Dennis Blair, left, and Cho Sei-young (Photos by Takashi Watanabe and Atsushi Hiroshima)
The implications of Japanese collective self-defense on Korean Peninsula
A military conflict on the Korean Peninsula was one scenario envisioned by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet when it decided to allow Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense.
Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, center, arrives at Chichijima island on July 28, and is welcomed by Ogasawara village officials. (Takaharu Yagi)
Defense minister wants to use Osprey to airlift critically ill from remote Tokyo islands
The defense minister unveiled a plan on July 28 that would use the Self-Defense Forces Osprey aircraft for airlifting sick or injured people in need of immediate medical attention from the Ogasawara islands to hospitals on the mainland.
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto takes a snapshot of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife, Akie, on their visit to Teotihuacan outside Mexico City on July 26. (Takashi Funakoshi)
Abe seeks votes from Caribbean nations to join U.N. Security Council
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago--Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on July 28 met with leaders of 14 Caribbean nations here for the first time to strengthen ties and improve Japan’s chances of being voted into the United Nations Security Council.
Chimori Naito, a former vice president at Kansai Electric Power Co. (Tetsuro Takehana)
Former Kansai Electric Power executive reveals 18 years of secret payments to prime ministers
A former top official at Kansai Electric Power Co. has come forward to reveal a nearly 20-year history of doling out "top secret" huge donations to Japanese prime ministers, funded on the backs of ratepayers.
The Sendai nuclear power plant in Satsuma-Sendai, Kagoshima Prefecture (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
ASAHI POLL: 59% oppose planned restart of Kyushu reactors
Nearly 60 percent of citizens are opposed to the planned restart of reactors at the Sendai nuclear power plant in Kagoshima Prefecture, the first such restart under tougher standards introduced after the Fukushima crisis, according to an Asahi Shimbun survey.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga at a news conference on July 28 (The Asahi Shimbun)
Japan to step up sanctions against Russia following Malaysian airliner disaster
Japan is stepping up sanctions against Russia over the unrest in Ukraine, a top government spokesman said July 28.
The remains of 13 Japanese internees are ceremoniously cremated on July 27 in Arsenyev, Russia. (Maki Okubo)
Bones of deceased Japanese labor camp detainees ritually burned in Russia
ARSENYEV, Russia--The skeletal remains of 13 Japanese internees who perished over half a century ago in post-war Siberian labor camps were ceremoniously cremated here on July 27 in this city in the region on the coast of the Japan Sea.
President Enrique Pena Nieto and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe raise a toast during an official luncheon at the National Palace in Mexico City on July 25. (AP Photo)
Japan, Mexico pledge to cooperate in energy development
MEXICO CITY--Visiting Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto agreed here July 25 to cooperate in ensuring stable energy supplies.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Barack Obama wind up their joint news conference at the State Guest House in Tokyo’s Moto-Akasaka district on April 24. (Pool)
INSIGHT: Washington irritated by Abe diplomacy on Russia, North Korea
A widening rift is emerging between Japan and the United States over the handling of the crisis in Ukraine and dealing with North Korea.
South Korean President Lee Myung-bak visits Takeshima islets in August 2012. (Provided by The Dong-A Ilbo)
High court rejects disclosure of diplomatic records on Takeshima
Tokyo High Court on July 25 upheld an appeal by the central government and retracted a lower court ruling to disclose diplomatic documents related to the normalization of relations between Japan and South Korea in 1965.
Masao Nakasone, who helped organize protests against the route for transporting poisonous gas, stands in front of the elementary school that was located along the route in Okinawa. (Shunichi Kawabata)
Diplomatic cables show Okinawa kept in the dark when Japan, U.S. agreed to remove poison gas
Newly released diplomatic cables show Japan and the United States worked behind the scenes to carefully script the handling of the removal of poison gas from Okinawa--without the knowledge of Okinawan officials--before it reverted to Japanese control in 1972.
Tokyo Governor Yoichi Masuzoe, left, shakes hands with South Korean President Park Geun-hye at the presidential office in Seoul on July 25. (Provided by The Dong-A Ilbo)
Tokyo governor meets with S. Korean president, conveys Abe’s message
SEOUL--Tokyo Governor Yoichi Masuzoe passed along a message to South Korean President Park Geun-hye on July 25 from the Japanese prime minister that he hopes to improve bilateral relations between their two nations.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks at a dinner reception hosted by Keidanren (Japan Business Federation) in Tokyo on July 24. (Pool)
Abe playing catch-up to China as he travels to Latin America seeking allies
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe embarked on a five-nation Latin America tour starting July 25 in the hopes of gaining diplomatic allies, but he will likely find that China has already made even stronger inroads in the region.
Ships from Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force and U.S. Navy line up in Mutsu Bay, Aomori Prefecture, for a joint minesweeping exercise on July 24. (Takeshi Tokitsu)
MSDF, U.S. Navy carry out joint exercise to lay, sweep for mines
MUTSU, Aomori Prefecture--With the Cabinet giving approval to the Self-Defense Forces participating in overseas military operations, Japanese and U.S. forces are conducting exercises that meet one of those collective self-defense scenarios.
Protesters opposing the deployment of Osprey aircraft at Saga Airport rally in front of the prefectural government building in Saga on July 22. (Nozomi Matsukawa)
Plan to station Osprey in Saga part of Abe's political power play
With its sudden interest in temporarily stationing MV-22 Osprey aircraft at Saga Airport, the Abe administration has shown its desperation in ensuring victory for Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima in the fall gubernatorial race.
MV-22 Osprey transport aircraft arrive at the Self-Defense Forces Okadama camp in Sapporo on July 19. (Eiji Hori)
SDF to deploy 17 Osprey aircraft at Saga Airport
Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera confirmed his decision to base MV-22 Osprey transport aircraft at Saga city’s commercial airport in northwestern Kyushu, in proximity to other Self-Defense Forces facilities.
The Hamaoka nuclear power plant in Omaezaki, Shizuoka Prefecture (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Chubu Electric built 250 million yen slush fund to win over politicians
A former director of Chubu Electric Power Co. said the regional utility had its contractors pony up 250 million yen ($2.46 million) over 20 years for a secret fund to buy the support of politicians for nuclear power and other utility-related concerns.
The tilt-rotor Osprey aircraft (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Saga Airport eyed as key base for protection of islands in East China Sea
The Defense Ministry intends to transform Saga city's commercial airport into a key military hub to protect outlying islands and counter China’s maritime advances in the East China Sea.
The surface-to-air Patriot Advanced Capability-2 (PAC-2) missile (Provided by Defense Ministry)
Japan approves first weapons transfer after arms ban relaxed
The Abe Cabinet on July 17 gave the green light for sales of missile parts to the United States, the first approval since the government eased Japan’s long-standing ban on weapons exports in April.
Banri Kaieda, left, president of the Democratic Party of Japan, meets with Chinese leader Liu Yunshan, right, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on July 16. (Ryutaro Abe)
DPJ leader Kaieda gets the cold shoulder in Beijing
BEIJING--The visiting head of Japan's main opposition party got a chilly reception in Beijing, reflecting China's anger with the Democratic Party of Japan for exacerbating a territorial row.

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