Japan passes ‘brutal’ new terror law which opponents fear will quash freedoms

Critics including UN expert fear legislation passed by Abe government could target ordinary citizens and deter grassroots opposition to government policies eliciting an angry response from Japans prime minister, Shinzo Abe. Officials in Tokyo insist the law is needed to ratify a 2000 UN treaty targeting global organised crime, and to improve Japans anti-terrorism measures […]

Continue Reading

Japan opens the door to debate on female succession to the Chrysanthemum throne

New law includes resolution calling on government to swiftly study ways to secure a stable imperial succession including possibility of a future empress Akihito, 83, to abdicate after he suggested last summer that his age and health problems were affecting his ability to carry out public duties. Akihito, who has reigned since 1989, had cancer […]

Continue Reading

Japan minister quits after saying it was ‘better’ tsunami hit the north of country

Masahiro Imamura, who was overseeing reconstruction of disaster areas, said it was better the north-eastern region was hit instead of Tokyo The Japanese cabinet minister overseeing reconstruction of areas devastated by the 2011 tsunami and Fukushima nuclear disaster resigned on Wednesday after saying it was better the disaster struck the north-eastern region instead of Tokyo. […]

Continue Reading

Dying robots and failing hope: Fukushima clean-up falters six years after tsunami

Exploration work inside the nuclear plants failed reactors has barely begun, with the scale of the task described as almost beyond comprehension Barely a fifth of the way into their mission, the engineers monitoring the Scorpions progress conceded defeat. With a remote-controlled snip of its cable, the latest robot sent into the bowels of one […]

Continue Reading

Donald Trump says nuclear threat from North Korea has entered ‘new phase’

US president told Japanese PM he is 100% with Tokyo as US moves Thaad missile defence system into South Korea following Pyongyang missile launches The threat posed by North Korea to the US and its allies has entered a new phase, test-launched four ballistic missiles towards Japan. In phone talks on Tuesday, Trump told Japans […]

Continue Reading

Japan’s next emperor announces readiness for Akihito to abdicate

Crown Prince Naruhito turns 57 and says he will share pain and joy of the people like his father, who wants to let him step down due to illness Japans Crown Prince Naruhito has marked his 57th birthday by announcing he is ready to become emperor upon the expected abdication of his father, Akihito. A […]

Continue Reading

Big in Japan: sumo comes home with first local grand champion in years

With great humility, wrestler Kisenosato accepts highest rank of yokozuna in sport that had become dominated by other nationalities Japans long wait for a homegrown sumo grand champion has ended after Kisenosato became the first Japanese wrestler to reach the ancient sports pinnacle in almost two decades. The 30-year-old became the sports 72nd yokozuna, or […]

Continue Reading

Shinzo Abe visits Pearl Harbor in what Barack Obama calls ‘historic gesture’

During the first joint visit by US and Japanese leaders, Obama says Abes presence is a reminder that wars can end and enemies can become allies Barack Obama said Shinzo Abes visit to Pearl Harbor was a historic gesture that showed the power of reconciliation. Speaking at Pearl Harbor alongside the Japanese prime minister on […]

Continue Reading

Vladimir Putin seeks formal end to second world war hostilities with Japan

Russian president says he wants to tackle anachronism of Kuril islands territorial dispute in summit with prime minister Shinzo Abe Russia and Japan kick off a summit on Thursday aimed at reaching a deal over a group of small islands that have prevented the countries from formally ending their second world war hostilities. Japans prime […]

Continue Reading

Swap driving licence for cheap noodles, Japan urges older motorists

Country tries to fight worrying rise in accidents caused by over-75s by offering discounts on ramen if they give up driving Police in Japans rapidly ageing population, an estimated 17 million Japanese aged 65 or over hold drivers licences. Of those, 4.8 million are over 75 compared with 2.4 million in 2005. Many accidents involve […]

Continue Reading