Politics

Families of Japanese abducted by N Korea hope meeting Trump will help

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Takuya Yokota chokes up as he talks about a photograph of his older sister Megumi, whom he has not seen since she was abducted from a beach by North Korean agents one winter evening 41 years ago. Megumi, 13 at the time, is one of scores Japan believes were snatched… Read

Politics

Kono presses S Korea on wartime labor issue

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Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono on Thursday turned up the heat on South Korea in a dispute over compensation for wartime labor, pushing Seoul to agree to arbitration as Tokyo requested earlier. He asserted the demand in a meeting with his South Korean counterpart Kang Kyung Wha in Paris. But… Read

Politics

U.S., Japan, S Korea, Australia hold first naval drills in western Pacific

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U.S. Navy ships conducted joint drills with warships from allies Japan, Australia and South Korea in their first combined exercise in the western Pacific, the U.S. Navy said on Thursday. The Pacific Vanguard exercise near the U.S. island of Guam takes place ahead of President Donald Trump's visit to Japan… Read

Politics

Japan hopes to avoid trade battle by wooing Trump with pomp

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will treat U.S. President Donald Trump to an imperial banquet, front row seats at a sumo tournament and a trip to the country's biggest warship on a state visit as Tokyo seeks to avoid a bust-up over trade. New Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Harvard-educated Empress… Read

Politics

Mayors urge G20 to act urgently on climate change, social inclusion, sustainable growth

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Mayors from the world’s largest economies urged their national leaders to work together to “leverage the tremendous potential of our cities as hubs of diversity and innovation for the purpose of tackling global challenges.” Cities from G20 member states, known as the Urban 20 (U20) presented their recommendations, on climate… Read

Politics

Kono to ask foreign media to switch order of Japanese names

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Foreign Minister Taro Kono said Tuesday he plans to ask overseas media outlets to write Japanese names with the family name first, as is customary in the Japanese language. As an example, Kono said that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's name should be written as "Abe Shinzo," in line with other… Read

Politics

Kono puzzles followers with 'enciphered bacon' tweet

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Bemused followers of Japan's foreign minister were left scratching their heads on Tuesday after a bizarre tweet about bacon, sparking tongue-in-cheek speculation he could be tweeting classified information in code. "Ah, bacon is in fact ^%£$+*•!%...." Taro Kono tweeted in Japanese from his verified account to his 513,000 followers, prompting… Read

Politics

BOJ's Kuroda issues fresh warning of broad fallout from U.S.-China trade war

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Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda on Tuesday warned that escalating U.S.-China trade tensions could hurt business sentiment and inflict widespread damage on the economy. Worries that the United States and China were digging in for a longer, costlier trade war weighed on markets, adding to headaches for policymakers in… Read

Politics

Trump's sumo attendance raising security issues for organizers

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Plans for U.S. President Donald Trump to check out the ancient Japanese sport of sumo wrestling during a state visit are raising security issues for organizers. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is eager to have Trump and his wife, Melania, attend the final day of a 15-day tournament on May… Read

Politics

Speculation rife over whether Abe will go ahead with sales tax hike

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After months of speculation that Japan's government could postpone an impending sales tax hike to avoid damaging the economy, it appeared set to go ahead with the move thanks to stronger-than-expected growth data released Monday. The data showed GDP expanded by 0.5 percent in the first quarter, and while the… Read

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