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

Dec 3, 2014

Japanese asteroid probe sets off on six-year journey

TOKYO (Reuters) – A Japanese space probe named after a falcon blasted off on Wednesday, setting off on a six-year round trip to an asteroid for samples that scientists hope will help reveal the origins of life.

The launch of the Hayabusa 2, postponed twice because of bad weather, comes less than a month after a European Space Agency probe landed on a comet in a pioneering mission.

Dec 2, 2014

Blowfish, washoku win Michelin stars as Tokyo keeps gourmet crown

TOKYO (Reuters) – Tokyo kept its crown as the Michelin guide’s gourmet capital on Tuesday with the most starred restaurants for an eight straight year, in the first guide released since UNESCO listed Japanese “washoku” cuisine an “intangible cultural heritage”.

Among the establishments that gained three-star ratings in the 2015 Michelin guide to Tokyo, was one that serves poisonous blowfish and a traditional eatery whose chef at first thought his win was a joke.

Nov 27, 2014

Trip Tips: In search of lost time in high-speed Tokyo

TOKYO, Nov 28 (Reuters) – Tokyo is a place of pulsing clubs,
steep-roofed temples, narrow lanes packed with smoky restaurants
where meat sizzles on grills and karaoke pubs whose yowled
anthems spill into the streets.

Tradition can be hard to find amid the lanes and towers of
the metropolis of 13 million, the headquarters of corporations
such as Sony and host of the 2020 Summer Olympics, mainly due to
its reputation as a spick-and-span place that gets things done.

Nov 26, 2014

Opposing Japan’s whaling programme is “eco-imperialism”

TOKYO (Reuters) – Opposition to Japan’s whaling programme is a kind of “eco-imperialism” that imposes one value system on another and is based on emotion, not science – much the way killing elephants is now opposed, Japan’s top whaling official said on Wednesday.

Tokyo last week unveiled plans to resume whale hunting in the Southern Ocean in 2015-2015 despite an international court ruling that previous hunts were illegal, although it also slashed the quota for the so-called scientific whaling programme.