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Aug 28, 2013

Japan’s Kono urges PM Abe to stop being coy over war dead shrine

TOKYO (Reuters) – Prime Minister Shinzo Abe should clarify whether he will visit a Tokyo shrine seen in much of Asia as a symbol of Japan’s past militarism if he really wants to improve ties with China, a former moderate leader of Abe’s party said on Wednesday.

Chinese anger over Japanese politicians’ visits to Yasukuni Shrine, where Japanese leaders convicted as war criminals by an Allied tribunal are honored, has strained ties already fraught over a dispute over tiny islands in the East China Sea.

Aug 25, 2013

Japan’s Abe battles doctors’ lobby over ‘Third Arrow’ reform

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants to promote the advanced medical technology industry as part of a plan to breathe new life into the economy – but the country’s doctors’ lobby is opposing what they say is risky surgery.

Health care has become the latest battleground in Abe’s efforts to craft a strategy to engineer growth in the world’s third biggest economy, the so-called “Third Arrow” of his economic turnaround plan.

Aug 23, 2013

Classic Japan anti-war comic stirs history controversy

TOKYO, Aug 23 (Reuters) – A Japanese school board’s bid to
limit children’s access to a classic anti-war comic has sparked
an outcry from those who fear the move is part of a trend to
whitewash the country’s wartime past.

The furore, which grabbed headlines this week, echoes
concerns about Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s conservative agenda
to recast Japan’s wartime history in a less apologetic tone.

Aug 2, 2013

In overture to China, Japan PM may skip visit to war dead shrine

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will likely skip visiting a shrine for war dead on a traditional remembrance day this month, a move he hopes will open the door to a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping and mend badly frayed ties.

Whether Xi, faced with huge domestic challenges, is willing or able to risk responding to the overture remains in doubt. But relations between the world’s second- and third-largest economies have now been hostile for months, with a row over disputed islands adding to wartime bitterness and a regional rivalry.

Jul 30, 2013

Japan envoy meets China foreign minister amid strained ties

BEIJING/TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s top career diplomat met China’s foreign minister on Tuesday in the latest bid to ease strains between Asia’s two biggest economies over a bitter territorial row, while a Chinese official newspaper said Beijing had ruled out a leaders’ summit.

Hawkish Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who cemented his grip on power in an upper house election last week, has been signaling a desire for dialogue with China since the victory – although he has also rejected any conditions set by Beijing.

Jul 30, 2013

China rules out Sino-Japanese summit: state media

BEIJING/TOKYO (Reuters) – China has ruled out the possibility of a proposed summit with Japan after Tokyo suggested the meeting in a bid to defuse an increasingly bitter territorial row, the official China Daily reported on Tuesday.

The report, quoting a statement by an unidentified Chinese official made on Monday, coincided with a visit to Beijing by Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Akitaka Saiki.

Jul 29, 2013

Japan’s top diplomat heads for China, seeking better ties

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Akitaka Saiki will visit China on Monday and Tuesday for talks with senior officials, the latest in a series of efforts by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to improve relations soured by a bitter territorial row.

The hawkish Abe, who cemented his grip on power in an upper house election last week, has since then been signaling a desire for dialogue – even though Japan has raised its assessment of the risk of China’s military buildup and maritime assertiveness.

Jul 26, 2013

Japan to mull ability to hit enemy bases in defense review

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan should beef up its military’s ability to deter and counter missile attacks, including the possible acquisition of the ability to hit enemy bases, the Defence Ministry said, but officials denied this would be used for pre-emptive strikes.

The proposal – Japan’s latest step away from the constraints of its pacifist constitution – is part of a review of defense policy by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government, an interim report on which was released on Friday. The final conclusions of the review are due by the end of the year.

Jul 25, 2013

Japan to mull pre-emptive strike ability in defence update

TOKYO, July 25 (Reuters) – Japan is likely to start
considering acquiring the ability to launch pre-emptive military
strikes in a planned update of its basic defence policies, the
latest step away from the constraints of its pacifist
constitution.

The expected proposal, which could sound alarm bells in
China, is part of a review of Japan’s defence policies
undertaken by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government, an interim
report on which could come as early as Friday. The final
conclusions of the review are due out by the end of the year.

Jul 24, 2013

Japan likely to mull pre-emptive strike ability in defence update

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan is likely to start considering acquiring the ability to launch pre-emptive military strikes in an update of its basic defense policies, the latest step away from the constraints of its pacifist constitution.

The expected proposal, which will almost certainly sound alarm bells in China, is part of a review of Japan’s defense policies undertaken by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government, an interim report on which could come as early as Friday.

    • 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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