Trump's North Korea threats leave Asia puzzled


Was it a bluff? A warning that Washington would shoot down North Korea's next missile test? A simple restatement of past policy? Officials and pundits across Asia struggled Wednesday to parse U.S. President Donald Trump's threat to "totally destroy North Korea" if provoked. Amid the speculation, the focus of Trump's belligerence, North… Read


N Korean crisis gives Abe a boost: analysts


The North Korea crisis has been like "divine aid" for hawkish Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, experts say, burnishing his nationalist credentials and possibly tempting him into a snap election. Abe is aiming to capitalise on a public perception of strong leadership in a time of crisis, as well as… Read


Japan welcomes Trump's rebuke of N Korea's abduction of Japanese


A senior Japanese official on Tuesday welcomed U.S. President Donald Trump's criticism of North Korea's abduction of Japanese nationals in the 1970s and 1980s in his address to the U.N. General Assembly. Trump's speech reflects "deeper understanding" in the United States about the abduction issue, a high-priority issue for Prime… Read


New party of Koike's ally to be formed by Sept 28


A defector from Japan's main opposition party and an ally of popular Tokyo Gov Yuriko Koike reached a broad agreement to launch a new party by Sept 28, when the extraordinary Diet session is convened. There is speculation that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe may dissolve the House of Representatives at… Read


Abe likely to pledge something for everyone in election campaign


Pledges to spend on education and child care, stay tough on North Korea and revise the pacifist constitution are likely to be pillars of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's campaign in a snap election next month, government sources said on Tuesday. Abe is considering calling the lower house poll when… Read


Lawmaker accused of alleged abuse of secretary willing to stay


A female lawmaker in the spotlight over allegations that she physically and verbally abused a secretary in May expressed her desire Monday to run in a possible upcoming general election. Although Mayuko Toyota, who quit the ruling Liberal Democratic Party after the scandal, apologized to supporters in her electoral constituency… Read


Abe says he'll decide timing of election on return from U.N. trip


Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he will decide on the timing of a snap general election after he returns on Friday from a trip this week to address the United Nations. "Regarding the dissolution of the lower house, I would like to refrain from commenting on every question, but… Read


Trump may play golf with Abe during Japan visit eyed for Nov 5-7


The U.S. government is sounding out Japan about a visit by President Donald Trump on Nov 5-7, including a plan to play golf with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on arrival day ahead of formal talks the next day, a diplomatic source said Monday. Abe and Trump played golf near the… Read


Abe calls for enforcement of sanctions against N Korea in New York Times editorial


The international community must remain united and enforce sanctions against North Korea after its repeated launch of ballistic missiles, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in an editorial published in the New York Times on Sunday. Abe's editorial was published before world leaders gather in New York for a United… Read


Foreign ministers of Japan, U.S., India to meet on N Korea


The foreign ministers of Japan, the United States and India will meet Monday in New York where they are expected to agree to "maximize pressure" on North Korea so as to curb its nuclear ambitions, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said Sunday. Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono, U.S. Secretary of State… Read

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