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  • Trade key to diplomatic success with US

    TOKYO -- U.S. President Barack Obama's Japan visit next week comes at a critical time for the bilateral relationship and for Asia. A key point of contention is the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. Tokyo and Washington are still at odds ove

    April 17, 2014 12:00 am JST
  • US sounds alarm on possible North Korean nuclear test

    WASHINGTON -- The U.S. is holding a flurry of talks with Asian allies over a possible nuclear test by North Korea amid growing concern ahead of President Barack Obama's tour of the region later this month. North Korea launched ballistic missile

    April 16, 2014 04:32 am JST
  • North Korean missile launches highlight Japan's weaknesses

    TOKYO -- North Korea's recent provocation is a wake-up call for Japan to review its U.S.-dependent defense strategy and better safeguard its populace. On March 26, North Korea test-fired two Rodong medium- range ballistic missiles into the Sea o

    April 15, 2014 07:00 pm JST
  • Stephen Grenville: IMF ignores its own data on emerging economies

    Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, told the Group of 20 summit in St. Petersburg last September: "Just as some advanced economies have begun to gather momentum, many emerging markets are slowing." With this warn

    April 15, 2014 01:00 pm JST
  • Japan, US, South Korea eye intelligence-sharing deal

    TOKYO -- America and its two East Asian allies are considering a three-way framework for exchanging classified military information as a way to stay ahead of unpredictable North Korea. The U.S. has separate General Security of Military Informati

    April 11, 2014 02:47 am JST
  • North Korea ready to reopen abduction files

    TOKYO -- Seeking relief from sanctions, North Korea has told Japan that it is willing to take another look into past kidnappings of Japanese citizens whose families still want answers. The offer came during unofficial talks between their governm

    April 10, 2014 04:29 am JST
  • North Korean leader's close aide Choe becomes vice head of defense body

    BEIJING (Kyodo) -- A North Korean top military official seen increasingly close to leader Kim Jong Un became a new vice chairman Wednesday of the National Defense Commission as the country convened the first session of its newly elected parliament.

    April 9, 2014 09:58 pm JST
  • North Korea's No. 2 in spotlight as parliament session begins

    SEOUL -- With North Korea holding the first post-election session of its legislature Wednesday, all eyes are on whether that body's longtime head will keep his job. The chief of the Supreme People's Assembly holds the second-highest position in

    April 9, 2014 06:32 am JST
  • South Korea nuclear envoy may meet with Japan counterpart in Washington

    WASHINGTON (Kyodo) -- A senior South Korean official said Sunday he may meet with his Japanese counterpart on the sidelines of a three-way gathering also involving the United States to be held in Washington on Monday over North Korea's nuclear and m

    April 7, 2014 11:52 am JST
  • Japan poised to show robust alliance through Obama visit: Kishida

    TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan wants to make U.S. President Barack Obama's upcoming visit to the country an opportunity to show the robust Japan-U.S. alliance to the world, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said Sunday. In a meeting with U.S. Defense Secre

    April 6, 2014 09:42 pm JST
  • Abductee Yokota's kin brief U.S. envoy on meeting with granddaughter

    TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The parents of Megumi Yokota, who has become a symbol of the issue of Japanese abducted by North Korea, have briefed a visiting U.S. envoy on their meeting last month with the abductee's daughter in Mongolia, one of them said Saturd

    April 5, 2014 03:30 pm JST
  • North Korea's mixed messages to citizens, neighbors continue

    TOKYO -- Caught between the need to show a softer side to the international community and the imperative of looking firm to its military and citizens, North Korean has turned to its tried and true recipe of mixing conciliatory gestures with threats.

    April 4, 2014 08:00 pm JST
  • North Korean drones send shock waves across South

    SEOUL -- The apparent ease with which a drone believed to be of North Korean origin shot photos of the presidential palace in Seoul without being detected has some South Koreans worried. Photos of the building complex known as the Blue House wer

    April 4, 2014 04:48 am JST
  • Senior officials from Japan, US, South Korea to meet next week

    TOKYO -- Japan, the U.S. and South Korea will hold senior-level talks on North Korea's nuclear and missile issues early next week in Washington. Junichi Ihara, director general of the Japanese Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau

    April 4, 2014 03:20 am JST
  • Panel supports broader defense powers for Japan, with limits

    TOKYO -- A government panel of experts, in a draft report it is currently working on, has suggested that the official interpretation of Japan's pacifist constitution be altered, enabling the government to come to the defense of allies with some rest

    April 3, 2014 02:14 am JST
  • North Korea ready to discuss abductions of Japan nationals

    BEIJING (Kyodo) -- North Korea has become open to discussing the issue of its abductions of Japanese nationals as the two countries agreed Monday to carry on with governmental talks. During the first formal negotiations in more than a year, in

    March 31, 2014 09:40 pm JST
  • Japan, N. Korea to seek settlement of outstanding issues

    BEIJING (Kyodo) -- Japanese and North Korean senior diplomats on Sunday agreed to work toward the settlement of "outstanding issues" as the two governments held formal talks for the first time since November 2012. The meeting, to run through Mon

    March 30, 2014 05:37 pm JST
  • Japan may ease sanctions if North Korea comes clean on abductions

    TOKYO -- In upcoming talks with North Korea, Japan will try a difficult two-track approach of condemning recent missile launches while holding out the prospect of relief from sanctions in exchange for more openness on past kidnappings. Governmen

    March 29, 2014 05:01 am JST
  • U.N. Security Council condemns N. Korean missile launches

    NEW YORK (Kyodo) --The U.N. Security Council on Thursday condemned North Korea's latest launches of medium-range ballistic missiles in violation of council resolutions. "There was unanimous condemnation of the launches and as I said also clear c

    March 28, 2014 12:33 pm JST
  • Tokyo-Seoul reconciliation no closer despite looming dangers

    THE HAGUE, Netherlands -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Park Geun-hye have pledged to cooperate in reining in North Korea, but with the two leaders still divided over wartime history, a genuine thaw remains elusive.

    March 27, 2014 04:54 am JST