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Emperor's wish to abdicate picked as top news story in Japan in 2016

Emperor Akihito's announcement on his apparent wish to abdicate and the subsequent start of expert panel discussions on the issue was the No. 1 pick among the country's Top 10 news stories for 2016 at a selection meeting organized by the industry journal "Shinbun no Shinbun" in Tokyo on Dec. 15.

    The meeting was attended by city news editors from seven newspaper companies and news agencies in Tokyo, including the Mainichi Shimbun. Shinbun no Shinbun, which publishes an industry paper for newspapers and publishers, announces the year's Top 10 news story every year in December.

    Other news that made it into the Top 10 were (in order):

    (2) Nineteen people killed at care facility for the disabled in Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture.

    (3) Tokyo Gov. Yoichi Masuzoe steps down over a political funding scandal and Yuriko Koike takes office as the first female governor of the capital. The plan to relocate the Tsukiji fish market to a new site in Toyosu is postponed and plans for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic games are reviewed.

    (4) Major earthquakes registering 7 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 7 hit Kumamoto Prefecture twice. A total of 27 people killed or missing after Typhoon Lionrock lashes Hokkaido and Iwate Prefecture.

    (5) U.S. President Barack Obama visits the atomic bombed city of Hiroshima. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe set to visit Pearl Harbor in late December to mourn the souls of the victims.

    (6) Voting age is lowered from 20 to 18. The ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner Komeito score a sweeping victory in the House of Councillors election in July, with forces in favor of amending the Constitution securing a two-thirds majority in both houses.

    (7) Japanese athletes make strong showing at the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

    (8) Ski tour bus crash leaves 15 dead in Nagano Prefecture.

    (9) The Okinawa Prefectural Government is set to lose a lawsuit filed by the national government over the relocation of U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to the Henoko district of Nago, Okinawa Prefecture. A U.S. military MV-22 tilt-rotor Osprey aircraft crash-lands in waters just off the coast of Nago.

    (10) Seven Japanese nationals killed in a terrorist attack in Bangladesh.

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