Feb 18, 2011

Space station may get chatty, tweeting JAXA humanoid robot

Lonely astronauts on the International Space Station may soon be getting an android friend from Japan. And for the folks back home, it will tweet. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency is considering putting a talking humanoid robot on the International Space Station to watch ...

U.S. submariners learn to live without smokes

Feb 17, 2011

U.S. submariners learn to live without smokes

YOKOSUKA, Kanagawa Pref. — When the USS Charlotte arrived for a recent port call, some of its crew were surely relieved to find themselves in Japan, traditionally a smoker’s haven. As if life on a submarine wasn’t already stressful enough, with its cramped quarters, ...

Kan takes in Iwojima graves hunt

Dec 15, 2010

Kan takes in Iwojima graves hunt

Making only the second trip ever by a serving prime minister to the site of the Battle of Iwojima, Naoto Kan paid his respects Tuesday to the more than 21,000 Japanese soldiers killed in one of World War II’s bloodiest battlegrounds — and one ...

Iwojima mementos bring closure

Nov 2, 2010

Iwojima mementos bring closure

For decades, the faded photograph of a baby Japanese girl and a child’s colorful drawing hung on a wall in the home of Franklin Hobbs III in America. As a 21-year-old U.S. soldier fighting on Iwojima, now known as Iwoto, one of the bloodiest ...

Aug 25, 2010

When scores of centenarians fall off radar

Japan prides itself on the world’s longest life expectancy but is struggling with a disturbing footnote to that statistic — revelations that hundreds of people listed as its oldest citizens are either long dead or haven’t been heard from for decades. The mystery of ...

Jul 17, 2010

Sumo's seamy underbelly

NAGOYA — Sumo is more than a sport to Japan. It’s like a religion, a bastion of traditional culture and a matter of national pride. Wrestlers aren’t just athletes — they are icons, role models and, often, larger-than-life heroes. Unless, of course, they are ...

Apr 9, 2010

Japan gets U.S. pitch to buy spy drones

The U.S.-made RQ-4 Global Hawk spy plane looks like an upside-down double-decker bus with wings, flies slowly, offers zero leg room — and is one of the most coveted pieces of military technology in the world. Impressed by its successes in combat for the ...

Feb 25, 2010

Japan starting to balk at footing bill for U.S. forces

GINOWAN, Okinawa Pref. — In Japan, where land is a precious commodity, many U.S. bases boast golf courses, football fields and giant shopping malls whose food courts offer everything from Taco Bell to Subway to Starbucks. They are the most visible point of grievance ...

Jan 7, 2010

Okinawans frustrated by Futenma standoff

GINOWAN, Okinawa Pref. — When the U.S. took over the airfield here in the closing days of World War II, it was surrounded by sugar cane fields and the smoldering battlegrounds of Okinawa. It is now the focus of a deepening dispute that is ...

JCP basks in discontent as faith in capitalism crumbles

Apr 22, 2009

JCP basks in discontent as faith in capitalism crumbles

Under a big red flag, the Japanese Communist Party’s headquarters stand as the center of a vibrant grassroots movement. The party’s ranks are swelling, it has 24,000 branch offices and more than 1 million people read its newspaper. Only one party — the one ...