Kiyoshi's Feed
May 27, 2015

Japan, Philippines to deepen ties as China asserts sea claims

TOKYO/MANILA (Reuters) – Japan and the Philippines are set to bolster security ties when President Benigno Aquino visits Tokyo next week, the latest move by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to beef up cooperation with Southeast Asian nations facing China’s growing naval ambitions.

The two sides will likely agree to start talks on a framework for the transfer of defense equipment and technology and to discuss a possible pact on the status of Japanese military personnel visiting the Philippines to facilitate joint training and exercises, officials involved in the talks said.

May 14, 2015

Abe’s cabinet approves Japan security bills

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s cabinet approved on Thursday bills to implement a drastic shift in security policy allowing the military to fight abroad for the first time since World War Two, although the public is divided and wary over the changes.

The planned changes, reflected in new U.S.-Japan defence guidelines unveiled last month, set the stage for Japan to play a bigger role in the bilateral alliance as Tokyo and Washington face challenges such as China’s growing military assertiveness.

May 14, 2015

Abe’s cabinet approves Japan security bills; voters wary, confused

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s cabinet approved on Thursday bills to implement a drastic shift in security policy allowing the military to fight abroad for the first time since World War Two, although the public is divided and wary over the changes.

The planned changes, reflected in new U.S.-Japan defense guidelines unveiled last month, set the stage for Japan to play a bigger role in the bilateral alliance as Tokyo and Washington face challenges such as China’s growing military assertiveness.

May 11, 2015

Japan ruling bloc signs off on security legislation, public split

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese ruling party officials signed off on Monday on bills to implement a drastic change in security policy that would expand the role of the nation’s military in the U.S.-Japan alliance and allow it to fight abroad for the first time since World War Two.

The planned changes were reflected in new U.S.-Japan defense guidelines unveiled last month as the allies face challenges such as China’s increased military assertiveness. However, surveys show Japanese voters are deeply divided over the shift.

Apr 21, 2015

Japanese PM Abe makes ritual offering at Yasukuni shrine, irks neighbors

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent a ritual offering on Tuesday to a Tokyo shrine for war dead, irking Asian neighbors just before he hopes to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of a leaders’ summit in Jakarta.

Abe made the offering, a potted tree, a day before a group of lawmakers pay their respects at the Yasukuni shrine. The timing was seen as an attempt to avoid diplomatic embarrassment during Wednesday’s summit.

Apr 20, 2015

Japan’s Abe says ready to meet China’s Xi at Jakarta summit

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Monday he was ready to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping at an Asian-African summit in Jakarta this week if the chance arises, the latest sign of hope for a further thaw in Tokyo’s troubled ties with Beijing.

Abe is expected to make brief remarks on Wednesday at the summit, which will be closely watched for his stance on Japan’s wartime aggression amid concerns he wants to tone down past apologies. The tenor of his comments could determine whether he gets face time with the Chinese leader, some experts said.

Apr 12, 2015

Hiroshima survivors: haunted 70 years on, determined to remember

HIROSHIMA, Japan (Reuters) – Hiroshi Harada remembers how his leg sank into one of the bodies blocking a narrow Hiroshima street 70 years ago, as he fled the spreading fire ignited by the atomic bomb.

“My leg slid deep into one of them. Then it was very hard to pull my leg out … To escape, I had no choice,” said Harada, the 75-year-old former head of an atomic bomb museum.

Apr 8, 2015

U.S. defense chief warns against militarization of territorial rows in Asia

TOKYO (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter kicked off his first Asian tour on Wednesday with a stern warning against the militarization of territorial rows in a region where China is at odds with several nations in the East and South China Seas.

Carter’s visit to Japan coincides with growing U.S. concern over China’s land reclamation in the Spratly archipelago of the disputed South China Sea, where Beijing has rival claims with several countries including the Philippines and Vietnam.

Apr 8, 2015

U.S. Defense chief in Japan to show alliance strong amid China worries

TOKYO (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter kicked off talks with his Japanese counterpart on Wednesday aimed at demonstrating that the two countries’ security alliance is tighter than ever amid China’s growing assertiveness in the region.

Carter’s visit coincides with the first update in U.S.-Japan defense cooperation guidelines since 1997, a revision that will expand the scope for interaction between the two allies in line with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push to ease the constraints of Japan’s pacifist constitution on the nation’s military.

Mar 24, 2015

Indonesia flags April start for much-delayed power plant project

TOKYO, March 24 (Reuters) – Indonesia’s president said on
Tuesday the long-delayed construction of a $4 billion coal-fired
power plant would finally start next month, but an activist
group said land disputes had not been settled despite his
personal intervention.

The mega-project, the largest of its kind in Southeast Asia,
is seen by investors as a test case for whether President Joko
Widodo’s ambitious reforms can translate into real development
in the vast archipelago.