An aerial shot shows a pyroclastic flow from the May 29 eruption of Mount Shindake on Kuchinoerabujima island approaching homes in the Mukaehama district. (Eiji Hori)
Greater volcanic activity in Japan looks like new norm
The violent eruption of Mount Shindake on Kuchinoerabujima island on May 29 is the latest ominous sign that the Earth's crust around the archipelago is getting restless. And some experts suggest that people get used to it.
Abductee Megumi Yokota, when she was living in Niigata Prefecture (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Tokyo again pushes North Korea to come up on abduction issue
Tokyo, exasperated by the lack of progress on the abduction issue, has called on North Korea to "honestly and quickly report its findings to us."
UPDATE: Magnitude 8.5 quake strikes off eastern Japan, no tsunami danger or damage reports
A magnitude 8.5 earthquake struck off the east coast of Japan on May 30, shaking buildings in Tokyo, but there was no danger of a tsunami and no reports of damage since the quake was extremely deep.
A runway under construction, far left, can be seen in this photo of Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratly Islands taken by the Philippines military in early May. (Provided by a source in the Philippines military)
Photos show China’s construction apace on disputed Spratly reefs
SINGAPORE--China’s construction of a runway and multistory structures on contested reefs in the South China Sea is steadily proceeding, photos taken by the Philippines military show.
Japanese Communist Party Chairman Kazuo Shii, left, and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a May 28 Lower House special committee session (Asahi Shimbun file photos)
Japanese Communist Party concerned SDF could follow same path as German military
The Japanese Communist Party steered debate on national security legislation before the Diet by citing the example of Germany, a nation that has followed a similar postwar course as Japan.
Nobuo Sayama, the head of Integral Corp., left, and Toyoyuki Nagamine, a senior vice president of ANA Holdings Inc., attend a news conference in Tokyo on May 29. (Yasuhiro Sugimoto)
Numerous hurdles stand in the way of struggling Skymark Airlines
Embattled Skymark Airlines Inc. has come up with a detailed plan to rebuild itself, but the airline still needs the approval of its key creditors to initiate the program to help pull itself out of bankruptcy.
The restored Tsubame no Ochaya feudal-era guest house in the Hamarikyu Gardens in Tokyo’s Chuo Ward on May 29 (Hiroyuki Kamisawa)
Feudal guest house that served the shogun restored in central Tokyo park
A guest house used during the Edo Period (1603-1867) has been restored to its original state in central Tokyo on the grounds of the Hamarikyu Gardens where the Tokugawa family kept a residence.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter delivers his speech about "The United States and Challenges to Asia-Pacific Security" during the 14th International Institute for Strategic Studies Shangri-la Dialogue (IISS) Asia Security Summit on May 30 in Singapore. (AP Photo)
Pentagon chief criticizes Beijing's South China Sea moves
SINGAPORE--China's land reclamation in the South China Sea is out of step with international rules, and turning underwater land into airfields won't expand its sovereignty, Defense Secretary Ash Carter told an international security conference may 30, stepping up America's condemnation of the communist giant as Beijing officials sat in the audience.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe heckles Kiyomi Tsujimoto of the Democratic Party of Japan by angrily saying, "Ask the question already!" in a Diet debate on national security legislation on May 28. (Shinichi Iizuka)
EDITORIAL: Abe’s boorish behavior insult to the legislature and the people
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's heckling during a recent session of the Lower House special committee discussing national security legislation proposed by the government speaks volumes about his attitude toward the Diet.
Kuchinoerabujima islanders evacuated to the neighboring Yakushima island by ferry on May 29. (Ryo Ikeda)
VOX POPULI: Islanders living on a knife-edge, but always looking to the future
This past April was a good month for Kuchinoerabujima island, which is under the jurisdiction of the municipality of Yakushima, Kagoshima Prefecture.
A school uniform belonging to a junior high school student who was killed in the atomic bombing on Hiroshima (Provided by the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum)
A-bomb survivors to share their stories at exhibition in Washington
HIROSHIMA--An 83-year-old from Hiroshima whose last mission in life is to underscore the horrors of nuclear warfare will describe his experiences at the first atomic bomb exhibition held in Washington in two decades.
A portrait of North Korean founder Kim Il Sung is displayed near a customs clearance point near Tumen at the border between North Korea and China. (Koichiro Ishida)
HORRORS OF NORTH KOREA: Facing an uncertain future after living in fear
Editor's note: This is the 10th installment of an occasional series of interviews with North Korean defectors. It is designed to complement an earlier series on AJW that ran under the general title of "Horrors of North Korea."
In an exclusive illustration, protagonist Motoko Kusanagi looks over Kobe as it could look in the near-future. ((c) Shirow Masamune ・ Production I.G/ Kodansha ・ Ghost in The Shell Shin-Gekijoban Production Committee)
Kobe enlists cyborg agent from 'Ghost in the Shell' to lure tourists
KOBE--Major Motoko Kusanagi, a cyborg agent from the "Ghost in the Shell" anime series, doesn't need to go undercover for her new mission: promoting tourism in this historic port city.
U.S. Sen. John McCain, right, poses for a photo with South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the 14th International Institute for Strategic Studies Shangri-la Dialogue, or IISS, Asia Security Summit May 30 in Singapore. (AP Photo)
McCain: U.S. should allow sale of defensive weapons to Vietnam
SINGAPORE--America needs to provide Vietnam with more defensive weapons, U.S. Sen. John McCain said May 30 as tensions in the Asia Pacific region heightened over China's expanding land reclamation projects in the South China Sea.
Gozaemon-zushi cut into several pieces (Choi Chae-soo)
OMIYAGE FROM JAPAN: Modern technology enhances flavor of traditional 'Gozaemon-zushi'
Tottori Prefecture’s signature rolled sushi, known as “Gozaemon-zushi,” dates back about 300 years.
Yukiya Amano, director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, speaks in an interview in April in Vienna. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
IAEA blames TEPCO's poor preparations for Fukushima disaster
The U.N. nuclear watchdog squarely puts the blame for the Fukushima nuclear crisis on the plant operator’s inadequate preparations against natural disasters and severe accidents.
Volcanic smoke rises above Kuchinoerabujima island after an eruption on May 29. (Provided by Takako Ryo)
UPDATE: Residents safe after volcano erupts on isolated southern island
YAKUSHIMA, Kagoshima Prefecture--All residents of Kuchinoerabujima island were confirmed safe after a volcanic eruption unleashed a plume of smoke reaching about 9,000 meters high and sent a pyroclastic flow to the island’s coastline on May 29.
Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga talks to reporters after a meeting in Honolulu on May 27 with two U.S. congresswomen. (Koshin Shisui)
Onaga begins PR blitz in U.S. to oppose Futenma relocation plan
HONOLULU--Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga held talks with two congresswomen on May 27 in his drive to gain U.S. support for his opposition to construction of another U.S. military base in Japan’s southernmost prefecture.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe heckles Kiyomi Tsujimoto of the Democratic Party of Japan by angrily saying, "Ask the question already!" in a Diet debate on national security legislation on May 28. (Shinichi Iizuka)
Abe apologizes for his rude outburst in debate
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe apologized for being rude in a debate in the Diet on May 28.
Figure skater Mao Asada explains her comeback in an interview with The Asahi Shimbun on May 28 in Tokyo. (Daisuke Maeda)
FIGURE SKATING/ Yearlong break revives Mao Asada's fighting spirit
Figure skater Mao Asada said her one-year break from the sport has rejuvenated her motivation to challenge herself and dashed all earlier thoughts of retirement.

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