Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks at the Boao Forum on Hainan island, China, on March 28. (The Asahi Shimbun)
Russia, Brazil and other countries to join China-backed investment bank
SHANGHAI--Russia, Australia and the Netherlands on March 28 became the latest three countries to say they plan to join the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), adding clout to an institution seen as enhancing China's regional and global influence.
Anti-base protesters and Japan Coast Guard members clash in an off-limits area off Nago, Okinawa Prefecture, on March 11. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Ministry seeks to invalidate Okinawa governor's order to halt survey
A Cabinet minister next week is expected to rescind the Okinawa governor’s order for a Defense Ministry bureau to suspend reclamation work for a U.S. military air station in the southernmost prefecture.
Lawmakers and people with no family registry meet in Tokyo on March 27 to discuss measures to change the "koseki" system. (Atsuko Hatakeyama)
Lawmakers urge municipalities to help unregistered, 'nonexistent' people
A multipartisan group of lawmakers seeking to revise an outdated law held its first meeting on measures to help people who are legally nonexistent because their births were not listed on family registries.
Ground Self-Defense Force personnel carry an SDF member on a stretcher during a joint drill with U.S. Marines at the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in California in February. (Yusuke Fukui)
SDF gears up for life-saving operations in combat on outlying islands
The Self-Defense Forces are shifting the focus of their combat casualty evacuation care training for front-line units to bring it in line with the policy more toward defending the nation’s outlying islands.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks at the United Nations University in Tokyo on March 16. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Abe to address joint session of U.S. Congress
WASHINGTON--Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will address a joint meeting of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on April 29, becoming the first Japanese leader to do so.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye, with Chinese President Xi Jinping, ahead of an APEC meeting in November (Pool)
S. Korea, another U.S. ally, seeks to join China-backed bank
SEOUL--South Korea said on March 26 it has decided to seek to be a founding member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), another key U.S. ally joining the China-led institution despite Washington's misgivings.
Lawyers hold up a sign after the Fukuoka High Court on March 25 ruled that the 2014 Lower House election was "unconstitutional." (Koichi Ueda)
Court rules 2014 Lower House election 'unconstitutional'
A high court for the first time ruled the 2014 Lower House election “unconstitutional” because of the unequal value of votes, but it stopped short of invalidating the results.
Shibuya Ward Mayor Toshitake Kuwahara explains a ward proposal to issue certificates recognizing same-sex relationships in February. (Akemi Harada)
LDP panel urges caution over move to certify same-sex marriage
Japan's conservative ruling party expressed wariness of moves by a local government in Tokyo to issue certificates recognizing same-sex marriages.
Work continues in waters off the Henoko district of Nago, Okinawa Prefecture, on March 24. (Rei Kishitsu)
Tokyo acts quickly to stop Okinawa interference on Futenma relocation
The central government moved quickly to counter moves by authorities in Okinawa Prefecture to delay reclamation work connected to the relocation of U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.
The Izumo helicopter carrier awaits its official launch on March 25 at a port in Yokohama's Isogo Ward. (Naoko Kawamura)
Japan commissions Izumo 'helicopter carrier' as largest ship in MSDF fleet
The Maritime Self-Defense Force on March 25 officially commissioned the largest ship in its fleet, a massive destroyer that gives it the capability of detecting highly advanced Chinese submarines.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott shake hands at the start of their bilateral meeting in Parliament House in Canberra on Nov. 17, 2014. (AP Photo)
Australia ready to join China-led bank, seeks clarity on governance
SYDNEY--Australia is "well and truly" disposed to join the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said March 25, adding that he wants to know how much power Beijing would hold in the institution before a formal decision.
Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga speaks during a news conference in Naha on March 23. (Kazuo Yamagishi)
INSIGHT: Okinawa governor finally moves to stop Futenma relocation
Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga silenced critics that he is all talk and no action by taking a first key step to stop reclamation work at the site of a U.S. air base.
Sadakazu Tanigaki, secretary-general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, left, with Yu Zhengsheng, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, in Beijing on March 23 (Kazuki Uechi)
Japan, China agree to avoid provocations, resume political exchanges
BEIJING--Japan and China agreed to bury the hatchet and resume exchanges of senior lawmakers, with the proviso that both sides avoid provocative behavior in this 70th anniversary year of the end of World War II.
Takehiko Nakao (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
ADB president says Chinese-led regional bank potential partner
BEIJING--The president of the Asian Development Bank says a proposed Chinese-led regional bank is a potential partner rather than a rival and the ADB is talking with Beijing to share its experience.
U.S. President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pose after their joint news conference in Tokyo in April 2014. (Pool)
Obama to host Abe to discuss security, trade
WASHINGTON--U.S. President Barack Obama will host Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the White House next month for talks expected to focus on their joint response to China's rising power and efforts to finalize a major Asia-Pacific trade pact.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Nov. 10 on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Beijing. (Pool)
Japan caught off-guard by Chinese PR blitz in U.S. over Senkaku Islands
WASHINGTON--Chinese Embassy officials in the United States went on a phone call frenzy in November to present their spin on a planned joint statement agreed upon just hours earlier concerning Japan-China relations.
Former Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda in March 2013 (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Former prime ministers of Japan, S. Korea form group to improve relations
Political heavyweights and business leaders from Japan and South Korea, including former prime ministers, have formed a working group to help mend ties between the two nations.
Okinawa Prefecture Governor Takeshi Onaga (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Okinawa governor orders halt to all work related to U.S. base relocation
The governor of the southern Okinawa Prefecture said March 23 he has ordered a Defense Ministry branch to suspend all work at the site where a key U.S. military air base is to be relocated.
From left, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi make a toast during a banquet at the South Korean Foreign Minister's residence in Seoul on March 21. (AP Photo)
INSIGHT: Foreign ministers raise concerns over history issues in first trilateral meeting in 3 years
SEOUL--Disagreements over historical understanding have strained Japan's ties with its neighbors, and history issues were again at the forefront of a rare meeting here on March 21 between the foreign ministers of Japan, China and South Korea.
China's Finance Minister Lou Jiwei speaks at a press conference in Beijing on March 6. (AP Photo)
China says new bank to complement existing institutions
BEIJING--China's finance minister said a proposed Chinese-led Asian regional bank that has raised concerns in Washington will complement rather than compete with established international lenders such as the World Bank, state media reported on March 21.

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