Japan has been rocked by several tragic incidents involving elderly drivers ploughing into schoolchildren.
Japan announced a series of measures Tuesday to prevent car accidents caused by elderly drivers, including emergency brakes and vehicle-free zones around schools, following a string of crashes involving children.
One in four people aged 80 or over drives a car every day, the government said in a survey published Tuesday, one of many challenges faced by rapidly ageing Japan.
Japan has been rocked by several tragic incidents involving elderly drivers ploughing into schoolchildren, with suspicions that the ageing motorists had inadvertently pressed the accelerator instead of the brake.
In May, a car smashed into a group of kindergarten children in western Japan, killing two toddlers and injuring others. The previous month, a car driven by an 87-year-old man killed a mother and her three-year-old daughter.
"We should not waste any time in ensuring that children's journeys to school are safe," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told cabinet ministers after the plans were approved.
Tokyo will carry out an "emergency safety inspection" of school commuting routes by the end of September and promote the use of cars with emergency stopping devices to counteract accidental stamping on the accelerator.
The government will also study "various measures, including car-sharing and the introduction of autonomous vehicles on a trial basis in the mountainous countryside", a cabinet secretariat official told AFP.
The National Policy Agency will also consider introducing a new category of driving licence for elderly people, allowing them to operate only cars equipped with emergency stopping devices, she added.
Details of these measures will be fleshed out by the end of March but officials have begun working on policies that can be carried out immediately, she said.
Two melons from the Japanese city of Yubari on Friday fetched a record price of 5 million yen ($45,600) in the first auction of this year's agricultural season in the country.
Emperor Naruhito urged Japan to work together for world peace as he made his first public appearance on Saturday in front of a cheering, flag-waving crowd of tens of thousands.
Once it enters operation sometime around 2030, it will run at speeds of up to 360 kph (224 mph), comfortably making it the world's fastest bullet train.
The apple is called Cosmic Crisp because of the bright yellowish dots on its skin, which look like distant stars. It was developed by Washington State University.
Though New York's Fashion Week wrapped more than a month ago, there was plenty of fierce fashion at the second annual "Gigi's Playhouse Fashion Show" on Wednesday, an event that allows young people with Down syndrome to share their talent.
The muscles from those who exercised before breakfast also showed greater increases in key proteins, specifically those involved in transporting glucose from the bloodstream to the muscles.