Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

6.2 quake hits east­ern Ja­pan

A strong 6.2-mag­ni­tude earth­quake hit east­ern Ja­pan yes­ter­day, the US Ge­o­log­i­cal Sur­vey said, but there were no im­me­di­ate re­ports of dam­age. The quake, at a depth of 44 kilo­me­tres (27 miles), struck shortly af­ter 6:42 am (2142 GMT) near the north­east coast of the main Hon­shu is­land, some 350 kilo­me­tres from Tokyo. No tsunami warn­ing was is­sued. Ja­pan sits at the junc­tion of four tec­tonic plates and ex­pe­ri­ences a num­ber of rel­a­tively vi­o­lent quakes ev­ery year, but rigid build­ing codes and their strict en­force­ment mean even strong tremors of­ten do lit­tle dam­age. A mas­sive un­der­sea quake how­ever that hit in March 2011 sent a tsunami bar­relling into Ja­pan’s north­east coast, leav­ing more than 18,000 peo­ple dead or miss­ing, and send­ing three re­ac­tors into melt­down at the Fukushima nuclear plant.

Woman set on fire in Ja­pan restau­rant

A man set a woman on fire fol­low­ing an ar­gu­ment in a restau­rant in Ja­pan, lo­cal me­dia re­ported yes­ter­day, in a rare act of violence in the coun­try. The 52-year-old Ira­nian man was seen pour­ing liq­uid over his 36-year-old Filip­ina girl­friend be­fore set­ting her alight at the eatery in Ibaraki pre­fec­ture, north of Tokyo, on Fri­day, re­ports cited po­lice as say­ing. Work­ers at the restau­rant called an am­bu­lance, say­ing: “Peo­ple are burn­ing.” The cou­ple was taken to hos­pi­tal with se­vere burns and both re­main un­con­scious, pub­lic broad­caster NHK said. There were sev­eral cus­tomers inside the restau­rant at the time of the in­ci­dent, but no one else was in­jured, the re­ports said. Po­lice are treat­ing the case as at­tempted mur­der. The man and woman had been ad­vised by po­lice to stay away from each fol­low­ing a dis­pute in­volv­ing their child, Ky­odo News re­ported.

China ships sail near dis­puted is­lands: Ja­pan

Chi­nese coast guard ves­sels sailed into ter­ri­to­rial wa­ters around dis­puted is­lands in the East China Sea yes­ter­day, Ja­pan’s coast guard said, mark­ing the sec­ond such in­ci­dent in a week. The four ships en­tered the wa­ters sur­round­ing the is­land chain, con­trolled by Ja­pan and known as Senkaku in Ja­panese and Diaoyu in China, at around 10:30 am (0130 GMT) and left within two hours, ac­cord­ing to the coast guard. A sim­i­lar in­ci­dent last Sun­day prompted Tokyo to lodge a com­plaint with China’s for­eign min­istry through its em­bassy in Bei­jing, say­ing the un­in­hab­ited islets are “an in­her­ent ter­ri­tory of Ja­pan”. Ja­pan has made dozens of protests through diplo­matic chan­nels this year over what it says have been more than 30 days of in­tru­sions by Chi­nese ves­sels in the con­tested wa­ters. The two coun­tries have been locked in a long-run­ning dis­pute over the is­lands, which are be­lieved to har­bour vast nat­u­ral re­sources below their seabed, with China claim­ing them as its own.Bei­jing is also in­volved in mar­itime dis­putes in the South China Sea. It as­serts sovereignty over most of the area de­spite ri­val par­tial claims by the Philip­pines, Brunei, Malaysia, Tai­wan and Viet­nam.

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