Nakaima defies Nago base plan advocates

Oct 9, 2013

Nakaima defies Nago base plan advocates

Okinawa Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima resisted pressure Tuesday by Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera to allow the Futenma base relocation to move forward. But Nakaima, who must decide whether to approve a central government application to begin the necessary landfill work ...

Minamata mercury treaty finds skeptics

Oct 7, 2013

Minamata mercury treaty finds skeptics

Delegates from about 130 countries will gather Wednesday in the Kumamoto Prefecture cities of Minamata and Kumamoto for a three-day meeting to finalize a new international treaty seeking to ban or greatly limit the use of mercury. But critics say the treaty contains too ...

Defense, diplomacy chiefs sidestep SOFA

Oct 4, 2013

Defense, diplomacy chiefs sidestep SOFA

Thursday’s agreement between the United States and Japan to revise defense cooperation guidelines touched on a number of core issues, such as transferring U.S. Marines to Guam, building a contentious replacement in Okinawa for the Futenma base, and cooperating on ballistic missile defense and ...

Nippon Ishin's future seen riding on Sakai mayor race

Sep 27, 2013

Nippon Ishin's future seen riding on Sakai mayor race

Sunday’s mayoral contest in Sakai, one of Japan’s most independent-minded cities, is expected to decide not only the fate of a plan to merge Osaka prefectural cities into a single administrative entity, but also the fate of national-level efforts to create a new opposition ...

TPP, Hague treaty, Senkakus to top agenda for Kennedy

Sep 24, 2013

TPP, Hague treaty, Senkakus to top agenda for Kennedy

At her Senate hearing last week, Caroline Kennedy, tipped to be the next U.S. ambassador to Japan, faced numerous questions about the Trans-Pacific Partnership pact, tensions over the Senkaku Islands, and what she would do about nearly 400 cases of American children allegedly abducted ...

If U.S. comes calling, will Abe back Syria strike?

Sep 12, 2013

If U.S. comes calling, will Abe back Syria strike?

With a comprehensive attempt under way to find a diplomatic solution in Syria, punitive U.S. military strikes planned for its alleged use of chemical weapons last month have been postponed after appearing imminent just a few days ago. But if Washington decides to ignore ...