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Jun 27, 2014

Japan set for landmark easing of constitutional limits on military

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan is poised for a historic shift in its defense policy by ending a ban that has kept the military from fighting abroad since World War Two, a major step away from post-war pacifism and a big political victory for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The change will significantly widen Japan’s military options by ending the ban on exercising “collective self-defense”, or aiding a friendly country under attack. It will also relax limits on activities in U.N.-led peace-keeping operations and “grey zone” incidents short of full-scale war, according to a draft government proposal made available to reporters.

Jun 23, 2014

Tax cuts, dance hall deregulation aim to set Japan swinging

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is set to unveil measures ranging from phased corporate tax cuts and public pension reforms to proposed dance hall deregulation, but the latest salvo from his three-pronged strategy for economic revival may disappoint some investors urging more radical steps.

Abe, who took office 18 months ago pledging to end persistent deflation and generate sustainable growth with a trifecta of monetary, fiscal and reform steps, will on Tuesday deliver the latest instalment of his so-called “Third Arrow” of long-term economic policies.

Jun 18, 2014

Japan’s ‘Patriotic Wives’: praise for Abe, censure for China, South Korea

TOKYO (Reuters) – One by one, women take the microphone near a crowded crossing in a popular Tokyo shopping district on a hot and humid weekday, denouncing Japan’s pacifist constitution, blasting China’s “recklessness” and mocking the South Korean flag.

“The Japanese constitution that cannot protect our children’s future is more dangerous than nuclear power,” said a banner held by members of self-styled patriotic women’s group Hanadokei, which sponsored the event.

Jun 18, 2014

Japan’s “Patriotic Wives”: praise for Abe, censure for China, S.Korea

TOKYO (Reuters) – One by one, women take the microphone near a crowded crossing in a popular Tokyo shopping district on a hot and humid weekday, denouncing Japan’s pacifist constitution, blasting China’s “recklessness” and mocking the South Korean flag.

“The Japanese constitution that cannot protect our children’s future is more dangerous than nuclear power,” said a banner held by members of self-styled patriotic women’s group Hanadokei, which sponsored the event.

Jun 10, 2014

Clock ticks as Japan PM pushes to loosen constraints on military

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s campaign to ease constitutional curbs that have kept the military out of overseas conflicts for nearly 70 years is going down to the wire.

With less than two weeks before a self-imposed deadline, a gulf yawns between the hawkish leader and his dovish coalition partner on changes that would allow Japan’s military to go to the aid of a friendly nation under attack.

Jun 3, 2014

Japan’s Abe follows heart in N.Korea abductions, but must stay in tune with US

TOKYO (Reuters) – Shinzo Abe’s tough stance over Japanese citizens kidnapped by North Korea decades ago helped catapult him to a first, brief stint as Japan’s prime minister.

Back in office for well over a year, Abe is now pushing for answers in an issue that has dominated his career, but must ensure he does not fall out of step with Japan’s biggest ally, the United States.

May 29, 2014

As Asia frets over China, warmer welcome likely for Japan PM’s push

SINGAPORE/TOKYO (Reuters) – Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s message of a bigger global security role for Japan when he speaks at a regional forum this week is likely to find a receptive audience as concerns grow in Asia about China – although some will refrain from clapping too loud for fear of offending Beijing.

While Japan has a festering dispute with China over islands in the sea between the two Asian economic giants, tensions have also spiked between Beijing and several Southeast Asian nations over rival claims to the oil and gas-rich South China Sea.

May 22, 2014

Vietnam eyes Philippine court case while weighing options on China row

TOKYO (Reuters) – Vietnam is closely watching how the Philippines fares in an international court over its maritime territorial dispute with China, as Hanoi seeks to resolve peacefully its row with Beijing in the South China Sea, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam said.

In an interview with Reuters on Thursday, Dam repeated Hanoi’s demand that China withdraw a huge oil rig deployed by Chinese state oil company CNOOC 240 km (150 miles) off the coast of Vietnam in waters also claimed by Hanoi. But he said Vietnam was not setting a deadline for Beijing to meet its demand.

May 15, 2014

Japan PM Abe: should review interpretation of legal limits on military

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called for a review of legal limits on the military’s ability to fight overseas on Thursday, signalling a potential landmark change in a security policy long constrained by the pacifist, post-war constitution.

Seeking to address concerns among Asian neighbours such as rival China as well as wary Japanese voters, the conservative Japanese leader also pledged that Japan would stick to a peaceful path and not again become a “country that wages war”.

May 15, 2014

Japan PM eyes landmark change on limits to military combat abroad

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called for a review of legal limits on the military’s ability to fight overseas on Thursday, signaling a potential landmark change in a security policy long constrained by the pacifist, post-war constitution.

Seeking to address concerns among Asian neighbors such as rival China as well as wary Japanese voters, the conservative Japanese leader also pledged that Japan would stick to a peaceful path and not again become a “country that wages war”.

    • 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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