Andrew Miller

Andrew, who is from London, England, first came to Japan in late 2006 where he worked as an English teacher in the Tochigi prefecture. After becoming a little more accustomed to the culture and the language, he moved to Tokyo in 2009 where he has been residing since. He has a passion for the Japanese language and has even created himself an “unofficial” Japanese name(安努龍). In addition, Andrew has an interest in a wide genre of news and as a freelance translator is keen to relay the subtle differences between cultures to readers around the world.

All Stories by Andrew Miller

Bus window in China suddenly explodes, operator claims it to be a first

It was recently reported in the Chinese media that the window of a bus traversing the streets of Wuhan Province suddenly exploded while the vehicle was in motion. One of the left-hand side windows is thought to have shattered without warning, terrifying the passengers on board at the time.

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Disused schools across Japan transformed into stylish accommodation

With a declining birth rate and depopulation in many rural areas, Japan is seeing an increase in the number of schools that are being forced to close. While this is undoubtedly all rather saddening, we’re getting reports that some of the elementary and junior high schools that have met their demise so far are being turned into a variety of new facilities. Find out how after the break.

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10 habits that increase your risk of sudden death

It is often taken for granted that our daily lives are reasonably safe. However, it’s quite possible that the routine we’re leading is increasing our risk of a sudden death, as revealed by a new list of the top 10 deadliest daily routines. From using the toilet incorrectly to having too much sex, just how many of them apply to you?

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Not for the squeamish: Man severs genitals after eating hallucinogenic mushrooms

For some people an overactive imagination can be a dangerous thing, as this latest incident involving hallucinogenic mushrooms and a man’s nether regions clearly demonstrates. The incident occurred on June 18, and can only be described as something that enters into the realms of the surreal.

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Four solid reasons why America’s In-N-Out Burger deserves to be checked out

There’s a fast food chain in a small number of the western states in the US that is popular among the locals for its ridiculously tasty burgers. It goes by the name of In-N-Out Burger and is a place that our Japanese reporter Yoshio makes a point of visiting whenever he’s in the US. Join us below as Yoshio lists four solid reasons why, even for a man who grew up on Japanese food, In-N-Out Burger shouldn’t be missed.

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Court ruling orders anyone with a TV-equipped device to pay NHK’s public broadcasting license fee

On May 27, Sagamihara District Court in Yokohama, Japan, ruled that regardless of whether or not someone has entered into a contract with NHK (Japan’s public broadcasting station), being in possession of a TV-equipped device, like a smartphone or car navigation equipment, is enough by law to be obligated to pay NHK’s licensing fees.

According to NHK News, the same district court ordered a household in Kanagawa Prefecture to pay a TV license fee that was calculated back to when they first bought their TV set many years ago. The total fee came in at a whopping 109,000 yen (US$1,100). Such a ruling is a first of its kind; up until now if you could somehow avoid signing the TV license contract, you could rid yourself of any obligations to pay.

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Pensioner in China discovers six human heads in suitcase floating on park lake

According to Chinese media, a 68-year-old woman in the city of Bengbu made a somewhat gruesome discovery on Saturday last week when she opened a suitcase floating on a park lake to discover six human heads. Could there be any explanation for such a stomach-churning find besides murder and horrific gangland killings? As it turns out, quite possibly!

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Kyoto high school students detonate homemade explosives in public space

High school students from Kyoto, Japan, placed what was reported to be a homemade explosive in the middle of a street and then detonated it. It came to light on June 24 that the students also filmed the explosion, which they uploaded to YouTube. The incident is creating much controversy online, and has even caught the attention of Kyoto police who have called the suspects in for voluntary questioning, following a series of similar videos uploaded by the same youths.

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Villagers on their guard as crocodiles escape from breeding farm in China

According to Chinese media, around a hundred crocodiles escaped from a breeding farm in the Guangdong province of China late last week. Inhabitants of the area, who include young school children, are said to be fearful for their safety.

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Police in Tokyo search for a man who called out to a child in a park, netizens scratch their heads

Tokyo police released a statement earlier this week asking the public for any information they may have regarding an incident that occurred on June 15 at approximately 9:20 a.m. wherein a man called out to a child playing in a local park.

As it transpires, though, all the man is believed to have said to the boy was, “You’ll never play for your country doing it like that!” leaving netizens wondering exactly why there should be any cause for concern.

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Photos of karaoke customers getting frisky circulated online by unscrupulous staff

If you thought the darkness of a private karaoke box was a safe place to get it on, think again! One poor couple recently found themselves plastered all over the internet after one thoughtless employee decided to share photos of them getting fresh between bouts of singing J-Pop hits.

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Correct short-sightedness without surgery: our reporter tries out orthokeratology

If you were asked to name a type of surgery to correct short-sightedness, most likely the first thing that would come to mind is laser eye surgery. While in recent years the precision levels and success rates of laser surgery have risen like never before, the idea of zapping your eye with a laser isn’t one that everyone is comfortable with. Recently, however, “orthokeratology”–a new form of vision correction which uses hard contact lenses to shape the cornea and requires no surgery whatsoever–is becoming increasingly popular.

Find out how our reporter Kuzo got on with a pair of the unique lenses after the break.

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The Mexican street peddlers who make a living selling their wares on the border

The town of Tijuana in Mexico is a rather unique place in the sense that it is located just before the border that separates Mexico and the U.S.. Here you can see souvenir shops boasting a wide array of merchandise. There’s everything from silver jewelry or wrestling goods, right the way across to authentic Mexican tacos. What’s more, the price of goods in Mexico is just one third that of America so it’s easy to see how they could appeal to potential visitors crossing the border. The number of people who come just to get a bargain alone is quite astounding.

Here at RocketNews24 our very own Japanese reporter, Yoshio, went ahead and checked out what all the fuss was about. He reported that of all the things that you’ll come across in Tijuana, there’s one particular spectacle that’s likely to catch your eye…

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Experiment hints that humans aren’t necessarily evil after all

A research group from Kyoto University conducted an experiment into the behavior of babies when shown an animation depicting a scene of bullying. During the experiment, a high percentage of the babies showed a deep interest in the party being bullied. It is thought that the tendency to sympathizing with the weaker party reveals the essentially benevolent nature of humankind.

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Are pre-cut vegetables doing our bodies more harm than good?

With a wealth of health information at our fingertips, most of us try to take good care of our bodies, getting our five fruit and veg a day and enjoying coffee and alcohol in moderation. It’s not always easy to maintain a healthy lifestyle while holding down a job or taking care of a family, though, so foodstuffs like pre-cut vegetables or ready-made side dishes often find their way into our fridges. But despite carrying a healthy image, are the ready-to-eat vegetables and ready meals found at your local convenience store really as nutritional as they’re thought to be?

If Japanese food specialist Kiyotaka Minami’s latest book “The 19 Food Habits that are Bad for the Body” is to be believed, these pre-packed time-saving gems could actually be doing our bodies more harm than good.

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Two Japanese youths arrested for placing an exploding bag of dog poop in a local police box

Two youths were arrested by Aichi Prefecture police on June 11 after they placed a plastic bag full of dog feces and lit fireworks inside a police box, showering the small room with the bag’s contents.

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Some McDonald’s customers in China are getting a little too close for comfort

As part of healthy human relations, it’s necessary to know just how much of a physical distance you should keep between yourself and someone you don’t know on an intimate level. If the distance is too great, there’s the risk that you’ll appear uneasy. Likewise, if you draw in so close that the other party can literally feel your breath on their face, you can forget about making any positive impressions.

Apparently, some McDonald’s customers in China are creating a reputation for themselves by exhibiting “overly familiar behavior” towards the staff. This problem became a hot topic online recently when someone snapped a customer completely ignoring the rules of distance etiquette.

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Woman falls onto Subway line, mistaken for hand luggage by station employee

On June 10, Japanese underground railway network Tokyo Metro made an official statement about an incident in which a woman, who fell onto the Hibiya subway line at Roppongi station, was mistaken for hand luggage by the employee on duty at the time. Not realizing the full seriousness of the matter, the station employee then gave the go ahead for the train, which was stationary at the platform at the time, to continue forward on to its next destination.

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Teacher confesses to installing camera in girls’ restroom, ‘Just wanted to test out the equipment’

The Kusatsushi Board of Education in Shiga Prefecture, Japan made a public announcement on June 3 that a teacher employed at an elementary school within the Kusatsushi area was being questioned after installing a small, compact-style camera inside the girls’ toilets at the school where he worked.

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Chinese teen defaces ancient relief in Egyptian temple, tracked down by irate netizens

With photos of people doing unsightly things on public transport and reports of cockroaches floating in smoothies, it’s true that China hasn’t been painted in the best light recently. However, an incident occurring in Egypt has caused outrage both at home and abroad after it was discovered that a Chinese tourist had scrawled a message on a wall in an ancient Egyptian temple.

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