The following are the top 10 domestic news stories of 2008:

(1) Resignation of Prime Minister Fukuda

Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda abruptly announced his resignation on Sept 1, following the resignation of his predecessor, Shinzo Abe, in similar fashion a year earlier. Fukuda was hit by the passage in June of a nonbinding censure motion against him in the opposition-controlled House of Councillors, the first such move in the upper chamber in the post-war period.

(2) Economy falls into recession

The U.S.-led financial crisis sent Japan’s economy into a tailspin, driving down share prices on Oct 27 to their lowest level since the early 1990s after the burst of the asset-inflated bubble. The yen surged against the U.S. dollar and other major currencies.

(3) Fatal, indiscriminate attacks in Akihabara and Osaka

A former part-time worker in his 20s stabbed pedestrians one after another in Tokyo’s Akihabara district on June 8, killing seven people and injuring 10 others. In a separate case, an unemployed man in his 40s started a fire at a video-viewing establishment in Osaka on Oct 1, leaving 15 customers dead.

(4) Public concern grows over food made in China

The Japanese public grew anxious about Chinese-made food in January after 10 people were found to have suffered from food poisoning after eating frozen dumplings from China that were tainted with pesticide. A high concentration of insecticide was also detected in frozen green beans imported from China.

(5) Japan scientists win Nobel Prize in physics, chemistry

Japanese scientists Makoto Kobayashi and Toshihide Masukawa won the Nobel Prize in physics along with Yoichiro Nambu, a Tokyo-born U.S. scientist. Osamu Shimomura won the Nobel Prize in chemistry.

(6) Gov’t launches medical insurance program for elderly

The government launched a healthcare insurance program for people aged 75 and older in April. The program, which covers 1.3 million senior citizens, is intended as an answer to increases in medical outlays.

(7) Gov’t reinstates provisional gasoline tax

The provisional tax rates on gasoline and other road-related items expired April 1, resulting in falls in gasoline prices by about 25 yen per liter. But the ruling coalition rammed through a bill to reinstate the tax from May 1 despite resistance from the opposition camp.

(8) Ex-vice health minister, wife stabbed to death

Former vice health minister Takehiko Yamaguchi and his wife Michiko were stabbed to death Nov 17 at their home in Saitama city. The wife of another former health minister was stabbed and seriously injured Nov. 18 at her home in Tokyo’s Nakano Ward. The suspect admitted to charges in connection with the attacks.

(9) Insurance body falsifies pension records of company employees

The Social Insurance Agency was found systematically falsifying pension records of company employees. The agency instructed companies that were falling behind in paying premiums for a state-run pension scheme for corporate employees to manipulate their employees’ monthly income—used as a benchmark to calculate premiums—to lower than their actual amounts.

(10) Ratio of non-regular workers logs highest level on record

Non-regular employees accounted for 34% of the total workforce in Japan in the January-March period, marking the highest level on record. The rate rose a further 0.5 point in the July-September quarter.

The poll covered senior editors at Kyodo News, its member newspapers and other subscriber organizations, who were asked to select what they considered to be the major domestic events this year.

My thoughts, funny. Why are there not any anime related stuff in the top ten?

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