Feb 6, 2008

Nations swap papers limiting MSDF fuel use

Diplomatic notes were exchanged Tuesday in Tokyo between Japan and nations whose ships will receive fuel when the Maritime Self-Defense Force resumes its Indian Ocean support mission, with the understanding that the fuel will be used only for U.S.-led antiterrorism operations in and around ...

Canada to Japan: Drop farm guard, join FTA

Jan 22, 2008

Canada to Japan: Drop farm guard, join FTA

Free-trade agreements are actively being sought as countries worldwide try to boost trade and stimulate their economies, but Japan balks when it comes to liberalizing its agricultural market. But Canada’s ambassador in Tokyo, Joseph Caron, argues that Japan will benefit from inking an FTA ...

Ambassador upbeat on gas row progress

Jan 19, 2008

Ambassador upbeat on gas row progress

Japan and China may be able to resolve their dispute over gas exploration rights in the East China Sea even before the expected visit to Japan by Chinese President Hu Jintao in April, the Chinese ambassador to Japan said in an interview Friday. “I’m ...

Jan 16, 2008

Long-term residents may face language test

The government may require long-term foreign residents to have a certain level of Japanese proficiency, Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura said Tuesday. The Foreign and Justice ministries will begin discussing the envisioned Japanese-language requirement, Komura said without providing further details, including when the talks will ...

Bill's passage lets Japan save face

Jan 12, 2008

Bill's passage lets Japan save face

Friday’s enactment of a new special law that will let the Maritime Self-Defense Force resume multilateral refueling operations in the Indian Ocean will also allow Japan to save face and avoid jeopardizing its relations with the U.S., analysts said. “I think the White House ...

Becalmed Hokkaido prays for G8 wind

Jan 3, 2008

Becalmed Hokkaido prays for G8 wind

TOYAKO, Hokkaido — Lined with traditional merchant homes, wholesalers and other historical buildings dating to the 17th century, Inishie (Antiquity) Street stretches 1.1 km from north to south in the Japan Sea coastal town of Esashi in Hiyama, southwestern Hokkaido. When Toshinori Kameya, director ...

| Dec 31, 2007

Fukuda keeps thaw with China on track

JINAN, China — Shinzo Abe’s trip to China as prime minister in October 2006 was dubbed “the ice-breaking trip” to mend diplomatic relations damaged by predecessor Junichiro Koizumi. Then came Premier Wen Jiabao‘s “thawing-ice visit” to Japan last April. Now relations have reached what ...

Dec 30, 2007

Mid-January reshuffle of Cabinet eyed

Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda hinted Saturday that he may reshuffle the Cabinet in mid-January in an effort to shore up his administration’s falling approval ratings. Speaking to reporters traveling with him in Jinan, Shandong Province, Fukuda also ruled out the possibility of dissolving the ...

Dec 29, 2007

Beijing embraces Fukuda

to take unilateral action to change the status quo” in cross-strait relations. Fukuda’s visit follows the “ice-breaking trip” to China by his predecessor, Shinzo Abe, in October 2006 and Wen’s “ice-thawing visit” to Japan in April. Describing the two nations’ relations, Fukuda said “spring ...

Dec 25, 2007

Japan's first ICC judge takes aim at 'culture of impunity'

governed by the rule of law,” she said in a recent interview. Saiga, a career diplomat, has served as ambassador in charge of human rights and a member of the U.N. Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women. “The significance of the creation ...