Author Archives: Jacques de Goldfiem

Wars, conflicts and strategy on 21 September in Asian history


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Updated on September 21, 2018

1746: The Siege of Madras (in the first Carnatic War) comes to an end. The French capture Fort St George (Madras) from the British

1860: In the Second Opium war, an Anglo-French force defeats Chinese troop at the Battle of Baliqiao (Pa-Li-Kao)

1863: In Shanghai, the Britain and United States concessions formally merge, becoming the « International Settlement »


1963: The Soviet Union denounces the Chinese will to get atomic weapon at all cost and says that in 1962 the Chinese crossed more than 5,000 times the common border

1967: Thai troops arrive in Saigon

2011: South Korea’s nuclear envoy has held rare talks with his North Korean counterpart in Beijing. Ahead of the meeting the South’s Wi Sung-lac said talks with Ri Yong-ho would focus on ending Pyongyang’s nuclear programme

2012: S Korea fires warning shots at North’s boats. Move follows several incidents in recent weeks of North Korean fishing vessels crossing the disputed Yellow Sea border

2015 : Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov indicates that there is no room for compromise with Japan over the disputed south Kuril islands, calling on Tokyo to « recognise » post-WWII « historic realities »

On 21 September in South Asian history


To see another date, on Internet (Google…) type “On (date + month) in South Asian history”

Updated on September 21, 2018

1743: Death of Jai Singh II, King of Amber-Juiper, born on November 3, 1688

1746: The Siege of Madras (in the first Carnatic War) comes to an end. The French capture Fort St George (Madras) from the British

1919: Birth of Fazlur Rahman, Pakistani scholar of Islam, who died on July 26, 1988

1926: Birth of Noor Jehan, Pakistani singer and actress, death on December 23, 2000

1939: Birth of Agnivesh, Indian social activist

1949 : Manipur is merged with the Indian Union. It was once an independent princely state, which was taken over by the British in 1891

1955: Birth of Gulshan Grover, Indian actor

1960: Birth of Sikandar Sanam, Pakistani actor and singer who died o, November 5, 2012!/2012/06/about-sikandar-sanam.html

1971: Bhutan enters the United Nations

1980: Birth of Kareena Kapoor, Indian actress

1981: Birth of Rimi Sen, Indian actress

1989: Rajini Thiranagama, Sri Lankan Tamil physician and academic is killed. Born on February 23, 1954

1987: Speaking to US Congress, the Dalai Lama introduces his Five points Peace Plan for Tibet

1988: Birth of Bilawal Bhutto, Son of Benazir Bhutto and Asif Zardani, vice-president of the PPP since December 2007

1995: The Hindu milk miracle occurs, in which statues of the Hindu God Ganesh began drinking milk when spoonfuls were placed near their mouths

1996: In India, Sitaram Kesri succeeds Narasimha Rao, involved in a fraud case, as chairman of the Indian Congress

2004: The Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) People’s War and the Maoist Communist Centre of India merge to form the Communist Party of India (Maoist)

2013: Voters in Sri Lanka’s north have held their first-ever elections for a semi-autonomous council, four years after the army defeated Tamil Tiger rebels.


On 21 September in Southeast Asian history


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Updated on September 21, 2018

1629: Jan Pierterzoon Coen, head of the Dutch East India Company, passes away

1957: Pote Sarasin general secretary of South-East Association Treaty Organization (SEATO) becomes Thailand premier

1965: Singapore is admitted as part of the United Nations

1967: Thai troops arrive in Saigon

1972: Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines signs Proclamation N° 1081 placing the entire country under the martial law

1972-09-21 Martial Law

1981: Birth of Meilinda Soerjoko, Indonesian-Australian actress

1984: Brunei joins the United Nations

2001: In East Timor, the first government, led by Mari Alkatiri, leader of Fretilin, is sworn in

2009: More than a dozen Abu Sayyaf fighters have been killed after government forces attempted to arrest rebel leaders in the southern Philippines

2013: Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak faced down a threat to his leadership after nominations closed without anybody contesting his presidency of the ruling party

On 21 September in Japan’s history


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Updated on September 21, 2018

1680: Death of Japanese emperor Go-Mizunoo on the throne from 1611 to 1629, born on June 25, 1596

1874: Birth of Hishida Shunso,Japanese painter from the Meiji period, who died on September 16, 1911

Hishida Shunso

1933: Death of Kenji Miyazawa, Japanese author and poet, born on August 27, 1896

Kenji Miyazawa

1934: Superpower Muroto Typhoon hit in western Honshu, Japan, Japanese government confirmed 3,036 killed. Mainly destroy temples, schools, and other buildings at Osaka

1949: Birth of Yusaku Matsuda, Japanese actor who died on November 6, 1989 

1954: Birth of Shinzo Abe, shortly Japanese prime minister (2006-2007) and again since December 2012

1954: Death of Kokichi Mikimoto, Japanese inventor of the cultured pearl, born on January 25, 1858

2011: Death of Jun Henmi, Japanese author and poet, born on July 26, 1939

2012: Yoshihiko Noda beat three other contenders, winning more than 60 per cent of points available in vote by party members

2013: Death of Taro Ishida, Japanese actor, born on March 16, 1944


On 21 September in Chinese history, Hong Kong and Taiwan


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Updated on September 21, 2018

1328: Birth of Hongwu Emperor of China who died on June 24, 1398

1428: Birth of Zhu Qiyu, Emperor Jingtai of the Ming Dynasty from 1449 to 1457 as the Jingtai Emperor, who died on March 14, 1457

1643: Death of Huang Taiji, first emperor of the Chinese Qing dynasty (1626-1643), born on November 28, 1592

1860: In the Second Opium war, an Anglo-French force defeats Chinese troop at the Battle of Baliqiao (Pa-Li-Kao)

1863: In Shanghai, the Britain and United States concessions formally merge, becoming the « International Settlement »


1898: Empress Dowager Cixi seizes power and ends the Hundred Days Reform in China

1949: At the opening of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference in Peking, Mao Zedong announces that the new Chinese government will be « under the leadership of the Communist Party of China. »

1952: Birth of Emily Lau, Hong Kong democratic activist

1962: Death of Chinese film artist Ouyang Yuqian, born on May 12, 1889

1963: The Soviet Union denounces the Chinese will to get atomic weapon at all cost and says that in 1962 the Chinese crossed more than 5,000 times the common border

1985: Death of Gu Long (real name Xiong Yaohua), Taiwanese writer of wuxia novels, born on June 7, 1938

1987: Speaking to US Congress, the Dalai Lama introduces his Five points Peace Plan for Tibet

1999: Chi-Chi earthquake occurs in central Taiwan, leaving about 2,400 people dead


On 21 September in Asian history

1972-09-21 Martial Law


To see another date, on Internet, type “On (day + month) in Asian history”

Updated on September 21, 2018

1328: Birth of Hongwu Emperor of China who died on June 24, 1398

1428: Birth of Zhu Qiyu, Emperor Jingtai of the Ming Dynasty from 1449 to 1457 as the Jingtai Emperor, who died on March 14, 1457

1629: Jan Pierterzoon Coen, head of the Dutch East India Company, passes away

1643: Death of Huang Taiji, first emperor of the Chinese Qing dynasty (1626-1643), born on November 28, 1592

1680: Death of Japanese emperor Go-Mizunoo on the throne from 1611 to 1629, born on June 25, 1596

1743: Death of Jai Singh II, King of Amber-Juiper, born on November 3, 1688

1746: The Siege of Madras (in the first Carnatic War) comes to an end. The French capture Fort St George (Madras) from the British

1839: In Korea, later Saint, Laurent Marie Joseph Imbert is beheaded, born on March 23, 1796

1860: In the Second Opium war, an Anglo-French force defeats Chinese troop at the Battle of Baliqiao (Pa-Li-Kao)

1863: In Shanghai, the Britain and United States concessions formally merge, becoming the « International Settlement »


1874: Birth of Hishida Shunso,Japanese painter from the Meiji period, who died on September 16, 1911

Hishida Shunso

1898: Empress Dowager Cixi seizes power and ends the Hundred Days Reform in China

1919: Birth of Fazlur Rahman, Pakistani scholar of Islam, who died on July 26, 1988

1926: Birth of Noor Jehan, Pakistani singer and actress, death on December 23, 2000

1933: Death of Kenji Miyazawa, Japanese author and poet, born on August 27, 1896

Kenji Miyazawa

1934: Superpower Muroto Typhoon hit in western Honshu, Japan, Japanese government confirmed 3,036 killed. Mainly destroy temples, schools, and other buildings at Osaka

1939: Birth of Agnivesh, Indian social activist

1949: At the opening of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference in Peking, Mao Zedong announces that the new Chinese government will be « under the leadership of the Communist Party of China. »

1949 : Manipur is merged with the Indian Union. It was once an independent princely state, which was taken over by the British in 1891

1949: Birth of Yusaku Matsuda, Japanese actor who died on November 6, 1989

1952: Birth of Emily Lau, Hong Kong democratic activist

1953: Lt No Kum-Sok a North Korean pilot defects to South Korea with his Mig-15 in the frame of Operation Moolah

1954: Birth of Shinzo Abe, shortly Japanese prime minister (2006-2007) and again since December 2012

1954: Death of Kokichi Mikimoto, Japanese inventor of the cultured pearl, born on January 25, 1858

1955: Birth of Gulshan Grover, Indian actor

1957: Pote Sarasin general secretary of South-East Association Treaty Organization (SEATO) becomes Thailand premier

1960: Birth of Sikandar Sanam, Pakistani actor and singer who died o, November 5, 2012!/2012/06/about-sikandar-sanam.html

1962: Death of Chinese film artist Ouyang Yuqian, born on May 12, 1889

1963: The Soviet Union denounces the Chinese will to get atomic weapon at all cost and says that in 1962 the Chinese crossed more than 5,000 times the common border

1965: Singapore and the Maldives are admitted as members of the United Nations

1967: Birth of Suman Pokhrel, Nepali poet and songwriter

1967: Thai troops arrive in Saigon

1971: Bhutan enters the United Nations

1972: Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines signs Proclamation N° 1081 placing the entire country under the martial law

1972-09-21 Martial Law

1980: Birth of Kareena Kapoor, Indian actress

1981: Birth of Rimi Sen, Indian actress

1981: Birth of Meilinda Soerjoko, Indonesian-Australian actress

1984: Brunei joins the United Nations

1985: Death of Gu Long (real name Xiong Yaohua), Taiwanese writer of wuxia novels, born on June 7, 1938

1987: Speaking to US Congress, the Dalai Lama introduces his Five points Peace Plan for Tibet

1988: Birth of Bilawal Bhutto, Son of Benazir Bhutto and Asif Zardani, president of the PPP

1989: Rajini Thiranagama, Sri Lankan Tamil physician and academic is killed. Born on February 23, 1954

1995: The Hindu milk miracle occurs, in which statues of the Hindu God Ganesh began drinking milk when spoonfuls were placed near their mouths

1996: In India, Sitaram Kesri succeeds Narasimha Rao, involved in a fraud case, as chairman of the Indian Congress

1999: Chi-Chi earthquake occurs in central Taiwan, leaving about 2,400 people dead

2001: In East Timor, the first government, led by Mari Alkatiri, leader of Fretilin, is sworn in

2001: Lee Teng-hui, former president of Taiwan, who has been chairman of the Kuomintang during twelve years is expelled from the party after giving his support to a new party, the Taiwan Solidarity Union

2004: The Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) People’s War and the Maoist Communist Centre of India merge to form the Communist Party of India (Maoist)

2009: More than a dozen Abu Sayyaf fighters have been killed after government forces attempted to arrest rebel leaders in the southern Philippines

2011: South Korea’s nuclear envoy has held rare talks with his North Korean counterpart in Beijing. Ahead of the meeting the South’s Wi Sung-lac said talks with Ri Yong-ho would focus on ending Pyongyang’s nuclear programme

2011: Death of Jun Henmi, Japanese author and poet, born on July 26, 1939

2012: PM Yoshihiko Noda beat three other contenders, winning more than 60 per cent of points available in vote by Democratic party members

2012: S Korea fires warning shots at North’s boats. Move follows several incidents in recent weeks of North Korean fishing vessels crossing the disputed Yellow Sea border

2013: Voters in Sri Lanka’s north have held their first-ever elections for a semi-autonomous council, four years after the army defeated Tamil Tiger rebels.

2013: Death of Taro Ishida, Japanese actor, born on March 16, 1944

2015 : Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov indicates that there is no room for compromise with Japan over the disputed south Kuril islands, calling on Tokyo to « recognise » post-WWII « historic realities »

2015 : Death of Esmail Kiram II, a Philippine sultan whose armed followers invaded a vast Malaysian region in 2013 and sparked a deadly security crisis

Main news of the last weeks


Much more news and analysis if you see by countries or by topics


Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak charged with 25 counts of money laundering and abuse of power

Najib Razak, Malaysia’s former prime minister, had been charged with 21 counts of money-laundering in a case linked to a multi-million dollar fraud scandal centred around a state fund

Japan’s Abe re-elected as party head, to stay on as PM

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was re-elected as head of his ruling Liberal Democratic Party in a landslide Thursday, paving the way for up to three more years as the nation’s leader and a push toward a constitutional revision


Moon and Kim jointly announce Pyongyang Declaration

The main focus of the summit was the issue of denuclearisation. While the US and North Korea agreed in broad terms earlier this year to work towards that goal, negotiations have stalled

Defense chiefs of two Koreas sign comprehensive military agreement

South Korea’s Minister of National Defense Song Young-moo, and his North Korean counterpart No Kwang-chol, signed a comprehensive military agreement Wednesday, with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un present at the scene

Vietnam and France sign statement on defence ties

Vietnamese Defence Minister Ngô Xuân Lịch and his French counterpart Florence Parly signed a joint vision statement on defence cooperation for 2018-28 at their talks in Paris

Pakistan court orders release of former prime minister Sharif and daughter

Pakistani court on Wednesday ordered the release of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter, suspending their prison sentences for corruption pending an appeal hearing, his lawyer said

Vietnam jails retired teacher for 14 years for ‘attempted subversion’

A retired teacher was jailed Wednesday for 14 years for “attempting to overthrow the state”, the latest in a series of convictions this week as communist Vietnam cracks down harder on critics

Former columnist jailed for ‘abusive’ Facebook posts on Aung San Suu Kyi

 A former columnist for state media has been jailed for seven years for « abusive » Facebook posts about Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi, a court official said Wednesday, the latest case threatening free expression in the country


UN reiterates call for Myanmar generals to face genocide charges

Myanmar’s army has used unfathomable levels of violence against minority Rohingya, UN investigators said Tuesday, calling for the military to be removed from politics and top generals to be prosecuted for genocide

Korean leaders wrap up 1st day of talks

The leaders of the 2 Koreas have wrapped up their first day of official talks in Pyongyang on an optimistic tone

China Sets Tariffs On $60 Billion In U.S. Goods, Retaliating Against U.S. Duties

Hours after President Trump announced tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods, China responded with its own levies on $60 billion worth of U.S. products


Pakistan PM Imran Khan offers citizenship to Afghan refugees

Afghan refugees born in Pakistan will be offered citizenship, Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Monday in a dramatic change of policy that could benefit of hundreds of thousands of marginalised people

Future Forward leaders fight computer crime charge

Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit and two other executive members met police to hear the charge of violating the Computer Crime Act on Monday

Sri Lanka President tells diplomats: Pick up phone or pack up

Sri Lanka’s President on Monday (Sep 17) justified his decision to sack six diplomats – including an ambassador – for not answering his phone calls, saying more would follow if the foreign service did not shape up

Japan challenges China with submarine military exercise in South China Sea

A Japanese submarine joined a military exercise in the contested area of the South China Sea, in a move that could infuriate Beijing, which claims most of the disputed waters

Bhutan ruling party defeated in election

Bhutan’s prime minister conceded defeat Sunday after the ruling party was knocked out in the first round of the small Himalayan nation’s third-ever election

Malaysia’s economy fundamentally strong, resilient: Finance minister

Despite uncertainty in global developments, Malaysia’s economy is fundamentally strong and resilient, said Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng on Monday (Sep 17)


North Korea and South Korea open joint liaison office

The two countries have inagurated a new complex that will let their officials communicate directly with one another

Japan PM Shinzo Abe says no peace treaty with Russia until territorial dispute resolved

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday (Sept 14) again ruled out any peace treaty with Russia unless a resolution can first be reached in a territorial dispute over four islands north of Hokkaido

South Korea launches its first missile-capable submarine despite improved relations with the North

The Republic of Korea (ROK)’s President Moon Jae-in said Friday that his country will keep peace through strength as its security strategy amid thawing ties with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)

Taiwan appreciates European support against Beijing’s bullying

Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry expressed its sincere appreciation for the European Parliament after it approved a resolution on the EU-China relations report, which calls for an end to Chinese military intimidations vis-à-vis Taiwan and backs the island nation’s participation in international bodies


Cambodia’s Hun Sen tells world: Leave Indochina alone

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said countries outside Indochina are too critical of politics in the region and Southeast Asian nations should be left to solve their own problems

Aung San Suu Kyi defends jailing of Reuters journalists in Myanmar 

Aung San Suu Kyi has defended the jailing of two Reuters journalists who were reporting on the Rohingya Muslim crisis, in a speech likely to add to her fall from grace


Putin proposes Russia and Japan sign historic peace treaty this year

Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested on Wednesday that Russia and Japan sign a peace treaty this year, ending second world war hostilities “without any preconditions” as a territorial dispute has led to decades of deadlock

Malaysian opposition blocks bid to repeal fake news law

Malaysia’s opposition-led Upper House blocked an effort to repeal a law against fake news yesterday, presenting the first major challenge for the new government of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad


North Korea’s Kim Jong-un asks Donald Trump for another meeting in new letter

US President Donald Trump has received a letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un asking for a second meeting, and the White House is already looking at scheduling one, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders says

Kulsoom Nawaz: Ex-Pakistan PM’s wife dies in London

Mrs Kulsoom Nawaz Sharif, 68, died after months in a coma. She was diagnosed with lymphoma last year, barely a month after Nawaz Sharif was removed from office by the Pakistan Supreme Court, which ordered him to face trial in an anti-corruption court

Russian, Chinese Troops Kick off Russia’s Largest Military Exercise Since 1981

Russia has launched what it has called its largest ever military drills, with hundreds of thousands of troops joining Chinese soldiers in a show of force condemned by Nato as a rehearsal for large-scale conflict

China’s Xi Jinping, Russia’s Vladimir Putin agree to boost ties amid growing US unilateralism

Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin have vowed to bolster Sino-Russian ties and oppose unilateralism, as the two nations seek to counterbalance the United States’ power on the international stage

Taiwan President meets French parliamentary delegation

The event showed that both countries shared the same values of freedom and democracy, leading relations to be close and to progress continuously, the Central News Agency quoted Tsai as saying


Cambodia opposition leader Kem Sokha released from prison

The leader of Cambodia’s now dissolved opposition party was freed on highly restrictive bail Monday after being jailed for a year on a treason charge, the latest government opponent to be released since Prime Minister Hun Sen’s landslide election victory

Thai authorities shut down controversial forum on Myanmar’s generals

A forum to discuss whether Myanmar’s top generals should be hauled up for prosecution for their alleged war crimes has been abruptly shuttered by the Thai authorities on Monday (Sept 10) night


No ICBMs displayed at military parade celebrating N. Korea’s 70th birthday

Thousands of North Korean troops paraded through Pyongyang Sunday as the nuclear-armed country celebrated its 70th birthday, followed by artillery and tanks, but it refrained from displaying the intercontinental ballistic missiles that have seen it hit with sanctions


In a bid to bolster defences, Vietnam buys Russian weapons

At the end of his visit, Dmitry Shugayev, head of Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation reportedly said, “We have a portfolio of orders worth more than $1 billion. »

Maldives accuses US of coercion and intimidation after sanctions threat

 The Maldives Friday accused the US of intimidation and coercion, following Washington’s threat of sanctions against people responsible for human rights abuses in the troubled honeymoon destination


China allows Nepal access to its ports, ending Indian monopoly

Two years after signing the Transit and Transportation Agreement, Nepal and China have agreed on the text of the protocol to the agreement that will allow Nepali traders and businessmen to use Chinese sea and land ports for third country trade

Hong Kong top court frees 13 pro-democracy activists

Hong Kong’s Court of Final Appeal on Friday (Sept 7) quashed jail sentences for 13 pro-democracy activists who stormed the city’s legislative council in a dramatic 2014 protest


North Korea’s Kim expresses wish to denuclearize in Trump’s first term

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said he wants to denuclearize the Korean peninsula during U.S. President Donald Trump’s first term, as he agreed to hold a third summit with his South Korean counterpart this month in Pyongyang

US, India seal military communications pact, plan more exercises

India and the United States signed an accord on secure military communications that both sides hailed as a breakthrough on Thursday (Sept 6), possibly opening the way for sales of sensitive US military equipment to India

Royal Navy ‘challenges’ China by sailing close to disputed islands

The HMS Albion, a 22,000-ton amphibious warship carrying a contingent of Royal Marines, exercised its “freedom of navigation” rights as it passed near the Paracel Islands, Reuters reported, citing two sources

Tiny Pacific island Nauru takes on Beijing in furious diplomatic spat

The tiny Pacific nation of Nauru has demand China apologize for the « crazy » behavior of its senior diplomat at the Pacific Island Forum, a gathering of 18 regional leaders hosted by Nauru this week


South Korea’s special delegation delivers President Moon’s personal letter to Kim Jong-un

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un met with a special delegation of South Korean President Moon Jae-in Wednesday, possibly reaffirming his commitment to establishing peace on the Korean Peninsula and denuclearizing his country

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan held a meeting with US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen Joseph Dunford

USSecretary of State Mike Pompeo and Prime Minister Imran Khan discussed Afghan peace process and blockage of $300 million in Coalition Support Fund (CSF) among other matters of mutual interest during a meeting in Islamabad on Wednesday

Sri Lankan opposition protesters demand government step down

Tens of thousands of opposition supporters marched in Sri Lanka’s capital on Wednesday to demand the government step down, accusing it of corruption and selling national assets to foreign nations

Chinese shipbuilder starts work on US$411 million submarine for Thai navy

China’s leading shipbuilder has begun the construction of a submarine for the Thai navy under a 13.5 billion Thai baht (US$411 million) deal agreed last year that observers say provides clear evidence of Beijing’s growing role as an international arms supplier

Indonesian district in Aceh bans men and women from dining together

 A district in Indonesia’s deeply Islamic Aceh province has banned men and women from dining together unless they are married or related, an official said Wednesday (Sep 5), saying it would help women be « more well behaved »


China assumes authority over Hong Kong rail station

A new high-speed rail station linking Hong Kong and mainland China opened Tuesday under Chinese authority, raising new worries among Hong Kong residents of a further erosion of the territory’s autonomy

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) Dr Arifur Rehman Alvi elected the 13th President of Pakistan

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Dr Arif Alvi was elected as the 13th president of Pakistan as the country’s electoral college – comprising of the Senate, national and provincial assemblies – cast their votes on Tuesday

Founder of Afghan militant Haqqani network dies – Taliban

Jalaluddin Haqqani, founder of the militant Haqqani network, one of the most powerful groups in the Afghan insurgency, has died after a long illness, the Taliban announced on Tuesday

Duterte orders arrest of Philippine Senator Antonio Trillanes, an outspoken critic

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday revoked amnesty given to an opposition senator involved in a failed coup 15 years ago and ordered his arrest, in what would be the second detainment of a senator critical of the president

Ju Kyu Chang, developer of North Korea missiles and nuclear weapons, dies at 89

A veteran North Korean official who was sanctioned for his suspected role in development of the country’s nuclear and missile technology has died, the North announced on Tuesday


Netanyahu warmly welcomes Philippines’ Duterte to Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu extended a warm welcome to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday at the start of an official visit, despite being criticized for embracing a leader accused of human rights abuses in his deadly drug crackdown

Myanmar jails 2 Reuters journalists for 7 years in ‘state secrets’ case

Two Reuters journalists accused of breaching Myanmar’s state secrets law during their reporting of a massacre of Rohingya were jailed for seven years Monday, in a case that has drawn outrage as an attack on media freedom

China’s Xi offers US$60 billion Africa aid, says ‘no strings attached’

President Xi Jinping told African leaders on Monday (Sep 3) that China’s investments on the continent have « no political strings attached », pledging US$60 billion in new development financing, even as Beijing is increasingly criticised over its debt-heavy projects abroad


US military to cancel $300m in Pakistan aid over terror groups

The US has confirmed it will cut $300m in aid to Pakistan over its perceived failure to tackle militant groups, ratcheting up the tension in a deeply strained relationship ahead of a visit to Islamabad by the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, on Wednesday


Taiwan to complete first domestic submarine in 2025

The construction of Taiwan’s first-ever domestic submarine should be completed by 2025 following the spending of NT$49.3 billion (US$1.6 billion) beginning next year, reports said Saturday

Taiwan to bolster its defence, will build military aircraft

Aerospace Industrial Development Corp. (AIDC) is scheduled to deliver 66 advanced trainer aircraft to the government by 2026, the Ministry of National Defense said Friday

Myanmar releases 75 more child soldiers: UNICEF

There are no concrete figures on how many children are still among the estimated 500,000 troops that serve in Myanmar’s military, or the ethnic rebel armies that it battles in the country’s border regions

31 AUGUST 2018

James Ricketson, Australian filmmaker, found guilty of espionage, sentenced to six years in Cambodian prison

He has already spent 15 months in Phnom Penh jail since being arrested for flying a drone without a permit over a political rally organised by the now-banned opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP). He has always maintained his innocence

Japan’s Defense Ministry eyes record defense budget amid North Korean and Chinese threats

The Defense Ministry budget proposal released Friday calls for defense spending to rise 2.1 percent to ¥5.3 trillion ($48 billion) for the year starting April 1

Chief US spy catcher says China using LinkedIn to recruit Americans

The United States’ top spy catcher said Chinese espionage agencies are using fake LinkedIn accounts to try to recruit Americans with access to government and commercial secrets, and the company should shut them down

Philippines informs China of grounded frigate amid sea feud

The Philippines notified China about a Philippine navy frigate that ran aground in the South China Sea to avoid any misunderstanding because the incident happened near a hotly disputed region, three Philippine officials said Friday

Train project linking North and South Korea stopped in its tracks by US

A rail project meant to connect North and South Korea has been blocked by US military officials, highlighting divisions between Washington and Seoul on how to deal with the nuclear armed North

30 AUGUST 2018

UN calls on China to free Uighurs from alleged re-education camps

United Nations’ human rights experts voiced alarm on Thursday (Aug 30) over alleged Chinese political re-education camps for Muslim Uighurs and they called for the immediate release of those detained on the “pretext of countering terrorism”

29 AUGUST 2018

Nandamuri Harikrishna, TDP leader and actor, dies in road accident

Telugu film actor, senior leader of the Telugu Desam Party and former MP Nandamuri Harikrishna died in a road accident in the Nalgonda district of Telangana early on Wednesday

Court orders arrest of Sri Lanka’s top military commander

The Colombo Fort magistrate Lanka Jayaratne Wednesday ordered the arrest of Sri Lanka’s chief of defence staff  Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne over hs alleged role in helping the main suspect in the abduction and murder of 11 children escape arrest

28 AUGUST 2018

Indonesia offers $13.2b infrastructure projects to China

The Indonesian government offered various infrastructure projects to China worth US$13.2 billion during a recent market sounding event attended by 90 potential investors in Guangzhou, China

China moves to end two-child limit, finishing decades of family planning

The Chinese government could be moving to end birth restrictions, amid growing concerns over an aging population and a dropping birth rate

China’s Newest Aircraft Carrier, ‘Type 001A,’ Reportedly Begins Sea Trials

China’s first domestically built aircraft carrier has reportedly begun its final sea trials before commissioning, after which it will take its place as a centerpiece in the country’s growing blue-water navy

Cambodia pardons more jailed opposition members

Fourteen anti-government activists were given pardons Monday that will free them from long prison terms, the latest in a series of releases engineered by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen after his party’s election sweep last month

US ends suspension of military drills amid North Korea tensions

The United States will end its suspension of military drills on the Korean peninsula, a move that had been decided as a “good faith” measure following US President Donald Trump’s summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, the Pentagon said Tuesday

‘They are going to rig it’: Maldives opposition warns against bid to sway September election

The opposition has accused the Maldives government of locking up most of the leaders who could challenge President Yameen’s bid for re-election

More than 100 human skeletons found in mass grave in Sri Lanka

Investigators say they have unearthed more than 100 skeletons from a mass grave in the northern Sri Lankan town of Mannar, where Tamil guerrillas and state security forces clashed during the country’s 26-year civil war

27 AUGUST 2018

Myanmar military chiefs should face genocide case for Muslim Rohingya killings, UN report says

Myanmar’s military carried out mass killings and gang rapes of Muslim Rohingya with « genocidal intent » and the commander-in-chief and five generals should be prosecuted for the gravest crimes under international law, UN investigators say

26 AUGUST 2018

Head of Islamic State in Afghanistan killed, says government

The head of Islamic State in Afghanistan, Abu Saad Erhabi, was killed in a strike on the group’s hideouts in Nangarhar province on Saturday night, authorities said on Sunday

25 AUGUST 2018

One year since Myanmar army crackdown, Rohingya seek justice

Rohingya refugees have held demonstrations in Bangladesh to mark one year since Myanmar’s army launched a brutal crackdown of the mostly Muslim minority, forcing hundreds of thousands to flee across the border

24 AUGUST 2018

50 student activists missing in China after police raid

Fifty student activists have gone missing in southern China after police raided an apartment where they had been mobilising support for factory workers demanding union rights

South Korea’s ex-President gets prison time extended to 25 years

A South Koean appeals court on Friday increased the sentence of former President Park Geun-hye by one year to 25 years for the over the corruption that led to her impeachment last year

South Korea sends sanctioned material to North Korea, politician says

South Korea has sent 1 billion won (S$1.2 million) worth of sanctioned material to North Korea, customs data showed on Friday (Aug 24), raising concern ties with the United States could be damaged as the South pursues cooperation with the North

23 AUGUST 2018

US and China hit each other with tariffs in round two of trade war

The U.S. and China hit each other on Thursday with $16 billion of tariffs on imports, as talks between officials from the world’s two biggest economies were unable to resolve the dispute

22 AUGUST 2018

Vietnam imprisons 12 people, including two Americans, charged with subversion

Vietnam on Wednesday jailed two American citizens and 10 others from an outlawed US-based “terrorist” group for attempting to overthrow the state after they spread anti-government leaflets and tried to incite protests last year

China ‘ejects’ US journalist known for reporting on Xinjiang repression

China has “effectively ejected” an American journalist from the country, a journalists’ association has said, after she won a reputation for hard-hitting reporting on the country’s troubled western Xinjiang region

eSwatini stands by Taiwan despite Chinese overtures

eSatini, formerly known as Swaziland, has chosen to maintain relations with Taiwan after a diplomatic tussle between Taiwan and China

21 AUGUST 2018

Taiwan loses third diplomatic ally this year after El Salvador breaks ties

China on Tuesday (Aug 21) established ties with El Salvador in another blow to Taiwan as the Central American country also severed relations with the self-ruled island, reducing its diplomatic allies to just 17

Japan, Sri Lanka Agree to Boost Maritime Security Cooperation

Japan and Sri Lanka have agreed to further enhance maritime security cooperation in the Indian Ocean. The understanding was reached during a meeting between the visiting Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera and Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena

Aung San Suu Kyi Defends Policies toward Rohingya Muslims

Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Tuesday defended her government’s actions in Rakhine state, where about 700,000 Rohingya Muslims fled from a brutal counterinsurgency campaign to neighboring Bangladesh. She said terrorism, not social discrimination or inequality, triggered the crisis

Pakistan’s new PM proposes dialogue with India

Pakistan’s newly-elected prime minister on Tuesday offered to start a dialogue with India to resolve long-running disputes between the two nuclear-armed rivals, including over the Kashmir region

20 AUGUST 2018

Korean families divided by war reunite in North Korea

A group of mostly elderly South Koreans crossed into North Korea Monday to reunite with family members many haven’t seen nor heard from since the Korean War broke out 68 years ago

Taiwan’s president visits Nasa space centre, in a move likely to anger Beijing

Tsai Ing-wen, the Taiwanese president visited Nasa’s space centre in Houston on Sunday, in a move that indicates deepening ties between Taipei and Washington, but which is expected to infuriate Beijing

Chinese ‘projects will not go on’: Mahathir blasts Najib’s ‘stupidity’

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad today said the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) and Trans-Sabah Gas Pipeline (TSGP) projects would be cancelled until Malaysia could afford it

19 AUGUST 2018

North Korea to let U.N. aviation agency officials conduct on-site missile safety inspection

North Korea has agreed to allow International Civil Aviation Organization staff to conduct an on-site inspection to ensure the safety of international flights from the country’s missile launches, according to officials with the Montreal-based U.N. agency

17 AUGUST 2018

Imran Khan Elected 22nd Prime Minister Of Pakistan

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has been elected as the 22nd Prime Minister of Pakistan after securing 176 votes as Pakistani lawmakers cast their vote for a new prime minister today

16 AUGUST 2018

Former Indian prime minister Vajpayee dead at 93

Statesman and pragmatist, orator and poet, a man of peace and conviction. Atal Bihari Vajpayee was a towering nationalist who softened the often sharp edge of his party’s politics with sophisticated inclusiveness, earning him the sobriquet “ajaat shatru” or the man with no enemies

New Malaysian government repeals law banning ‘fake news’

Malaysia’s new government on Thursday repealed a widely criticized law prohibiting “fake news,” in a move hailed as a landmark moment for human rights by a group of Southeast Asian lawmakers

15 AUGUST 2018

China angered at new U.S. defense act, to assess content

China on Tuesday condemned measures targeting it in a new U.S. defense act, saying it would comprehensively assess aspects that beef up the role of a panel tasked with reviewing foreign investment proposals

Cambodia ruling party wins all seats in parliament: Election committee

Lawmakers in Cambodia’s new parliament will come from only one party – the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) of long-time Prime Minister Hun Sen, the National Election Committee announced on Wednesday night (Aug 15)

India will send manned flight into space by 2022, PM Modi declares in Independence Day speech

India will launch its first manned space mission by 2022 and roll out a health insurance scheme from September, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday in his last Independence Day speech ahead of next year’s general election

US hands over sophisticated military gear to Philippines

The United States has handed over sophisticated, aircraft-borne electronic equipment to the Philippines, which will allow its armed forces to monitor the country’s maritime domain from as far as 200 kilometres away

14 AUGUST 2018

Hong Kong independence activist slams Beijing at press club talk

Hong Kong independence activist Andy Chan attacked China as an empire trying to “annex” and “destroy” the city in a no-holds barred speech Tuesday at the city’s press club which Beijing wanted canceled

13 AUGUST 2018

South Korean president Moon Jae-in  to meet Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang for latest summit

North and South Korea have agreed to hold a third summit between leaders Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un in September, amid ongoing tensions between Pyongyang and Washington over the North’s lack of progress in giving up its nuclear weapons

Pakistan’s newly elected parliament meets for first time

The first session of the 15th National Assembly ended on Monday after 328 members of the lower house of the parliament took oath following their election in the July 25 countrywide polls. Earlier, it was reported that 329 lawmakers would take oath but MNA Sahabzada Muhammad Mehboob Sultan from Jhang was unable to attend the session

US gives Sri Lankan military US$39 million to combat China’s investments in strategic island

The United States announced Monday it would grant Sri Lanka US$39 million to boost maritime security as China develops its strategic hold on the Indian Ocean island

12 AUGUST 2018

Vietnam communist war hero turned dissident Bui Tin dies aged 90

A Vietnamese former colonel and revolutionary war hero who became disillusioned with the communist regime and defected, becoming one of its most vocal and influential critics, died in France at age 90

11 AUGUST 2018

Thousands in Okinawa protest US Marine base relocation

Tens of thousands of Okinawans protested Saturday, vowing to block the central government’s planned relocation of a US military base from a heavily populated area to a remote location on the island

10 AUGUST 2018

Three S. Korean firms brought in N. Korean coal disguised as Russian products: probe

« After the UN Security Council banned the trading of North Korean coal, the suspects transshiped the North Korean product at a Russian port onto a vessel with a third country’s flag and forged documents to make it look like the goods were from Russia. »

UN says it has reports that China is holding 1 million Uygurs in ‘secret internment camps’

A UN human rights panel said on Friday that it had received many credible reports that 1 million ethnic Uygurs in China were being held in what resembles a “massive internment camp that is shrouded in secrecy”

9 AUGUST 2018

Myanmar snubs Hague court’s intervention in Rohingya crisis

Myanmar on Thursday sharply rejected an attempt by the International Criminal Court to consider the country’s culpability for activities that caused about 700,000 minority Rohingya Muslims to flee to Bangladesh for safety

North Korea ‘rejected US timeline to cut nuclear arsenal by 60-70 per cent’

 North Korea has reportedly rejected a formal timeline to give up its nuclear weapons, proposed by Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state

North Korea revives ‘axis of evil’ ties with Iran as denuclearisation talks falter

The arrival of North Korea’s foreign minister in Tehran just hours after Donald Trump had reinstated sanctions against Iran was “no coincidence”, analysts believe, and is designed to send the message that Pyongyang is reinforcing its alliances as denuclearisation talks with the US stall

Indonesian president Joko Widodo picks cleric as running mate for election

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has chosen 75-year-old cleric Ma’ruf Amin as his running mate in next year’s presidential election, he said on Thursday (Aug 9), in a sign he wants to bolster his Islamic credentials

The death toll from the 6.9 magnitude earthquake on the island of Lombok has climbed to 319, Indonesia’s top security minister says

The Indonesian island of Lombok has been shaken by a third big earthquake in little more than a week as the official death toll from the most powerful of the quakes reached 319

Chinese Hui Muslims rally to protect Weizhou Grand Mosque from government’s wrecking balls

Hundreds of Chinese Muslims from the Hui ethnic group in a remote town in northwest China gathered on Thursday in a last-ditch effort to defend their new mosque against a local government apparently bent on demolishing it

7 AUGUST 2018

Karunanidhi, Indian political icon and DMK leader, dies at 94

Karunanidhi, five-time Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK president for nearly 50 years, died at 6.10 p.m. on Tuesday after battling illness for 11 days at the Kauvery Hospital in Chennai. Affectionately called Kalaignar(artiste and man of letters) by followers, he was 94

6 AUGUST 2018

At least 98 dead after quake hits Indonesia’s Lombok island

A powerful earthquake struck the Indonesian tourist island of Lombok, killing at least 98 people and shaking neighbouring Bali, as authorities said Monday rescuers still hadn’t reached some hard-hit areas and the death toll could climb

Bangladesh arrests top photographer amid student protests

Police have detained Shahidul Alam, a Bangladeshi photographer and social activist, for spreading anti-government propaganda. The arrest comes amid large student protests that have convulsed the country for over a week

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen seeks US$11 billion defence budget as China threat grows

Her proposal to increase the 2019 defence budget by 5.6 per cent to NT$346 billion (US$11.3 billion) will go before parliament after the summer recess

Taiwanese cruise missile capable of striking China’s coast now operational

Taiwan’s Wan Chien (萬劍, Ten Thousand Swords) air-to-ground cruise missile, which is capable of hitting southern China’s coastal bases, is now officially operational, Liberty Times cited a defense official as saying

5 AUGUST 2018

Malaysian leader Anwar Ibrahim wins PKR presidency uncontested

Malaysian politician Anwar Ibrahim won the presidency of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) uncontested after nominations for party polls closed at 5pm on Sunday (Aug 5), marking the next step in his journey to become Prime Minister in two years’ time as agreed by the ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition

4 AUGUST 2018

115 students injured in clashes as Bangladesh teen protests turn violent

 More than 100 people were injured in Bangladesh Saturday (Aug 4) after police fired rubber bullets at students protesters, a doctor and witnesses said, a major escalation in a stand-off between the government and demonstrators

North Korea continues work on nuclear programme: UN report

North Korea continues to develop its nuclear programme and is violating international sanctions by clandestinely transferring weapons and fuel, a confidential United Nations report said

3 AUGUST 2018

S Korean President Orders Reform of Defense Intelligence Unit

The country’s Defense Ministry announced a plan to reform the DSC amid allegations that the unit considered the possibility of introducing martial law last year to quell protests against then-President Park Geun-hye

12 girls schools burnt down in Pakistan’s restive Gilgit-Baltistan

The schools in Chilas town, about 130-kilometre from Gilgit, were targeted late on Thursday night by the militants who set them on fire and damaged school property across Diamer district, police said

China unveils new tariffs on $60bn of US goods in latest tit-for-tat trade war

China has announced retaliatory tariffs on $US60 billion ($81bn) worth of US goods ranging from liquefied natural gas (LNG) to some aircraft and warned of further measures, signalling it will not back down in a protracted trade war with Washington

Chinese professor Sun Wenguang cut off mid-interview after authorities burst into his house

Speaking with Voice of America from his home in the eastern province of Shandong, retired professor Wenguang Sun was discussing Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent visit to Africa when security forces cut him off

2 AUGUST 2018

Asean, China agree on text to negotiate Code of Conduct in South China Sea

Asean and China have agreed on a single text to negotiate the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea, said Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan on Thursday (Aug 2)

Three foreigners kidnapped and murdered in Kabul

Three foreigners were kidnapped in Kabul and found shot dead in a car on Thursday in the latest sign of the capital’s declining security

1 AUGUST 2018

Japan asks Russia to reduce military activity on disputed islands

Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said on Tuesday Tokyo had asked Russia to reduce its military activity on a disputed island chain in the Pacific after Moscow beefed up its forces there in response to what it sees as a potential threat

Beijing calls on Hanoi to remove Taiwanese flags from Vietnam

After convincing dozens of airlines to cancel Taiwan as a destination, Beijing is lobbying Vietnam to stop Taiwanese companies from flying their flag at their business locations in Vietnam

China tops Nepal’s foreign direct investment list for third consecutive year

Nepal’s Department of Industry (DOI) said on Tuesday that China, for the third consecutive year, pumped the highest amount of foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country during the last fiscal year

China’s Wang Yi meets Malaysian PM Mahathir to discuss visit to Beijing

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Wednesday met Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad for the first time since the 93-year-old’s toppling of his Beijing-friendly predecessor Najib Razak raised questions about the future of bilateral ties


On 20 September in Asian history


To see another date, on Internet (Google…), type “On (day + month) in Asian history”

Updated on September 20, 2018

1161: Birth of Emperor Takakura of Japan who died on January 30, 1181

1388: Death of Sultan Firuz Tughlaq Shah III of Delhi, born in 1309

1498: The 1498 Nankai earthquake generates a tsunami that washes away the building housing the statue of the Great Buddha at Kōtoku-in. Since then the Buddha has sat in the open air.

Great Buddha at Kōtoku-in

1519: Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan leaves Spain to find a route to the Spice Islands in the current Indonesia. Magellan will be killed during the trip, but one of his ships eventually will make the journey

1853: Birth of Siam King Chulalongkorn (Rama V), who died on October 23, 1910

1857: The Indian Mutiny ends with the recapture of Delhi by troops loyal to the East India Company after a 3 month siege


1875: Ganghwa Island incident between Japanese and South Koreans


1911: Birth of Shriram Sharma Acharya, Indian spiritual leader, who died on June 2, 1990

1915: Birth of K. H. Ting, Chinese bishop who died on November 22, 2012

K. H. Ting

1916: Birth of Malik Meraj Khalid, Former Caretaker Prime Minister of Pakistan from November 1996 to February 1997, who died on June 13, 2003

1923: Birth of Akkineni Nageswara Rao, Indian Telugu actor

1925: Birth of Ananda Mahidol, king of Siam (Rama VIII) from March 1935 through his assassination in June 1946

1931: Birth of Cherd Songsri, Thai filmmaker, who died on May 21, 2006

1933: Death of Annie Besant, British social reformer, campaigner for women’s rights and a supporter of Indian nationalism, born on October 1, 1847

1940: Birth of Taro Aso, 59th Japanese prime minister from September 24, 2008 to August 30, 2009

1944: Birth of Riku Rinkama, Japanese actor

1945: The Pan-Indian Congress, with Gandhi and Nehru as leaders, rejects the British proposition of internal autonomy and asks the United Kingdom to quit India

1946: Birth of Alan Tang (Tang Kwong Wing), Chinese actor and producer

1948: Death of Husain Salaahuddin, Maldivian writer, born on April 14, 1881

1949: Birth of Mahesh Bhatt, Indian film director

1950: Mao Zedong issues the order to promulgate the national emblem of the PRC


1954: The first Chinese National Congress adopts the first constitution of the People’s Republic of China

1964: Birth of Maggie Cheung, Hong Kong actress (In the mood for love)

1965: In a diplomatic note to New Delhi, Beijing reminds its claim on 90,000 km2 of Indian territory

1968: U.S. officials defend use of defoliants

1971: Negotiations between North and South Korea resume

1971: Birth of Masashi Hamauzu, Japanese composer

1976: Birth of Yui Horie, Japanese singer and actress

1976: Birth of Yo Hitoto, Japanese pop singer

1977: The first boat people arrived in San Francisco from Southeast Asia under a new US resettlement program

1977: Birth of Namie Amuro, Japanese singer

1977: Dissolution of SEATO

1977: The Socialist Republic of Vietnam is admitted to the United Nations

1979: The Punjab wing of the Unity Centre of Communist Revolutionaries of India (Marxist-Leninist) formally splits and constitutes a parallel UCCRI(ML)

1980: Death of Sanpei Hayashiya, Japanese comedian, born on November 30, 1925

1983: Birth of A-Lin, Taiwanese Mandopop singer of Amis descent

1987: Birth of Gain, South Korean singer and actress

1992: Chuan Leekpai is appointed Thai premier for the first time, up to May 24, 1995


1994: Gen. Tan Shwe and Gen Khin Nyunt of SLORC meet Aung San Suu Kyi for the first time since she have been put under house arrest

1996: Murtaza Bhutto, brother of Benazir Bhutto, Pakistani politician, is killed by police. Born on September 18 1954

1998: After he talked to thousands of people, Malaysian ousted vice-premier Anwar Ibrahim is arrested

1999: A United Nations multinational force arrives to East-Timor to protect the population from pro-Indonesia militias

2002: Historic trip of Wu Shu-chen, wife of the Taiwan president to the United States in a ten-day private sojourn

2003: In the Maldives, the death of the prisoner Hassan Evan Naseem sparks a day of rioting in Malé

2006: Shinzo Abe becomes the 90th Prime minister of Japan with 339 votes on 475 in the Lower House and 136 on 240 in the Upper House

2008: At least 40 people are killed and 100 others wounded after a car-bomb attack on the Marriott Hotel in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad

2009: Thailand « Yellow Shirt » protesters clash with police and villagers at an ancient temple in territory at the centre of a dispute between Thailand and Cambodia

2010: Malaysia’s opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim fails in his latest attempt to have a sodomy charge against him dropped

2010: In Sri Lanka, Court martial sentences General Fonseka to three years in prison for corruption. Activists and opposition parties protest what they see as an attack against justice and democracy

2011: The peace council leader, former President Burhanuddin Rabbani, is killed by a suicide bomber in or near his heavily guarded home in the Afghan capital, Kabul

2012: Death of Dinesh Thakur, Indian actor and director, born in 1947

2014: Afghan presidential candidates Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah have finally negotiated a long-awaited deal to share power in a so-called national unity government, a move likely to end a months-long election crisis in the war-shattered country

2014: Death of Takako Doi, former head of the Japan Socialist Party and first female speaker of the Lower House, born on November 30, 1928

2015: Nepal adopts its first democratic constitution in a largely peaceful event, a historic step for a nation that has seen unrest for over 65 years


Holidays and observances

Feast day of the Korean Martyrs, including Andrew Kim Taegon and Laurent-Marie-Joseph Imbert

Thailand: National Youth Day

Japan’s culture and history



Museum claims discovery of oldest Nativity scene in Japan

Scholars are debating whether a set of small statues and objects passed down through generations of a Japanese hidden Christian family is the oldest example of a Nativity scene in Japan

23 AUGUST 2018

Japan’s Emperor Hirohito was so overcome with remorse he wanted to die, diary reveals

Hirohito, Japan’s wartime emperor, had given up the will to live towards the end of his life, desperate to avoid the anguish of being blamed for his role in World War II, his aide’s diary has revealed

19 MAY 2018

Japanese Director Hirokazu Koreeda’s « Shoplifters » wins the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival

It was Koreeda’s 5th time to be in competition for the Palme d’Or and his first in 3 years. In 2013, his « Like Father, Like Son » won the jury prize

7 APRIL 2018

Japan’s 114-year-old battleship Mikasa: A relic of another time

The Japanese battleship Mikasa is the only surviving pre-dreadnought battleship in the world. It’s 114 years old and a fascinating look into history. Here’s a full tour

3 JANUARY 2018

Japan’s Endless Search for Modernity

Since the morning of January 3, 1868, Japan has struggled to answer one question: What does it mean to be modern and Japanese?


Celebrity Japanese plastic surgeon who praised Hitler buys pencil-written memoir of Emperor Hirohito for US$275,000

The 173-page document offers the emperor’s recollections of the second world war and was dictated to several of his aides soon after the war ended

5 OCTOBER 2017

Japanese-born Kazuo Ishiguro wins Nobel Prize in Literature

A Japan-born British author has won this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature. Kazuo Ishiguro has received wide acclaim for « The Remains of the Day » and other novels


The wedding that broke centuries of tradition

In 1959, Japan’s Crown Prince Akihito married a non-royal bride


Five Reasons Why Japan Never Attacked the Soviet Union During WWII

Military journalist Alexander Evdokimov explains why Imperial Japan never did end up invading the Soviet Far East during the Great Patriotic War

25 AUGUST 2017

The Man Behind the Burma Independence Army

Keiji Suzuki came to Yangon as a correspondent for the Yomiuri Shimbun, but his real mission was to lay the groundwork for the Imperial Japanese forces’ invasion of Myanmar. A Japanese intelligence officer at the rank of colonel, Keiji Suzuki was known as a dynamic officer passionate about his covert operation

15 JANUARY 2017

The Mongol invasions of Japan 1274 and 1281

by Stephen Turnbull (Author), Richard Hook (Illustrator)

The two attempts by Khubilai Khan, the Mongol Emperor of China, to invade Japan in 1274 and 1281 represent unique events in the history of both countries. It pitted the samurai of Japan against the fierce warriors of the steppes who had conquered half the known world


12 JANUARY 2017

China supported Japanese defense building in 1980s – Declassified files

According to the file, documenting a meeting between Japan’s prime minister Yasuhiro Nakasone and general secretary of China’s Communist Party, Hu Yaobang, in November 1983, Japan planned to build up defense capabilities in line with the country’s constitution, the NHK broadcaster reported

26 DECEMBER 2016

Former Japanese prime minister Shigeru Yoshida’s forgotten Pearl Harbour trip

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who will visit Pearl Harbour with President Barack Obama on Tuesday, wasn’t even born when Japan’s former leader Shigeru Yoshida went there just six years after the country’s second world war surrender, by himself and feeling awkward

15 NOVEMBER 2016

The Last Samurai: The True history behind the film

The Last Samurai is a pretty solid, although underrated film. The action is well done, and the fusion of old and new, as well as the many ideologies throughout the movie are delivered in an interesting and enjoyable fashion


Early Japanese animations : The origine of animes (1917-1931)

Anime has a far longer history than you might think; in fact, it was at the vanguard of Japan’s furious attempts to modernize in the early 20th century. The oldest surviving example of Japanese animation, Namakura Gatana (Blunt Sword), dates back to 1917, though much of the earliest animated movies were lost following a massive earthquake in Tokyo in 1923


Famed Japanese artist Hokusai may be the artist of six paintings hanging in a Dutch museum

A Dutch art historian says he has discovered evidence that six unattributed paintings held in storage in a museum in the Netherlands were actually painted by the famed Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai

12 MAY 2016

Renowned stage director Yukio Ninagawa dies at 80

Yukio Ninagawa, a world-renowned Japanese stage director known for his adaptations of Shakespeare, died Thursday at a Tokyo hospital, his theater and a family member announced. He was 80.

29 MARCH 2016

 Japonisme: The Japanese Influence on Victorian Fashion

During the mid-19th century, Japan opened trade with the West for the first time in more than 200 years.  The influx of Japanese imports that followed inspired an intense fascination with Japanese art and culture.  This fascination manifested itself in the paintings of Victorian era artists like Alfred Stevens, Vincent van Gogh, James McNeill Whistler, and Claude Monet.  It also had a profound influence on Victorian fashion

Japan’s home policy and society


Japan’s Abe re-elected as party head, to stay on as PM

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was re-elected as head of his ruling Liberal Democratic Party in a landslide Thursday, paving the way for up to three more years as the nation’s leader and a push toward a constitutional revision

11 AUGUST 2018

Thousands in Okinawa protest US Marine base relocation

Tens of thousands of Okinawans protested Saturday, vowing to block the central government’s planned relocation of a US military base from a heavily populated area to a remote location on the island

6 JULY 2018

Japanese cult leader Shoko Asahara executed for Tokyo sarin attack

AUM Shinrikyo cult founder Shoko Asahara, 63, who orchestrated the 1995 Tokyo subway sarin gas attack and other murders and six former members of the cult were executed on the morning of July 6

27 MAY 2018

Japan ex-PM Yasuhiro Nakasone turns 100, calls for change to post-war pacifist constitution in birthday message

Yasuhiro Nakasone has long advocated amending the US-drafted charter to clarify the ambiguous status of the military – a goal shared by incumbent premier Shinzo Abe

7 MAY 2018

In Japan, new opposition Democratic Party for the People formed

Two opposition parties with members from the now-defunct Democratic Party of Japan, which was in power between 2009 and 2012, reunited Monday in a desperate attempt to survive amid slumping approval ratings

6 APRIL 2018

Legendary Japanese animator Isao Takahata dies at age 82

Oscar-nominated Japanese anime director Isao Takahata, who co-founded Studio Ghibli and was best known for his work Grave of the Fireflies, has died aged 82, the studio said on Friday

25 MARCH 2018

Japan PM Shinzo Abe apologises amid cronyism scandal, vows to revise constitution

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, his ratings in a slump amid a scandal over suspected cronyism and a cover-up, has apologised again for causing anxiety and loss of confidence in his Government

14 MARCH 2018

The Japanese will become adults at 18 in 2022

The Japanese government yesterday approved a bill to lower the adulthood age from 20 to 18, which would enable 18- and 19-year-olds to sign contracts and get married without the consent of their parents

12 MARCH 2018

Japan: Shinzo Abe’s political future in doubt as wife linked to cronyism scandal

A spiralling cronyism scandal linked to the Japanese prime minister and his wife has reached fever pitch after the finance ministry admitted to tampering with records to remove references to the pair

Survey: Abe Cabinet approval rating sinks to 48%

The approval rating for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet stood at 48 percent in a Yomiuri Shimbun survey, the first time the rating has dipped below 50 percent since the House of Representatives election in October last year

16 FEBRUARY 2018

Abe’s constitutional change no cause for fear

Many analysts believe that 2018 will be the year Abe makes a push to revise Article 9, which outlaws war and offensive forces. Abe is buoyed by the October 2017 electoral victory of his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). But Abe’s ruling coalition may become an obstacle to his plans

10 FEBRUARY 2018

Ishimure, key figure in Minamata battle, dies at 90

Japanese activist Michiko Ishimure, who won acclaim for her literary works about Minamata mercury poisoning disease patients, died of complications from Parkinson’s disease here Feb. 10. She was 90

23 JANUARY 2018

Lacking manpower, Japanese firms court women

Japan’s population is aging and its workforce is shrinking, so more and more companies are wooing female workers with subsidised childcare and flexible hours, while promoting women to management positions. Find out more and hear from the women themselves in this episode of Spotlight


Japan’s Emperor Akihito will abdicate on April 30, 2019, government announces

Akihito, who will be succeeded by Crown Prince Naruhito, will be the first emperor to abdicate the Chrysanthemum Throne in about 200 years

20 NOVEMBER 2017

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe refuses to relax immigration rules despite shrinking population

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has insisted his administration has “no intention” of loosening the country’s strict immigration policy despite warnings about its fast shrinking – and ageing – population

1st NOVEMBER 2017

Japan’s Shinzo Abe re-elected prime minister after big election win

Japan’s Shinzo Abe was re-elected prime minister on Wednesday after his ruling bloc’s big election win last month and days before a visit by US President Donald Trump that is expected to be dominated by concerns over a volatile North Korea

31 OCTOBER 2017

Japan’s Democratic Party taps Upper House member Kohei Otsuka as new party president

The Democratic Party elected Upper House member Kohei Otsuka as new party president on Tuesday following the formal resignation of Seiji Maehara the previous day

22 OCTOBER 2017

Coalition retains two-thirds majority in victory for Japan’s PM Abe

The ruling coalition regained a two-thirds majority in the Oct. 22 Lower House election, giving Prime Minister Shinzo Abe another victory in his bid to stay in power

3 OCTOBER 2017

In Japan, Yukio Edano’s liberal party officially launched

The new party formed by Yukio Edano of the Democratic Party submitted a notice of establishment to the internal affairs minister on Tuesday morning


Japan’s Lower House dissolved, new general election on October 22

Japan’s Lower House of the Diet has been dissolved for a snap election. Japan’s Cabinet has set the date for a snap general election on October 22nd. The campaign will begin on October 10th


Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike forms ‘Party of Hope’ before Japanese election

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike is set to reshape national politics with the formation of a new party and a new attack on the status quo


Japan’s Abe announces snap election amid worries over North Korea

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he would dissolve parliament’s lower house on Thursday for a snap election, seeking a mandate to stick to his tough stance towards a volatile North Korea and rebalance the social security system

1st SEPTEMBER 2017

Japan’s main opposition party, the Democratic Party, selects former foreign minister Seiji Maehara as its new leader

Japan’s main opposition Democratic Party selected former foreign minister Seiji Maehara as its new leader on Friday amid its struggle to become a viable alternative to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)

29 AUGUST 2017

Kim Jong-un’s latest provocation may strengthen Shinzo Abe’s hand at home because ‘it looks like he’s doing something’

In a break with a long-running cautious defence stance, members of Abe’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party have called for Japan to arm itself with long-range offensive weapons

28 AUGUST 2017

Tsutomu Hata, known for brief stint as prime minister, dies at 82

Former Prime Minister Tsutomu Hata, who served 14 terms in the Lower House, died Monday morning at the age of 82

8 AUGUST 2017

 Haruo Nakajima, actor who played the original Godzilla, dies aged 88

 Haruo Nakajima, the actor who stomped in a rubber suit to portray the original 1954 Godzilla, helping to make the Japanese monster an iconic symbol of the nuclear era, has died. He was 88

3 AUGUST 2017

Japan’s new top diplomat Taro Kono is son of official who wrote landmark 1993 apology to ‘comfort women’

Newly appointed Foreign Minister Taro Kono is known as an outspoken, reform-minded politician unafraid of questioning the party line

28 JULY 2017

Japan defense minister quits amid plunging support for PM

Embattled Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada on Friday said she was resigning, after a series of gaffes, missteps and a cover-up at her ministry that have contributed to a sharp plunge in public support for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s-resignation-Kishida-to-run-Defense-Ministry

27 JULY 2017

Renho resigns as main opposition Democratic Party leader

Democratic Party leader Renho said Thursday she will step down as the head of Japan’s largest opposition party following its poor performance in the Tokyo metropolitan assembly election earlier this month

3 JULY 2017

Yuriko Koike: 10 things about the Tokyo governor who just trumped Japanese PM Shinzo Abe

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike’s new party and its allies scored a sweeping victory against Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in Sunday’s Tokyo metropolitan assembly election

2 JULY 2017

Japan PM’s party suffers historic defeat in Tokyo poll, popular governor wins

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party suffered an historic defeat in an election in the Japanese capital on Sunday, signalling trouble ahead for the premier, who has suffered from slumping support because of a favouritism scandal

15 JUNE 2017

Japan passes controversial anti-terror law despite protests

Japan has passed a controversial law targeting conspiracies to commit terrorism and other serious crimes, despite a warning by the UN that it could be used to crack down on civil liberties

9 JUNE 2017

Japanese parliament passes law allowing Emperor Akihito to abdicate

Japan’s parliament passed a law on Friday that clears the way for its ageing Emperor Akihito to step down, in what would be the first imperial abdication in more than two centuries

2 JUNE 2017

Japan lower house OKs bill allowing emperor to abdicate

Japan’s lower house of parliament passed a bill on Friday that allows ageing Emperor Akihito to step down and calls for a rare debate on the role of women in the male-dominated monarchy

19 MAY 2017

Emperor Akihito: Japan’s government approves abdication bill

The Japanese government has approved legislation that will permit Emperor Akihito to abdicate the Chrysanthemum throne, becoming the first emperor to step down in more than two centuries

3 MAY 2017

Abe declares 2020 as goal for new Constitution

In an unprecedented declaration, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Wednesday he hopes to see a revised Constitution take effect in 2020, revealing the clearest goal yet of his long-held ambition to amend the national charter, which has remained untouched since its inception seven decades ago

5 APRIL 2017

The Rise of Women in Japanese Politics

Japanese women are making great strides in Japan’s political arena. Notable milestones include the emergence of a female leader in the Social Democratic Party of Japan (SDPJ)

5 MARCH 2017

New rules give Japan’s Shinzo Abe chance to lead until 2021

Japan’s ruling party on Sunday (March 5) extended term limits for its leaders, a change that gives Prime Minister Shinzo Abe a shot at becoming Japan’s longest-serving post-war leader

13 FEBRUARY 2017

Cult Japanese director Seijun Suzuki dies aged 93

 Celebrated Japanese film director Seijun Suzuki, best known for cult 1960s yakuza films Tokyo Drifter and Branded to Kill, has died at the age of 93. Suzuki died on 13 February, with the cause given as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in a statement from Nikkatsu film studios

11 FEBRUARY 2017

Jiro Taniguchi, Japanese manga visionary who ‘bridged two worlds of cartoon art’, dies aged 69

Jiro Taniguchi, a legend in Japan’s comic art of manga, died in Tokyo on Saturday at the age of 69, leaving behind an international following for his exquisite line drawing of scenes from everyday life


Does contemporary Japan need religion?

By Michael Hoffman the author of “In the Land of the Kami: A Journey into the Hearts of Japan” and “Other Worlds.”

27 JANUARY 2017

Foreign workers in Japan hit 1 million for the first time

The number of foreign workers in Japan surpassed 1 million for the first time last year, as the labour-strapped country struggles to find enough Japanese workers

11 JANUARY 2017

Japan’s Emperor Akihito ‘to abdicate on New Year’s Day 2019’

Japan’s emperor will abdicate and allow his eldest son to ascend the chrysanthemum throne on New Year’s Day 2019, media reports said, as the government prepares legal changes for the country’s first abdication for two centuries

22 DECEMBER 2016

Japan’s 2016 births likely fell below 1 mln for 1st time

The number of annual births in Japan is set to fall below 1 million this year for the first time since data became available in 1899, reflecting a fast-ageing society and the high cost of childcare, Japanese media reported on Thursday

27 OCTOBER 2016

Emperor Hirohito’s younger brother, Prince Mikasa, dead at 100

The uncle of Emperor Akihito has died at age 100. The death of Prince Mikasa leaves only four heirs to Japan’s Chrysanthemum Throne, amid questions about the future of the 2,600-year-old monarchy

17 OCTOBER 2016

Japan begins discussions on emperor’s abdication

A six-member advisory panel holds its first meeting on Monday (Oct 17) to discuss a critical issue facing the Imperial system: Emperor Akihito’s wish to abdicate in a few years’ time due to his old age

3 OCTOBER 2016

Japanese microbiologist Yoshinori Ohsumi wins Nobel in medicine for autophagy research

Japanese microbiologist Yoshinori Ohsumi on Monday won the 2016 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for his work on cell autophagy, a process that helps the body remove unwanted proteins


Weak opposition is a cancer in Japan’s political system

For close to 40 years after 1955, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) dominated Japan’s competitive party system. Opposition parties were not able to mount a successful challenge to LDP rule at the national level, but they had an important impact on policy and the political process. Japan had one dominant party but not a one-party system


Half-Taiwanese Renho becomes first woman to lead Japan’s main opposition Democratic Party

 Japan’s Democratic Party selected acting leader Renho as its new leader Thursday, making the 48-year-old the first woman to head the nation’s main opposition party

8  AUGUST 2016

In a moving video message, Japanese Emperor signals wish to abdicate in near future

In an unprecedented prerecorded video message aired Monday, Emperor Akihito expressed concern about how his advanced age is affecting the performance of his public duties. The speech was widely interpreted as conveying his wish to abdicate in the near future

31 JULY 2016

Tokyo elects Yuriko Koike as first woman governor

Former environment minister Yuriko Koike of the Liberal Democratic Party was elected the capital’s first female governor on Sunday by a wide margin

24 JULY 2016

Can Abe revise Japan’s peace constitution?

 Since the 10 July upper house election in Japan there has been widespread speculation that the government will move to formally revise the country’s constitution including the Article 9 ‘peace clause’. This now appears possible since the Abe-led Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), along with its junior coalition partner Komeito and sympathetic micro-sized right-leaning opposition parties, controls the two-thirds majorities in both houses needed to take constitutional amendments to a referendum

13 JULY 2016

Japan’s Emperor Akihito plans to step down, according to report

The Japanese Emperor Akihito, who has spent much of his time on the throne trying to heal the wounds of the second world war, intends to abdicate in a few years’ time, public broadcaster NHK has reported, a step that would be unprecedented in modern Japan

10 JULY 2016

Ruling bloc scores big in Japanese Upper House, bringing Constitution closer to amendment bid

The Liberal Democratic Party-led ruling coalition scored a sweeping victory in the Upper House election Sunday that gave the Diet’s pro-revision forces the two-thirds majority needed to initiate Japan’s first constitutional referendum, early media projections showed

19 JUNE 2016

Thousands protest US military presence on Okinawa

Thousands of demonstrators have rallied on the Japanese island of Okinawa against the heavy US military presence and violent crimes by American personnel that have angered residents for décades

15 JUNE 2016

Tokyo governor resigns amid allegations of lavish personal spending

The reports say Governor Yoichi Masuzoe submitted the resignation Wednesday morning. The resignation is said to take effect on June 21

7 JUNE 2016

Japan and its immigration policies are growing old

Japan is experiencing a serious demographic crunch. About 27 per cent of the Japanese population is over the age of 65 and there are 1.4 million fewer people today than there were in 2007

26 APRIL 2016

Japan eyes more foreign workers, stealthily challenging immigration taboo

Desperately seeking an antidote to a rapidly aging population, Japanese policymakers are exploring ways to bring in more foreign workers without calling it an « immigration Policy »

19 APRIL 2016

Japan plans final push to bring home its war dead

From the icy wastes of Siberia to the jungle-clad interior of the Solomon Islands, and from the deep waters of the Pacific Ocean to the border of India and modern-day Myanmar, more than 2.4 million Japanese who were killed during World War II remain unaccounted for

28 MARCH 2016

Largest opposition party formed in Japan

The largest Japanese opposition party since the Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration formed in late 2012 was established here on Sunday, eyeing confrontation with the Abe-led ruling bloc in the summer’s upper house election.

4 MARCH 2016

Japan to suspend construction for US base relocation in Okinawa

Japan’s government will accept a court-mediated settlement plan and suspend construction work for the planned relocation of a US airbase in Okinawa and will begin a new round of talks with local authorities who want the base moved off the island

26 FEBRUARY 2016

Japan’s population shrinks for the first time on census record

Japan’s population declined in 2015 for the first time since the national census began in 1920, but Tokyo is still growing, according to preliminary figures released by the internal affairs ministry on Feb. 26.

24 FEBRUARY 2016

DPJ, Japan Innovation Party to merge ahead of Upper House election

The Democratic Party of Japan and the Japan Innovation Party have agreed to merge in the latest–and boldest–move by the opposition camp to battle the ruling coalition in the Upper House election.


Reforming Japan’s labour market

Japan’s labour market situation is improving. The unemployment rate of 3.1 per cent in October 2015 was the lowest for 20 years. And, although improvement has been slow, wage growth has een accelerating. But Japan’s labour market still faces several serious issues.

31 JANUARY 2016

Labor shortage fuels record influx of foreign workers in Japan

Japan’s labor shortage has led to companies recruiting a record number of foreign workers, with 908,000 in the nation at the end of October 2015, labor ministry figures revealed Jan. 29

28 JANUARY 2016

Japan’s embattled economy minister Amari resigns over graft claims

Embattled economic minister Akira Amari on Thursday resigned over a graft scandal involving the misappropriation of funds within his office, dealing a hard blow to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet.

20 JANUARY 2016

The Battle for Okinawa

The Forgotten Island Has Its Say

10 DECEMBER 2015

Japanese scientists receive Nobel prizes

Two Japanese scientists, Takaaki Kajita and Satoshi Omura, have received Nobel Prizes. Kajita, a winner in physics, and Omura, a laureate in physiology or medicine, attended the award ceremony in Sweden’s capital, Stockholm, on Thursday

Japan needs immigrants to boost population or could lose to China – minister

Japan should craft an « integrated » immigration policy to cope with its shrinking population, or risk losing out to an ageing China in competition for vital foreign workers, the cabinet minister for administrative reform said on Thursday (December 10)


30 NOVEMBER 2015

Manga fans around the world are mourning the death of famed Japanese artist Shigeru Mizuki

Known for having popularised horror manga globally, Mr Mizuki was best known for his series Gegege no Kitaro, about a young boy fighting monsters based on Japanese folklore. It was also made into an animated series that ran for several years

26 NOVEMBER 2015

Setsuko Hara, star of Ozu’s ‘Tokyo Story,’ dies at age 95

Screen legend Setsuko Hara, who starred in several films by internationally acclaimed director Yasujiro Ozu before stunning the Japanese movie world by retiring at age 42, has died of pneumonia. She was 95

31 OCTOBER 2015

Hashimoto’s new national party inaugurated with 18 Diet members

Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto’s new national party held its inaugural ceremony here on Oct. 31 with 18 Diet members from the embattled Japan Innovation Party

29 OCTOBER 2015

Japanese government. restarts landfill work in Okinawa

The Okinawan bureau of Japan’s Defense Ministry has restarted work to reclaim land for a new US military base in the prefecture, despite strong opposition from the governor and residents

7 OCTOBER 2015

Abe Cabinet gets 9 first-time members; main ministers retained

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appointed nine lawmakers to their first posts as Cabinet ministers in a reshuffle on Oct. 7 but retained most of the key figures of his administration

6 OCTOBER 2015

Takaaki Kajita wins 2015 Nobel physics prize for breakthrough in neutrino research

Japanese physicist Takaaki Kajita was named a co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics on Oct. 6 for the discovery of oscillations in atmospheric neutrinos, which indicate that the elusive subatomic particles have mass


Scuffles as Japan security bill approved by committee

A controversial bill to expand the role of Japan’s armed forces has cleared another hurdle in parliament, but sparked scuffles among lawmakers


Japanese goverment resumes work on controversial U.S. base in Okinawa

The Japanese government on Saturday resumed work on a controversial new U.S. military base in southern Okinawa following a month-long suspension, officials said, even as talks with local officials opposed to the project remained deadlocked


Abe re-elected unopposed as LDP president

 Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe won a rare second consecutive term on Tuesday as president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), pledging to retain focus on reviving the world’s third-biggest economy and deepen debate on revising its pacifist constitution

30 AUGUST 2015

Japanese protesters rally against controversial security bills that could see troops fighting abroad

Tens of thousands have rallied outside Japan’s parliament to protest against planned new laws that could see troops in the officially pacifist nation engage in combat for the first time since World War II

15 AUGUST 2015

Reflecting strong belief in peace, emperor refers to ‘deep remorse’ over war

Emperor Akihito broke new ground in his address to the memorial service for the war dead held Aug. 15 at Nippon Budokan hall in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II

14 AUGUST 2015

Japan PM expresses Second World War remorse, but says next generation need not apologise

Shinzo Abe, the Japanese prime minister, expressed « profound grief » on Friday for the « immeasurable damage and suffering » the nation’s military caused before and during the Second World War, but emphasised that future generations should not have to keep saying sorry

8 AUGUST 2015

Most Japanese believe US should apologize for atomic bombings

The majority of Japanese (61%) believe the United States should apologize for the atomic bomb attacks it carried out on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, while 74% of respondents said that the attacks could not be justified by the war because the civilian death toll they inflicted was disproportionate

6 AUGUST 2015

Hiroshima marks 70 years since atomic bomb

Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park has seen the entire Japanese political class and friends from abroad turn out for a memorial service for the city, one of only two to ever suffer an atomic Attack.

20 JULY 2015

Mitsubishi apologizes to WWII Japanese prisoners of war

As Japan prepares to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, one of its largest corporations has given a long-awaited apology for wartime atrocities.

23 JUNE 2015

Japan PM Shinzo Abe jeered at Battle of Okinawa ceremony

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was heckled Tuesday at a ceremony to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the Battle of Okinawa, the bloodiest episode in the Pacific War, as anger flared over the U.S. military’s continuing presence

17 JUNE 2015

Japan lowers voting age to 18

Japan passed legislation to lower the voting age to 18 from its current 20 on Wednesday, allowing teenagers into polling booths for the first time

24 MAY 2015

 Most Japanese wary of security reform

Most Japanese neither support the passage of new defense legislation this Diet session nor feel that the government has adequately explained the proposed changes, a weekend poll by Nikkei Inc. and TV Tokyo shows.

17 MAY 2015

Thousands protest against US airbase in Japan’s Okinawa

Thousands of people have protested in Okinawa against a controversial US marine airbase in the southern Japanese island, as a two-decade-long row over the relocation of the site deepens.

30 APRIL 2015

Why US military bases divide Okinawa and mainland Japan

For the past 70 years, the bases have helped deter external attacks on Japan, including on Okinawa. But with over 25,000 US military personnel in Okinawa, and about 18 per cent of its land area being used by the US military, the presence of the bases endangers the lives and properties of the local people

23 APRIL 2015

Japan ministers go to Yasukuni hours after China talks

Just hours after Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sat down for his first substantial talks with China’s Xi Jinping, two of his cabinet ministers Thursday visited the war shrine that Beijing sees as a symbol of Tokyo’s violent past

21 APRIL 2015

Japanese maglev train sets new world speed record, hits 603kph in test run

Bullet train tops 603kph, with officials confident new technology is likely to shape a new global generation of trains

12 APRIL 2015

Japan’s ruling camp wins local polls in ‘Abenomics’ litmus test

Candidates backed by Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and junior coalition partner Komeito were elected in all of the 10 gubernatorial polls held on Sunday across the nation, according to public broadcaster NHK and other reports

9 APRIL 2015

Emperor, empress mourn war dead on Palau’s Peleliu isle

The Emperor and Empress offered flowers at a monument for the war dead on Palau’s Peleliu Island during their commemorative visit to the Pacific island nation 70 years after World War II

24 MARCH 2015

51% support revision of Japan’s Constitution

A nationwide mail-back survey conducted by The Yomiuri Shimbun found 51 per cent of respondents support revising the Constitution and 46 per cent oppose revising it

23 MARCH 2015

Okinawa governor orders halt to work related to U.S. base relocation

The governor of Okinawa on Monday ordered a Defense Ministry branch to suspend all work in the area where a key U.S. military air base is to be relocated, in a growing confrontation between the island and the central government

24 February 2015

Japanese media self-censorship grows in PM Abe’s reign

Worries are growing in Japan about a trend of media self-censorship as journalists and experts say news organisations are toning down criticism of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government for fear of sparking ire and losing access to sources

23 FEBRUARY 2015

Japan prince urges ‘correct’ history told

Japan’s crown prince has warned of the need to remember World War II « correctly », in a rare foray into an ideological debate as nationalist politicians seek to downplay the country’s historic crimes.

31 JANUARY 2015

Islamic State group beheads Japanese journalist

An online video released on Jan. 31 purported to show an Islamic State group militant behead Japanese journalist Kenji Goto, ending days of negotiations by diplomats to save the man.

20 JANUARY 2015

Japan’s PM Shinzo Abe demands that Isis release hostages

Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe demands the immediate release of two Japanese men taken hostage by Islamic State (Isis). Speaking following the release of a video demanding a $200m ransom he says: ‘It is an unacceptable act to threaten us in exchange for human lives’


Japan’s natural population decline hits record 268,000 in 2014

Japan’s natural population decline – the number by which deaths exceed births – came to an estimated 268,000 in 2014, the largest drop on record, according to data compiled by the Health, Labour and Welfare Ministry

24 DECEMBER 2014

Abe reelected PM, forms 3rd Cabinet

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe launched his third Cabinet on Wednesday night after he was reelected as the nation’s 97th prime minister in votes held in both chambers of the Diet earlier in the day. Abe retained all ministers except for Defence Minister Akinori Eto, who is embroiled in a political funds scandal. Eto was replaced by Gen Nakatani, former director general of the Defence Agency, the predecessor of the Defence Ministry

15 DECEMBER 2014

Unseated Japanese opposition leader Kaieda steps down

Banri Kaieda, who led the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) to its third consecutive thrashing at the polls, was among the casualties on a dreary night for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s main opponents.

14 DECEMBER 2014

Japanese PM Abe comfortably re-elected in low-turnout polls

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe won comfortable re-election Sunday in a snap poll he had billed as a referendum on his economic policies, but a record low voter turn-out threatened to cloud any mandate.

10 DECEMBER 2014

Japan secrecy law takes effect amid protests

Organizations representing journalists, legal experts and the entertainment industry issued statements calling for the abolishment of the state secrets protection law that they say will trample on the people’s right to know.


Japan launches asteroid-hunting spacecraft

Japan’s space agency has launched an ambitious space mission which aims to mine an asteroid and hunt for clues about the birth of the solar system.


Japan PM defends « Abenomics » after Moody’s downgrade

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, gearing up for the Dec. 14 lower house election, defended his economic policy on Tuesday after Moody’s Investors Service cut Japan’s debt rating, saying foreigners’ confidence in »Abenomics » remains solid

21 NOVEMBER 2014

Japan PM Shinzo Abe dissolves parliament for election

Mr Abe is seeking a new mandate for economic reforms and is delaying an unpopular increase in sales tax.

18 NOVEMBER 2014

Japan PM Shinzo Abe calls snap election in December

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has called an early election, two years ahead of schedule.

16 NOVEMBER 2014

Okinawa elects anti-U.S. base governor, in rebuke to Abe

Opponents of a new U.S. Marine Corps base in Okinawa delivered a fresh rebuke to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, as former Naha Mayor Takeshi Onaga won the prefecture’s gubernatorial contest Sunday night in an election closely followed by Tokyo and Washington.


What’s the score on Japan’s Abenomics

The December 2012 election gave Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party control of both houses of the Diet as the electorate sought positive, decisive, energetic leadership out of the malaise of the past two decades. Shinzo Abe offered himself as that leader, with Abenomics as his program


Can Japan’s feed-in tariff continue to promote growth in renewable energy?

The effects of Japan’s feed-in tariff (FIT) for renewable energy have been impressive. Since 2011, Japan has seen a massive expansion of solar photovoltaics (PV). The size of the domestic market increased from 1GW in 2010 to almost 7GW in 2013.

22 OCTOBER 2014

Why ‘womenomics’ is the way forward for Japan

‘Womenomics’ is a key pillar of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic growth strategy. In 2013, just 64 per cent of Japanese women aged 15–64 were participating in the labour force Abe has set a target to increase the ratio of female managers to over 30 per cent by 2020. In response, several large firms have set similar numerical targets.

20 OCTOBER 2014

In Japan, two female ministers quit, dealing a blow to Abe and ‘womenomics’

Two female Japanese cabinet ministers, appointed last month as part of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s plan to let women “shine,” resigned their posts Monday amid allegations of financial impropriety.

7 OCTOBER 2014

Japanese trio win Nobel Prize in physics for blue LEDs

Three Japan-born scientists — Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura — won the Nobel Prize in physics Tuesday for the invention of blue light-emitting diodes — a new energy-efficient and environmentally friendly light source.

5 OCTOBER 2014

Princess Noriko marries son of Izumo Taisha priest, relinquishes royal status

Princess Noriko on Sunday married the eldest son of the head priest of the Izumo Taisha grand shrine in Shimane Prefecture, thereby relinquishing her Imperial status.


Japan’s Shinzo Abe appoints pro-China MPs in bid to mend fences with Beijing

Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, has signalled a rare attempt to mend fences with China when he appointed two MPs considered friendly towards Beijing to two senior posts in his governing Liberal Democratic party (LDP).

27 AUGUST 2014

Abe sent message to ceremony honoring war criminals

A message from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was read out at a ceremony in April memorializing Japanese war criminals, who had, he wrote, “dedicated their souls to become the foundation of our homeland,” an organizer of the event has said.

15 AUGUST 2014

Japanese politicians visit controversial war shrine

More than 80 politicians — including three cabinet ministers — went to the leafy Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo, but Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stayed away, after a visit in December drew an angry reaction from Japan’s neighbours

1 JULY 2014

 Japan to ease army ban on fighting overseas

Japan’s cabinet has agreed on a proposal to end a ban on its military fighting abroad, a major shift away from the country’s post-war pacifism and a move that is riling China

30 JUNE 2014

Thousands protest greater Japanese military role

Thousands of people protested outside the Japanese prime minister’s office Monday in anticipation his government will reinterpret the constitution to allow Japan’s military a larger international role.

28 JUNE 2014

Official role eyed for women who lose Imperial family status

The government might let female members of the Imperial family continue to engage in official activities after they lose their Imperial status by marrying, it was learned Saturday

4 JUNE 2014

Japan acts on child porn possession

Japan edged closer to banning the possession of child pornography on Wednesday, the last major developed country to do so, but paedophilia portrayed in the country’s popular anime comics will be exempt

13 MAY 2014

New status for foreigners in strategic zones planned

The government will start considering increasing the number of foreign workers in national strategic special zones, where regulations will be drastically eased.

4 MAY 2014

Japan’s population continues to age as number of children hits new low

The number of children in Japan has fallen to a new low, while the amount of people over 65 has reached a record high as the population ages and shrinks, the government said

1 MAY 2014

Thousands languishing in Japan children’s homes: Human Rights Watch

Almost nine out of 10 children taken from their families in Japan end up in institutions rather than foster care, a rights group said Thursday, a rate it said was the highest among developed nations

28 APRIL 2014

Japan cabinet minister visits controversial war shrine

Tomomi Inada, a Japanese cabinet minister known for her outspoken nationalistic views on Monday visited a controversial Tokyo war shrine, in a move certain to aggravate tensions with neighbours China and South Korea

27 APRIL 2014

Japan’s first lady Akie Abe joins gay parade

Japan’s first lady Akie Abe joined the annual gay parade in Tokyo on Sunday to show her support for sexual minorities

25 APRIL 2014

Tokyo consumer price growth at 22-year high

Consumer prices in Tokyo rose at their fastest pace in 22 years in April, surging 2.7% from a year earlier, according to preliminary data

22 APRIL 2014

Japanese MPs visit controversial war shrine

Nearly 150 Japanese politicians have paid homage at the Yasukuni shrine which honours the nation’s war dead including a number of senior military and political figures convicted of war crimes after World War II

15 APRIL 2014

Japan population shrinks as elderly make up a quarter

Japan’s population has shrunk for the third year running, with the elderly making up a quarter of the total for the first time, government data showed today

12 APRIL 2014

Japan minister visits controversial war shrine

Television footage showed Yoshitaka Shindo, minister for internal affairs and communications, paying homage Saturday morning at the Yasukuni shrine.

8 APRIL 2014

Japan lawmaker resigns over $8 mn loan scandal

Yoshimi Watanabe, the latest lawmaker to be felled by a cash scandal, said he was stepping down from the helm of the small but influential Your Party to try to contain the fallout from the incident

1 APRIL 2014

8% consumption tax rate takes effect nationwide

The consumption tax rate was raised from 5 percent to 8 percent on Tuesday, with the 3 percentage point increase added to prices of many commodities and services

20 MARCH 2014

Japan passes record $1.2 trillion budget

Japan on Thursday passed its biggest-ever budget, a S$1.2 trillion spending package aimed at propping up growth as consumers brace for the country’s first sales tax hike in over 15 years

11 FEBRUARY 2014

Former Japanese Prime Minister meets ‘comfort women’

Tomiichi Murayama, the former Japanese prime minister known for his 1995 apology over wartime aggression, met Tuesday with three South Korean « comfort women » who served as sex slaves to Japanese troops.


Pro-nuclear candidate Yoichi Masuzoe wins Tokyo’s race for governor

Yoichi Masuzoe, a former health minister backed by Japan’s ruling party, won Tokyo’s election for governor on Sunday, defeating two candidates who had promised to end nuclear power.


Japanese broadcaster’s board member praised ritual suicide of rightwinger

A woman picked last year by the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, for the management board of the public broadcaster NHK has praised the ritual suicide of a high-profile rightwinger, saying his self-sacrifice made Japan’s emperor a living god.


NHK governor campaigns for revisionist in Tokyo election

A Japan Broadcasting Corp. (NHK) governor handpicked by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the Nanking Massacre was a fabrication designed to cancel out U.S. atrocities during speeches supporting a like-minded candidate in the Tokyo gubernatorial election.

19 JANUARY 2014

Japan’s Abe suffers setback with Okinawa election loss

A city mayor opposed to a plan to relocate a controversial US airbase on Japan’s Okinawa island was re-elected on Sunday, Kyodo news agency said, creating a political headache for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and threatening friction with Washington

13 JANUARY 2014

Abe Cabinet rating recovers to 62%

The approval rating for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet rose to 62 percent, according to a recent Yomiuri Shimbun poll, up seven percentage points from the previous poll conducted Dec. 6-8.

12 JANUARY 2014

Ex-premier Hosokawa eyes Tokyo governor role

Former prime minister Morihiro Hosokawa is ready to contest the high-profile post of Tokyo governor, as the city eases into preparations to host the 2020 Olympic Games.

11 JANUARY 2014

Actress Keiko Awaji, best known for role in ‘The Bridges at Toko-Ri,’ dies at age 80

Actress Keiko Awaji, known for her role as the girlfriend of a U.S. Navy airman in the 1954 Hollywood movie “The Bridges at Toko-Ri” about the Korean War, died of esophageal cancer at a Tokyo hospital Saturday, her talent agency said. She was 80.

1 JANUARY 2014

Japan’s population falls ‘by record 244,000’ in 2013

Japan’s population declined by a record 244,000 people in 2013, according to health ministry estimates.

Abe says Japan’s pacifist constitution may be revised by 2020

Japan’s nationalist Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said the country’s pacifist post-World War II constitution which limits its military to self-defence could be amended by 2020.

28 DECEMBER 2013

In Textbook Fight, Japan Leaders Seek to Recast History

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s conservative government has begun to pursue a more openly nationalist agenda on an issue that critics fear will push the country farther from its postwar pacifism: adding a more patriotic tone to Japan’s school textbooks.

27 DECEMBER 2013

Japan’s deflation era is not yet a thing of the past

There are still risks from a consumption tax increase and foreign investment pushing up the yen. Shinzo Abe will take no chances

23 DECEMBER 2013

Japanese Emperor Akihito turns 80

Thousands of people thronged Japan’s Imperial Palace Monday to celebrate Emperor Akihito’s 80th birthday, as he lauded his wife for standing by him in his « lonely » pursuit of leading the world’s oldest monarchy.

19 DECEMBER 2013

Tokyo governor resigns amid financial scandal

The governor of Tokyo has stepped down after receiving nearly $500,000 from a Japanese hospital tycoon ahead of his election. Facing mounting pressure to quit, Governor Naoki Inose, who helped Tokyo secure the 2020 Olympic Games just a few months ago, formalised his resignation on Thursday.

12 DECEMBER 2013

Is Abe threatening Japan’s democracy?

After his political resurrection in December 2012, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has campaigned on the promise to ‘take Japan back’ from the institutional constraints of the country’s ‘post-war regime’.


Japan’s secrecy bill condemned by Nobel academics

Japan’s controversial new state secrets law was condemned Saturday as « the largest ever threat to democracy in postwar Japan » by a group of academics, including two Nobel prize winners, reports said.

19 NOVEMBER 2013

Japan’s economy: can the remedy be found in its culture than Abenomics ?

Nearly a year has passed since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was elected with much europium in the 2012 general election.  Upon his re-election, PM Abe introduced a series of reforms, dubbed “Abenomics” to revitalise Japan’s faltering economy.  Japan has remained in the doldrums since the bursting of its bubble economy in 1985.  Abenomics stands on a platform of looser monetary policy; a mammoth fiscal stimulus and the devaluing of the Yen. These policies are bound as Keynesian styled packages of reform.


Japanese politician breaks taboo by giving letter to emperor

A Japanese politician has caused a stir after handing a letter about the health impact of the Fukishima nuclear disaster to the Emperor.

28 OCTOBER 2013

Rhetoric not enough for Japan’s working women

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe may be keen to tout Japan’s untapped labor force, but will he go beyond the rhetoric?

20 OCTOBER 2013

Why have young people in Japan stopped having sex?

Arm’s length: 45% of Japanese women aged 16-24 are ‘not interested in or despise sexual contact’. More than a quarter of men feel the same way. Photograph: Eric Rechsteiner

17 OCTOBER 2013

Japanese cabinet minister Shindo visits shrine to war dead

The visit came a day after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made his third ritual offering to the shrine since returning to office in December. Abe has not visited the shrine in person to avoid further straining ties with China and South Korea.


Yusai Sukai, the monk who explained Buddhism to the pope, is dead

A kamikaze who converted to the Buddhist religion after the war, he was received by Pope John Paul II in 1995. He became famous throughout the world for twice performing the Sennichi Gyo, a 1,000-day pilgrimage on a Japanese mountain.,-the-monk-who-explained-Buddhism-to-the-pope,-is-dead-29110.html


Nintendo’s Hiroshi Yamauchi dies aged 85

Hiroshi Yamauchi, the man who ran Nintendo for more than 50 years, overseeing the creation of Super Mario, Donkey Kong and Zelda, has died aged 85.


Japan switches off last nuclear reactor

Japan has started the process of switching off its last working nuclear reactor for a scheduled inspection with no restart in sight due to public hostility towards atomic power.The move on Sunday leaves the world’s third largest economy without atomic energy for the second time since the Fukushima crisis erupted in March 2011.


Japan launches ‘affordable’ Epsilon space rocket

Japan has launched the first in a new generation of space rockets, hoping the design will make missions more affordable.


Consumption tax fears risk stalling Abe’s ‘three arrows’

Abenomics is Japanese Prime Minister Abe’s policy package consisting of three ‘arrows’: aggressive monetary easing, flexible fiscal policy, and growth strategies. Together, they are aimed at lifting Japan’s economy from chronic deflation and stagnation to a normal economy with 2 per cent inflation and strong growth. But will they succeed?


Tokyo wins to host 2020 Olympics

Cheers and shouts of “Banzai!!” echoed across Tokyo just after sunrise as thousands of people started celebrating the city’s successful bid to host the 2020 Olympics, beating rivals Istanbul and Madrid despite concerns about a nuclear plant leaking radioactive water.

31 AUGUST 2013

Don’t write the Democratic Party of Japan off just yet

Japan’s opposition is in complete disarray. After gaining just 17 seats of the 121 contested in July’s upper house election, a record low for the party, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) has descended into infighting and could face years in the political wilderness.

27 AUGUST 2013

Acclaimed anti-war manga earns reprieve in Japan

Restriction on the availability to children of Hadashi No Gen (Barefoot Gen), Keiji Nakazawa’s anti-war classic, has been reversed after protests

24 AUGUST 2013

Woman takes on Yakuza godfather over protection racket

Restaurant owner in Nagoya is seeking £120,000 from crime boss in landmark case

21 AUGUST 2013

Japan nuclear agency upgrades Fukushima alert level

Japan’s nuclear agency has upgraded the severity level of a radioactive water leak at the Fukushima plant from one to three on an international scale.

5 AUGUST 2013

Communist Party makes a comeback … in Japan

July’s elections were the first in Japan in which online campaigning was permitted, and it was Japan’s Communist Party that is widely seen as having made best use of it.

1st AUGUST 2013

Japan should follow Nazi route on revising constitution, minister says

The Japanese deputy prime minister, Taro Aso, has retracted comments suggesting that Japan should follow the Nazi example in how to change the country’s constitution, following protests by neighbouring countries and human rights activists.

In Japan, 25% of pregnant workers experienced harassment

So-called pregnancy harassment, which involves treating female employees unfavorably because of being pregnant or having children, sometimes to the point of making them quit their jobs, has been attracting attention, especially since a recent labor federation survey showed one in every four pregnant workers were made the target of such harassment.

21 JULY 2013

Japan ruling bloc ‘wins’ upper house poll

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling bloc has won majority of seats in the upper house of parliament in elections, giving it control of both chambers for the first time in six years, according to exit polls.

27 JUNE 2013

Japan: Return of the Communists

‘The only true opposition party’

23 JUNE 2013

Shinzo Abe’s LDP wins Tokyo elections

Tokyo voters appeared to give their support to the economic policies of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday, with his party winning a landslide victory in local elections in the capital.

22 MAY 2013

The Hashimoto Controversy and Japan’s Failure to Come to Terms with its Past

15 MAY 2013

Japan Posts Surge in Economic Growth

Japan’s economic growth accelerated swiftly at the beginning of this year, the most concrete sign yet that new stimulus policies sparking euphoria in financial markets are starting to lift companies and consumers as well.

13 MAY 203

Is Japan’s economy at risk?

The Abe administration in Japan swung quickly into action with policies aimed at lifting the economy out of its long lasting doldrums. Prime Minister Abe appointed Haruhiko Kuroda, after eight years distinguished service at the Asia Development Bank, to implement a strong reflationary program through the Bank of Japan (BOJ): the first arrow of his three arrow revival strategy.

6 MAY 2013

Can Japan turn to foreign workers?

Japan is the only developed industrial democracy to have become rich without heavily relying on foreign workers during its period of advanced economic growth. The government has followed two basic immigration principles: it welcomed specialised and technical labour while examining carefully the admission of unskilled labour. In practice, this meant Japan welcomed relatively few immigrants.

5 MAY 2013

Population of children at record low

The estimated number of Japanese under the age of 15 hit a new low of 16.49 million as of April 1, down 150,000 from a year ago, government data showed Saturday.                                                                                                                                                                                                         

20 APRIL 2013

Japanese should establish own constitution

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, also president of the Liberal Democratic Party, advocates revising the Constitution. He said he wants to make the issue of reviewing Article 96 of the Constitution, which stipulates conditions for proposing amendments, a central plank of the LDP’s pledges for this summer’s House of Councillors election.                                                                                                                                                                  

28 MARCH 2013

Japan’s Workforce: Women Underutilized

Japan’s demographic trends are grim, but the Japanese make it harder on themselves by not better using the people they have. Women in particular are famously underutilized.

24 MARCH 2013

Cabinet’s approval rate slips to 71%

The approval rating for the Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe slipped 1.7 points from the previous opinion poll but remains sky-high at 71.1 percent, according to a Kyodo News survey                                                                

16 MARCH 2013

Japan joins Pacific trade talks at last

Japan has finally decided to join the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks, just half a year before negotiations for the free trade pact are due to end, despite strong objections by farmers and from within the ruling party                                                              

8 MARCH 2013

Child porn cases up 10% in ’12 / Record-high 1,596 cases found due to increased awareness, efforts

Police data collected by the agency indicated child pornography is spreading via the Internet, with about 20 percent of distribution cases involving images and videos that have been circulating on websites and DVDs for five years or longer.

21 FEBRUARY 2013

Japan executions resume with three hangings

Japan has carried out three executions – the first since the country’s conservative prime minister, Shinzo Abe, was elected last December, and a sign that Tokyo will defy international pressure to abolish the death penalty.                 


Japan’s demographic disaster

Japan is faced with an unprecedented population challenge that will have social, economic, and political consequences for years to come.


Japan ‘may revisit Second World War statement’

Shinzo Abe, the Japanese prime minister, intends to release a new statement on Japan’s attitude to the Second World War, a day after unveiling plans to revamp the US-imposed pacifist constitution.                             

31 JANUARY 2013

Japan PM says to change post-war constitution

Hawkish Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told lawmakers Thursday he intends to change the post-WWII constitution that imposed pacifism on Japan, in a move likely to stir suspicion in China and beyond.                                                                 

16 JANUARY 2013

Japan’s suicide problem: Serching for answers

For the last fourteen years at least 30,000 Japanese have killed themselves annually. Why?

15 JANUARY 2013

Death of Nagasi Oshima, Japanese film-maker, born on March 3, 1932                                                               

8 JANUARY 2013

Japanese destroyer could be modified into aircraft carrier

After purchasing F-35 Lighting II aircraft from the United States, the 22DDH class destroyer currently being built by Japan could be easily modified into an aircraft carrier, according to Duowei News, an outlet operated by overseas Chinese.        

31 DECEMBER 2012

Japan PM Abe wants new nuclear reactors: reports

Japan’s new prime minister Shinzo Abe has voiced his willingness to build new nuclear reactors, reports said Monday, despite widespread public opposition to atomic energy in light of the Fukushima crisis      

27 DECEMBER 2012

Nationalism takes back seat to the economy

The lineup of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet seems to underline his determination to learn from his mistakes.                             

26 DECEMBER 2012

Abe formally named as Japan’s prime minister

Japan’s lower House of parliament has formally elected Shinzo Abe, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, as country’s prime minister after he swept to power on a hawkish platform of getting tough on diplomacy while fixing the economy.

26 DECEMBER 2012

Abe Cabinet (Formed December 26, 2012)

23 DECEMBER 2012

Imperial birthday as Emperor Akihito turns 79

Japanese Emperor Akihito has turned 79 and reassured thousands of well-wishers that he is in good health, following his heart bypass surgery last February.

18 DECEMBER 2012

Abe to appoint cabinet Dec. 26 / LDP head to launch coalition with New Komeito

Liberal Democratic Party President Shinzo Abe took steps toward forming his own cabinet Monday, a day after the party won 294 seats in a landslide victory in the House of Representatives election.

17 DECEMBER 2012

The rise and fall of Japan’s Democratic Party

When the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) ascended to governance in 2009, analysts predicted a « sea-change » in the country’s politics. But with the Liberal Democratic Party’s (LDP) strong showing in Sunday’s election, Japan appears to have again embraced the centre-right values that have dominated the nation for much of the past six decades.

16 DECEMBER 2012

Japan’s Abe says party ‘must achieve results’ after poll win

The conservative Liberal Democratic Party won almost 300 seats and, with its coalition partner, looks set for a two-thirds majority in the lower house.


‘Third force’ parties crowd Japan’s political scene

In the lead-up to the elections, political leaders are busy forming, re-forming, disbanding and merging political parties. Two new ‘third force’ political parties have emerged recently: the Japan Restoration Party and the Japan Future Party. These parties have been created to challenge the two established political parties, which many believe have been unable to address some of the most pressing social, political and economic issues facing Japan today.


Kabuki actor Kanzaburo Nakamura dies at age 57

Kabuki actor Kanzaburo Nakamura, who helped boost the popularity of the traditional Japanese art form, has died. He was 57

30 NOVEMBER 2012

Ishihara left behind a mixed legacy

Tokyo is about to get its first new governor in almost 14 years, and whoever wins the Dec. 16 election will have to fill the shoes of Shintaro Ishihara, who leaves behind a legacy both positive and negative.

20 NOVEMBER 2012

Japanese politics drift to the polls

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda last Friday dissolved the lower house of Japan’s parliament and called a general election for December 16, some eight months shy of its four-year term. While prime ministers in the past have dissolved the house before the full term for snap elections, their actions were carefully timed to gain advantage at the ballot box. This time, the polls indicate that Noda’s Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) is set to lose.

16 NOVEMBER 2012

Japan PM dissolves lower house for election Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda dissolved the lower house of parliament Friday for an election next month, in a political gamble widely expected to strip his centre-left party of power

14 NOVEMBER 2012

Japan to hold general election on December 16

Japan will hold a general election on December 16, a senior governing party official confirmed Wednesday, putting an end to months of speculation over the date of polls

13 NOVEMBER 2012

Can Japanese politics be saved?

Political leadership presupposes that there are leaders, that they know where they want to lead, and that they are able to communicate their ideas to voters and obtain their support. Political leadership in Japan falls short on all these measures.

12 NOVEMBER 2012

Japan high court clears Ichiro Ozawa of funding case

A high court has cleared influential Japanese politician Ichiro Ozawa of wrongdoing in connection with a political funding case.


The gender fault-line in Japan

The economic, demographic and environmental shocks of recent years that have so profoundly shaped contemporary Japanese society have distinctive gendered dimensions.

31 OCTOBER 2012

Former Tokyo governor gets ageing party’s chair

Firebrand Japanese conservative Shintaro Ishihara, who resigned as governor of Tokyo, has become the leader of a small right-leaning party whose lawmakers have an average age of 73.

25 OCTOBER 2012

Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara quits to form new party

23 OCTOBER 2012

Japan minister quits after mob ties scandal

Japan’s justice minister quit on Tuesday because of ill health, a cabinet official said, after calls for his resignation over past ties to an organized crime syndicate. The announcement dealt another blow to unpopular Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda

Okinawa legislators protest alleged US rape

Asembly of the Japanese island passes a protest resolution following the arrests of two US sailors accused of rape.

15 OCTOBER 2012

The missing piece in the puzzle of Japan’s lost decades

Japan’s average GDP growth rate was around 9.5 per cent between 1955 and 1970, and 3.8 per cent between 1971 and 1990

2 OCTOBER 2012

Shinzo Abe and the dream of a conservative Asia

His unprecedented return to the presidency of the LDP marks the culmination of a careful and deliberate political campaign waged within the LDP policy councils, conservative research institutes and monthly magazines over the course of the last three years by Abe and his supporters on the ideological right

1 OCTOBER 2012

Noda adds new faces to Cabinet / Reshuffled lineup aimed at strengthening DPJ ahead of next election

The new Cabinet is the fourth Noda has formed since he took office in September last year.

What an Abe prime ministership would mean for Japan

Abe has already been in the job once before — for just under one year in 2006–07. Not short by Japanese standards, but the manner of his departure left the strong impression that he did not have the necessary physical and mental toughness to withstand the vicissitudes of being prime minister.


Ex-PM wins Japan opposition party vote

Japan’s main opposition party has chosen former premier Shinzo Abe as its new leader, a victory likely to see him reinstated as prime minister in general elections expected this year.

Noda faces uphill battle for party, Diet unity

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s reelection by a large margin as the Democratic Party of Japan’s president was partly accomplished because many DPJ members simply felt there was no better choice.


Japan’s PM re-elected ruling party leader

Yoshihiko Noda beat three other contenders, winning more than 60 per cent of points available in vote by party member


Japan’s central bank has announced new measures to try to spur economic growth there.

It is an admission that the near-term recovery in the world’s third largest economy is fading as exports weaken and growth in China slows.


Japan aims to phase out nuclear energy by 2040

Japan announced in a non-binding policy proposal Friday that it would aim to phase out nuclear power by 2040 in the wake of last year’s Fukushima nuclear disaster, which renewed concerns over the safety of nuclear energ

15 AUGUST 2012

Japan ministers in controversial shrine visit

In a move sure to raise regional tensions, two Japanese cabinet members have visited the Yasukuni shrine to mark the anniversary of the country’s World War II surrende

6 AUGUST 2012

Japans remembers Hiroshima bombing

Tens of thousands of people have gathered in Japan to mark the 67th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima by the US.

21 JULY 2012

Japan has launched a rocket with an unmanned cargo transporter to the International Space Station

11 JULY 2012

Japan’s Ichiro Ozawa forms rival political party

Veteran Japanese politician Ichiro Ozawa, who resigned from the ruling party over plans to raise sales tax, has formed a new opposition party


5 JULY 2012

Japanese panel calls Fukushima meltdowns a ‘manmade disaster’

Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant meltdowns were a “manmade disaster,” a parliamentary panel of experts concluded Thursday, when it issued a final report 15 months after the nation’s nuclear accident.

2 JULY 2012

Dozens of MPs quit Japan party over tax rise

Less than a week after Yoshihiko Noda, Japan’s prime minister, won approval for a controversial sales tax increase, 52 politicians have decided to quit his governing party in protest.

1 JULY 2012

Japan restarts first nuclear plant after post-Fukushima shutdown

Japan restarted nuclear power production Sunday for the first time since shutting down all the country’s reactors in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi meltdown after last year’s devastating tsunami.

30 JUNE 2012

Large rare earth deposits discovered / Valuable cache found within nation’s EEZ

Large and rich rare earth deposits, equaling at least 220 times the country’s annual consumption, have been discovered near Minami-Torishima island in the Ogasawara Islands, a research team has said.

26 JUNE 2012

Japanese lawmakers approve sales tax increase amid political turmoil

Japanese lawmakers approved a contentious plan to double the country’s sales tax Tuesday even as Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda battled to contain an uprising in his own party over the issue that could bring about his downfall.

15 JUNE 2012

Japan police arrest final Tokyo gas attack fugitive

Japanese police on Friday arrested the final fugitive member of a religious cult that launched nerve gas attacks on Tokyo’s subway in 1995, killing 13 people and injuring thousands. The capture of Katsuya Takahashi brings to an end a police hunt for those behind the coordinated release of Nazi-developed sarin, an incident that sowed panic throughout the capital.

8 JUNE 2012

Japan PM: Restart nuke reactors for ‘survival of society’

Japan’s prime minister said on Friday that two idled nuclear reactors in western Japan must be restarted to protect jobs and ensure the « survival of society », risking a voter backlash given safety fears more than a year after the Fukushima crisis.

4 JUNE 2012

Japanese PM shakes up cabinet

Yoshihiko Noda, Japan’s prime minister, has reshuffled his cabinet, bowing to opposition pressure for ministerial scalps as he looks to secure cross-party support for a sales tax increase

3 JUNE 2012

Suspect in 1995 Tokyo subway gas attack arrested in Japan

A member of the Japanese religious cult responsible for releasing a nerve agent that killed 13 people in Tokyo’s subway system has been arrested after 17 years as a fugitive, Japanese news services reported Sunday

Phoenix-like Ozawa set to re-ignite Japan

The former Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) chief is about to rise, phoenix-like, to power again in Tokyo. Ichiro Ozawa, 69, a long-time heavyweight in Japanese politics, was found not guilty of breaking political funding laws. Under investigation, he was forced to resign as party leader in May 2009

17 APRIL 2012

Japan to be without nuclear power after May 5

Japan will within weeks have no nuclear power for the first time in more than 40 years, after the trade minister said two reactors idled after the Fukushima disaster would not be back online before the last one currently operating is shut down

6 APRIL 2012

Japan approves US$1.1 trillion budget

Japan’s record 90.3 trillion yen (US$1.1 trillion) national budget was belatedly approved yesterday 5 April after it had been voted down by the opposition-controlled Upper House of Parliament