March 2014
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79 articles published/printed


Mar 28, 2014

Amnesty: Let 'tragedy' be a lesson to Japan's courts

by Tomohiro Osaki

Prosecutors must swiftly accept Thursday’s Shizuoka District Court decision to reopen a high-profile 1966 murder case and get to the truth behind the conviction of former professional boxer Iwao Hakamada, the Japan branch of Amnesty International said after the ruling. After nearly five decades ...

Abe ready for full-on military drive

| Mar 28, 2014

Abe ready for full-on military drive

by Ayako Mie

With the launch next Monday of a special intraparty panel directly under his lead, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his ruling Liberal Democratic Party are ready to kick off their full-fledged drive to reinterpret the Constitution to allow Japan to help defend its allies. ...

Obama tells Pope Francis he is a 'great admirer'

Mar 28, 2014

Obama tells Pope Francis he is a 'great admirer'

President Barack Obama called himself a “great admirer” of Pope Francis as he sat down at the Vatican Thursday with the pontiff he considers a kindred spirit on issues of economic inequality. Their nearly hourlong first meeting comes as Obama’s administration remains deeply split ...

Indonesian forest fires feed air pollution across Asia

| Mar 28, 2014

Indonesian forest fires feed air pollution across Asia

High above the vast Indonesian island of Sumatra, satellites identify hundreds of plumes of smoke drifting over the oil palm plantations and rain forests. Monsoon winds sweep them north and east toward Singapore, Malaysia and deep into Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. Southeast Asian cities ...

Benesse taps McDonald's Harada for president's post

Mar 28, 2014

Benesse taps McDonald's Harada for president's post

McDonald’s Holdings Co. (Japan) Chairman Eiko Harada is expected to become chairman and president of education service provider Benesse Holdings Inc., informed sources said Thursday. Benesse Holdings was slated to make the decision at a board meeting in the afternoon, with Harada, 65, to ...

Sister's long years of support finally pay off

Mar 28, 2014

Sister's long years of support finally pay off

Hideko Hakamada, the 81-year-old sister of Iwao Hakamada, who was on death row more than three decades after he was convicted of murdering a family of four in Shizuoka Prefecture, expressed delight Thursday after learning he was being freed while his case is re-examined. ...

Behind doors, drinking thrives in Iran

| Mar 28, 2014

Behind doors, drinking thrives in Iran

by Parisa Hafezi

“Have a shot of tequila first, cheer up!” Shahriyar tells guests gathered at his luxury apartment in Tehran. His girlfriend, Shima, says they party every weekend. “Shahriyar has one rule: Bring your booze! We drink until morning,” she said on a Facetime call as ...

Mar 28, 2014

Amnesty International slams Japan's 'secrecy' on death penalty

Human rights group Amnesty International criticized Japan on Thursday for its continued used of the death penalty and the “secrecy” surrounding the execution process. At the launch of Amnesty’s annual release of death penalty statistics, spokeswoman Chiara Sangiorgio said Japan must give proper notice ...

Washington mudslide yields more bodies, but some may never be found

Mar 28, 2014

Washington mudslide yields more bodies, but some may never be found

Search teams picked through mud-caked debris for a fifth day on Wednesday, looking for scores of people still missing in a deadly Washington state landslide, as officials reported finding more bodies while acknowledging that some victims’ remains may never be recovered. The official death ...

Mar 28, 2014

Abe's pace on two right legs

by Jiro Yamaguchi

The current Abe administration finds itself with two right legs — one composed of traditional conservative forces that favor strong ties with the U.S. and another that takes anti-U.S. postures. Both jockey for influence within Abe' Liberal Democratic Party.

Mar 28, 2014

Aiming for a Tokyo-Seoul summit

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Park Geun-hye need to follow up their first formal meeting this week — held on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit — with a face-to-face meeting that doesn't require the intermediation of U.S. President Barack ...

Mar 28, 2014

Transparency in interrogations

A special panel of the Legislative Council proposes phasing in the process of electronically recording the full interrogation of a criminal suspect by an investigator. Will prosecutors go along?

Trial by media, conviction by word of mouth

Mar 28, 2014

Trial by media, conviction by word of mouth

by Mark Schilling

Yoshihiro Nakamura makes movies that puzzle, surprise and illuminate their themes both cleverly and literally (the fireworks of “Golden Slumber,” the comet of “Fish Story”). Everyone’s heard of the “butterfly effect” — how a small action in one place (a butterfly flapping its wings ...

Party with the <I>yuru-kyara </I>in Saitama

Mar 28, 2014

Party with the yuru-kyara in Saitama

by Jun Hongo

On March 30, Kibitan, Fukushima Prefecture’s Narcissus Flycatcher bird mascot is joining other yuru-kyara regional mascots from across Saitama Prefecture in an event to support the recovery efforts in regions of northeastern Japan affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011. ...

Lundqvist large between pipes as Rangers beat Flyers

Mar 28, 2014

Lundqvist large between pipes as Rangers beat Flyers

Henrik Lundqvist didn’t start this night with a ceremony in his honor, and he didn’t finish it with a shutout. However, he and the New York Rangers skated off the ice Wednesday with a key 3-1 victory over the rival Philadelphia Flyers and an ...

Pacers win bruising battle against Heat in race for top seed

Mar 28, 2014

Pacers win bruising battle against Heat in race for top seed

Indiana took every shot Miami could muster Wednesday night. Then the Pacers threw a couple of their own punches — and put the two-time defending champs on the mat. Paul George scored 23 points, Roy Hibbert added 21 and Indiana rallied from a seven-point ...

Nishikori upsets Federer in Sony Open quarters

Mar 28, 2014

Nishikori upsets Federer in Sony Open quarters

Roger Federer squandered a big lead and lost to No. 20-seeded Kei Nishikori 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 Wednesday night in the quarterfinals of the Sony Open. Federer was up a service break twice in the second set but couldn’t close out the victory. He lost ...