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.
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 20 February 2015
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower