Category Archives: News

Message from AJET to New JETs

Published by:

The national  and local block 11 AJET representative have made a video to welcome all new Kumamoto JETs to Japan. If you have a chance, please take a minute to watch it as they explain in detail what AJET is and how it can help you during your time on JET.

To watch the video, please click here!

Earthquake Updates (Day 2)

Published by:

(E-mail at 6:45 AM)
Good morning Kumamoto,

At 1:25AM, a magnitude 7.1 earthquake hit Kumamoto, centered around Kumamoto City Higashi-ku and Mashiki. There has been damage reported in Kumamoto City, Mashiki, Uto, Yatsushiro, and Minamiaso areas. The tsunami warning that accompanied the first earthquake has now passed. Similar to the earthquake on Thursday evening, aftershocks have continued throughout the early morning hours.

Thank you to all the JETs to responded to us or their tantoshas about their safety in the middle of the night. It made our job a lot easier to make sure that everyone was taken care of.
Continue reading

Earthquake Updates

Published by:

On Thursday, April 14 at 9:26 PM, a 6.4 earthquake hit Kumamoto, with its epicenter in Mashiki Town. Aftershocks from the initial earthquake lasted throughout the night and into the next day. There have been reports of damage across the prefecture, mainly centered in Mashiki and Kumamoto City. There was no tsunami risk reported with the earthquake and its subsequent aftershocks. Continue reading

Kumamoto Governor Elections

Published by:

The elections for the next governor of Kumamoto were held on Sunday, March 27.

The candidates were:

  • Daisuke Terauchi, a lawyer
  • Ikuo Kabashima, current governor of Kumamoto running for his third term
  • Seiji Koyama, former three-term mayor of Kumamoto City (2002-2014)

The results are as follows:

  • Ikuo Kabashima – 504,931 (68%)
  • Seiji Koyama – 201,951 (27%)
  • Daisuke Terauchi – 33,955 (5%)

51.01% of eligible voters participated, an increase of 12.57% from the last election in 2008. Continue reading

Kumamoto Population Data from National Census

Published by:

Here is some information about the population of Kumamoto Prefecture and its cities, towns, and villages. All this data was compiled from the National Census that took place last October. Your city, town, or village may also have population data on their websites.

You can find more information, such as specific data for each city, town, or village in the official report from the prefecture on the Kumamoto Prefecture website (Japanese only).

National Data
National Population: 127,110,000 people (decrease of 947,000 people – 0.7% down)
Number of Households: 53,403,000 households (increase of 1,453,000 households – 2.8% up)

Kumamoto Data
Kumamoto Population: 1,786,969 people (down from 1,817,426 people in 2010, decrease of 30,457 people – 1.7% down)
Number of Men: 841,042 people
Number of Women: 945,927 people
Number of Households: 704,497 households (up from 688,234 households in 2010, increase of 16,263 households – 2.4% up) Continue reading

Opening of Ashikita-Tsunagi Expressway

Published by:

On February 27th, the Tsunagi IC opened on the Minami-Kyushu Expressway. With this, the portion of the expressway from Ashikita to Tsunagi is open for travel. It is estimated that traveling between Yatsushiro and Tsunagi on the expressway will be about 44 minutes, a 26 minute reduction of travel time before the expressway was opened.

The new span of expressway stretches for 7.7 kilometers, with three tunnels and a bridge along the way. Traveling on the expressway in either direction between Hinagu and Tsunagi is free. The expressway is planned to extend all the way to Minamata, with the Minamata IC opening in 2018.

IC Card Use on Kumamoto Buses

Published by:

Starting March 23, you will now be able to use a wide variety of IC Cards on buses in Kumamoto. It is intended to help out of prefecture travelers get around easier, but should be useful for those who still have leftover money on IC cards from trips.

The IC cards that can be used include:
SUGOCA (the JR Kyushu one), nimoca, はやかけん, Suica, PASMO, manaca, TOICA, Kitaca, ICOCA, PiTaPa.

You will be able to use it on the following bus lines (already currently served by the Kumamon IC Card): Kyushu Sanko Bus, Sanko Bus, Kumamoto Bus, Kumamoto Toshi Bus, and Kumamoto Electric Railway.

You can read the official press release (in Japanese) here:…/Sankob…/pdf/ICCARD20160323-2.pdf