Politics

Abe sends ritual offering to Yasukuni Shrine

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent a ritual offering to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine for war dead on Sunday but held off from visiting what Japan's neighbors view as a symbol of the country's former militarism. The masakaki treeg offering was sent to mark the beginning of a three-day spring… Read

Politics

Voting under way in local, by-elections

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Voters went to the polls on Sunday in lower house by-elections in Okinawa and Osaka, as well as numerous races being held simultaneously to pick mayors and assembly members in cities, towns and villages nationwide. The Liberal Democratic Party led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is hoping to build momentum… Read

Politics

Abe abandons June timeline for Japan-Russia peace treaty: sources

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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has given up on reaching a broad agreement on a Japan-Russia peace treaty when he meets with President Vladimir Putin in June amid persisting differences over how to settle a longstanding territorial dispute, a government source said. Instead, the two leaders may agree on visa-free travel… Read

Politics

Pompeo, in talks with Japan, says he's still in charge on N Korea

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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday he remained in charge of negotiating with North Korea despite the regime's demands to exclude him, as he voiced guarded hope with Japan on securing a deal. Pompeo led four-way talks in Washington of the U.S. and Japanese foreign affairs and defense… Read

Politics

Aso quells speculation sales tax hike may be delayed

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Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said on Friday there was no change in the government’s stance that it would go ahead with a planned sales tax hike in October, barring a big economic shock on the scale of the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Aso made the comment a day after… Read

Politics

Law enacted to recognize ethnic Ainu minority as indigenous people

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Japan enacted on Friday legislation aimed at protecting and promoting the culture of the Ainu, an ethnic minority in northern Japan, with financial assistance, stipulating for the first time they are an "indigenous" people. The law requires the central and local governments to promote Ainu culture and industry, including tourism,… Read

Politics

'Women, go back to the kitchen' command election banners seen in Okinawa

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On Sunday, a special election will be held to fill a vacant seat in Japan’s House of Representatives. Denny Tamaki, the previous incumbent who represented Okinawa’s 3rd district, was elected governor of the prefecture following the death of former governor Takeshi Onaga in August of last year. Two candidates are vying to… Read

Politics

Trump, first lady to visit Japan as state guests May 26-28

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U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump will visit Japan from May 25 to 28, making them the first state guests to meet with the country's new emperor, the Japanese and U.S. governments said. The state visit, which follows the enthronement of Crown Prince Naruhito on May 1,… Read

Politics

Consumption tax hike may be delayed depending on June data: PM aide

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A close aide to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hinted on Thursday at the possibility of delaying the planned consumption tax hike in October depending on key economic data for June, prompting the government to quickly deny the idea. "If the Bank of Japan's Tankan (business sentiment) survey for June shows… Read

Politics

Aso to travel to U.S. on April 25 for meeting with Mnuchin

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Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso will travel to the United States on April 25 to meet Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on the sidelines of a summit between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump, a source said on Thursday. Aso and Mnuchin may discuss provisions against currency… Read

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