December 2013
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72 articles published/printed


Defense outlays to be hiked 5% amid China threat

Dec 18, 2013

Defense outlays to be hiked 5% amid China threat

The Abe administration said Tuesday it intends to boost military spending by 5 percent over the next five years, including a hardware splurge that will beef up defense of far-flung islands amid the Senkaku row with China. The Cabinet of hawkish Prime Minister Shinzo ...

Manila to hedge bets against China

| Dec 18, 2013

Manila to hedge bets against China

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in the Philippines on Tuesday for a two-day trip that could fast-track a deal on expanding the U.S. military presence as a territorial dispute simmers with China. The same day, Kerry said the United States will provide ...

Beauty queen barred amid talent agency flap

Dec 18, 2013

Beauty queen barred amid talent agency flap

Beauty queen Ikumi Yoshimatsu says she was barred from the ceremony where she was to hand over the crown to her successor after she refused to sign with a major talent agency. Yoshimatsu, winner of last year’s Miss International contest, has filed a criminal ...

'Rocker' physicist knows his neutrinos

Dec 18, 2013

'Rocker' physicist knows his neutrinos

Visitors to a world-leading accelerator science research laboratory should not be surprised if they see a rock singer engaging in studies on neutrinos. “I’m even mistaken for a young scaffolding worker,” laughed Sho Tada, 43, of the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization in Tsukuba, ...

In Syria, jihadists train 'children of al-Qaida'

Dec 18, 2013

In Syria, jihadists train 'children of al-Qaida'

by Joby Warrick

At first glance, the training camp appears no different from the many others shown in propaganda videos posted by al-Qaida’s affiliate in Syria. Hooded recruits in camouflage shoot at targets or march in formation under the black flag of the Islamic State of Iraq ...

Israel seeks to reinforce U.S. Jewish connection

Dec 18, 2013

Israel seeks to reinforce U.S. Jewish connection

More than 100 Israeli leaders gathered with their Jewish-American counterparts in Jerusalem last month with a daunting mission: to save Jewish life in North America. Jewish-American leaders have known for years that assimilation and intermarriage were slowly shrinking their communities, but the early November ...

Tepco bonds a safe bet now: Nomura

Dec 18, 2013

Tepco bonds a safe bet now: Nomura

by Finbarr Flynn and Masumi Suga

Nomura Holdings Inc. is urging investors buy Tokyo Electric Power Co. bonds after a report that the government plans to cap the utility’s cleanup costs at the wrecked Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. The yield premium on Tepco’s 1.155 percent notes due in ...

Fund plans Southeast Asia stores to pitch Japan

Dec 18, 2013

Fund plans Southeast Asia stores to pitch Japan

A public-private fund is planning to open stores in major Southeast Asian cities to sell products related to Japanese culture. The plan involves renting parts of large-scale commercial facilities or buying entire buildings, Nobuyuki Ota, chief executive officer of Cool Japan Fund Inc., said. ...

Dec 18, 2013

Japan adopts new security strategy to counter assertive China

Japan on Tuesday adopted a new national security strategy, pledging to beef up defenses against an increasingly assertive China to protect its territory, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe aims to boost Tokyo’s standing as a contributor to global peace and security. In the national ...

Dec 18, 2013

Heavy tax hit on households

Japan's tax guidelines for fiscal 2014 again reflect the Abe administration's apparent emphasis on providing economic benefits to corporations at the expense of households.

Dec 18, 2013

Misguided focus on test results

Reversing its traditional position, the education ministry has decided to let municipal boards of education publicize the results for individual schools in the achievement tests taken by sixth and ninth graders nationwide. An even worse obsession with test scores could follow.

Dec 18, 2013

Is a U.K. breakup in sight?

by Hugh Cortazz

The white paper that the Scottish government has produced in favor of independence is long on aspirations and short on detailed responses to the problems that an independent Scotland would face.

From Kyary to Yosi: The best Japanese albums of 2013

Dec 18, 2013

From Kyary to Yosi: The best Japanese albums of 2013

Overseas it was a year of big rollouts. There was a lot of hype behind releases by Lady Gaga, Kanye West and Miley Cyrus. But will these acts be remembered for paparazzi fights and “twerking” more than their music? Instead of ranking the year’s ...

Some of the year's best music was free

Dec 18, 2013

Some of the year's best music was free

by Patrick ST. Michel

Variety wasn’t something the Oricon Charts delivered much over the course of 2013. With few exceptions, the biggest sellers were the same as they ever were — Johnny’s boy bands such as Arashi, Kanjani 8 and Kis-My-FT2; AKB48 and their affiliated projects; and a ...

Dec 18, 2013

J.League season to begin on March 1

The J.League’s board of directors on Tuesday approved March 1 as the starting date of next year’s season. The first-division (J1) with 18 teams playing a home-and-away format will take the field on March 1, with the second division (J2) starting the following day ...

Seagulls capture fourth straight X League title

Dec 18, 2013

Seagulls capture fourth straight X League title

by Hiroshi Ikezawa

The Obic Seagulls remain the longest-reigning champion in X League history after winning an unprecedented fourth consecutive title by defeating the Fujitsu Frontiers 24-16 in the Japan X Bowl at Tokyo Dome on Monday. The Seagulls will play collegiate champion Kwansei Gakuin University for ...

Fukushi, Kiryu honored by JAAF

Dec 18, 2013

Fukushi, Kiryu honored by JAAF

by Kaz Nagatsuka

Veteran long-distance runner Kayoko Fukushi received the athlete of the year trophy and high school sensation Yoshihide Kiryu also grabbed the spotlight with two accolades at the annual JAAF Athletic Awards on Tuesday. Fukushi, who nabbed the award for the first time, claimed a ...

Johnson pumps in 10 3-pointers as Nets crush 76ers

Dec 18, 2013

Johnson pumps in 10 3-pointers as Nets crush 76ers

Joe Johnson’s 10th 3-pointer was maybe the toughest, coming while being fouled in the corner, and now he had a decision. Settle for the best 3-point shooting night of the season, or stay on the court for the fourth quarter and a chance at ...

Tucker's six FGs sink Lions

Dec 18, 2013

Tucker's six FGs sink Lions

Justin Tucker’s powerful leg kicked the Super Bowl champions into playoff gear. Tucker made six field goals, including a franchise-record 61-yarder with 38 seconds left that lifted the Baltimore Ravens to an 18-16 win over the Detroit Lions in a Monday night matchup with ...

Stastny, Avs clobber Stars

Dec 18, 2013

Stastny, Avs clobber Stars

Paul Stastny was slumping and frustrated with his scoring drought. Facing the Dallas Stars helped clear that up for the Colorado Avalanche center. Stastny scored twice and added two assists and the Avalanche beat the Dallas Stars 6-2 on Monday night. Erik Johnson and ...