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Aug 7, 2015

Japan’s Abe may express ‘repentance’ in World War II anniversary remarks – adviser

TOKYO (Reuters) – Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, echoing remarks made before U.S. Congress, may express “repentance” for Japan’s role in World War Two when he issues a statement marking the 70th anniversary of the end of the conflict, an adviser to the Japanese leader said.

Abe’s remarks, expected to be issued one day before the Aug. 15 anniversary, are being closely watched by China and South Korea, where bitter memories of Japan’s wartime occupation and colonisation run deep, and by Tokyo’s close ally Washington.

Aug 7, 2015

Japan’s Abe may express “repentance” in WW2 anniversary remarks – adviser

TOKYO (Reuters) – Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, echoing remarks made before U.S. Congress, may express “repentance” for Japan’s role in World War Two when he issues a statement marking the 70th anniversary of the end of the conflict, an adviser to the Japanese leader said.

Abe’s remarks, expected to be issued one day before the Aug. 15 anniversary, are being closely watched by China and South Korea, where bitter memories of Japan’s wartime occupation and colonisation run deep, and by Tokyo’s close ally Washington.

Aug 6, 2015

Japan hurt Asia with ‘reckless war’, PM’s advisers say

TOKYO (Reuters) – Advisers to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed in a report issued on Thursday that Japan caused much damage in Asia through a “reckless war” but quibbled over the term “aggression” to describe its actions.

Their report, meant to serve as reference for Abe’s statement marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two, covered over 100 years of history in 38 pages.

Aug 4, 2015

Japan A-bomb survivors speak out against nuclear power, decry Abe’s view of war

FUKUSHIMA CITY, Japan, Aug 4 (Reuters) – When Atsushi
Hoshino set out to revive a group representing atomic bomb
survivors in the rural northeast Japanese prefecture of
Fukushima 30 years ago, one topic was taboo – criticising the
nuclear power industry upon which many relied for jobs.

That changed dramatically after March 11, 2011, when a
massive tsunami devastated the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant,
triggering meltdowns, spewing radiation and forcing tens of
thousands of residents to flee their homes.

Jul 29, 2015

Japan shouldn’t cave to foreign pressure on PM war anniversary remarks: aide

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan should not let foreign countries make diplomatic capital out of its wartime past, an aide to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Thursday, as the author of a landmark 1995 apology urged Abe not to backtrack as it marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two.

The conservative Abe has said he upholds past statements including then-premier Tomiichi Murayama’s “heartfelt apology” for the suffering caused by Japanese military aggression during the war.

Jul 23, 2015

Cartoon capers: Japan PM uses offbeat PR blitz to rescue ratings

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is using ‘anime’ cartoons, Internet chats and even an unusual show-and-tell TV appearance, complete with a mockup of burning buildings, in an effort to persuade wary voters that his bolder defense policy makes sense.

So far, it isn’t working.

Abe’s popularity rating, once as high as 60 percent, has slumped as he makes changes to Japan’s post-war security stance, such as legislation enabling its armed forces to defend a friendly nation under attack. His disapproval rating topped 50 percent after the bills passed the lower house last week.

Jul 16, 2015

Japan’s Abe pushes security bills through lower house, despite protests

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s coalition on Thursday approved legislation in the lower house of parliament that could see troops sent to fight abroad for the first time since World War Two, despite thousands of protesters overnight chanting and holding up placards reading “No War, No Killing”.

A lower house panel approval on Wednesday of the unpopular bills, which would drop a ban on collective self-defence or fighting to defend a friendly country like the United States, sparked a huge demonstration and more are planned.

Jul 16, 2015

Japan’s Abe pushes security bills, sparks protests in summer of discontent

TOKYO (Reuters) – Legislation for a dramatic change in Japan’s defence policy that could allow troops to fight abroad for the first time since World War Two was approved by a lower house panel on Wednesday, sparking large protests from ordinary voters against the change.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says a bolder security stance, welcomed by key ally Washington, is vital to meet new challenges, such as those from a rising China.

Jul 16, 2015

Abe to push Japan security bills through lower house, despite protests

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s coalition was set on Thursday to approve legislation in the lower house of parliament that could see troops sent to fight abroad for the first time since World War Two, despite thousands of protesters overnight chanting and holding up placards reading “No War, No Killing”.

A lower house panel approval on Wednesday of the unpopular bills, which would drop a ban on collective self-defense or fighting to defend a friendly country like the United States, sparked a huge demonstration and more are planned.

Jul 15, 2015

Japan’s security council chief to visit China amid talk of Sept. summit

TOKYO (Reuters) – The head of Japan’s National Security Council, a close ally of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, will visit Beijing this week, China’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday, fuelling speculation of a full-scale leaders’ summit as early as September.

Sino-Japanese ties, long bedevilled by China’s bitter memories of Japan’s wartime aggression and a row over tiny islands in the East China Sea, have improved since Abe met Chinese President Xi Jinping in November at an Asia-Pacific summit in Beijing.

    • 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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