National Newswatch

EXPLAINER: Japanese ruling party race to determine next PM

Sep 17 2021 — Mari Yamaguchi — TOKYO (AP) — Official election campaigning started Friday for the next head of Japan's governing Liberal Democratic Party. The winner will almost certainly become leader of the world’s No. 3 economy, shaping key political, military and security roles in the region. Two men and, unusually for Japan, two women are competing in the Sept. 29 […]

Japan governing party begins race to pick Suga successor

Sep 17 2021 — Mari Yamaguchi — TOKYO (AP) — The race is on for the next Japanese prime minister. Official election campaigning began Friday for the new head of Japan’s governing Liberal Democratic Party, who typically becomes the national leader because of the party's control over parliament. Four candidates are competing in the Sept. 29 vote to replace outgoing Prime Minister […]

Japan’s outgoing prime minister to attend Quad summit in US

Sep 14 2021 — Mari Yamaguchi — TOKYO (AP) — Outgoing Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is expected to travel to Washington next week to join three other leaders from the so-called Quad nations at an in-person summit of the grouping. The four nations — the United States, Japan, Australia and India — are promoting their “free and open Indo-Pacific” vision to […]

Japan, Vietnam sign defense transfer deal amid China worries

Sep 12 2021 — Mari Yamaguchi — TOKYO (AP) — Japan can now give defense equipment and technology to Vietnam under an agreement signed Saturday, as the two countries step up their military cooperation amid worries about China's growing military influence. Japan's Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said the deal elevates their defense partnership “to a new level” and that Japan and Vietnam […]

Japan detects suspected China submarine near southern island

Sep 12 2021 — Mari Yamaguchi — TOKYO (AP) — Japan detected a submarine believed to be Chinese off a southern Japanese island, the defense ministry said Sunday, heightening Japan’s caution levels in the East China Sea as China increases its military activities. The submarine remained submerged, but the ministry said in a statement that it believes the submarine is Chinese because […]

Japan vaccine minister seeks to be next prime minister

Sep 10 2021 — Mari Yamaguchi — TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s outspoken vaccinations minister, Taro Kono, announced Friday that he is running to become the head of the governing party, who usually is chosen prime minister, and pledged to be reform-minded and gets things done. Kono, 58, a Georgetown University graduate who is fluent in English, has many fans among younger people, […]

IAEA: Science key to Fukushima plant water release

Sep 9 2021 — Mari Yamaguchi — TOKYO (AP) — Objective, science-based monitoring is the key to safely carrying out the planned release of treated but still radioactive water at Japan's wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant, an International Atomic Energy Agency official said Thursday. A three-member IAEA team led by Lydie Evrard, head of the agency's Department of Nuclear Safety and Security, is […]

Candidate in Japan race calls for new capitalism, recovery

Sep 8 2021 — Mari Yamaguchi — TOKYO (AP) — One of the main candidates to be Japan's next prime minister said Wednesday the country needs a new type of capitalism to address income and social gaps caused by the pandemic. Former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida is the only announced candidate so far in the race to lead the governing Liberal Democratic […]

UK carrier commander: Japan visit underscores partnership

Sep 7 2021 — Mari Yamaguchi — TOKYO (AP) — The commander of the British aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth said Tuesday that the first port call in Japan by his strike group underscores Britain's aim to increase its presence in the Indo-Pacific region and its commitment to further strengthen its partnership with Japan. The visit comes as Japan is seeking to […]

IAEA seeks Japan transparency in release of Fukushima water

Sep 7 2021 — Mari Yamaguchi — TOKYO (AP) — Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency asked Japan on Tuesday for full and detailed information about a plan to release treated but still radioactive water from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant into the ocean. The three-member team, which is assisting Japan with the planned release, met Tuesday with government officials to […]

Japan court summons NKorea leader over repatriation program

Sep 7 2021 — Mari Yamaguchi — TOKYO (AP) — A Japanese court has summoned North Korea's leader to face demands for compensation by several ethnic Korean residents of Japan who say they suffered human rights abuses in North Korea after joining a resettlement program there that described the country as a “paradise on Earth,” a lawyer and plaintiff said Tuesday. North […]

Japan ex-official gets prison term in casino bribery case

Sep 7 2021 — Mari Yamaguchi — TOKYO (AP) — A Tokyo court on Tuesday sentenced to four years in prison a former top government official for taking bribes from a gambling company, in a high-profile case that has added to the political woes of Japan's outgoing prime minister ahead of elections this year. The Tokyo District Court found Tsukasa Akimoto, who […]

IAEA team in Japan to help prepare Fukushima water release

Sep 6 2021 — Mari Yamaguchi — TOKYO (AP) — An International Atomic Energy Agency mission arrived in Japan on Monday to help prepare for a decades-long release into the ocean of treated but still radioactive water from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant, officials said. The three-member team will meet with officials in Tokyo and travel to the Fukushima Daiichi plant to […]

Vaccine chief Kono popular favorite to become Japan’s leader

Sep 6 2021 — Mari Yamaguchi — TOKYO (AP) — Japan's outspoken Cabinet minister in charge of vaccinations, Taro Kono, has the most popular support to become the country's next leader, according to opinion polls released Monday, as potential candidates jockey to replace outgoing Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. Kono, 58, a graduate of Georgetown University and fluent in English, is a rarity […]

Suga bows out of party vote, paves way for new Japan leader

Sep 3 2021 — Mari Yamaguchi — TOKYO (AP) — Amid growing criticism of his handling of the pandemic, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Friday he won’t run for the leadership of the governing party later this month, paving the way for a new Japanese leader after just a year in office. Suga told reporters that heading Japan’s pandemic response and campaigning […]