So I’ve been getting accident reports from Japan in the recent weeks slash months. They’ve been slowly building up and frankly it’s  becoming a little distressing to see. For years, I never see major accidents from Japan in the papers all of a sudden, in recent months, people in Japan are dying from vehicular accidents. Now, there’s obvious speculation as to the cause of all this, whether it’s economic or political upheaval that has stressed Japan over the months and years that things have happened since the accident at Fukushima. It’s pretty nuts to see a nation like Japan bounce back even though it’s tumultuous as hell over there what with the need to re-propagate the population and rebuilding of houses, or maybe people have just snapped from pressure. Whatever the case, stories like this next one, truly do make you realize the fragility of life out there in the world.








Bus crash in Gunma leaves seven dead, 39 injured

Driver claims to have been asleep as vehicle was impaled by wall


MAEBASHI, Gunma Pref. — Golden Week got off to a horrific start Sunday as a bus packed with tourists headed for Tokyo Disneyland ran edgewise into a wall on an expressway in Gunma Prefecture, killing seven people and injuring 39 others.

The bus, which left Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, at around 10 p.m. Saturday with 45 passengers, plowed into the leading edge of a 3-meter-high guard wall on the Kanetsu Expressway in Fujioka at around 4:40 a.m., police said. The wall sliced through its left side.

According to its final speedometer reading, the bus may have hit the wall at 92 kph.

The driver, Kazan Kono, 43, said he fell asleep at the wheel, police sources said, adding that no signs of a braking attempt were found at the scene. Kono was hospitalized with serious injuries but is expected to live.

Four of the fatalities were identified as Ikuko Hayashi, 50, Sachi Miyashita, 19, of Takayama, Toyama Prefecture, Masahiro Kizawa, 50, and Chikako Matsumoto, 29, of Kanazawa. Miyashita was the tour guide.

Kizawa’s 14-year-old daughter Misa survived but is in serious condition with a broken neck.

Some of those listed as seriously injured were identified as Momoko Kanahara, 29, Hifumi Kanahara, 53, Riho Oe, 18, Hirotaka Matsumoto, 50, Yoshiko Muranaka, 46, Hikaru Makiide, 23, Kazuma Takabatake, 24, Michiyo Iwagami, 46, and Masaya Doi, 23.

There were also passengers from Tokyo and Ibaraki prefectures on board.

The tour was organized by Harvest Holdings, based in Toyonaka in Osaka. The bus was run by Rikuentai, based in Inzai, Chiba Prefecture.

Rikuentai President Yumihide Hariu said Kono called him from the accident site.

“I’m sorry. I caused an accident and crashed into a wall,” Hariu quoted Kono as saying.

Police plan to question Kono on suspicion of manslaughter caused by negligent driving, but they are also looking at Rikuentai itself because no codriver was aboard.

Kono apparently drove from Disneyland to Kanazawa from Friday night to Saturday morning, before departing again at 10 p.m. Saturday for the ill-fated overnight journey back to Disney.

Police intend to investigate whether the bus company had planning problems, sources said.

Hariu arrived at police headquarters in Gunma later in the day and issued an apology.

“I’m really sorry. I take this very gravely,” he said.

Some of the passengers were scheduled to deboard in Tokyo’s Shinjuku and Yaesu districts before going on to Tokyo Disneyland, in neighboring Chiba Prefecture. The expressway was temporarily closed by the accident.



Once again, I’m sorry, but Japan, you’re not making the stereotype about Asian drivers any better. Let’s move on shall we?


Sankaku has a little more detailed news on the same crash, but for the sake of not repeating myself I’m just gonna link you guys.



Our next story is…I don’t know how to describe it.


Titanic II = “Made in China”

Author: Artefact

A plan to make a copy of the Titanic in China has been attracting considerable attention, combining as it does the hubris of the “Titanic” name and the manufacturing quality of China.

The ship, dubbed “Titanic II,” was commissioned by billionaire Austrialian mining magnate Chris Palmer, whose recent plans include such modest enterprises as running for office and starting a luxury cruise line and resort empire.

The plan is for the Titanic II to replicate the look and feel of the original Titanic, whilst incorporating modern innovations in unsinkability and China’s low cost shipbuilding talent.

Naturally Palmer was asked about how unsinkable it would be:

“Of course it will sink if you put a hole in it. It is going to be designed so it won’t sink, but, of course, if you are superstitious like you are, you never know what could happen.”

A Chinese shipyard took the order, thought in part to be due to Palmer’s business connections with China. How much he is paying for the vessel has not been made public.

The ship is scheduled to make its maiden voyage from London to New York in 2016.

Online there are fears it may both explode and sink:

“So this time it will explode and then sink?”

“You just know this will sink.”

“Made in China – they want to replicate the sinking as well then.”

“A tragedy looms…”

“Well, if they wanted to replicate the glaring design flaws of the original as well they couldn’t have made a better choice.”

“Expect a movie.”

“Just think of it as a set.”

“At least if it sinks they’ll be saved the trouble of burying it.

“So they’re ripping off both the movie and the ship this time?”

“For a rich man he seems to have skimped on the most essential point.”

“What kind of fool would ride this!”

“I can imagine poor people riding a made in China ship, but rich people riding a made in China luxury liner?”

“Now they just need to get that Italian captain and they will be all set.”

“Not only does he call it the Titanic, he makes it in China? He has the whole joke planned out doesn’t he?”



Next up, we have a follow up to our little bus accident.





Bus firm in fatal crash searched


MAEBASHI, Gunma Pref. — Police searched a Chiba bus company and the home of its president on Monday following a shocking crash in Gunma Prefecture that has been termed the deadliest single-vehicle highway accident in Japanese history.

Bus company Rikuentai, based in Inzai, Chiba Prefecture, and the home of Rikuentai President Yumihide Haryu, 55, were searched on suspicion of negligent driving resulting in death and injury, the police said. Haryu’s home is on the firm’s premises.

The bus, which left Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, for Tokyo Disneyland at around 10 p.m. on Saturday, the first day of the Golden Week holidays, was cruising along the Kanetsu Expressway in Fujioka when it ran into the leading edge of a 3-meter-high sound-suppression wall at 4:40 a.m., police said. The wall impaled the bus and nearly sliced it in half, ripping through its left side.

The crash killed seven passengers and injured 39 others, including the driver.

The victims were identified by police as Ikuko Hayashi, 50, Sachi Miyashita, 19, and Maya Hasegawa, 23, from Takaoka, Toyama Prefecture; Masahiro Kizawa, 50, and Chikako Matsumoto, 29, of Kanazawa; Naomi Yamase, 43, of Noto, Ishikawa Prefecture; and Kurumi Iwakami, 17, of Hakusan, Ishikawa Prefecture.

Police have confiscated Rikuentai’s daily operations report and working regulations to determine whether the accident was caused by driver fatigue.

The 43-year-old driver, Kazan Kono, who was seriously injured, told police that he dozed off before the crash and that there was no backup driver on the overnight bus, which was taking a tour group to Tokyo Disneyland.

Police inspected the wreckage while the transport ministry sent officials to search the bus company and the tour operator, Harvest Holdings, based in Toyonaka, Osaka Prefecture.

The National Police Agency said the accident is the worst single-vehicle accident ever.

An arrest warrant has been obtained for Kono, who is likely to be arrested after he recovers on suspicion of negligent driving resulting in death and injury.


I’ll see you guys next time, g’nite folks.

This is Grass signing out.