Lifestyle/Entertainment Editor, Asia, Tokyo
Elaine's Feed
Nov 29, 2013

After three hard years, Asada hopes to shine at Sochi

TOYOTA, Japan (Reuters) – The first time Japan’s Mao Asada set foot on a skating rink nearly two decades ago she wore a helmet and protective pads on her knees and elbows, wanting only to follow her big sister.

Now she stands as a prime contender for gold at the Sochi Games, where she will once again lock horns with long-standing rival and reigning Olympic figure skating champion Kim Yuna of South Korea.

Nov 29, 2013

Figure skating-After three hard years, Asada hopes to shine at Sochi

TOYOTA, Japan (Reuters) – The first time Japan’s Mao Asada set foot on a skating rink nearly two decades ago she wore a helmet and protective pads on her knees and elbows, wanting only to follow her big sister.

Now she stands as a prime contender for gold at the Sochi Games, where she will once again lock horns with long-standing rival and reigning Olympic figure skating champion Kim Yuna of South Korea.

Nov 20, 2013

IOC president open to baseball’s return at Tokyo Games

TOKYO (Reuters) – Baseball and softball could return to the Olympic program for the 2020 Tokyo Games, International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach said on Wednesday.

Bringing back the two sports, which were dropped from the Olympic program after 2008, is a hot-button topic in baseball-mad Japan.

Nov 20, 2013

Olympics-IOC president open to baseball’s return at Tokyo Games

TOKYO, Nov 20 (Reuters) – Baseball and softball could return to the Olympic programme for the 2020 Tokyo Games, International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach said on Wednesday.

Bringing back the two sports, which were dropped from the Olympic programme after 2008, is a hot-button topic in baseball-mad Japan.

Nov 15, 2013

Japan’s new CO2 goal dismays U.N. climate conference

TOKYO/WARSAW (Reuters) – China, the EU and environmentalists criticised Japan at U.N. climate talks on Friday for slashing its greenhouse gas emissions target after its nuclear power industry was shuttered by the Fukushima disaster.

The Japanese government on Friday decided to target a 3.8 percent emissions cut by 2020 versus 2005 levels. That amounts to a 3 percent rise from a U.N. benchmark year of 1990 and the reversal of the previous target of a 25 percent reduction.

Nov 15, 2013

50 years after JFK’s death, daughter takes public office in Tokyo

TOKYO (Reuters) – Caroline Kennedy, daughter of slain U.S. President John F. Kennedy, arrived in Japan on Friday to take up her first high profile job in public office, making a late start to a political career for which her family is renowned.

Kennedy, sworn in as U.S. ambassador two days ago, received a warm welcome at Tokyo’s Narita Airport, smiling and waving at reporters, and carrying a bouquet of flowers.

Nov 15, 2013

Japan draws fire by drastically slashing commitment to greenhouse gas curbs

TOKYO/WARSAW (Reuters) – Japan drastically weakened its greenhouse-gas reduction target on Friday, bowing to the impact of a shuttered nuclear power industry but drawing international criticism at U.N. climate change talks.

The government decided to target a 3.8 percent cut in CO2 emissions by 2020 versus 2005 levels. That amounts to a 3 percent rise from 1990 levels – a sharp reversal of the previous target of a 25 percent reduction, the benchmark level for climate talks.

Nov 8, 2013

Japan lawmaker reprimanded after emperor letter hits nerve

TOKYO (Reuters) – A Japanese lawmaker was reprimanded on Friday for breaking a taboo by trying to involve Emperor Akihito in politics when he handed him a letter expressing concern about the health impact of the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

A furor erupted after Taro Yamamoto gave Akihito the handwritten missive at a garden party last week, the first such bid in more than a century to draw the emperor’s attention.

Nov 1, 2013

Japan rejects Chinese protests over sea drills, denies interference

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan on Friday denied interfering with Chinese military exercises in the western Pacific after Beijing lodged a formal diplomatic protest, saying China’s objections were unacceptable and it had acted in line with international law.

Ties between the Asian neighbors have been strained for months by a long and bitter dispute over islands in the East China Sea believed to be surrounded by energy-rich waters, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said his nation is ready to be more assertive towards China.

Oct 18, 2013

China outraged as Japanese lawmakers visit shrine to war dead

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s internal affairs minister and more than 100 other lawmakers visited the Yasukuni Shrine for war dead on Friday and China responded by accusing Japan of undermining ties and trying to overturn the post-World War Two order.

The visits, marking an autumn festival, came a day after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made his third ritual offering to the shrine since returning to office last year, though he did not visit it in person.