Sport Laura Robson was victorious in Beijing on Sunday

The Brit lost to Kimiko Date-Krumm

Volleyball: Cuba race to world whitewash

CUBA CONFIRMED their status as the undisputed top women's team by retaining the World Championship with a 3-0 win over China in the final in Osaka yesterday.

So long, high-spending Japanese tourist

FROM the second-hand record shops of London's Camden Town to the wilds of the Scottish Highlands, and from the Champs-Elysees to the luxury hotels of Madrid, the Japanese tourist is looking like an endangered species.

A-Z of Employers: FITCH plc

Age: 26.

Mad in Japan

'Violent running groups', teenage knifings and murders and consumerist nihilism are Western cliches. But in Japan, a new generation of disaffected youth is horrifying the nation.

Science: It's not getting there

After years of attempting to make the floating `maglev' train a reality, the dream has proved too expensive. So why are Japan and Germany still trying?

Japan Briefing: Time to indulge the yen to travel

A strong pound means Japan has never been better value, says Simon Calder

Eating Out: Mel, Sue and lunch too

LUNCH; 60 Exmouth Market, London EC1R 4QE. Tel: 0171 278 2420. Open Monday to Friday from 8.30am until 6pm. Average price per person, pounds 5. Payment by cash or cheque only

A wry smile from the rising sun

Who says Japanese can't laugh? James Rampton watches Issey Ogata overturn the stereotype

ISSEY FOR REAL?

At first sight, Issey Ogata (right) commands attention because the very idea of a Japanese stand-up is so unusual. But there is more to him than mere novelty-value; he is actually a highly accomplished performer. With his vignettes sending up Japanese life, he is able to capture social types that transcend the language barrier. In 15 years, Ogata has developed from a building-site worker into the hottest property in Japanese live comedy - and, from Tuesday at the Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, we have the chance to see why.

The coolest catwalk

London Fashion Week is about to begin. For years international fashion saw it as a backwater, but now everyone wants to be in on the act

Film: Darkness on the razor's edge

The National Film Theatre is mounting a rare retrospective of the work of the Japanese director Kenji Mizoguchi, whose extreme life experiences shaped his ruthless working methods as well as his supreme artistry. Chris Darke assesses the master's work.

OPERA Mascagni's Iris Holland Park, London

The Italian operas flying the banner of verismo (realism) might be better identified as sentimentalismo, so assiduously do they skirt reality. Take Mascagni's Iris, typical japonaiserie, premiered in 1898, five years before Puccini's Madama Butterfly (Luigi Illica worked on both librettos). Iris, a washerwoman who cares for her blind father, is abducted by the libertine Osaka and his associate, Kyoto. Installed in the latter's brothel, bedecked in flimsy finery, she's paraded to potential customers, at which point her father reappears and flings mud at her. At this Iris throws herself into the sewers, where scavengers strip her body of valuables. With her dying breath, she bids farewell to light and warmth while her soul journeys heavenward.

700 escape mid-air crash over California

Two airliners each carrying approximately 350 people flew within 300ft of one another over Los Angeles, California, yesterday after a pilot apparently failed to follow instructions from the control tower at the city's LAX airport.

Obituary: Tomoyuki Tanaka

A shrewd eye for the quick yen is the distinguishing characteristic of the typical Osaka businessman. The highly successful film producer Tomoyuki Tanaka was no exception to this rule. Yet there was much more to the man than financial acumen. In his long life he made over 200 films for the Toho Movie Company, which he entered in 1944, rising to be chairman of the board of directors and chief executive producer.

Bullet train claims new speed record

As well as being the fastest, the Japanese bullet train is the oldest, the most efficient, and surely the best-equipped high-speed train in the world.
Latest stories from i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 12 March 2015
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor