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News from Japan - January 13, 2022

100 people for 400 cats on this Japanese island

L’île de Tashiro, aussi appelée “l’île aux chats” abrite 400 chats pour près de 100 habitants.

Tashirojima (田代島) is a small island in the northern part of Japan, off Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture. It is known worldwide as a feline lover's paradise. Indeed, it currently has about 100 inhabitants for 400 cats, hence its nickname "cat island".

The presence of cats is not insignificant. The island and its local population (thousands at the time), were famous for producing high quality silk, but suffered attacks from rats and mice, which are the natural predators of silkworms. In order to ensure the safety of the latter, it was necessary to eliminate the problem of these rodents.

The final idea was therefore to breed many cats on the island. These were not domesticated, and lived in this place freely as if it were their natural environment. Because of their service to the people, the felines were highly respected, often fed, and even revered. Today it is possible to visit temples on the island, which were built in honor of cats, as well as a sanctuary dedicated to a cat, which died by accident.

The population has been in steady decline for several years as young people have left for the mainland in search of better prospects. This leaves only an elderly population, with an average age of over 70.

Even though the silkworms are no longer present either, this island has gained worldwide fame as “Cat Island”. In addition to international tourists, it also attracts many domestic visitors every year. It's no wonder, when you know the love that the Japanese have for these little balls of fur.

 

New cryptocurrencies available in Japan

Nouvelles crypto-monnaies disponibles sur Kraken pour les clients japonais

New cryptocurrencies are emerging in Japan. Kraken, one of the largest virtual currency exchanges in the world, has announced that Chainlink (LINK), Basic Attention Token (BAT) and OMG (OMG) are now tradable for Japanese.

The Mt. Gox exchange, then dominant on Japanese soil, carried out more than 70% of bitcoin (BTC) transactions in the world, making it the first bitcoin exchange in the world. However, Mt. Gox experienced a hack in 2011.

It was then that, in order to help them, Jesse Powell founded Kraken. However, Mt. Gox must file for bankruptcy, this time in 2014, the victim of a computer hack. Causing the loss of 850,000 Bitcoins, the equivalent of $460 million at the time, the exchange went bankrupt.

So, the Kraken exchange negotiates with the Japanese authorities to take the place of the fallen giant. But the latter suspended its activities in Japan, following a 500 million dollar hold-up of Coincheck in 2018, to finally return in October 2020. Japanese investors could then trade on five crypto-currencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, XRP and Bitcoin Cash.

Today, the Japan Financial Services Agency (FSA), Japan's main financial regulator, has a group of experts in order to bring about a stricter regulatory framework for the crypto industry. The FSA also wants to put in place new restrictions for stable currencies, known as stablecoins.

 

54-year-old pro footballer finds a new club

Kazuyoshi Miura, le plus vieux joueur de football professionnel en activité, a signé en quatrième division japonaise

The oldest active professional football player, Kazuyoshi Miura, signs for a new club. The Japanese striker, who will turn 55 in February, leaves Yokohama FC (J. League 2) to play in the Japanese fourth division for Suzuka Point Getters.

In lack of playing time - only one minute played in Japanese D1 last season - he wants to push back the lawn to help the team trained by his older brother. The player nicknamed “King Kazu” was the inspiration for the character of Tsubasa Ohzora, hero of the manga Captain Tsubasa (Olive and Tom in France).

The record holder for the oldest footballer and goalscorer has known four continents and sixteen clubs during his career. He is part of the history of the Japanese selection with 55 goals scored in 89 selections, making him the second all-time top scorer for the Samurai Blue. He notably won the Japanese championship (J - League D1) four times, the Emperor's Cup, the Japanese Super Cup and the Asian Nations Cup with his country.


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