Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shake hands before a summit meeting in Sochi, Russia, on Feb. 8. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Russia, in sanctions retaliation, bars entry to some Japanese citizens
MOSCOW--Russia on August 22 banned several Japanese citizens from entering the country, expanding retaliatory measures against countries which have imposed sanctions over the crisis in Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shake hands before a summit meeting in Sochi, Russia, on Feb. 8. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Russia, in sanctions retaliation, bars entry to some Japanese citizens
MOSCOW--Russia's foreign ministry said on Aug. 22 it had handed Japan's ambassador in Moscow a list of Japanese citizens barred from entering Russia.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrives at the prime minister's office in Tokyo on Aug. 20. (Shogo Koshida)
Abe under fire for playing golf after learning about Hiroshima landslide
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is taking heat for playing golf after he was informed of major mudslides in Hiroshima, which have so far claimed 39 lives.
Japan's first stealth fighter prototype developed by the Defense Ministry at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. factory in Toyoyama, Aichi Prefecture, in May. (Provided by the Defense Ministry's Technical Research and Development Institute)
Defense Ministry reveals prototype of first Japanese stealth fighter
The Defense Ministry released images of a homegrown experimental combat plane designed to be Japan's first stealth fighter.
Yoo Heung-soo, the next South Korean ambassador to Japan, holds a news conference with the Japanese media in Seoul on Aug. 20. (Akihiko Kaise)
Next S. Korean ambassador to Japan vows to improve bilateral ties
SEOUL--The incoming South Korean ambassador to Japan pledged to work hard to improve the strained relationship between the two nations.
Solar panels are installed on a landfill site in Otsuki, Yamanashi Prefecture, that has reached its capacity. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Environment Ministry looks to plant solar farms on landfill sites
With increasing solar power generation a goal of the nation's future energy supply, the Environment Ministry is hoping to plug into the unloved sites offered by full landfills.
Ground Self-Defense Force's Type-89 armored combat vehicles flare up a smoke screen during an annual live firing exercise at Higashi Fuji range in Gotenba, Shizuoka Prefecture, on Aug. 19. (AP Photo)
GSDF practices defending remote islands, as expanded role splits public opinion
GOTENBA, Shizuoka Prefecture--Ground Self-Defense Force showcased its ability to defend remote islands on Aug. 19, as its role expands at home and abroad under new defense policies instituted by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that have divided the nation.
Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
China’s vice president calls for improved ties with Tokyo
BEIJING--Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao says that both Tokyo and Beijing should cast aside minor differences to pursue common interests.
Ground Self-Defense Force members use rubber rafts in a simulated landing exercise at Camp Ainoura in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture. (Sunao Gushiken)
Training for future Japanese-style Marines rigorous and secretive
SASEBO, Nagasaki Prefecture--The waters were choppy and the elite unit in combat gear had only one goal: to reach and "secure" a slice of Japanese territory.
Sakie and Shigeru Yokota during the interview at their Kawasaki home (Takeshi Kawai)
Yokotas keep fingers crossed they will finally get word on Megumi
KAWASAKI--September can't arrive soon enough for Shigeru and Sakie Yokota.
The late rock singer Kiyoshiro Imawano (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Rock legend's war essay prophetic in post-quake Japan
An essay written more than a decade ago by iconic rock star Kiyoshiro Imawano (1951-2009) has been creating an online buzz for its poignant words that resonate in a post-3/11 Japan.
Yoshitaka Shindo, minister of internal affairs and communications, right, and Keiji Furuya, chairman of the National Public Safety Commission, visit Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward on Aug. 15. (Hiroki Endo/ The Asahi Shimbun)
Abe sends offering to Yasukuni Shrine, Cabinet ministers visit
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Aug. 15 sent a ritual offering to a Tokyo shrine to war dead but did not join Cabinet ministers in a visit, seen as an effort to avoid further inflaming ties with China as he seeks a summit with Beijing.
The North Korean cargo ship Chong Chon Gang, operated by Ocean Maritime Management, was seized in July 2013 when it was passing the Panama Canal carrying weapons from Cuba. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Japan imposes asset freeze on N. Korean shipping firm
Japan on Aug. 15 froze the assets of the operator of a North Korean ship seized for smuggling arms, the Foreign Ministry said, just as Tokyo is engaged in talks with Pyongyang to return Japanese citizens kidnapped by North Korean agents decades ago.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, second from right, talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, far left, in Sochi, Russia, on Feb. 8. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Putin can kiss goodbye to Japan visit due to Russian military exercises
Russian President Vladimir Putin may have jeopardized his scheduled autumn visit to Japan with his country’s military exercises in territory claimed by Japan.
Kunashiri Island of Japan's Northern Territories is seen in the background. The Notsuke Peninsula of Hokkaido is in the front. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Japan to 'strongly protest' Russia's military exercises on disputed islands
Japan said on Aug. 13 that Tokyo would "strongly protest" Russia's military exercises on disputed Pacific islands also claimed by Japan, a row over which has strained relations between the two nations since the end of World War II.
Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, center in back row, and his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, right in front row, attend a ceremony on the sidelines of the ASEAN conference in Naypyidaw, Myanmar, on Aug. 10. (Nozomu Hayashi)
INSIGHT: Hints of progress after Japan-China foreign ministers talks
NAYPYIDAW, Myanmar--Soon after arriving here for the ASEAN conference, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi said “see you” when he bumped into his Japanese counterpart, Fumio Kishida.
Indonesian president-elect Joko Widodo during an interview with The Asahi Shimbun in Jakarta on Aug. 11 (Tadao Onaga)
Indonesia ready to mediate sovereignty disputes in the South China Sea
JAKARTA--Indonesia's president-elect, Joko Widodo, is prepared to play peacemaker between China and countries in Southeast Asia that have sovereignty disputes in the South China Sea.
Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, left, and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (Asahi Shimbun photos)
Kishida meets with foreign ministers of China, N. Korea in Myanmar
NAYPYIDAW, Myanmar--Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida met with his Chinese and North Korean counterparts here in hopes of improving Japan's unstable relations with the two nations.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan Fumio Kishida, left, addresses during the Foreign Ministerial meeting of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Japan, South Korea and China known as Plus-Three, as South Korea's counterpart Yun Byung-se, center, and Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, right, watch in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, on Aug. 9. (AP Photo)
Seoul blames Tokyo for 'damaging' ties at rare foreign ministers’ meeting
NAYPYIDAW, Myanmar--South Korea’s foreign minister lashed out at Japan over wartime history issues but agreed to deepen communications with his Japanese counterpart during their first meeting since September last year.
China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi, foreground second right, waits for the commence of 4th East Asia Summit (EAS) Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, on Aug. 10. (AP Photo)
China and Japan talk in Myanmar on easing political tensions
BEIJING--China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi called on Japan to "make practical efforts to overcome existing political obstacles between the two sides" during an informal meeting with his Japanese counterpart during an ASEAN summit in Myanmar.

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