Jun 8, 2010

APEC chair Japan may toil to lead free-trade-zone talks

SAPPORO — Discussions by Pacific Rim economies about creating a regionwide free-trade zone are expected to accelerate this year after APEC trade ministers reaffirmed Sunday, the last day of a two-day meeting, the need for such action. But it remains to be seen if ...

May 17, 2010

Japan supports Seoul's patience in ship's sinking

GYEONGJU, South Korea — Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada offered support Sunday to his South Korean counterpart over the March sinking of the warship Cheonan and urged him to show “restraint” in dealing with Japan over a set of Korean-controlled islets that both sides claim. ...

Jan 1, 2010

Year to see U.S. ties tested, Tokyo trying to woo Asia

Japan’s ties with the United States are expected to be put to the test in 2010 as Tokyo struggles to settle a row over the Futenma military airfield in Okinawa, possibly as a step toward reshaping the decades-old bilateral alliance. In contrast, the Hatoyama ...

Okada's inconclusive visit irks Okinawans

Dec 7, 2009

Okada's inconclusive visit irks Okinawans

NAHA, Okinawa Pref. — Following a weekend visit to Okinawa by Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada that succeeded in upsetting local residents, it remains far from clear how the central government will settle the thorny issue of where to relocate Futenma air base. While Okada ...

Nov 18, 2009

Okada's Futenma-Kadena merger gambit fizzles

NAHA, Okinawa Pref. — Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada may have wanted a breakthrough on the thorny issue of where to relocate the Futenma airfield in Okinawa when he revived in late October the previously rejected idea of incorporating it into the nearby Kadena air ...

Oct 16, 2009

Helping Afghanistan easier said than done

Following Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada’s surprise visit to Kabul on Sunday, the government is stepping up efforts to work out measures that can benefit Afghan people on the ground. But this is turning out to be a difficult task because of the deteriorating security ...

Sep 1, 2009

No big shift seen in foreign policy

A dramatic shift in foreign policy is unlikely under a new administration led by the Democratic Party of Japan because it hopes to ensure continuity despite vowing greater independence from the United States. But foreign and security matters could easily emerge as flash points ...

Feb 4, 2009

Statute of limitations in slayings hit

With less than three years left before the statute of limitations runs out on the 1996 murder of his daughter, Kenji Kobayashi knew he would regret it if he allowed the clock to tick away without taking action. The 62-year-old Kobayashi, compelled to act ...

Multilingual Koyasan wins over foreigners

Jan 21, 2009

Multilingual Koyasan wins over foreigners

KOYA, Wakayama Pref. (Kyodo) In a dimly lit hall in the sacred Koyasan temple complex, a Swiss-born Buddhist priest joins other monks in reciting sutras in the early morning as foreign tourists watch the solemn 90-minute ceremony with intense interest. Kurt Genso, 57, whose ...