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

Sep 19, 2013

Book Talk: Best-selling Jamie Ford on writing that second novel

TOKYO, Sept 19 (Reuters) – Jamie Ford admits he was taken
aback by the runaway success of his debut novel “Hotel on the
Corner of Bitter and Sweet” and was sidetracked for a while on
his next work by the self-consciousness this produced.

But an invitation to write a story for a literary event led
to the tale of an orphan boy who thinks he sees his mother in a
movie, which grew into “Songs of Willow Frost”, out last week.

Sep 10, 2013

Triumphant Tokyo delegation returns to roll up sleeves

TOKYO (Reuters) – A triumphant Tokyo governor Naoki Inose returned home to the cheers of thousands gathered in a plaza on Tuesday, thanking everyone for the support that brought the 2020 Olympic Games to Japan and vowing to get down to work to make them successful.

Tokyo stocks rallied for a second straight day on optimism that Japan’s decisive victory at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) meeting in Buenos Aires over rivals Madrid and Istanbul will bolster the chances of a lasting economic recovery to erase two decades of stagnation.

Sep 10, 2013

Olympics-Triumphant Tokyo delegation returns to roll up sleeves

TOKYO, Sept 10 (Reuters) – A triumphant Tokyo governor Naoki Inose returned home to the cheers of thousands gathered in a plaza on Tuesday, thanking everyone for the support that brought the 2020 Olympic Games to Japan and vowing to get down to work to make them successful.

Tokyo stocks rallied for a second straight day on optimism that Japan’s decisive victory at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) meeting in Buenos Aires over rivals Madrid and Istanbul will bolster the chances of a lasting economic recovery to erase two decades of stagnation.