Family members of Japanese abducted by North Korea are briefed on the outcome of Japan-North Korea talks in Pyongyang earlier this week at the Cabinet Office on Oct. 31. (Rei Kishitsu)
Family members of abductees decry lack of progress in Pyongyang talks
Dashing the hopes of family members in Japan, North Korea offered no new insights into the fate of Japanese abducted to the country decades ago during talks on the issue in Pyongyang this week.
A panel is lifted by crane at the No. 1 reactor building of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, on Oct. 31. (Takaharu Yagi)
TEPCO removes section of radiation cover above Fukushima reactor building
OKUMA, Fukushima Prefecture--Tokyo Electric Power Co. has removed part of the canopy above a reactor building at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant to gauge the effects of anti-scattering agents pumped inside.
The No. 3 reactor building, second from foreground, at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
NRA rebuts claim that Fukushima cleanup affected faraway rice paddies
Japan's nuclear watchdog disputed the farm ministry's assertion that radioactive substances churned up by debris removal work at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant contaminated distant rice paddies last year.
Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda explains the additional monetary easing measures during a news conference in Tokyo on Oct. 31. (Reina Kitamura)
ANALYSIS: 'Abenomics' now in sink-or-swim situation
The “Abenomics” policies that the Abe administration brought in to turn the economy around have reached a critical point.
Revelers fill the JR Shibuya Station crossing in Tokyo around 10 p.m. on Oct. 31. (Shigetaka Kodama)
Cast of grisly, colorful characters turns out on Halloween night
Revelers hit the streets of major cities on Halloween night, with hordes of revelers gathering outside Tokyo's JR Shibuya Station and hundreds staging a massive impromptu dance in Osaka.
The unoccupied official residence of the Tokyo governor is going on the auction block after the metropolitan gvoernment failed to find a buyer. (Takaharu Yagi)
Unoccupied Tokyo governor’s residence to be sold to highest bidder
Failure to find a buyer has forced the government to turn to the auction block to sell the vacant official residence of the Tokyo governor, officials said.
Photographer Nobuyoshi Araki (Tomoko Saito)
Photographer turns to calligraphy in his favorite town
A Japanese photographer renowned for his decades of artistic shots, including portraits of pop divas Bjork and Lady Gaga, is now using a calligraphy brush to express his thoughts on life and death.
JR Hokkaido tests the brakes and motors of a new Shinkansen bullet train at its Hakodate rail yard in Nanae, Hokkaido, on Nov. 1. (Hiroyuki Yamamoto)
JR Hokkaido gears up for trial runs of its 1st Shinkansen
NANAE, Hokkaido--Pulled along at a crawl, Hokkaido Railway Co.'s first Shinkansen bullet train underwent a series of checks on Nov. 1 ahead of planned trial runs next month.
Tetsuya Kudo, president of Daruma Shokuhin Honpo Corp., tries "natto" that is made from the Tamafukura variety of soybean, in Hakodate, southern Hokkaido, on Oct. 17. (Kotaro Ebara)
JOY OF HOKKAIDO FOOD: Farmers producing a new, sweet ‘big’ soybean
Editor’s note: Hokkaido is attracting attention for its world-class food items. This series introduces readers to delicious foods from the northern Japanese island and the people there who are producing these wonderful products. The series appears every other Saturday.
Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda at a news conference on Oct. 31 (Reina Kitamura)
EDITORIAL: BOJ should have reviewed inflation target before further monetary easing
In a surprise move on Oct. 31, the Bank of Japan opened up the monetary taps further to shore up the sagging economy.
A U.S. aircraft on a training flight over a residential area near the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, on Oct. 29 (Koichi Ueda)
VOX POPULI: Election an opportunity for Okinawans to assert their identity
Who are we? Most mainland Japanese do not wonder about it in their daily lives. But it is probably a question many people in Okinawa Prefecture ask themselves constantly.
4K TV sets are on display at a special corner set up for Sony Corp. products at this Best Buy outlet in the suburbs of Los Angeles. (Tomoyuki Izawa)
DECLINE OF A GIANT: Inflated with success, Sony bungled strategy for flat-screen TV sets
Editor's note: This is the first of a three-part series on the troubles facing Sony Corp.
An electric board shows the closing price of the Tokyo stock market on Oct. 31. (The Asahi Shimbun)
Japan's huge pension fund to boost share purchases
Japan's 130-trillion-yen ($1.1 trillion) public pension fund on Oct. 31 approved a plan to double its holdings of shares and cut back sharply on bonds to help improve investment returns and meet its obligations to a swelling number of retirees.
This image from video by KABC-TV Los Angeles shows wreckage of SpaceShipTwo in southern California's Mojave Desert on Oct. 31. (AP Photo)
Test flight of Virgin Galactic spaceship ends in fatal crash in California
MOJAVE, Calif.--A passenger spaceship being developed by Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic company crashed during a test flight on Oct. 31 near the Mojave Air and Space Port in California, killing one pilot and seriously injuring the other, officials said.
Mayo Ota holds pizza pasquale, a pizza that won her first place in the world pizza championships in Naples, Italy, at her pizzeria Solo Pizza Napoletana in Nagoya's Naka Ward in September. (Ryo Kageyama)
Even top Italian pizza makers bow to skills of Japanese woman in Nagoya pizzeria
NAGOYA--For the best traditional pizza in the world, there is no need to go to Italy, but stop by a pizzeria here when Mayo Ota is firing up the oven.
The special fan features the kanji character for "dai" (great or big) written with a brush and ink, representing the Nara Daimonji bonfire festival. (Choi Chae-soo)
OMIYAGE FROM JAPAN: Especially for fans of Daimonji bonfire festival in Nara
Editor’s note: This series showcases “omiyage” (souvenirs) from around Japan. We introduce “must-buy” items available at prefecture-operated shops in Tokyo that promote local tourism products. The series appears on Saturdays.
Hitoshi Motoshima in an interview in 2012 (Hiroshi Matsubara)
Former Nagasaki Mayor Motoshima, once wounded by a rightist for emperor comment, dies at 92
Hitoshi Motoshima, the former Nagasaki mayor who survived an assassination attempt for his comment on Emperor Showa’s war responsibility in 1990, died Oct. 31, the Nagasaki city government said the same day.
Former Naha Mayor Takeshi Onaga gives his first campaign speech for the Nov. 16 Okinawa gubernatorial election, which kicked off on Oct. 30. (Koichi Ueda)
ANALYSIS: Okinawa election revolves around distance from central government
NAHA--A clear-cut difference in policy over U.S. military presence is one of the various features that make the Okinawa gubernatorial election different from previous polls in the southern prefecture.
The Rokkasho processing plant in Aomori Prefecture (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Completion of nuclear fuel processing plant postponed for 21st time
AOMORI--Complications in safety screening have led to the 21st postponement of work to complete a key nuclear processing facility in Rokkasho, Aomori Prefecture.
Joseph Nye, a former U.S. assistant secretary of defense (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Joseph Nye: Revising Kono statement will hurt Japan’s interests
Joseph Nye, a former U.S. assistant secretary of defense, warned that any move by Tokyo to revise the 1993 Kono statement of apology to former “comfort women” will only undermine Japan’s national interests.

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