Cash for islands flooding in
The Tokyo city government said yesterday members of the public had pledged almost ￥1 billion (US$12.5 million) to its drive to buy a group of uninhabited islands at the center of a row with China. About ￥864 million has already been sent to a bank account Tokyo’s metropolitan authorities opened less than a month ago to accept citizen donations, according to the city’s latest tally. Separately, Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara said he has had an offer of ￥100 million from an entrepreneur, although the money has not yet reached the city’s coffers. Ishihara reignited a long-simmering maritime territorial dispute last month when he vowed to buy a group of islands in the East China Sea, called Senkaku in Japan. The islands are also claimed by Taiwan, where they are known as the Diaoyutais (釣魚台). The uninhabited islands sit around 2,000km from Tokyo in rich fishing grounds that may harbor lucrative energy resources.
First chemical castration
South Korea plans to chemically castrate a sex offender convicted of repeated crimes against children, the country’s first use of the punishment, officials said yesterday. The 45-year-old man is to get an injection today that lowers testosterone-suppressing hormones and aims to inhibit sexual impulses, Justice Ministry officials said on condition of anonymity citing department rules. South Korea passed a law in 2010 allowing judges or a Justice Ministry panel the option of ordering chemical castration after a series of violent sexual assaults on children sparked public outrage. The man to be castrated this week was convicted four times between 1984 and 2002 of raping or sexually molesting girls under the ages of 13, the ministry said in a separate statement. A psychiatric test has concluded the man is a pedophile and needs medication, the officials said. He will be released from prison in July under the condition that he receive injections every three months for three years, according to the ministry.
Beijing wages war on flies
Beijing’s public toilets must not exceed two flies, according to new standards imposed by zealous officials striving to clean up China’s notoriously filthy bathrooms. The unusual rule applies to lavatories in parks, railway stations, airports, hospitals, malls and supermarkets in the capital, the Beijing News said on Wednesday. More conventional demands from the municipal committee in charge of the image of the city include an order that there is no accumulation of urine or water in the capital’s public toilets and that bins are not overflowing. It is not clear if failing washrooms will be punished and if so, how.
Child killer confesses
A man was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly raping and murdering a four-year-old girl whose body was thrown from a building in the western state of Goa, police said. A married 22-year-old laborer from eastern Bihar state was held after the body of the girl was found in a pit on a construction site on Tuesday, Police Inspector Santosh Desai said. The child, from Mumbai, was staying at her grandparents’ home when she went missing on Sunday. “He lured the girl with an offer of giving her a chocolate and took her to the building nearby,” Desai said. The accused confessed to killing the girl after raping her as he feared she would tell her grandparents, the policeman added.