Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, left, (Asahi Shimbun file photo) and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (Korea News Service)
Pyongyang drags heels on release of report on Japanese abductees
The Foreign Ministry criticized North Korea on July 3 for delaying the release of the report of its reinvestigation into the status of Japanese nationals abducted decades ago, leading to calls for stronger economic sanctions against the isolated state.
Video footage of Shigeru and Sakie Yokota, the parents of North Korean abductee Megumi Yokota, was filmed by Nobumichi Tanabe. (Provided by Nobumichi Tanabe)
Tokyo man captures parents' decade-long crusade to rescue daughter from N. Korea
For the past 10 years, Nobumichi Tanabe has trained his video camera on Shigeru and Sakie Yokota to chronicle their quest to bring their daughter Megumi back to Japan.
Tour buses are idle at a parking lot after schools cancel excursions due to concerns over the spreading of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome in Seoul on June 25. (AP Photo)
South Korea cuts growth forecast as MERS saps spending
SEOUL--South Korea's finance ministry said on June 25 that economic growth will slow this year as the outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) saps spending and tourism.
Plaintiffs and their supporters react to the Gwangju High Court's ruling on June 24 that orders Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. to pay compensation. (Akihiko Kaise)
S. Korean court upholds order for Mitsubishi Heavy to pay wartime laborers
GWANGJU, South Korea--The Gwangju High Court upheld a lower court ruling and ordered Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. to pay compensation to Koreans forced to work at its munitions plant in Nagoya during World War II.
A sign at Tokyo's Haneda Airport warns travelers about the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak in South Korea on June 23. (Mika Kuniyoshi)
MERS outbreak forces S. Korean carriers to cancel 230 flights to Japan
Korean Air Lines Co. and Asiana Airlines Inc. will cancel 230 flights to and from Japan due to the ongoing spread of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus through South Korea.
South Korean police officers stand guard by a signboard of the newly opened office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Seoul on June 23. (AP Photo)
North Korea sentences two South Koreans to life of hard labor for spying
SEOUL--North Korea's highest court on June 23 sentenced two South Koreans accused of spying to hard labor for life, its state media said, calling the punishment a lesson for those who conspire with Washington and Seoul.
Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, right, greets his South Korean counterpart, Yun Byung-se, before their meeting in Tokyo on June 21. (Pool)
Japan, S. Korea agree to cooperate on respective World Heritage site candidacies
On the eve of the 50th anniversary of normalization of relations between Japan and South Korea, the two nations agreed to cooperate on obtaining UNESCO World Heritage designation for sites in their respective countries.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, right, receives photos of his father, Shintaro Abe, from South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se at the prime minister's office in Tokyo on June 22. (Rei Kishitsu/ The Asahi Shimbun)
Japan, S. Korea mark 50 years of ties with push to overcome strains
SEOUL/ TOKYO--East Asian neighbors Japan and South Korea marked the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties on June 22 with a push to mend relations strained for years by feuds over the legacy of Japan's wartime past.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Park Geun-hye pose for a ceremonial photograph in 2013. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Abe, Park likely to forgo events marking normalization of diplomatic relations
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Park Geun-hye will likely skip ceremonies commemorating the 50th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
South Korea's new Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn speaks during his inauguration ceremony at the government complex building in Gwacheon, South Korea, June 18. (Hong Hae-in/Yonhap via AP)
South Korean lawmakers approve new premier
SEOUL--South Korea's ruling party-controlled legislature in June 18 approved President Park Geun-hye's choice for prime minister, ending a lengthy merry-go-round at the country's No. 2 job caused by political wrangling and corruption scandals.
South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se, left, and his Japanese counterpart, Fumio Kishida (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
S. Korea's Yun decides visit to Japan is on
SEOUL--South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se has decided to visit Japan this month, his first since he took office in 2013, The Asahi Shimbun learned.
An unidentified student has her temperature checked as a precaution against MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) at Gwanghui Elementary School in Seoul on June 17. (AP Photo)
WHO: MERS outbreak in South Korea not global emergency
SEOUL/ GENEVA--The World Health Organization (WHO) said on June 17 that South Korea's outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is a "wake-up call" but does not constitute a global emergency, as the country reported eight new cases.
A health worker, left, checks the body heat of children wearing masks as a precaution against the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus as their school reopened after it was temporarily closed at an elementary school in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, on June 15. (Yonhap via AP)
Schools reopen as South Korea seeks normality amid MERS outbreak
SUWON, South Korea--Thousands of South Korean schools that were shut to stop the spread of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) reopened on June 15 as the country sought to return to normal, nearly four weeks into an outbreak that shows signs of slowing.
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, right, and his counterpart from South Korea, Yun Byung-se, shake hands prior to a meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Berlin on June 12. (AP Photo)
S. Korea asks Germany to oppose Japan's World Heritage bid for Meiji industrial sites
SEOUL--To block Tokyo’s bid to award UNESCO World Heritage status to a group of prewar industrial sites, the South Korean government has called on Germany to play an “active role” in backing its opposition.
Japanese and South Korean lawmakers compete for the ball during their first friendly soccer match in nine years in Seoul on June 13. (Toru Higashioka)
Japan, S. Korea lawmakers clash on the soccer pitch to mend diplomatic ties
SEOUL--In a "friendly" where diplomacy was the winner, lawmakers from Japan and South Korea competed in a soccer match here on June 13, the first such contest in nine years, to help turn around their nations' soured diplomatic relations.
South Korean health workers from a community health center wearing masks as a precaution against MERS, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, virus, wait to check examinees' temperature and to sanitzie their hands at a test site for a civil service examination in Seoul on June 13. (AP Photo)
Hospital at center of South Korea's MERS outbreak suspends services; 7 new cases
SEOUL--A South Korean hospital suspended most services on June 14 after being identified as the epicenter of the spread of a deadly respiratory disease that has killed 14 people since being diagnosed in the country nearly four weeks ago.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Japan mulls Park's optimism about 'comfort women' talks
SEOUL--A remark by South Korean President Park Geun-hye that there has been "considerable progress" in talks with Japan over the wartime “comfort women” issue has caused both confusion and optimism among Japanese officials.
A worker wearing protective gears sprays antiseptic solution as a precaution against the spread of MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) virus at an art hall in Seoul on June 12. (AP Photo)
2 South Korean hospitals shut over MERS fears; 11th person dies
SEOUL--Authorities in South Korea temporarily closed two hospitals amid persistent fears over the MERS virus outbreak, which killed an 11th person on June 12, though health officials said they are seeing fewer new infections.
Tourists wearing masks as a precaution against Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) walk by a sign for foreign exchange at a shopping district in Seoul on June 11. (AP Photo)
South Korea cuts key rate as MERS emerges as threat to recovery
SEOUL--South Korea's central bank lowered its key interest rate to a historic low on June 11, responding to a slump in exports and the prospect that the outbreak of the deadly MERS virus could slow the economy.
South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se, left, and his Japanese counterpart, Fumio Kishida, before their meeting in New York on Sept. 25, 2014 (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
S. Korea's Yun eyes 1st Japan visit to help mend strains on 50th anniversary of ties
SEOUL--South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se is weighing his first visit to Tokyo on June 21 to meet with his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida, sources said.

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