Communications minister Sanae Takaichi at the Lower House Budget Committee session on Feb. 9 (Shinichi Iizuka)
Communications minister draws outrage over ‘threat’ to broadcasters
Amid complaints that she’s threatening freedom of speech, communications minister Sanae Takaichi repeated her assertion that the government can legally shut down broadcasters that continue to air “biased political reports.”
Japan's Diet condemns North Korea rocket launch
Japan's Lower House has condemned North Korea's long-range rocket launch, calling it a serious provocation against international peace and demanding the communist nation immediately stop such activity.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrives at the prime minister's office after North Korea's missile launch on Feb. 7. (Shinichi Iizuka)
Japan moves toward unilateral sanctions over North Korea’s missile launch
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Feb. 8 he is preparing to slap unilateral sanctions against North Korea for its “intolerable” act on firing a long-range ballistic missile that flew over islands of Okinawa Prefecture.
Eriko Imai (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
LDP eyes SPEED member Imai for a run in Upper House election
The ruling Liberal Democratic Party is set to field pop sensation Eriko Imai of the mega-hit dance group SPEED in the Upper House election this summer, sources said Feb. 5.
An F-100 fighter jet similar to the one involved in the accident at the Osan Air Base in South Korea is seen in this 1957 photo taken at the Itazuke Air Base in Fukuoka city. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
U.S. fighter from Fukuoka involved in 1959 nuclear accident in South Korea
Newly uncovered documents and other testimony about a U.S. nuclear weapon accident reveal a Japan connection that was kept hidden from the Japanese public for more than half a century.
A PAC-3 Patriot missile unit deployed at the Defense Ministry in Tokyo on Jan. 31 (AP Photo)
Japan ramps up defense alert with plans to shoot down N. Korea missile
The Defense Ministry will deploy warships to the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea and surface-to-air missile units to two islands in Okinawa Prefecture ahead of an expected ballistic missile launch by North Korea this month.
The “J-Alert” receiving apparatus installed in the city government of Nabari, Mie Prefecture (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Japan to go on alert ahead of North Korea missile launch
A nationwide early warning drill will take place Feb. 5 as part of government efforts to test the emergency system ahead of an expected missile launch by North Korea later this month.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a Diet session (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Abe makes clear his desire to amend pacifist Article 9
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called for a long-term effort to rewrite war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution, saying Paragraph 2 has created the notion that the existence of the Self-Defense Forces is illegal.
A nurse with the Doctors Without Borders NGO in protective gear (Provided by Doctors Without Borders).
Japan's new task force to fight global infectious disease threat
Japan will help the global battle against infectious diseases by creating a reserve of 500 doctors and medical specialists ready to be dispatched overseas to combat threats of mass outbreaks.
Former economy minister Akira Amari announces his resignation at a news conference on Jan. 28. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Company employee: ¥400,000 to Amari's office gained working visa
A construction company employee who provided cash to former economy minister Akira Amari said he handed 400,000 yen ($3,340) to the lawmaker’s aide to help a foreign acquaintance obtain a working visa.
The government plans to build a U.S. military base in this area of Nago, Okinawa Prefecture. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Rejections expected for court-proposed settlement of Okinawa base issue
NAHA--A court here proposed a settlement to a lawsuit over plans to build a U.S. military base in Okinawa Prefecture, but the offer will likely be rejected by both sides in the battle.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Abe to fly the flag in Kenya to counter China, rally support for U.N. reform
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to attend a key conference on African development in Kenya as part of efforts to counter China’s inroads in the region.
A statue of a girl representing “comfort women” in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul (Toru Higashioka)
Tokyo tells U.N. panel no proof of ‘forceful’ coercion of ‘comfort women’
In a report to a United Nations panel, Japan said there is no evidence that the Imperial Japanese Army or wartime government forcibly seized women to work in military brothels as "comfort women."
The observation post currently in the Okinotorishima islands is in dire need of repairs. (Provided by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism)
Japan to renovate remote observation post to retain claim over EEZ
The government will spend 13 billion yen ($107 million) to rebuild an observation post in the Okinotorishima islands, Japan's southernmost territory, to keep its economic interests intact from Beijing’s maritime advances.
A Chinese military Y-9 surveillance aircraft (Provided by the Defense Ministry)
Chinese military planes spotted over Sea of Japan
Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force scrambled fighters to intercept two Chinese military aircraft that were spotted over the Sea of Japan, the Defense Ministry said Jan. 31.
The Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Clinton e-mail: U.S. asked Japan to talk with China before buying Senkakus
WASHINGTON--In a private e-mail forwarded to then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a high-ranking U.S. official asked Japan to consult with China before the Japanese government put the Senkaku Islands under state ownership in September 2012.
Japan's Aegis destroyer Kirishima test launches SM-3 missiles off Hawaii in October 2010. (Provided by Maritime Self-Defense Force)
Japan puts SDF on alert for possible North Korean missile test
Japan has put its Self-Defense Forces on alert for a possible North Korean ballistic missile launch after indications it is preparing for a test firing, two people with direct knowledge of the order told Reuters on Jan. 29.
Economy minister Akira Amari announces his resignation at a news conference in Tokyo on Jan. 28. (Shiro Nishihata)
UPDATE: Amari resigns as economy minister over bribery scandal
Economy minister Akira Amari announced his resignation on Jan. 28 to take responsibility for a bribery scandal but insisted the 1 million yen ($8,400) he received from a construction company was clean.
Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida at the Lower House plenary session Jan. 22 (Shogo Koshida)
Japan reconsiders, decides to join U.N. nuclear disarmament group
Tokyo, in a sharp reversal of policy, will now join a U.N. nuclear disarmament group even though it still does not want a treaty banning weapons of mass destruction.
The “comfort women” statue in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
LDP lawmakers urge early removal of ‘comfort women’ statue
Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers in the ruling coalition will submit a resolution to the Japanese government demanding it seek an early removal of the “comfort women” statue in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul.

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