The Japanese parliament building in Tokyo
JAPAN / Politics
Mar 3, 2024
Opposition again demands 32 Upper House members face ethics panel
Junichi Ishii, LDP parliamentary affairs chief in the Upper House, says the LDP intends to decide in early March on the plan to hold ethics panel hearings.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, U.S. President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak deliver remarks on the AUKUS security partnership after a trilateral meeting, at Naval Base Point Loma in San Diego in March last year.
JAPAN / Politics
Mar 3, 2024
AUKUS eyes defense tech collaboration with Japan, report says
Japan’s involvement in the partnership would be limited to specific projects and would exclude nuclear-powered submarines.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida attends a Lower House plenary session on Saturday.
JAPAN / Politics / FOCUS
Mar 3, 2024
In bid to save face, Kishida sticks to his guns on budget passage schedule
The PM wants to prevent his administration's popularity from falling further but his handling of a funds scandal is widely perceived as inadequate.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and other lawmakers bow after the Lower House passed the fiscal 2024 draft budget on Saturday.
JAPAN / Politics
Mar 2, 2024
After lengthy delay, Japan's Lower House passes fiscal 2024 budget
The Lower House cleared the bill after deliberations in which the opposition grilled the prime minister over the party's ongoing political funds scandal.
Japan has been particularly sensitive about the prospect of resuming Osprey flights following the November crash of a U.S. Air Force CV-22 variant.
JAPAN / Politics
Mar 2, 2024
U.S. to lift ban on Osprey flights, three months after deadly Japan crash
The U.S. military will next week share its plans with Japan — the sole international partner involved in the Osprey program.
A U.S. B-52 bomber conducts joint training with Air Self-Defense Force F-2 fighter jets on Friday.
JAPAN / Politics
Mar 2, 2024
Japanese fighter jets and U.S. bombers train over Sea of Japan and East China Sea
The joint exercises over the two waterways were seen as a show of deterrence to both Beijing and Pyongyang.
Former economy minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, who served as the Abe faction’s secretary-general for 10 months until August 2022, said the practice of returning portions of the income collected through fundraising parties to individual lawmakers was solely handled by the faction chairman and an administrative secretary.
JAPAN / Politics
Mar 1, 2024
As ethics hearing unfolds, Diet falls into chaos over budget approval
The CDP sought to censure budget committee leader Itsunori Onodera over his decision to push through a final vote, and argued for more extensive debate.
South Korea's President Yoon Suk-yeol delivers a speech during a ceremony on the 105th anniversary of the March 1 Independence Movement Day in Seoul on Friday.
JAPAN / Politics
Mar 1, 2024
South Korea's Yoon says better Japan ties helping deter North Korea threat
Under Yoon's conservative administration, Seoul has sought better ties with Tokyo, which have been fraught with historical baggage for years.
An MQ-9 Reaper drone stands on the runway at Naval Base Ventura County Sea Range, Point Mugu, near Oxnard, California. The Defense Ministry is considering purchasing the Reaper for intercepting foreign aircraft approaching Japanese airspace.
JAPAN / Politics / FOCUS
Mar 1, 2024
New drone tech in spotlight as Japan eyes boosted capabilities
As Tokyo seeks to beef up its unmanned systems, inspiration could come from the latest tech displayed at this year's Singapore Airshow.
Then-U.S. President Donald Trump attends a Japanese business leaders event with then-U.S. Ambassador to Japan William Hagerty in Tokyo in May 2019.
JAPAN / Politics
Mar 1, 2024
Trump is not isolationist, former U.S. envoy to Japan believes
U.S. Sen. William Hagerty said he talked to the former president last week about the importance of the relationship with Tokyo.
Japan-made defense products on display at the Singapore Airshow on Feb. 23. Japan’s revision of its defense export guidelines is critical for the development of a next-generation fighter jet with the U.K. and Italy.
JAPAN / Politics
Feb 29, 2024
Talks on easing Japan defense export rules pushed back to March
The Liberal Democratic Party and junior coalition partner Komeito failed to reach an agreement on revisions to existing restrictions on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks at a Lower House ethics committee hearing in Tokyo on Thursday.
JAPAN / Politics
Feb 29, 2024
Kishida apologizes over slush funds scandal at ethics committee meeting
In a rare appearance in front of the committee, the prime minister also vowed to implement political reforms in the wake of the scandal.
Hideo Kojima (right), mayor of Ginan, Gifu Prefecture, hands his letter of resignation to the head of the town's assembly at the town hall on Thursday.
JAPAN / Politics
Feb 29, 2024
Gifu town mayor resigns amid sexual harassment allegations
Hideo Kojima, 74, a former town assembly member, was first elected mayor in November 2020 and was serving his first term.
While Tokyo and Washington have maintained strong ties under U.S. President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Fumio Kishida amid intensifying concern over China’s regional ambitions, Japanese officials are still hedging their bets by sending out feelers in the event of another term under Donald Trump.
JAPAN / Politics
Feb 28, 2024
Ex-senior Trump official reassures Tokyo over possible comeback
A former deputy assistant to the ex-president swatted away concerns, saying Trump's 2024 White House bid "is a very different effort than 2016."
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida tells reporters that he plans to attend a Lower House ethics committee hearing, in Tokyo on Wednesday.
JAPAN / Politics
Feb 28, 2024
Kishida says he will attend ethics committee hearing on funds scandal
In addition to Kishida, five senior LDP members will face the committee in front of a fully-open session of the Lower House on Thursday and Friday.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's Cabinet approved an economic security bill on Tuesday.
JAPAN / Politics
Feb 27, 2024
Japan Cabinet OKs bill on new economic 'security clearance' system
Government officials and private sector employees will be given access to classified information under the system once they pass a screening process.
In principle, political ethics committee meetings are not open to either the media or other lawmakers. But the committee can open them to both at its discretion.
JAPAN / Politics
Feb 27, 2024
What to know about the ethics committee probing the LDP funds scandal
When the committee convenes later this week, at least five senior ruling party officials are expected to testify on what they knew about the scandal.
In early February, the Finance Ministry announced that government debt at the end of last year had reached a record high of ¥1.2 quadrillion.
JAPAN / Politics / FOCUS
Feb 27, 2024
With downfall of Abe faction, some see a shift in Japan’s debt debate
The faction has long promoted fiscal stimulus, but its demise combined with wider economic conditions could open up space for a different approach.
Takuya Yokota (second from right), head of a group of families of abductees to North Korea, speaks at a news conference in Tokyo on Sunday.
JAPAN / Politics / FOCUS
Feb 26, 2024
Families of North Korea abductees give Japan breathing room for summit
The group won't oppose Tokyo's lifting of sanctions on Pyongyang if all abductees are returned while their parents' generation is still alive.
A projection mapping display on the building that hosts the headquarters of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government on Sunday
JAPAN / Politics
Feb 26, 2024
Projection mapping show at Tokyo government building world's biggest
Free year-round shows extend roughly 14,000 square meters from the fourth to 32nd floor of the complex's 48-story Main Building No. 1.

Longform

Hideo Shimoju points to a possible site that his fellow neighbors may relocate to. Such relocations have happened before, but not preemptively.
In disaster-prone Japan, some communities consider major moves