Policy & Politics

Japanese population posts largest annual decline on record

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan's population excluding resident foreigners totaled 126,163,576 as of Jan. 1, down 271,058 from a year earlier, the biggest decline since the current population survey started in 1968, the government said Wednesday. That was...

  • Constitutional blocks

    Suu Kyi's party faces election-year identity crisis

    YANGON -- Aung San Suu Kyi's path to the presidency of Myanmar remains blocked, after parliament nixed crucial constitutional amendments. Inside the country and abroad, many are wondering what is next for the Nobel peace laureate and her opposition p...

  • China adopts new security law, tightening grip on society, Internet

    BEIJING (Kyodo) -- China's top legislature adopted Wednesday a wide-reaching national security law that includes measures for tightening the country's already strict controls on civil society and the Internet.The legislation, passed by the Standing C...

  • Death toll in Indonesian military plane crash rises to 139

    JAKARTA (Kyodo) -- The death toll from Tuesday's crash of an Indonesian military transport plane on Sumatra Island rose to 139 as an investigation to reveal the cause of the accident was ongoing, military officials said Wednesday. Didiet Setiobod...

  • Wildlife dilemmas

    Frozen 'Down Under,' or how to kill a cane toad

    Australians love to scare overseas visitors with lurid tales of the deadly snakes, spiders, sharks and crocodiles lying in wait for them at the beach or in the bush. There is no doubt these dangerous creatures add a frisson of excitement to daily lif...

  • Focus on expansion

    Abe shoots down proposal for spending cap

    TOKYO -- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has rejected a proposal to impose an effective ceiling on government spending as part of a new plan to remedy Japan's debt-laden public finances. On June 10, Abe and Akira Amari, economic and fiscal policy ...

  • Too-rosy outlook?

    Japan sets high bar for economic growth

    TOKYO -- While Japan's latest economic and fiscal plan is designed to achieve both growth and fiscal rehabilitation, its assumptions of increases in tax revenue and curbs on spending both present major hurdles. The government aims to have a prima...

  • Long-term reign in mind

    Abe avoids spending cut promises to prioritize security agenda

    TOKYO -- The government did not put numerical targets for spending cuts in its blueprint for economic and fiscal management, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is focused on getting security bills passed and ensuring other items on the political calendar p...

  • Official fiscal policy

    Japan counting on growth to shore up finances

    TOKYO -- The government will not impose strict limits on spending to meet a primary surplus target by 2020, instead focusing on boosting tax revenues by growing the economy, according to an economic and fiscal management blueprint approved by the cab...

  • Indonesia military plane crashes in Sumatra

    JAKARTA (Kyodo) -- An Indonesian military transport plane with 12 crew members and an unknown number of passengers on board crashed in a residential area of the northern city of Medan on Sumatra island Tuesday, killing at least 49 people and injuring...

  • Could Greece happen here?

    Japan needs to step up IR activities

    TOKYO -- Greece's debt crisis has sent shock waves through financial markets around the world. But the nation's looming default traces all the way back to 2009. Greece lost investors' confidence when it was discovered that the country had conceal...

  • 2 dead, 10 injured in fire aboard shinkansen

    TOKYO (Kyodo) -- A man died after setting fire to himself on a shinkansen bullet train Tuesday, and a female passenger in her 50s also died as a fire forced the train to make an emergency stop southwest of Tokyo, local firefighters and police said. ...

  • Plight of the Rohingya

    Life on the margins in Malaysia

    For many Rohingya Muslims who have fled prejudice in Myanmar, Malaysia is not the promised land they were hoping for.

  • Mt. Hakone appears to have erupted, alert level raised

    TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Mt. Hakone appears to have erupted, the weather agency said Tuesday, raising its alert level in warning against approaching the volcano located southwest of Tokyo. Volcanic earthquakes had been continuing at the mountain in Kanag...

  • China up close

    The next 'tiger' in Xi's purge

    BEIJING -- Who's next? People in Beijing like to talk about politics, and this is the question on many lips at the moment. President Xi Jinping's sweeping anti-corruption campaign has already netted a number of political heavyweights, and it may have...

  • Obama signs trade bills into law, says tough battle still ahead

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday signed into law legislation that gives him "fast-track" power to push ahead on a Pacific Rim trade deal that has been the subject of intense debate in Congress and across the nation. F...

  • Greek deal

    Juncker to make new proposals at noon, says Moscovici

    PARIS (Dow Jones) -- European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is to make new proposals Monday to try to avoid a Greek default, with Athens just "centimeters away" from a deal, according to Europe's Commissioner for Economic and Financial Aff...

  • Richer economic ties, poorer affinity

    Hong Kong people drifting away from Beijing

    HONG KONG -- People here, especially the young, are increasingly distancing themselves from China, despite the fact that their home is now part of that country and economic ties between Hong Kong and the mainland continue to strengthen.One country, t...

  • Seeking Abe's successor

    Will LDP's 'Joan of Arc' become Japan's first female PM?

    TOKYO -- Tomomi Inada, policy chief of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party, is quickly emerging as a formidable political figure in what remains one of the world's most male-dominated democracies.

  • Cabinet approval down

    Japanese take dim view of new security bills: poll

    TOKYO -- More than half of eligible voters oppose controversial legislation that would expand defense powers, a new survey by Nikkei Inc. and TV Tokyo shows. Of those surveyed, 57% said they were against passage of the bills during the current Di...