Lifestyle/Entertainment Editor, Asia, Tokyo
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Jun 20, 2014

Japan says had S.Korean input on “comfort women” apology

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan got input from South Korea on the sensitive wording of a landmark apology in 1993 to women, many Korean, who worked in Japan’s wartime military brothels, an expert panel said after reviewing evidence that led to the statement.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihida Suga, commenting on the report, repeated that Japan would not revise the statement on the “comfort women”, as they are euphemistically known in Japan.

Jun 20, 2014

Japan says had South Korean input on ‘comfort women’ apology

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan got input from South Korea on the sensitive wording of a landmark apology in 1993 to women, many Korean, who worked in Japan’s wartime military brothels, an expert panel said after reviewing evidence that led to the statement.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihida Suga, commenting on the report, repeated that Japan would not revise the statement on the “comfort women”, as they are euphemistically known in Japan.

Jun 20, 2014

Outrage in Japan as woman lawmaker jeered for being single, childless

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese officials on Friday condemned the heckling of a woman member of Tokyo’s city assembly, during a debate on support for working mothers, by male members who ridiculed her and called on her to get married.

The incident comes amid a push by the government to increase the number of working women as a way to boost the economy and illustrates deep-seated conservative attitudes in Japan, where many men still believe that a woman’s place is in the home.

Jun 11, 2014

Rising costs force review of Tokyo 2020 venue plans

TOKYO (Reuters) – Rising labor and construction costs are forcing a review of Tokyo’s venue plans for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games and could lead to a scaling back of facilities, Japanese officials said on Wednesday.

The review will include all 10 venues that Tokyo plans to build for the sporting extravaganza the city won the right to host last September on the strength of its financial clout and pledges to keep most competition sites close together.

Jun 11, 2014

Olympics-Rising costs force review of Tokyo 2020 venue plans

TOKYO, June 11 (Reuters) – Rising labour and construction costs are forcing a review of Tokyo’s venue plans for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games and could lead to a scaling back of facilities, Japanese officials said on Wednesday.

The review will include all 10 venues that Tokyo plans to build for the sporting extravaganza the city won the right to host last September on the strength of its financial clout and pledges to keep most competition sites close together.

Jun 10, 2014

Japan shrugs off embarrassing court loss, vows resumption of Antarctic whaling

TOKYO (Reuters) – An embarrassing court ruling that halted Japan’s Antarctic whaling will actually help Tokyo take whales in the name of science, a top whaling official said just a day after the prime minister vowed to press for commercial whaling.

Tokyo’s decades-old and disputed “scientific whaling” program suffered a blow in March when the International Court of Justice (ICJ), in a surprise ruling, ordered a halt to annual hunts in the Southern Ocean.

May 29, 2014

North Korea agrees to reopen probe into Japan abductees

TOKYO (Reuters) – North Korea has agreed to reopen an investigation into the fate of Japanese citizens it kidnapped decades ago, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Thursday, a potential breakthrough in a bitter dispute between Tokyo and Pyongyang.

Japan has agreed to ease some sanctions against North Korea once the probe had been reopened and will consider providing humanitarian aid depending on how the investigation progresses, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said separately.

May 29, 2014

North Korea agrees to reopen probe on Japan abductees: PM Abe

TOKYO (Reuters) – North Korea has agreed to reopen an investigation into the fate of Japanese citizens it kidnapped decades ago, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Thursday, a potential breakthrough in a bitter dispute between Tokyo and Pyongyang.

Japan has agreed to ease some sanctions against North Korea once the probe had been reopened and will consider providing humanitarian aid depending on how the investigation progresses, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said separately.

May 19, 2014

Japan’s Asada to sit out next season, think about retirement

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese figure skater Mao Asada, the veteran of two winter Olympic Games, plans to sit out the 2014-2015 competitive season but remains unsure about retirement and wants to take the year to think about her future plans.

Asada, who took a silver medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, had been tipped as a top contender for gold in Sochi this year but had a disastrous short program, although she rebounded with a strong free skate that left her in sixth place overall.

May 19, 2014

Olympics-Japan’s Asada to sit out next season, think about retirement

TOKYO, May 19 (Reuters) – Japanese figure skater Mao Asada, the veteran of two winter Olympic Games, plans to sit out the 2014-2015 competitive season but remains unsure about retirement and wants to take the year to think about her future plans.

Asada, who took a silver medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, had been tipped as a top contender for gold in Sochi this year but had a disastrous short programme, although she rebounded with a strong free skate that left her in sixth place overall.