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Sep 17, 2015

Japan opposition tries to halt vote on contentious security bills

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese opposition lawmakers were battling on Thursday to prevent a vote on security bills that could allow troops to fight abroad for the first time since World War Two, part of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s agenda to ease the limits of the pacifist constitution.

The policy shift, which Abe says is vital to meet challenges such as a rising China, has sparked huge public protests and sharply eroded popular support for the premier.

Sep 16, 2015

Japan protesters rally as contentious security bills near passage

TOKYO (Reuters) – Crowds of protesters rallied on Wednesday as Japan’s parliament moved close to passing bills for a defense policy change that could allow troops to fight abroad for the first time since World War Two, despite opposition by many ordinary voters.

Demonstrators carrying banners that read “Scrap the unconstitutional war bills” lined the street near a hotel outside Tokyo where lawmakers were to hear public comments on the bills, which the government aims to get voted into law by parliament’s upper house this week after committee approval.

Sep 14, 2015

Japan set for historic defense shift, but still not ‘normal nation’

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan and ally the United States can start making plans for a possible conflict with China after the expected enactment of defense legislation this week, but Japan will not be sending troops to back up U.S.-led operations against Islamic State.

Those two scenarios show both how far Japan will have come in loosening the constraints of its pacifist constitution on its military and how far it will remain from being a “normal nation”, unconstrained in overseas military operations by legal limits and a deeply rooted public anti-war mindset.

Sep 7, 2015

Japan’s Abe unlikely to tackle hard reforms in next term: economists

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe looks set to win a rare second consecutive term but economists predict he won’t use that victory to push through bold reforms such as labor market changes that are considered vital for long-term growth.

Instead, Abe, who took office in December 2012 pledging to reboot the economy, will stick to politically palatable policies of government spending and easy money – the first and second “arrows” of his “Abenomics” recipe, economists polled by Reuters said.

Aug 27, 2015

Japan student group injects new exuberance into anti-war protests

TOKYO (Reuters) – Wearing shorts and a baggy T-shirt and clutching a microphone, Aki Okuda stands before a crowd, the pyramid-shaped roof of Japan’s parliament lit up against the night sky behind him.

“No War”, “Protect the Constitution”, “Abe – Quit!”, he chants in a hip-hop rhythm, echoed by the crowd.

Aug 20, 2015

Economy would be key topic at any Japan-China summit: Japan government source

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan needs details of China’s plans for Sept 3. events to mark the anniversary of World War Two before it decides if Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit Beijing then for a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping, a Japanese government source said.

China will hold a military parade to top off events marking the Sept. 3 anniversary, which its state media call the “Victory of the Chinese people’s war against Japanese aggression”.

Aug 15, 2015

Japan emperor expresses “deep remorse” on WW2 anniversary

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Emperor Akihito marked the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two with an expression of “deep remorse” over the conflict on Saturday, a departure from his annual script which could be seen as a subtle rebuke of conservative Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Abe on Friday expressed “utmost grief”, but said future generations should not have to keep apologising for the mistakes of the past. He offered no fresh apology of his own.

Aug 15, 2015

Japan emperor expresses ‘deep remorse’ on WW2 anniversary

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Emperor Akihito marked the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two with an expression of “deep remorse” over the conflict on Saturday, a departure from his annual script which could be seen as a subtle rebuke of conservative Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Abe on Friday expressed “utmost grief”, but said future generations should not have to keep apologising for the mistakes of the past. He offered no fresh apology of his own.

Aug 15, 2015

Japan emperor expresses ‘deep remorse’ on WW2 anniversary

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Emperor Akihito marked the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two with an expression of “deep remorse” over the conflict on Saturday, a departure from his annual script which could be seen as a subtle rebuke of conservative Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Abe on Friday expressed “utmost grief”, but said future generations should not have to keep apologizing for the mistakes of the past. He offered no fresh apology of his own.

Aug 15, 2015

Japan PM expresses ‘utmost grief’ over WW2 but no fresh apology

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed the “utmost grief” on Friday for the “immeasurable damage and suffering” Japan inflicted during World War Two, but said future generations should not have to keep apologizing for the mistakes of the past.

Marking the 70th anniversary of the end of the war, Abe also said he upheld past official apologies, including a landmark 1995 statement by then-premier Tomiichi Murayama, but the conservative leader offered no new apology of his own.

    • About Linda

      "I direct a team of reporters responsible for covering politics, diplomacy, social and security policies in the world's second-biggest economy, as well as natural disasters, entertainment and lifestyle trends. I have been in my current position since April 1999 and prior to that was Chief Economics Correspondent, Japan."
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