Nov 30, 2011

High cesium level found in Date rice

The government on Tuesday ordered a ban on the shipment of rice harvested in two more districts in Fukushima Prefecture after tests detected dangerously high levels of radioactive cesium. Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said the central government has instructed Fukushima Gov. Yuhei Sato ...

Nov 25, 2011

Noda seeks to appease party foes to TPP talks

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda held a meeting Thursday with lawmakers from his Democratic Party of Japan in an effort to ease their opposition to Japan taking part in the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations. It was the first time Noda met with DPJ Diet members since ...

Fukushima to ban rice grown in Onami

Nov 18, 2011

Fukushima to ban rice grown in Onami

The government on Thursday banned shipments of rice harvested in the Onami district in the city of Fukushima after one farm’s product registered levels of radioactive cesium above the provisional limit. It is the first ban on rice shipments since the devastating nuclear crisis ...

Nov 17, 2011

No need for U.S. to correct TPP comments, Noda says

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said Wednesday he will not ask Washington again to revise a statement that he claimed misquoted his comments about Japan’s stance on free-trade talks. “I don’t think I need to ask (the U.S.) again to correct” the statement on the ...

Japan will join TPP dialogue, Noda decides

Nov 12, 2011

Japan will join TPP dialogue, Noda decides

Japan will join the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda officially announced Friday night, a day after he delayed making an declaration on the country’s stance on the free-trade initiative. “We decided to join negotiations with member states over the TPP,” Noda said ...

| Nov 12, 2011

Dissent within DPJ ranks looks set to fester

Delaying the decision to take part in the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations by a day may have bought a little time, but experts said Friday there is no going back for Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda now that he has announced Japan will participate in the ...

Nov 11, 2011

DPJ shelves tobacco tax hike to appease opposition

The ruling Democratic Party of Japan on Thursday postponed its plan to raise the tobacco tax, a compromise intended to win the opposition camp’s support over the passage of budget-related bills. Hirohisa Fujii, who heads the DPJ’s tax panel, agreed to suspend moves to ...

Tohoku teens share views of survival

Nov 10, 2011

Tohoku teens share views of survival

Asaka Yanada, a 15-year-old high school student from Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture, ran as fast as she could toward a hill for 2 km, shepherding elementary school students, when the giant tsunami engulfed her hometown on March 11. That’s how she survived the biggest disaster ...

Nov 9, 2011

Tohoku recovery bond redemption put at 25 years

The Democratic Party of Japan yielded to the opposition camp Tuesday and agreed to redeem the bonds for financing the reconstruction of the Tohoku region in 25 years. The agreement came after the DPJ compromised on the redemption period, extending the government’s original plan ...

Noda takes flak in Diet over extra budget, free trade

Nov 1, 2011

Noda takes flak in Diet over extra budget, free trade

Opposition lawmakers lashed out at Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Monday over what they said is the administration’s unclear stance on whether to join free-trade talks, criticized components of the third extra budget for the Tohoku region reconstruction and called on him to dissolve ...