A Japanese soldier who hid in the Philippine jungle for 29 years after refusing to surrender after the end of World War Two has died.
In an interview with ITV News, China's ambassador to the UK has accused Japan of behaving like Germany in the run-up to the World War 2.
Blind children at a school in Japan are discovering what a snowflake looks like for the first time after their school was lent a 3D printer.
An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.7 has hit Japan off the coats of Okinawa, the US Geological Survey said.
No tsunami is expected, the National Weather Service's Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said.
A Japanese zoo has staged an emergency practice drill with staff dressing up and playing roles in a simulated gorilla escape.
The "animal escape" exercise, which is held every two years at Ueno Zoo in Tokyo, saw a "gorilla" running through the zoo before being captured by other workers using nets.
The Zoo's director Toshimitsu Doi said the drill was successful and stressed the importance of his staff being preparing for the unexpected.
Japan has defended its dolphin hunts after US ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy said she was "deeply concerned" about the practice where local fisherman corral dolphins in a secluded bay before killing many for meat.
"I believe dolphin fishing is one of Japan's traditional fishing industries and is carried out appropriately in accordance to the law," said Japan's cabinet secretary Yoshihide Duga.
"Furthermore, dolphins are not within the management of the International Whaling Commission and it is left to the respective nations to manage this resource."
Taiji Whale Museum staff veterinarian Shinji Sakamoto added: "People are just thinking too emotionally about the dolphins. They want to protect them just because they're cute and clever."
Japan's annual dolphin hunt, where fishermen corral the mammals in a secluded bay before killing many for meat, has been criticised by the US ambassador to the country.
Caroline Kennedy said she was "deeply concerned" about the hunt which is currently underway in Taiji, western Japan.
The country has long maintained that killing dolphins is not banned under any international treaty and that the animals are not endangered.
A 13-foot long giant squid - one of the world's most mysterious and elusive creatures - has been found in a fishing net in Japan.
A fisherman from Sadogashima island said he found the beast swimming in a fixed net about a kilometre from the coast at a depth of around 70 metres. It reportedly died after being brought to the surface.
Giant squid are rarely seen due to their deep-ocean dwelling, with the first image of a live adult being taken in 2002.
A recent reported sighting of a formidable giant squid in California proved to be a hoax.
Over 100 people in Japan plunged into icy water today as part of an annual ritual to mark the start of the New Year at the Teppozu Inari shrine in Tokyo.
Some Japanese believe the Shinto ceremony is an opportunity to purify their souls and wish for good health.
The mostly male participants wearing white loincloths carried out a series of acts including dousing cold water over themselves.
Around 5,000 people raced to win good luck for the year as they competed in the centuries-old "Lucky Man" competition at Nishinomiya Shrine in Japan's Hyogo prefecture.
The winner of the annual 230 metre race through the shrine grounds earns the title of "Lucky Man" and is said to have good fortune for the year.
Hundreds of onlookers chanted 'lucky Man, lucky man' as the winner was presented with his prize - a barrel of the traditional alcoholic drink sake.
Five people have been killed in an explosion at a Mitsubishi Materials Corp chemical plant in Western Japan, national broadcaster NHK said.
An official at the local fire department in Yokkaichi told Reuters that 17 people were injured in the blast, five of them seriously, but did not immediately confirm the number of dead.
An official at Mitsubishi Materials said the company was still gathering information.