Japan told to halt Antarctic whaling by international court

The International Court of Justice has ordered a temporary halt to Japan’s annual slaughter of whales in the southern ocean after concluding that the hunts are not, as Japan claims, conducted for scientific research.

The UN court’s decision, by a 12-4 majority among a panel of judges, casts serious doubt over the long-term future of the jewel in the crown of Japan’s controversial whaling programme. Read more

Pictured: Three dead minke whales lie on the deck of the Japanese whaling vessel Nisshin Maru, in the Southern Ocean. Photograph: Tim Watters/AP

The Fukushima children who have to play indoors – in pictures

11 March marks the third anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The nearby city of Koriyama recommended, shortly after the disaster, that children up to the age of two should not spend more than 15 minutes outside each day. See more

Pictured: Two-year-old Nao Watanabe plays in a ball pit at an indoor playground built for children and parents who avoid playing outside because of concerns about nuclear radiation. Photograph: Toru Hanai/R

A volcano has erupted in south-western Japan, coating a nearby city with a layer of ash.

People in Kagoshima city wore masks and raincoats and used umbrellas to shield themselves from the ash after the Sakurajima volcano erupted on Sunday afternoon. Drivers turned on their headlights, and local media described the ash as like driving through snow at night.

Dozens of Japanese commuters pushed a 32-tonne train carriage away from the platform to free a woman who had fallen into the 20cm (8in) gap between it and the platform.

Photograph: Norihiro Shigeta/AP

Giant Panda Shin Shin is seen at Ueno Zoo in Tokyo, Japan. Shi Shin had shown signs of pregnancy, but it turned out to be a false hope. From picture desk live: the best news images of the day

Photograph: The Asahi Shimbun/Getty Images

It may be slightly disturbing, but a Japanese company can now print a 3D hologram of your unborn foetus. Oliver Wainwright explains.

Photograph: Pioneer

An inspector wearing a mask tries to make a baby, held by an amateur sumo wrestler, cry during the Nakizumo Festival, or crying baby contest, at Sensoji Temple in Tokyo.

Photograph: Kiyoshi Ota/EPA

Amid growing dissatisfaction with the slow pace of recovery, Japan marks the second anniversary of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that left nearly 19,000 people dead or missing and has displaced more than 300,000.

Here in Namie, the town’s 21,000 residents had to abandon their homes after the town was evacuated. Even if most of former Namie residents still hope to go back to their homes in the future, they are only allowed to return home for a few hours to minimise radiation exposure.

See more images from Japan here: Inside Fukushima’s abandoned towns, two years on in pictures

Photograph: Franck Robichon/EPA

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko leave the national memorial service for victims of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Photograph: Junji Kurokawa/AFP/Getty Images

(via Japan marks tsunami anniversary | World news | guardian.co.uk)

Koyuki Higashi and Hiroko smile as they show their marriage rings at their wedding reception in Tokyo. Two lesbians have become the first gay couple to tie the knot at Tokyo Disney Resort, both wore white dresses despite an initial ruling that one had to wear men’s clothes. The event was the first gay wedding in the popular amusement park even though gay marriage has no legal standing in Japan. Photograph: Tatsunari Ueno/AFP/Getty Images