Policy & Politics

Abe sends ritual offering to war-linked Yasukuni Shrine

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent a ritual offering on Tuesday to Tokyo's war-linked Yasukuni Shrine, which has been a source of diplomatic friction between Japan and several of its Asian neighbors. Abe, who is scheduled to leave fo...

  • Expanding defense powers

    Japan to require parliamentary consent for international missions

    TOKYO -- Japan's ruling coalition has agreed to require advance parliamentary approval for providing logistical support to foreign militaries under new security legislation, resolving a major sticking point and moving closer to wrapping up the debate...

  • Kim Jong Un's mission

    North Korea's hunt for hard currency to fund military spending

    SEOUL -- Three years since Kim Jong Un took over as North Korea's supreme leader, the impoverished communist country is showing some signs of change. Regular, government-supplied food rations have been mostly replaced by food sold on the black ma...

  • Kokang snubbed

    How China helped along Myanmar peace

    YANGON -- Myanmar is close to peace after decades of internal strife. Government representatives met at the end of March with more than a dozen ethnic armed groups and agreed on a draft ceasefire. The Kachin Independence Organization, the lar...

  • Protesters, police clash in Seoul amid ferry disaster memorials

    SEOUL (Kyodo) -- Protesters clashed with riot police in central Seoul on Saturday night amid memorial ceremonies and marches being held this weekend to mark the one-year anniversary of the deadly Sewol ferry sinking in which 304 people, mostly high s...

  • Futenma impasse

    No progress after first talks between Abe, Okinawa gov

    TOKYO -- Meeting face to face for the first time Friday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga simply restated their basic positions on building a controversial new American military base on the southern archipelago, movin...

  • India terrorism

    Central bank governor threatened by email

    NEW DELHI -- Mumbai police are investigating a threatening email sent last month to Reserve Bank of India Gov. Raghuram Rajan purporting to be from terrorists of the Islamic State group (ISIS). "It seems to be a prank email, [but] we are looking ...

  • Thailand junta

    Prayuth says constitutional reform vital to recovery

    BANGKOK -- Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha offered assurances on Friday that his unelected military government is putting Southeast Asia's second largest economy back on a track, and said that a controversial new constitution is essential to restori...

  • Abe, Okinawa governor hold 1st talks over Futenma relocation

    TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga on Friday remained apart over the planned relocation of a U.S. air base within the island prefecture. Speaking to reporters after his first talks with Abe, Onaga said he as...

  • Chinese journalist given 7-yr jail term for "leaking state secrets"

    BEIJING/HONG KONG (Kyodo) -- A Chinese court sentenced prominent Chinese journalist Gao Yu to seven years in jail for leaking a document that revealed China's determination to crack down on freedom of speech and civil society, her lawyer said Friday....

  • U.S. lawmakers' bill holds key to Pacific trade deal

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Senior U.S. lawmakers reached agreement on Thursday on a bill to give the White House "fast track" authority to negotiate a trade pact with 11 other Pacific nations that is central to President Barack Obama's strategic shift t...

  • Sewol's long shadow

    Safety still vexes South Korea on ferry sinking's anniversary

    SEOUL -- A year since the Sewol passenger ferry went down, South Korea has yet to fix the systemic flaws and negligence in its safety management that led to the disaster. Thursday marked the anniversary of the incident that killed more than 300, ...

  • East meets west

    Japan eyes 150% boost in power transmission between regions

    TOKYO -- The Japanese government wants to build enough capacity to transmit three nuclear reactors' worth of electricity between the country's two main power grid sections. East-West transmission capacity would rise from the current 1.2 million k...

  • Japanese nuclear safety

    Watchdog stands by reactor guidelines

    TOKYO -- The head of Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority on Wednesday defended safety standards adopted after the Fukushima meltdowns, pushing back against a district court ruling that blocks two reactors from restarting. "We feel no need to rev...

  • Peace dividends

    Myanmar minister highlights economic benefits of proposed ceasefire

    TOKYO -- Myanmar's protracted peace process is entering a new phase which could see the focus shift from ceasefire to economic development, foreign investment and job creation in the country's ethnic states, according to Aung Min, Myanmar's minister ...

  • Taiwan's 2016 election

    Tsai sews up opposition nomination, backs cross-strait 'status quo'

    TAIPEI -- Taiwan's pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party on Wednesday officially nominated Tsai Ing-wen, its chairwoman, as its candidate for the next presidential election in January. Tsai, in an apparent attempt to address longstanding conc...

  • Four decades after 'Year Zero'

    Cambodia's young wrestle with a dark past

    TAKEO, Cambodia -- Four decades ago, on April 17, 1975, the communist Khmer Rouge marched into Phnom Penh and seized power. As a 13-year-old boy living in Cambodia's capital, Rithy Panh, now an internationally acclaimed documentary filmmaker, recalls...

  • Japan's security policy

    Ruling parties argue over limits to SDF activities

    TOKYO -- The ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner Komeito are again trying to bridge their differences over how to restrict Japan's support of foreign forces. The dialogue resumed after a roughly one-month hiatus. Building on...

  • Nuclear power in Japan

    Court sets higher bar for reactor safety

    TOKYO -- A court ruling Tuesday takes a different stance from the government and electric utilities on the risk of operating decades-old nuclear reactors in earthquake-prone Japan. The Fukui District Court's injunction against restarting two reac...

  • Court rejects restart of Takahama nuclear reactors

    FUKUI, Japan (Kyodo) -- A court issued an injunction on Tuesday ordering Kansai Electric Power Co. not to restart two reactors at its Takahama nuclear power plant on the Sea of Japan coast that have cleared safety screening by the nation's nuclear sa...