Brave Falconets fall 0-2 to USA

Nigeria’s U-20 team the Falconets this morning fell against the USA team in the semi-final stage of the FIFA Women World cup as they were defeated 2-0 by the Americans.

Goals from Morgan Brian and Kealia Ohai in either half of the encounter sealed victory for the Americans.

The Falconets started well with Francisca Ordega latching onto a through ball, beating USA goalkeeper Bryane Heaberlin in a race to the ball in the seventh minute of the opening, but her effort went wide of the post.

Brian scored the all-important opening goal midway through the first half from a perfect header over goalkeeper Ibubeleye Whyte.

The Americans took charge of the game after the opener, creating several chances in the closing stages of the half.

Nigeria came back stronger after the break but Desire Oparanozie’s effort was ruled out for offside.

Almost immediately a skilful run from Ngozi Okobi set up Oparanozie for an equaliser only for her to blaze it over.

Ohai slotted in the second for the Americans which literarily ended the game as a contest midway into the second half.

Falconets will now meet Japan on Saturday to contest for the third place as Japan also fell to Germany.

Ogun to partner Japan on automobile plant

The Ogun State government has sought economic cooperation with Japan for the establishment of an automobile assembly plant and industrial park in the state.

The state governor, Ibikunle Amosun, expressed this while receiving a delegation from Japan, led by the Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Rt. Hon. Rywichi Shoji, in his office in Abeokuta,

He said his administration was ready to collaborate with Japan on human capacity development, industrialization, energy and long-term financing.

While commending the administration for providing the much needed conducive atmosphere for business, Mr. Shoji, described the state as an emerging economy which paraded the best brains and geographically remained the center of industry, based on its rich land mass and closeness to Lagos and other West African countries.

He said the visit has afforded the team the opportunity to share first-hand information on areas of cooperation with the state.

Jakarta, most active Twitter City-Study

The most active tweeting city in the world has been known and this is according to a study conducted by France-based social media monitor Semiocast.

According to Semiocast, Indonesia had the two most active cities one making number one on the list which is Jakarta while Bandung a second Indonesian city came 6th on the same list. The study was made public on Monday on the website of the social media monitor,

On the survey details, for the month of June about 10.6 billion tweets were posted and more than 2% of those came in from Jakarta.

Jakarta was followed closely by Tokyo while London, Manchester, New York, Bandung, Paris, Los Angeles, Chicago and Riyadh followed each other on the table.

It means with this ranking the mentioned cities according to standings show that users from these locations boost the activity of the social media network in their respective cities.

English remains the most used language on Twitter, followed by Japanese, Semiocast said, pointing out that the US is the most active Twitter country, with US-based users posting 25.8 per cent of all public tweets, followed by Japan-based users who posted 10.6 per cent.

Although, Jakarta came in fifth in terms of accounts creation on the social media network after the United States of America, Brazil, Japan and Britain while India, Mexico, Canada, Spain and the Philippines occupied 6th to 10th positions.

Indonesia boasted 29.4 million Twitter user profiles as at the end of June, lower than Britain’s 32.2 million Twitter user profiles, Semiocast said.

Semiocast said up to 517 million Twitter user profiles had been created before July 1, including more than 140 million in the US alone.

Japan stun Spain in Olympic football opener

Japan recorded one of the greatest upsets in Olympic football history Thursday after stunning reigning world and European champions Spain 1-0 at Hampden Park.

A first-half goal from Yuki Otsu secured a famous victory for Japan that revived memories of their famous Olympic upset of mighty Brazil at the 1996 Games in Atlanta.

With a young side bolstered by the likes of Jordi Alba and Juan Mata, both members of Spain’s victorious Euro 2012 squad, the Spanish had been expected to collect a straightforward three points in their opening Group D game.

However despite dominating possession 65 percent to 35 percent the Spaniards were rocked back by the ferocity of Japan’s play throughout, and the Asians were well worth their victory.

Spain were left reeling on 34 minutes when Japan punished slack defending from a corner to score through Otsu.

Takahiro Ohgihara swung in an inviting corner from the right and Otsu managed to get goalside of Martin Montoya to jab a low shot past the stranded Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea.

Japan’s players celebrated wildly and it got worse for Spain just before half-time when defender Inigo Martinez was sent off after a clumsy tangle with Kensuke Nagai.

The dismissal looked harsh but Martinez was clearly grabbing a handful of Nagai’s shirt so could have few complaints with the decision.

Japan continued to look threatening after the break and should have made the game safe in the final few minutes only for Nagai and Hotaru Yamaguchi to squander golden chances.

Nagai ought to have found the net when clean through, only for De Gea to save two minutes from time.

Then in injury time, Yamaguchi blazed high and wide with the goal at his mercy after another swift Japanese counter-attack.


Falconets billed for Korea August 1 – NFF

The Under-20 female of Nigeria the Falconets has been confirmed by the football management body of the country;the NFF to be leaving the country for Korea by the first of August to boost their preparations for the FIFA U20 female World Cup taking place in Japan another Asia country.

NFF Spokesperson on this particular matter, the General Secretary of the local football governing body, Musa Amadu said 25 players and 11 officials have been enlisted to intensify their build-up for the World Cup in Korea before they fly out to Japan.

It would be recalled that the Falconets representing Nigeria in the same competition two years ago when they became the first African female team to reach the final of a FIFA tournament.

And for this year’s edition,the Falconets are sitting in Group B with  Brazil, South Korea and Italy.

World’s oldest man celebrates 115th birthday

115 year old Jiroemon Kimura who has fathered 7 children (5 are still alive), has 14 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren, and 13 great-great-grandchildren says the secret to longevity is “eating small portions of food”

The world’s oldest living man, Jiroemon Kimura of Kyoto, Japan, celebrated his 115th birthday on Thursday.

According to the Gerontology Research Group (GRG), an international body that specifically deals in longevity research, he is not only the world’s oldest living man, but is the third-oldest man in recorded history.

Kimura  says “I’m delighted beyond words.”

According to him, the secret to longevity which has worked for him is  eating small portions of food.

Kimura who worked at a post office for 38 years before switching careers to become a farmer until he was 90 years old has another distinction: He is technically a super-centenarian (someone who is 110 or older). According to GRG, there are 70 verified super-centenarians alive today.

However, Kimura is not technically the world’s oldest living person; that distinction belongs to Georgia resident Besse Cooper, who was born on August 26, 1896.

Japan shuts down nuclear plant

Tokyo Electric Power Co, the operator of the tsunami-crippled Fukushima power plant, shut its last operating nuclear reactor today for regular maintenance, leaving just one running reactor supplying Japan’s creaking power sector.

Japan has 54 reactors, but since the tsunami last March triggered the world’s worst nuclear crisis in 25 years at the Fukushima plant, it has been unable to restart any reactors that have undergone maintenance due to public safety concerns.

Tepco said it shutdown the number six reactor at its Kashiwazaki Kariwa plant, the world’s biggest nuclear power plant, raising concerns about a power crunch this summer when electricity demand peaks due to hot weather.

“We are likely to be able to provide stable electricity supply at the moment, but we would like to ask customers to continue conserving power,” Tepco president Toshio Nishizawa said in a statement released yesterday.

“We are currently closely studying the summer power supply situation. We will do our utmost to operate in a stable way and maintain our facilities,” he added.

Out of the 17 reactors owned by Tepco, which provides electricity to some 45 million people in the Tokyo area, all six at its devastated Fukushima Daiichi plant, 240km northeast of Tokyo, are off line, as well as four at its neighbouring Fukushima Daini plant.

At its Kashiwazaki Kariwa plant, 230km northwest of Tokyo, three remain offline after a magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck the area in July 2007 and small fires followed. Four others are under maintenance.

Japan’s last running reactor, Hokkaido Electric’s Tomari number three, is set to go off line on May 5th for maintenance.

Greenpeace Japan’s executive director Junichi Sato said that the country could survive without rushing to restart its nuclear sector. “Japan is practically nuclear free, and the impact on daily life is invisible,” Mr Sato said in a statement. “With proper demand management, energy efficiency measures, and more than sufficient backup generation in place, there is no excuse for shortages in the coming months, and absolutely no need to rush restarts of nuclear plants.”

To avoid blackouts, utilities have restarted old fossil fuel plants and have called for power conservation, but some analysts warn of power shortages in the summer, especially given ageing fossil fuel plants could be less reliable.

The process to restart halted reactors is unclear. Japan’s nuclear safety watchdog and another experts’ panel are currently reviewing stress test results submitted by utilities that gauge how reactors can withstand extreme events like a huge tsunami.

Once they give approval, ministers including prime minister Yoshihiko Noda can give the green-light for the restarts, but only after they deem there is enough local and public support, and surveys show this may not be easy.


Japan gives Nigeria N1.24 billion to fight polio

Child receiving the polio vaccineThe Japanese government on Tuesday offered a US$ 7.85 million (about N1.24 billion) grant to the Nigeria government to help it combat the problem of polio in the country.

The Minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu who signed and received the grant on behalf of the Federal government, thanked the Japanese government for the kind gesture adding that Japan remains a major donor to the global health sector.

He said that this year, the federal government has increased its commitment against polio with N4.7 billion for eradication effort pointing out that Nigeria will be removed from polio endemic countries by 2013.

The Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Ryuichi Shoji who presented the grant said that Japan has been making sustained efforts to fight infectious diseases noting that it has been attempting to eradicate polio in collaboration with UNICEF as well as the government of Nigeria for more than ten years.

He said that Japan’s financial contribution in the fight against polio in Nigeria amounts to more than 7 billion yen (about N14 billion) and that though Nigeria has made significant progress in polio eradication, there is need to redouble efforts to eradicate the disease.

The UNICEF representative in Nigeria, Dr Suomi Sakai said that while Nigeria is making some progress in reducing its high child mortality rate, childhood killer diseases such as measles, tetanus and whooping cough are some of the challenges that needs to be addressed.

The World Health Organisation had last year reported a four-fold increase in polio in Nigeria, saying that about Forty-three cases of the disease were reported in 2011, compared to 11 in 2010.

The organisation insists that curbing the polio virus in Nigeria is the key to eradicating the crippling disease in Africa.

In 2003, northern Muslim leaders opposed vaccinations, claiming they could cause infertility.

Nigeria is one of four countries in the world – along with Pakistan, India and Afghanistan – where polio is still a major health risk.

Earthquake hits Japan’s northeastern coast

Japan has issued a tsunami warning on Wednesday after a 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck off its northeastern coast.

The meteorological agency gave the tsunami warning after the tremor hit some 210 kilometres (130 miles) off the northern island of Hokkaido. However, US monitors insist that there’s no Pacific-wide tsunami threat.

“No destructive widespread tsunami threat exists based on historical earthquake and tsunami data,” the Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said, but it warned that such earthquakes can generate local tsunamis that can be destructive along coasts located within 100 kilometres (60 miles) of the earthquake epicenter.

Japan’s travel warning stalls repair of Port Harcourt refinery

The Senate committee on Petroleum downstream has appealed to the Rivers state governor to help overturn the travel advisory issued by the Japanese government to its citizens coming to Nigeria, not to travel to the Niger-delta over security fears.

Chairman of the committee, Senator Magnus Abe made the appeal when the committee met with the governor of Rivers state Mr. Rotimi Amaechi on Tuesday, ahead of an inspection of the Port Harcourt refinery.

The Japanese government had in a recent travel advisory, warned its citizens not to travel to the Niger delta region of the country, citing conflicts in the region.

According to Senator Abe, this warning by the Japanese government has “prevented the original contractor of the Port Harcourt refinery from agreeing to come to Nigeria to do the Turn-Around Maintenance (TAM) of the refinery.”

Japan Gasoline Corporation originally built the refinery in 1989. The company has being invited for the TAM of PHRC at the cost of $146 but it has declined the offer based on the travel advisory restriction by the Japanese government.

The federal government and the Ministry of Petroleum resources had announced last year that the nation’s refineries are to be returned to the original builders of the refineries for an effective TAM. This is following successive failure of local contractors to get the refineries work, at full capacity. A deadline of December 2012 is set for the refineries to perform at almost 100 percent capacity.

Mr Amaechi in his response asked the national assembly to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) blaming the non-passage of the bill for the problems in the oil and gas sector.


Japan, India to Boost Nuclear Power Cooperation

Fukushima Nuclear Plant

The two countries already finished two rounds of talks on the round table as they are on the third round of talks over the cooperation as it was stalled by the Fukushima nuclear accident.

India wants to buy civil nuclear technology from Japan, but talks have been slow, with Tokyo wanting New Delhi to commit to a moratorium on nuclear weapons tests.

Noda, presently in India on a diplomatic visit, hinted that Tokyo was ready to cooperate with New Delhi to expand the latter’s nuclear energy programme.

Japan is to share experiences and lessons to improve Nuclear safety around the world with modern technology as they would continue to research on ways to better the energy programme.

In a joint news conference;Yoshihiko Nodi assured Manmohan Singh of their unhindered partnership as India expands its civil and nuclear power generation.

Since Japan has been a firm advocate of non-proliferation, the commencement of talks on bilateral nuclear cooperation with India last year marked a paradigm shift in the country’s approach.

India has refused to sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, arguing it is discriminatory and flawed in allowing only countries that had tested nuclear weapons before 1967 to legally possess them.

However, in a major development, the Japanese Prime Minister asserted that Tokyo would resume its consultations with New Delhi on the ambitious civil nuclear deal between the two countries.