It has had outrageous defense, audacious celebrations, cacophonous crowds, a run on blond hair dye and — it would be remiss not to mention — a mensch on a bench.
America’s pastime? Not really. The United States team, with many of its best players having passed on playing in the tournament, had advanced as far as the semifinals just once.
It was the first time that a court determined that both the Tokyo Electric Power Company, or Tepco, and the government bore responsibility for the nuclear disaster that followed a devastating earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. The decision could influence dozens of similar lawsuits filed by close to 12,000 evacuated residents now living across the country.
As it happens, he is trouble mostly for himself, although he manages to irritate his ex-wife, Kyoko (Yoko Maki), because of his inability to pay child support for their son, Shingo (Taiyo Yoshizawa), and frustrate his sister (Satomi Kobayashi), whom he hits up for money with grim regularity. Ryota, having never followed up on his award-winning first novel, now works as a private detective. (The novel is another thing his sister is annoyed about; “Don’t you dare write about us again,” she snaps at one point.) It’s a gig that gives him many opportunities to alter the calibration of his moral compass — in one scene he tries to talk a subject of an investigation into buying the evidence he’s gathered against her. He also spies on his ex-wife, and is less than thrilled to learn that her unctuous new boyfriend has bought Shingo a snazzy baseball mitt.
Japan and the Netherlands both had two wins in their four-team pool, and Israel, at 1-1, needed to beat the host in Tokyo to force a tiebreaker to determine which two teams would advance to the semifinal round in Los Angeles next week.
The Nikkei Stock Average
was 0.4% lower in morning trade, sticking within a narrow 53-point range. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200
ticked down 0.3%, led by declines in its financial sector. In China, the Shanghai Composite Index
fell 0.3%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index
was 0.6% lower.
At $5.4 billion — double initial estimates — the amount Toshiba paid to take control of Westinghouse took many aback. Japanese companies were known for splurging on foreign deals, then coming to regret it. Toshiba was put on the defensive from the start.
“The market is seeing more domestic [factors] driving things,” said Jingyi Pan, a market strategist at IG Group. On Friday, U.S. stocks gained, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ending up 0.2% following a stronger-than-expected jobs report.
Investors are awaiting bellwether jobs data from the U.S. later in the global trading day, which could reinforce expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise rates next week. Futures trading already indicates a 90.8% probability of higher rates, according to data from CME Group.
Hundreds of toxic wild boars have been roaming across northern Japan, where the meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear plant six years ago forced thousands of residents to desert their homes, pets and livestock. Some animals, like cattle, were left to rot in their pens.