Lifestyle/Entertainment Editor, Asia, Tokyo
Elaine's Feed
Jan 30, 2015

Japan, Jordan working closely on fate of captive Japanese journalist

AMMAN/TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan was working closely with Jordan on Friday to find out what was happening to a Japanese journalist held by Islamic State militants after a deadline passed for the release of an Iraqi would-be suicide bomber on death-row in Jordan.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said every effort was being made to secure the release of journalist Kenji Goto.

Jan 28, 2015

New video of Islamic State captive Goto “despicable”, says Japan PM

TOKYO, Jan 28 (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
on Wednesday termed as “despicable” a new video appearing to
show Japanese journalist Kenji Goto, who is being held by
Islamic State militants, saying he could be killed in 24 hours.

“The video is despicable and I feel strong anger,” Abe told
reporters. Earlier, at the start of a meeting of cabinet
ministers, he reiterated that Japan was calling on Jordan to
cooperate in working for Goto’s quick release.

Jan 23, 2015

Islamic State deadline on Japanese captives passes with no word on fate

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan said on Friday it was still trying to secure the release of two Japanese hostages held by Islamic State militants after a deadline to pay ransom for their release passed.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference the situation remained “severe” while the mother of one of the hostages, a journalist, appealed for his safe release.

Jan 6, 2015

Who am I? What is life? Author Haruki Murakami to the rescue

TOKYO (Reuters) – Worried about your future, the meaning of life or the realness of unreal things? Ask Japanese author Haruki Murakami for enlightenment – or as much as a surrealist can give.

Though a perennial favorite for the Nobel Prize in Literature, Murakami is so notoriously reclusive that nobody knows for sure where in the world he lives, and he has joked about biting fans who get too close.

Dec 24, 2014

Japan PM set to launch new government, defence minister may rile China

TOKYO, Dec 24 (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo
Abe’s cabinet resigned on Wednesday, setting the stage for him
to launch a new government with a defence minister whose support
for Japan having a stronger pre-emptive strike capability could
rile China.

Abe has brushed aside suggestions that a record-low election
turnout 10 days ago has devauled his victory and vowed to press
ahead with his “Abenomics” economic policies and pursue his goal
of a more assertive security stance.

Dec 19, 2014

Disgraced Japan researcher fails to replicate ‘game changing’ stem cell results

TOKYO (Reuters) – A disgraced Japanese researcher has failed to replicate results hailed as a potential breakthrough in stem-cell treatment and efforts to do so will be abandoned, officials at her research institute said on Friday.

The scandal involving the research, which detailed simple ways to reprogram mature cells back to an embryonic-like state, eventually led to the retraction of papers published in the influential journal Nature and tarnished the reputation of Japanese scientific research.

Dec 15, 2014

Abe coalition secures big Japan election win with record low turnout

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s coalition has cruised to a big election win, ensuring he will stick to reflationary economic policies and a muscular security stance, but record low turnout pointed to broad dissatisfaction with his performance.

Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its junior partner, the Komeito party, won 326 seats in Sunday’s election, more than the 317 seats in the 475-member lower house required to maintain a two-thirds “super-majority” that smoothes parliamentary business.

Dec 14, 2014

PM Abe’s coalition sweeps to big Japan election win

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling coalition cruised to a big election win on Sunday, but record low turnout could weaken his claim of a mandate for reflationary policies to revive the economy.

Media projections showed Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party and its junior partner, the Komeito party, on track to win more than 317 seats in the 475-member lower house, enough to maintain its “super-majority” that smoothes parliamentary business.

Dec 14, 2014

PM Abe’s coalition sweeps to big Japan election win, but turnout feeble

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling coalition cruised to a big election win on Sunday, but record low turnout could weaken his claim of a mandate for reflationary policies to revive the economy.

Media projections showed Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party and its junior partner, the Komeito party, on track to win more than 317 seats in the 475-member lower house, enough to maintain its “super-majority” that smoothes parliamentary business.

Dec 9, 2014

Strict new Japan secrets law to take effect amid protests

TOKYO, Dec 9 (Reuters) – Waving banners and beating drums,
hundreds of Japanese took to the streets of Tokyo to protest a
strict new state-secrets law taking effect on Wednesday that
critics charge will help conceal government misdeeds and limit
press freedom.

The government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says the law,
which was passed a year ago amid protests, is essential to
convince allies led by the United States to share intelligence
with Japan.