Lifestyle/Entertainment Editor, Asia, Tokyo
Elaine's Feed
Feb 21, 2014

Japan to review testimony of women who served in wartime brothels

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan will review the testimony of South Korean women who served in wartime brothels, a senior official said on Friday, but he gave no indication whether Tokyo might water down a 1993 apology on the issue that has long caused friction with its neighbors.

The possibility of a revision to the landmark apology, known as the Kono Statement, drew outrage from South Korea and China, from where many of the “comfort women” – as the women who served in the brothels are known in Japan – were recruited.

Feb 20, 2014

Aides give Japan’s Abe a headache on history, U.S. alliance

TOKYO (Reuters) – Remarks by aides to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe about U.S.-Japan ties and the wartime past are giving the Japanese leader a political headache as he seeks to soothe strains with key ally Washington amid rising regional tensions.

Investors have begun to worry that Abe, who took office in December 2012 pledging to revive the economy, is shifting more attention to his conservative agenda to bolster Japan’s military and recast history with a less apologetic tone.

Feb 18, 2014

Second Japan snow storm leaves thousands stranded as toll rises to 23

TOKYO (Reuters) – Snow-choked roads cut off thousands on Tuesday as parts of Japan struggled to dig out from its second storm in a week, with the death toll rising to at least 23.

Train services were suspended in some areas after the Valentine’s Day storm dumped more than a meter of snow in parts of central Japan and blanketed the capital with record snow for the second weekend in a row, snarling airline traffic and slowing production at some Japanese automakers.

Feb 17, 2014

Wings of Fire, King of Ice: Japan cheers its medalists

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese newspapers ran exultant banner headlines and television stations had blanket coverage on Monday to celebrate the nation’s second Olympic medalist in as many days after Noriaki Kasai took silver in the ski jump at the age of 41.

Both Kasai and gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyu set Olympic precedents – Kasai becoming the oldest ski jump medal winner and Hanyu, 19, becoming the first Asian man to take gold in figure skating.

Feb 17, 2014

Olympics-Wings of Fire, King of Ice: Japan cheers its medallists

TOKYO, Feb 17 (Reuters) – Japanese newspapers ran exultant banner headlines and television stations had blanket coverage on Monday to celebrate the nation’s second Olympic medallist in as many days after Noriaki Kasai took silver in the ski jump at the age of 41.

Both Kasai and gold medallist Yuzuru Hanyu set Olympic precedents – Kasai becoming the oldest ski jump medal winner and Hanyu, 19, becoming the first Asian man to take gold in figure skating.

Feb 15, 2014

Newsmaker – Hanyu shows he’s the ultimate survivor

SOCHI, Russia/TOKYO (Reuters) – A journey that almost ended three years ago when Yuzuru Hanyu watched in horror as the ice cracked beneath his blades and the ground shook violently, culminated in glorious triumph 8,000 kilometres away at the Sochi Olympics on Friday.

That magnitude 9.0 earthquake near Hanyu’s home city of Sendai in March 2011 not only destroyed his training arena but also set off a massive tsunami and nuclear disaster that ultimately claimed nearly 20,000 lives in Japan.

Feb 15, 2014

Hanyu shows he’s the ultimate survivor

SOCHI, Russia/TOKYO (Reuters) – A journey that almost ended three years ago when Yuzuru Hanyu watched in horror as the ice cracked beneath his blades and the ground shook violently, culminated in glorious triumph 8,000 kilometers away at the Sochi Olympics on Friday.

That magnitude 9.0 earthquake near Hanyu’s home city of Sendai in March 2011 not only destroyed his training arena but also set off a massive tsunami and nuclear disaster that ultimately claimed nearly 20,000 lives in Japan.

Feb 15, 2014

Olympics-Figure skating-Hanyu shows he’s the ultimate survivor

SOCHI, Russia/TOKYO, Feb 14 (Reuters) – A journey that almost ended three years ago when Yuzuru Hanyu watched in horror as the ice cracked beneath his blades and the ground shook violently, culminated in glorious triumph 8,000 kilometres away at the Sochi Olympics on Friday.

That magnitude 9.0 earthquake near Hanyu’s home city of Sendai in March 2011 not only destroyed his training arena but also set off a massive tsunami and nuclear disaster that ultimately claimed nearly 20,000 lives in Japan.

Jan 28, 2014

Japan revises teaching manuals, says islands its territory

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan said on Tuesday it was revising teaching manuals to make clear that two sets of remote islands at the center of disputes with China and South Korea are integral parts of its territory, prompting protests from an angry Seoul.

Japan’s ties with Seoul and Beijing are increasingly strained over a host of issues, including the territorial rows and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit late last year to the Yasukuni Shrine, where convicted war criminals are honored along with millions of war dead.

Jan 27, 2014

Japan broadcaster chief expresses regret for remarks on wartime brothels

TOKYO (Reuters) – The head of Japan’s public broadcaster expressed regret on Monday for his comments on the use of military brothels in World War Two, news reports said, as Asian countries voiced fresh outrage about a highly sensitive point in relations with Tokyo.

Apparently trying to snuff out further controversy over Japan’s view of its wartime role, new NHK chief Katsuto Momii told local media his comments had been “extremely inappropriate”.