discrimination and other human rights violations of those who have been affected by the disease.
- Haruka Shoji, a young Japanese artist, was presented with the United Nations Art for Peace award on 23 October 2012.
- Misaki Doi of Japan claimed her first Women's Tennis Association (WTA) title on 25 October 2015 with a 6-4, 6-7 (7), 6-0 win over Mona Barthel in the Luxembourg Open final.
- Koichi Wakata of Japan was awarded the inaugural UNESCO Medal on Space Science at the UNESCO Headquarters on 27 October 2017 for his impressive near 20-years’ experience in spaceflight.
- Japan on 28 October 2016 was elected to serve on the United Nations Human Rights Council for a three-year terms beginning on 1 January 2017. The United Nations body is responsible for the promotion and protection of all human rights around the globe.
- Japanese men won the world gymnastics team title at the 2015 World Gymnastics Championship in Glasgow, Scotland.
- Japanese artistic gymnast Kohei Uchimura won record sixth consecutive world All-Around title at the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships.
- Japanese scientists and their international colleagues have discovered a passenger plane-sized hidden chamber in Egypt’s Great Pyramid of Giza, in what would be the first such discovery in the structure since the 19th century. Their discovery was detailed in Nature on 2 November 2017.
- A research team led by Yuichi Ikuhara, a professor of material science at the University of Tokyo, revealed they have succeeded in capturing the first image of a hydrogen atom, a breakthrough that they hope will lead to the creation of new materials and reduce Japanese industry's reliance on imports of rare earth metals.
- Japanese scientists have developed a method that combines tissue decolorization and light-sheet fluorescent microscopy to take extremely detailed images of the interior of individual organs and even entire organisms. The work, published in the journal Cell 6 November 2014, opens new possibilities for understanding the way life works—the ultimate dream of systems biology—by allowing scientists to make tissues and whole organisms transparent and then image them at extremely precise, single-cell resolution.
- A three-man crew, including Koichi Wakata from Japan, successfully blasted off into space on 6 November 2013 with the Olympic torch for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket. The torch was taken to the International Space Station (ISS) on an Olympic flame's first spacewalk in history.
- Japanese researchers from the Iwate Prefectural University, KEK: High Energy Accelerator Research Organization and the University of Tokyo won prestigious Breakthrough Prizes in Fundamental Physics on 8 November 2015.
- Tadashi Takayanagi from the Kyoto University Japan was announced as one of the winners of the 2015 New Horizons in Physics Prize for his contributions in quantum field theory. The award was presented to the winner on 9 November 2014.
- Japan's revolutionary Autonomous Drive test car Nissan LEAF has taken to the public roads in Japan for the first time, with the country's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on board, according to an official announcement on 9 November 2013.
- Japanese football club Kashima Antlers claimed their maiden AFC Champions League title after a goalless draw in the second leg of the final against Persepolis securing a 2-0 aggregate victory on 10 November 2018.
- Japan's first passenger jet, Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ), made its maiden test flight on 11 November 2015. The MRJ took off from Nagoya Airport and confirmed its basic characteristics and functionality in ascent, descent and turning in airspace off the Pacific coast during its 1.5-hour first flight.
- Researchers from Japan and Malaysia have found a 140-million-year-old dinosaur tooth in Pahang state of Malaysia, as revealed on 13 November 2014.
- Japan ranked seventh at the Freedom on the Net 2016 index compiled by Freedom House. This index is compiled based on the extent of freedom the citizens of 65 countries experienced on the Internet.
- An international scientific collaboration that includes researchers from Japan has mapped the genome of the domestic pig in a project that could enhance the animal's use in the testing of drugs for human disease. The research findings were published on 14 November 2012 in the science journal Nature.
- Japan launched its first quantum computer on 20 November 2017 as race for faster machines heats up, in a joint effort from the National Institute of Informatics, telecom giant NTT and the University of Tokyo.
- Japanese manufacturer Toshiba unveiled a robot on 21 November 2012 that can withstand high radiation and help in nuclear disasters. The robot is equipped with six cameras and a dosimeter to measure radiation, and can be controlled remotely, allowing emergency workers to assess damages to a nuclear site from a safe distance.
- Japan has unveiled its new high-speed, magnetic levitation trains that have been designed to operate at speeds of over 310mph, as first reported on 26 November 2012. Designed by Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai), the state-of-the-art trains are scheduled to go into use in 2027 after further tests to ensure that commercial services are comfortable.
- Japanese students secured the fifth place at the global maths and science ranking, according to the International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) released on 29 November 2016.
- Japan’s Ritsu Doan was named as the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Youth Player of the Year after a string of stunning performances at this year’s AFC U-19 Championship.
- Japan on 3 December 2014 successfully launched the space explorer Hayabusa 2 from the Tanegashima Space Center on a six year roundtrip mission to blow a crater in a remote asteroid and bring back rock samples in hopes of gathering clues to the origin of earth.
- Miho Takagi of Japan won the women’s 1,500 meters gold at the Speed-skating World Cup on 4 December 2017 in Calgary.
- Japanese animated film Your Name was named as the Best Animated Film for 2016 by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.
- Japan secured the second position at the 2016 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) global education survey, which evaluates the quality, equity and efficiency of school systems.
- Japanese player Mao Asada on 7 December 2013 won the gold medal of ladies figure skating in the International Skating Union Grand Prix Finals.
- A joint excavation team from Japan and Mongolia has discovered the ruins of a unique monument surrounded by 14 large stone pillars with Turkic Runic inscriptions arranged in a square on the steppe called Dongoin shiree in eastern Mongolia during their three-year (2015 ~ 2017) joint excavation, as revealed on 8 December 2017.
- Sasayama of Japan was declared as the member of the 2015 UNESCO Creative Cities Network in the Crafts and Folk Art category.
- Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu won the Men’s Short Program ahead of teammate Tatsuki Machida at the ISU Grand Prix of figure skating final on 12 December 2014.
- Researchers from the University of Tokyo in Japan have discovered a new type of glass that can heal itself from breaks when pressed by hand at room temperature. The research, published in Science on 14 December 2017, promises healable glass that could potentially be used in phone screens and other fragile devices.
- On 15 December 2010 Japanese scientist Tetsuji Nakabo, a professor at Kyoto University, and his team of researchers revealed that they have discovered a Japanese salmon species in a lake near Mount Fuji which thought to be extinct for 70 years.
- Japanese team of Ito, Kaori Iwabuchi, Yuka Seto and Sara Takanashi won the inaugural women's ski jumping World Cup team event in Germany on 16 December 2017.
- A capsule carrying three astronauts from Japan, Russia and the United States was successfully launched for a two-day trip to the International Space Station on 17 December 2017 from Russia's manned space-launch complex in Baikonur, Kazakhstan.
- Japanese researchers and their international colleagues have identified a new dolphin species, named Urkudelphis chawpipacha, based on a small dolphin skull discovered in Ecuador. Their findings were detailed in the journal PLOS ONE on 20 December 2017.
- The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) on 20 December 2016 successfully launched the second Epsilon Launch Vehicle with an Exploration of energization and Radiation in Geospace (ERG) satellite aboard from the Uchinoura Space Center.
- Japan swept the podium in the men’s halfpipe Snowboard World Cup event on 21 December 2017, with Ayumu Hirano, Raibu Katayama and Yuto Totsuka finishing first, second and third.
- After detailed study of the meteorite found in California in April 2012, an international team of scientists, including researchers from Japan, reports it contains some of the oldest material in the Solar System. The research findings were published in the journal Science on 21 December 2012.
- Japanese women’s football team ended 2016 as the second highest ranked Asian national team according to the December FIFA listing released on 23 December 2016.
- A team of Japanese and Vietnamese scientists has discovered the first volcanic cave system in Vietnam in the Central Highlands province of Dak Nong, as revealed on 24 December 2014. A part of the cave is considered the longest volcanic cave in Southeast Asia.