Category Archives: Japan’s home policy and society

Japan’s home policy and society

8 DECEMBER 2018

Immigration shift in Japan makes way for 345,000 foreign workers

Japan has approved allowing in 345,150 blue-collar workers to fill a labour shortage, a major policy shift in a country where immigration has long been taboo
https://www.sbs.com.au/news/immigration-shift-in-japan-makes-way-for-345-000-foreign-workers
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-46492216
https://japantoday.com/category/national/Hope-anxiety-in-Japan-over-opening-up-to-more-foreign-workers

2 NOVEMBER 2018

In major policy shift, Japan’s goverment OKs draft bill to open door wider for foreign workers

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet approved draft legislation on Friday to open the door to more overseas blue-collar workers in sectors grappling with labour shortages, a controversial policy shift in immigration-shy Japan
https://japantoday.com/category/politics/In-major-policy-shift-gov’t-OKs-draft-bill-to-open-door-wider-for-foreign-workers
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20181103_02/

29 OCTOBER 2018

Japan’s princess Ayako gives up royal status as she marries a commoner in traditional Shinto ceremony

Princess Ayako, 28, the youngest daughter of a late cousin of Emperor Akihito, married Kei Moriya, a 32-year-old employee of Nippon Yusen, the shipping company
https://edition.cnn.com/2018/10/29/asia/princess-ayako-wedding-ceremony-intl/index.html
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20181029_22/
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/10/29/japans-princess-ayako-gives-royal-status-marries-commoner-traditional/

12 OCTOBER 2018

Japan plans to attract 500,000 foreign workers by 2025 as labour shortages bite

Japan on Friday unveiled a plan to attract more foreign blue-collar workers, as the world’s third-largest economy battles a crippling labour shortage caused by an ageing and shrinking population
https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/east-asia/article/2168245/japan-plans-attract-500000-foreign-workers-2025-labour-shortages
http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201810120029.html
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/japan-foreigners-attract-work-visa-labour-shortage-10819956

11 OCTOBER 2018

Yasukuni chief priest forced to resign for criticising emperor

The chief priest at Tokyo’s controversial Shinto Yasukuni shrine was forced to resign for using « highly inappropriate language » to criticise Emperor Akihito. His successor will be selected on 26 October in a general meeting
http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Yasukuni-chief-priest-forced-to-resign-for-criticising-emperor-45186.html
https://japantoday.com/category/politics/Yasukuni-Shrine-chief-priest-to-quit-for-criticizing-emperor

2 OCTOBER 2018

Japan’s new Cabinet: Key Abe allies stay on as 12 newcomers named, only one woman appointed

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe named 12 newcomers to his Cabinet on Tuesday (Oct 2), while favouring stability in keeping his ministers in the key portfolios of finance, foreign affairs, economy and trade
https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/japans-new-cabinet-key-abe-allies-stay-on-as-12-newcomers-named-only-one-woman
http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0004869601
http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201810020039.html

1 OCTOBER 2018

Japanese professor Tasuku Honjo wins Nobel in medicine, together with U.S. scientist, for work on cancer therapy

Japanese scientist Tasuku Honjo is awarded this year’s Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine, for his discovery of a protein that contributed to the development of an immunotherapeutic drug against cancer
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/10/01/national/science-health/japans-tasuku-honjo-u-s-national-james-p-allison-win-nobel-prize-physiology-medicine/#.W7JuaGgzY2w
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/us-japanese-pair-win-nobel-medicine-prize-for-cancer-therapy-

23 SEPTEMBER 2018

Hayabusa 2: Japanese space agency makes history by landing two rovers on an asteroid

Japan has successfully landed two small rovers on the surface of an asteroid in a history-making mission that could provide clues to the origin of the solar system
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-09-23/pictures-confirm-japans-hayabusa2-lands-rovers-on-asteroid/10295992?section=world
http://japan-forward.com/japan-makes-history-hayabusa2-spacecraft-lands-rovers-on-moving-asteroid/

20 SEPTEMBER 2018

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
https://www.chinadailyasia.com/articles/222/61/149/1537455576045.html?newsId=48651
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20180920_30/
http://japan-forward.com/abe-wins-big-in-ldp-leadership-election-to-lead-japan-for-3-more-years/

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
https://www.dw.com/en/thousands-in-okinawa-protest-us-marine-base-relocation/a-45046501
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/08/70000-rally-okinawa-military-base-relocation-180811123923792.html

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
https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20180706/p2a/00m/0na/003000c
https://edition.cnn.com/2018/07/05/asia/japan-aum-shinriyko-leader-executed-intl/index.html
https://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2018/jul/06/shoko-asahara-and-the-cult-behind-the-tokyo-sarin-attack-video-explainer

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
http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/east-asia/article/2147989/japan-ex-pm-yasuhiro-nakasone-turns-100-calls-change-post-war
https://japantoday.com/category/politics/ex-pm-nakasone-turns-100-hopes-for-constitution-amendment

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
http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0004422077
https://japantoday.com/category/politics/New-opposition-Democratic-Party-for-the-People-formed
https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20180507/p2g/00m/0dm/069000c

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
http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/east-asia/article/2140533/legendary-japanese-animator-isao-takahata-dies-age-82
https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20180406/p2g/00m/0et/044000c
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-43664515

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
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-25/japan-shinzo-abe-apologises-amid-cronyism-scandal/9585158?section=world
http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/east-asia/article/2138810/japan-prime-minister-shinzo-abe-pledges-amend-pacifist

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
http://www.asianews.it/news-en/The-Japanese-will-become-adults-at-18-in-2022-43356.html
https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20180314/p2a/00m/0na/017000c

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
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/12/japan-shinzo-abes-political-future-in-doubt-as-wife-linked-to-cronyism-scandal
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-12/japanese-pm-alleged-cronyism-documents-reportedly-altered/9540246?section=world
http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0004299142

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
http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0004298619

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
http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2018/02/16/abes-constitutional-change-no-cause-for-fear/#more-110389

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
http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201802100053.html
http://apjjf.org/2016/13/Thornber.html

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
http://www.euronews.com/2018/01/23/lacking-manpower-japanese-firms-court-women

1 DECEMBER 2017

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
http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/east-asia/article/2122399/japans-emperor-akihito-will-abdicate-april-30-2019-government
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/12/01/national/emperors-abdication-date-confirmed-april-30-2019/#.WiGRgUriY2w

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
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/japan-immigration-shinzo-abe-refuse-relax-rules-prime-minister-policy-shrinking-population-foreign-a8065281.html
http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2017/11/21/can-japan-accept-itself-as-a-nation-of-immigrants/

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
http://www.trtworld.com/asia/japan-s-shinzo-abe-re-elected-prime-minister-after-big-election-win-11854
http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0004040759

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
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/10/31/national/politics-diplomacy/dp-taps-upper-house-member-kohei-otsuka-new-party-president/#.Wfi4ZGjWw2w
http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/yukio-edano-stands-up-as-the-leader-of-japans-biggest-opposition

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
http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201710230012.html
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/japanese-voters-brave-typhoon-to-cast-ballot-in-snap-election/2017/10/22/8c7aeab4-b5dd-11e7-9e58-e6288544af98_story.html?utm_term=.fe83ad906928
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/editors/3/proamendmentblocwins23majority/

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
http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0003980928

28 SEPTEMBER 2017

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
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20170928_23/
http://www.euronews.com/2017/09/28/abe-dissolves-japans-parliament-and-sets-oct-22-election-date

27 SEPTEMBER 2017

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
http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2017-09-27/tokyo-governor-yuriko-koike-forms-party-of-hope-before-japanese-election/1704922
http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0003969072

25 SEPTEMBER 2017

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
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/japan-s-abe-triggers-snap-election-amid-north-korea-crisis-9247120
http://ippreview.com/index.php/Home/Blog/single/id/558.html

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)
http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/east-asia/article/2109305/japans-main-opposition-party-selects-former-foreign-minister
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/09/01/national/politics-diplomacy/maeharas-election-democratic-party-president-may-put-pressure-abe-coalition/#.Wam0uchJY2w

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
http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/east-asia/article/2108852/it-looks-hes-doing-something-kim-jong-uns-latest-provocation-may
http://www.dw.com/en/japanese-react-furiously-to-north-korean-missile-launch/a-40279925

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
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/08/28/national/politics-diplomacy/former-prime-minister-tsutomu-hata-dies-82/#.WaRYNChJY2w
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20170828_19/

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
http://www.scmp.com/article/2105925/haruo-nakajima-actor-who-played-original-godzilla-rubber-suit-dies-88
https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/aug/08/haruo-nakajima-actor-who-played-the-original-godzilla-dies-aged-88
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20170808_34/

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
http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/east-asia/article/2105245/japans-new-top-diplomat-taro-kono-son-official-who-wrote
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/08/03/national/politics-diplomacy/new-foreign-minister-kono-reform-minded-challenger-party-lines/#.WYOGhbpuI2w
http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201708030024.html

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
http://www.chinadailyasia.com/articles/192/195/146/1501238500272.html
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20170728_33/
https://japantoday.com/category/politics/Abe-apologizes-over-Inada’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
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20170727_29/
https://japantoday.com/category/politics/Renho-resigns-as-main-opposition-Democratic-Party-leader

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
http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/yuriko-koike-the-tokyo-governor-who-just-trumped-japanese-pm-shinzo-abe

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
https://www.voanews.com/a/japan-tokyo-election-poll/3925080.html
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/07/02/national/politics-diplomacy/koike-camp-dethrones-abes-ldp-historic-tokyo-assembly-election/#.WVkmjrpuI2w
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20170703_03/

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
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/15/japan-passes-brutal-new-terror-law-which-opponents-fear-will-quash-freedoms
http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201706150014.html
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20170615_10/

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
http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/east-asia/article/2097577/japanese-parliament-passes-law-allowing-emperor-akihito-abdicate
http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2017-06-09/amid-a-shortage-of-royals-japan-enacts-law-for-emperor-akihito-to-abdicate/1677712

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
http://www.dw.com/en/japan-passes-bill-allowing-emperor-akihito-to-abdicate/a-39089855
http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/east-asia/article/2096661/japans-game-thrones-one-emperor-abdication-law-passed-and-calls

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
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/05/19/japan-cabinet-approves-bill-allow-emperor-akihito-abdicate/
http://www.euronews.com/2017/05/19/japan-emperor-akihito-abdication-bill-backed-by-cabinet
https://asiancorrespondent.com/2017/05/japan-cabinet-approves-bill-allowing-first-abdication-emperor-200-years/#yg9sKmVkFA3o4ZSj.97

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
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/05/03/national/politics-diplomacy/abe-declares-2020-goal-new-constitution/#.WQoEKoVOI2w
http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0003676123
http://www.chinadailyasia.com/asia/2017-05/03/content_15607817.html

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)
http://ippreview.com/index.php/Home/Blog/single/id/392.html

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
http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/new-rules-give-japans-abe-chance-to-lead-until-2021
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/03/05/national/politics-diplomacy/rule-change-see-abe-become-japans-longest-serving-leader/#.WLxsZoWcHSE
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20170305_17/

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
https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/feb/22/cult-japanese-director-seijun-suzuki-dies-aged-93

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
http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/east-asia/article/2070169/jiro-taniguchi-japanese-manga-visionary-who-bridged-two-worlds

4 FEBRUARY 2017

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.”
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/02/04/national/media-national/contemporary-japan-need-religion/#.WJjz1eR-sdI

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
http://news.asiaone.com/news/asia/foreign-workers-japan-hit-1-million-first-time
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/01/27/national/foreign-workers-japan-hit-1-million-mark-first-time-last-autumn-ministry/#.WIvK9YWcE2w

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
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/11/japan-considers-changes-to-law-to-allow-emperor-to-abdicate-reports
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/01/11/national/era-name-new-emperor-may-announced-ahead-accession-sources/#.WHaKWIWcE2w

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
http://news.asiaone.com/news/asia/japans-2016-births-likely-fell-below-1-mln-1st-time

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
http://www.dw.com/en/emperor-hirohitos-younger-brother-prince-mikasa-dead-at-100/a-36167838
http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20161027_24/

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
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-37675261
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/10/17/national/imperial-abdication-committee-holds-first-meeting/#.WAVKUYVOI2w

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
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2016/10/03/nobel-prize-in-medicine-awarded-to-japans-yoshinori-ohsumi/?postshare=2341475489660323&tid=ss_in
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/10/03/world/japanese-microbiologist-yoshinori-ohsumi-wins-nobel-prize-in-medicine-for-autophagy-research/#.V_LLlYVOI2w
http://www.chinadailyasia.com/news/2016-10/03/content_15505130.html

18 SEPTEMBER 2016

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
http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2016/09/18/weak-opposition-is-a-cancer-in-japans-political-system/

15 SEPTEMBER 2016

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
http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/east-asia/article/2019655/half-taiwanese-renho-becomes-first-woman-lead-japans-main
http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20160915_25/
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/15/japanese-opposition-party-elects-first-female-leader

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
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/08/japans-emperor-akihito-health-abdication-rare-tv-address
http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20160808_29/

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
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/tokyo-elects-yuriko-koike/3001534.html
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/07/31/national/politics-diplomacy/tokyo-elects-former-environment-minister-yuriko-koike-as-citys-first-female-governor/#.V55bO49OI2w
http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20160801_03/
http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/east-asia/article/1997374/yuriko-koike-promises-deliver-tokyo-you-have-never-seen-after

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
http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2016/07/24/can-abe-revise-japans-peace-constitution/

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
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/13/japans-emperor-akihito-plans-step-down-reports
http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20160713_34/

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
http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0003069791
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/07/11/national/politics-diplomacy/ruling-bloc-wins-big-in-upper-house/#.V4K83Y9OLNN

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
http://www.dw.com/en/thousands-protest-us-military-presence-on-okinawa/a-19340871
http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2016-06-19/okinawa-protesters-rally-against-us-military-presence-on-japanese-island/1591664
http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/videos/20160619210321173/

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
https://asiancorrespondent.com/2016/06/tokyo-governor-resigns-amid-graft-allegations/
http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20160615_40/

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
http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2016/06/07/japan-and-its-immigration-policies-are-growing-old/

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 »
http://news.asiaone.com/news/asia/japan-eyes-more-foreign-workers-stealthily-challenging-immigration-taboo#sthash.KfGRsKus.dpuf

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
http://www.dw.com/en/japan-plans-final-push-to-bring-home-its-war-dead/a-19197835

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.
http://www.chinadailyasia.com/asia/2016-03/27/content_15406848.html
http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/new-opposition-party-launched-in-japan

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
http://news.asiaone.com/news/asia/japan-suspend-construction-us-base-relocation-okinawa
http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20160304_29/

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.
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/social_affairs/AJ201602260079
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-35666274

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.
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/politics/AJ201602240068
http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0002769609
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/02/24/national/politics-diplomacy/dpj-endorses-merger-ishin-no-new-party-form-next-month/#.Vs4zGDjMvIV

2 FEBRUARY 2016

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.
http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2016/02/02/reforming-japans-labour-market/

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
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/social_affairs/AJ201601300036

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.
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/01/28/national/politics-diplomacy/amari-offers-step-economy-minister-graft-claims/#.VqqTvjjMvIV
http://www.dw.com/en/japanese-economy-minister-amari-quits-over-graft-claim/a-19009290

20 JANUARY 2016

The Battle for Okinawa

The Forgotten Island Has Its Say
https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/japan/2016-01-20/battle-okinawa?cid=nlc-twofa-20160121&sp_mid=50517250&sp_rid=Z29sZGZpZW1AZ21haWwuY29tS0&spMailingID=50517250&spUserID=MTA2MTUwMDgyNjY1S0&spJobID=842818660&spReportId=ODQyODE4NjYwS0

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
http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/news/20151211_03.html

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)http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/547517/news/pinoyabroad/japan-needs-immigrants-to-boost-population-or-could-lose-to-china-minister

 

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
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-34971607http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/news/culturesports/20151201.htmlhttp://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/12/01/national/paris-seoul-death-manga-artist-mizuki-mourned/#.Vl4gyjgQVjo

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
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/social_affairs/AJ201511260037

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
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/politics/AJ201510310038

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
http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/news/20151029_35.html

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
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/politics/AJ201510070043

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
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/social_affairs/AJ201510060089
http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0002474816
http://www.nobelprize.org/mediaplayer/index.php?id=2565

17 SEPTEMBER 2015

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
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-34275968
http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0002430527
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/politics/AJ201509170046

12 SEPTEMBER 2015

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
http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/govt-resumes-work-on-controversial-u-s-base-in-okinawa

8 SEPTEMBER 2015

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
http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/abe-re-elected-unopposed-as-ldp-president

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
http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2015-08-30/japanese-protesters-rally-against-controversial-security-bills-that-could-see-troops-fighting-abroad/1487272
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/politics/AJ201508300022

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
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/social_affairs/AJ201508150055
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/16/world/asia/emperor-akihito-expresses-deep-remorse-for-japans-role-in-world-war-ii.html?ref=asia&_r=0

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
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/japan/11802967/Japan-PM-expresses-Second-World-War-remorse-but-says-next-generation-need-not-apologise.html
http://edition.cnn.com/2015/08/14/asia/japan-wwii-abe-apology/index.html
http://japan.kantei.go.jp/97_abe/statement/201508/0814statement.html

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
http://atimes.com/2015/08/most-japanese-believe-us-should-apologize-for-atomic-bombings/

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.
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-33792789
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/08/prayers-held-hiroshima-marks-70-years-bomb-150806055100557.html
http://www.euronews.com/2015/08/06/hiroshima-holds-70th-memorial-of-atomic-tragedy/

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.
http://edition.cnn.com/2015/07/19/asia/mitsubishi-japan-pow-apology/index.html
http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2015-07-20/mitsubishi-apologises-for-using-us-prisoners-of-war-as-slave-labourers-during-world-war-ii/1471862

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
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-33229432
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/06/23/national/history/japan-marks-70th-anniversary-since-guns-fell-silent-battle-okinawa/#.VYnNLO_ALmR
http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/abe-heckled-at-ceremony-in-okinawa-on-70th-anniversary-of-battle

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
http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/asia/595408/japan-lowers-voting-age-to-18
http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/news/20150617_18.html

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.
http://asia.nikkei.com/Japan-Update/Most-Japanese-wary-of-security-reform

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.
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/05/thousands-protest-airbase-japan-okinawa-150517075100117.html
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/05/17/national/politics-diplomacy/thousands-protest-u-s-futenma-base-in-okinawa/#.VVj5VO_GMcD

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
http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2015/04/30/why-us-military-bases-divide-okinawa-and-mainland-japan/

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
http://news.asiaone.com/news/asia/japan-ministers-go-yasukuni-hours-after-china-talks

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
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/04/japan-breaks-train-speed-record-maglev-train-150421085448739.html

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
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/japan-s-ruling-camp-wins/1780158.html

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
http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0002069464
http://www.chinapost.com.tw/asia/japan/2015/04/09/433207/Japan-emperor.htm

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
http://www.asianewsnet.net/51-support-revision-of-Japans-Constitution-73203.html

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
http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/okinawa-governor-orders-halt-to-work-related-to-u-s-base-relocation
http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/asia/505591/japan-okinawa-orders-halt-to-us-military-base-work

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
http://news.asiaone.com/news/asia/japanese-media-self-censorship-grows-pm-abes-reign

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.
http://www2.bangkokpost.com/news/asia/481622/japan-prince-urges-correct-history-told

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.
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/politics/AJ201502010012
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Islamic-State-claims-it-has-beheaded-Japanese-hostage-Kenji-Goto/articleshow/46082253.cms

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’
http://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2015/jan/20/japan-pm-shinzo-abe-isis-release-hostages-video
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/is-threatens-to-kill/1604252.html

3 DECEMBER 2015

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
http://www.asianewsnet.net/Japans-natural-population-decline-hits-record-2680-69906.html

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
http://www.asianewsnet.net/Abe-reelected-PM-forms-3rd-Cabinet-69492.html
http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0001814249

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.
http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2014/12/16/2003606845

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.
http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/news/20141214_35.html
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/politics/AJ201412150006
http://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2014/dec/14/japan-prime-minister-shinzo-abe-wins-election-video
http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0001790628

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.
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/politics/AJ201412100049
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2014/12/japan-state-secrets-law-protests-2014129231715292756.html

3 DECEMBER 2014

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.
http://www.theguardian.com/science/video/2014/dec/03/japan-probe-hayabusa-2-asteroid-landing-science-video
http://edition.cnn.com/2014/12/03/world/asia/japan-rocket-launch/index.html?hpt=ias_c2

2 DECEMBER 2014

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
http://news.asiaone.com/news/business/japan-pm-defends-abenomics-after-moodys-downgrade

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.
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-30140593
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/11/21/national/politics-diplomacy/lower-house-dissolved-general-election/#.VG_FX73LTVI

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.
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-30092633
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-30093827
http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/abe-calls-election-for-dec-14-delays-sales-tax-hike

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.
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/11/16/national/politics-diplomacy/okinawa-elects-anti-u-s-base-governor-rebuke-abe/#.VGkgMr3LTmQ
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-30074445

9 NOVEMBER 2014

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
http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2014/11/09/whats-the-score-on-japans-abenomics/#more-44150

1 NOVEMBER 2014

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. http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2014/11/01/can-japans-feed-in-tariff-continue-to-promote-growth-in-renewable-energy/

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.
http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2014/10/22/why-womenomics-is-the-way-forward-for-japan/#more-43917

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.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/in-japan-two-female-ministers-quit-dealing-a-blow-to-abe-and-womenomics/2014/10/20/61ae5904-5881-11e4-bd61-346aee66ba29_story.html
http://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2014/oct/20/japan-pm-shinzo-abe-apologises-ministers-resign-video

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.
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/10/07/national/three-japanese-win-nobel-prize-physics/#.VDPkDL1OLTY
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-29518521
http://news.asiaone.com/news/world/nobel-prize-physics-goes-inventors-low-energy-led-light

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.
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/10/05/national/princess-noriko-marries-son-of-izumo-taisha-priest-relinquishes-royal-status/#.VDG7r71OLTY

3 SEPTEMBER 2014

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).
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/03/japan-prime-minister-shinzo-abe-five-women-cabinet

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.
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/08/27/national/abe-sent-message-ceremony-honoring-war-criminals/#.U_497r1OLmI

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
http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/asia/426875/japanese-politicians-visit-controversial-war-shrine
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/japan/11036115/Japan-makes-peace-pledge-on-war-anniversary.html
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/15/japan-shinzo-abe-war-dead-offering-anger-china-south-korea

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
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2014/07/japan-ease-army-ban-fighting-overseas-20147142229504192.html
http://www.france24.com/en/20140701-japan-pacificism-constitution-military-expansion/

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.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/thousands-rally-against-greater-japanese-arms-role/2014/06/30/93240f78-0058-11e4-b203-f4b4c664cccf_story.html

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
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/06/28/national/official-role-eyed-for-women-who-lose-imperial-family-status/#.U671iL1OLmI

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
http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/asia/413548/japan-acts-on-child-porn-possession

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.

http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0001276666

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
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/04/japan-population-age-children
http://news.asiaone.com/news/asia/number-children-japan-slips-new-low

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

http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/asia/407621/thousands-languishing-in-japan-children-homes-human-rights-watch

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/05/01/national/japans-orphans-neglected-hrw/#.U2Kx6b1OJMs

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
http://news.asiaone.com/news/asia/japan-cabinet-minister-visits-controversial-war-shrine

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

http://news.asiaone.com/news/asia/japans-first-lady-akie-abe-joins-gay-parade

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

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-27152845

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

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2014/04/japanese-mps-visit-controversial-war-shrine-201442252843664327.html

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-27107257

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

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/japan-population-shrinks/1072180.html

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.
http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/asia/404659/japan-minister-visits-controversial-war-shrine
http://news.asiaone.com/news/asia/japan-minister-visits-controversial-war-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
http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/asia/404007/japan-lawmaker-resigns-over-8-mn-loan-scandal

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

http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0001176929

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

http://news.asiaone.com/news/asia/japan-passes-record-12-trillion-budget

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.

http://news.asiaone.com/news/asia/former-japanese-prime-minister-meets-comfort-women

9 FEBRUARY 2014

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.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/09/yoichi-masuzoe-pro-nuclear-wins-tokyo-gubernatorial-election
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-26103296

5 FEBRUARY 2014

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.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/05/japanese-broadcaster-praised-ritual-suicide-rightwinger-nhk-hasegawa

3 FEBRUARY 2014

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.
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/politics/AJ201402040048
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-26029614

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
http://news.asiaone.com/news/asia/japans-abe-suffers-setback-okinawa-election-loss
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-25802276

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.

http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0000937185

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.

http://news.asiaone.com/news/asia/ex-premier-hosokawa-eyes-tokyo-governor-role

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.
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/01/11/national/actress-keiko-awaji-best-known-for-role-in-the-bridges-at-toko-ri-dies-at-age-80/#.UtG5nMvLRMs

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.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-25566868

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.
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/abe-says-japan-s-pacifist/939810.html
http://www.chinapost.com.tw/asia/japan/2014/01/01/397307/Abe-says.htm