Lifestyle/Entertainment Editor, Asia, Tokyo
Elaine's Feed
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.

Oct 18, 2013

“Cool Japan” struts the runways at Fashion Week in Tokyo

TOKYO, Oct 18 (Reuters) – Washi paper was paired with silk
and fabrics layered in an echo of traditional kimonos at Japan
Fashion Week, the twice-yearly celebration of an industry that
plays a key role in the nation’s “Cool Japan” campaign.

Underwritten by a $500-million government bankroll, the
campaign – whose Cool Japan fund kicks off in November – aims to
help Japanese firms promote their culture.

Oct 16, 2013

At least 8 killed as typhoon sideswipes Tokyo, moves up Japan coast

TOKYO, Oct 16 (Reuters) – Eight people were killed and over
30 missing, with nearly 20,000 people ordered to evacuate and
hundreds of flights cancelled as Typhoon Wipha pummelled the
Tokyo region on Wednesday, leaving piles of wreckage on one
small island but largely sparing the capital.

Operators of the wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant north
of Tokyo pumped rainwater out of protective containers at the
base of some 1,000 tanks storing radioactive water, and were
taking other precautions, as the typhoon brushed past Tokyo and
moved up Japan’s Pacific coastline.

Oct 16, 2013

Four killed as typhoon sideswipes Tokyo, moves up Japan coast

TOKYO (Reuters) – Four people were reported killed, schools closed, hundreds of flights canceled and thousands were advised to evacuate as Typhoon Wipha pummeled Tokyo on Wednesday, although the Japanese capital escaped major damage.

Operators of the wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant north of Tokyo pumped rainwater out of protective containers at the base of some 1,000 tanks storing radioactive water, and were taking other precautions, as Typhoon Wipha brushed past Tokyo and moved up Japan’s Pacific coastline.