Lifestyle/Entertainment Editor, Asia, Tokyo
Elaine's Feed
Dec 11, 2013

China’s shadow looms over Japan-ASEAN summit

TOKYO (Reuters) – When leaders from Japan and Southeast Asia gather in Tokyo this week, the elephant in the room will be a nation that is not invited: China.

Beijing’s rise as a military power as its economy has become second only to that of the United States has long sparked concern in Asia, and tensions spiked last month when China announced a new air defense zone straddling islands also claimed by Japan in the East China Sea.

Dec 5, 2013

Japan state secrets bill on track to become law despite protests

TOKYO, Dec 5 (Reuters) – A Japanese state secrets bill
toughening penalties for leaks came a step closer to becoming
law on Thursday when ruling parties forced it through a
parliamentary panel amid protests it will muzzle the media and
help cover up official misdeeds.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s drive to pass the law coincides
with a worldwide debate on secrecy after former U.S. National
Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden leaked documents on
intelligence agencies’ extensive collection of data about
ordinary citizens and a U.S. Army private leaked masses of
sensitive documents to anti-secrecy group Wikileaks.

Dec 3, 2013

Tokyo keeps crown as Michelin’s most gourmet capital for seventh year

TOKYO (Reuters) – A basement sushi restaurant whose octogenarian chef features in a documentary and an eatery serving potentially poisonous blowfish gained three-star ratings in the Michelin guide to Tokyo launched on Tuesday, Michelin said.

The city held onto its crown as the Michelin guide’s gourmet capital, with the most starred restaurants for the seventh straight year, a status likely to lure still more of the Asian tourists who say Japan’s tasty treats are a key attraction.

Dec 3, 2013

Biden urges Japan, China to lower tensions over air defense zone

TOKYO (Reuters) – U.S. Vice President Joe Biden urged Japan and China to lower tensions that have spiked since Beijing announced an air defense zone over disputed islands in the East China Sea, while repeating that Washington was worried by the move.

The United States has made clear it would stand by treaty obligations that would require it to defend the Japanese-controlled islands, but is also reluctant to get dragged into any military clash between the Asian rivals.

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.