Osprey transport aircraft stationed at the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, on Oct. 29 (Koichi Ueda)
Okinawa election divided over base relocation puts Ginowan residents in pinch
GINOWAN, Okinawa Prefecture--Voters in Ginowan face a difficult choice as campaigning kicked off Oct. 30 for an Okinawa gubernatorial election split over the contentious transfer of a U.S. air base within the prefecture.
Kenichiro Orita during a Nakanojo municipal assembly session in Gunma Prefecture on Oct. 24 (Pool)
Prosecutors search home of ex-aide to Obuchi as calls mount for her to resign
Prosecutors on Oct. 30 searched the home of a former aide to Lower House member Yuko Obuchi in connection with a political funds scandal that drove her from her post as trade minister.
Junichi Ihara, director-general of the Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, speaks to reporters in Pyongyang on Oct. 29 after a meeting on the issue of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea. (Pool)
Japan, North Korea end talks on reinvestigation of abduction issue
PYONGYANG--A Japanese delegation wrapped up two-day talks with North Korea on its reinvestigation into Japanese abducted to the country in the 1970s and 1980s but declined to provide details of the meetings.
Former Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Oct. 29. (AP Photo)
Fukuda meets Xi in Beijing with Boao Forum members
BEIJING--Former Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda met with Chinese President Xi Jinping here Oct. 29 as part of efforts to arrange summit talks between the leaders of Japan and China in November.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
China says it will be good host to Japan during APEC
BEIJING--China said on Oct. 29 it will extend all possible courtesy to Japan at next month's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Beijing, but gave no indication it would agree to a leaders' get-together.
Environment Minister Yoshio Mochizuki responds to reporters' questions during a news conference that started at midnight on Oct. 27. (Tatsuya Shimada)
Environment minister acknowledges huge discrepancy in political fund reports
Environment Minister Yoshio Mochizuki acknowledged Oct. 28 that his support group incorrectly recorded expenditures to the tune of 7.42 million yen ($68,700) between 2008 and 2011.
The Asahi Shimbun
Asahi poll: Cabinet approval sees uptick despite 2 resignations
Support for the Abe Cabinet improved slightly despite the recent resignations of two members who were embroiled in scandals, according to a weekend Asahi Shimbun poll.
Masao Uchibori celebrates after he was projected to win the Fukushima gubernatorial election on Oct. 26. (Sayaka Yamaguchi)
Former vice governor takes Fukushima gubernatorial election in landslide
Backed by four parties in both the ruling and opposition camps, former Fukushima Vice Governor Masao Uchibori was elected governor on Oct. 26 in a campaign where the future of the nation's nuclear policy was placed on the back burner.
Akira Amari, Japan's state minister in charge of the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Pacific trade talks progress, but gap remains between U.S., Japan
SYDNEY--Negotiations for an ambitious trade pact among Pacific countries made significant progress over the weekend but there is still a gap between Japan and the United States over market access and other hurdles, trade representatives said on Oct. 27.
Trade minister Yoichi Miyazawa talks to reporters on Oct. 27. (The Asahi Shimbun)
Trade minister got funds from foreign-owned firm, returned
Japan's new trade and industry minister received contributions from a firm in which foreign investors held a majority stake, but was not aware of the possible violation of the political funds law at the time and has returned the money, an aide said on Oct. 27.
Female members of the Japan-South Korea and South Korea-Japan Parliamentarians' Unions pose for photographs after the general meeting of the unions in Seoul on Oct. 25. (Toru Higashioka)
Lawmakers from Japan, S. Korea call for efforts to resolve ‘comfort women’ issue
SEOUL--Nonpartisan lawmakers from Japan and South Korea agreed Oct. 25 to work together to lay the groundwork for the first bilateral summit between their leaders to celebrate the 50th anniversary of normalization of the two countries’ diplomatic ties next year.
Students from Myanmar who were recently in the military studied at this institution in Niigata Prefecture under a program funded by Japan's official development assistance. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
New ODA charter to allow assistance to foreign militaries in non-combat areas
Japan is set to lift its ban on providing official development assistance to foreign militaries so long as the funds are used for non-combat operations, such as disaster relief and reconstruction.
Former Finance Minister Fukushiro Nukaga, left, looks on as South Korean President Park Geun-hye greets members of the Japan-Korea Parliamentarians’ Union in the presidential office in Seoul on Oct. 24. (Provided by The Dong-a Ilbo)
S. Korea's Park still wary about summit talks with Abe
SEOUL--South Korean President Park Geun-hye is sticking to her guns that Japan must resolve the "comfort women" issue before she can meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for summit talks.
The No. 3 reactor, left foreground, and No. 4 reactor, background, shortly after the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in March 2011 (Provided by TEPCO)
Japan to ratify international convention on nuclear accident compensation pact
Japan intends to ratify an international convention that sets a global uniform standard for compensating victims of nuclear accidents.
Former Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Former Japan PM Fukuda to meet China's Xi next week--source
Former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping Oct. 29 in Beijing, a source familiar with the matter said, setting the stage for a possible meeting between the leaders of Japan and China in November.
A man in Gunma Prefecture says he received these bottles of wine from an aide to Yuko Obuchi. (Masafumi Ueda)
Voter says Obuchi aide provided gifts of wine
Exacerbating the scandal surrounding former trade minister Yuko Obuchi, a voter in her constituency said he received two bottles of wine from an aide to the Lower House member.
Yoichi Miyazawa, the new minister of economy, trade and industry, meets reporters on Oct. 23. (Kuniaki Nishio/ The Asahi Shimbun)
Support group of Japan's new trade minister spent funds at S&M bar
Japan's new trade minister, installed this week to replace a minister caught in a funding scandal, said on Oct. 23 a political support group of his spent money at a racy bar, a potential new headache for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
A coal-fired power plant in Yokohama (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Japan coal power plant export push hits U.S. resistance
The United States has challenged the Japanese government over moves to ramp up exports of coal-fired power technology and to offer cheap loans to lure buyers, according to a U.S. source with direct knowledge of the matter.
Senior officials of the U.S. Department of Defense visit the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Tsukuba Space Center in Ibaraki Prefecture on Oct. 10. (Yusuke Fukui)
Japan, U.S. to strengthen cooperation in space under revised defense guidelines
The revised Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation will not only take the security alliance around the world, but they will also bolster the partnership in outer space.
Then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono attends a news conference to announce Japan's apology to former wartime comfort women in August 1993. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Suga: Kono's 1993 remarks on 'comfort women' cause 'major problem'
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said former top government spokesman Yohei Kono created a “major problem” for Japan by saying at a 1993 news conference that wartime “comfort women” were forcibly taken away.

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