Shinzo Abe

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Shinzo Abe Headed to Pearl Harbor to 'Comfort Souls'

It will be first time a Japanese leader has visited the site in Hawaii

(Newser) - Right after Christmas comes a first for the US: a Japanese leader will visit Pearl Harbor. The Straits Times reports that PM Shinzo Abe will be in Hawaii for two days at the end of December to meet with President Obama, and he'll make a stop at the site... More »

Pyongyang Fires Missile Into Japanese Waters

Seoul experts say they could be aiming for US bases

(Newser) - A medium-range ballistic missile fired Wednesday by North Korea flew about 620 miles and landed near Japan's territorial waters, officials in Tokyo and Seoul say. This was one of the longest flights by a North Korean missile, and the US Strategic Command says North Korea fired two presumed Rodong... More »

Obama Pardons 'Abe' the Turkey, and the Chinese ... Gloat

That was Abe as in Abe Lincoln, but the Chinese had a different interpretation

(Newser) - President Barack Obama's pardoning of a turkey named "Abe" this Thanksgiving has led some Chinese to gloat at the Japanese prime minister's expense. As part of a peculiar annual tradition at the White House, Obama on Wednesday granted amnesty from the dinner table to two turkeys named... More »

Japan Close to Nixing 70-Year Ban on Fighting Overseas

Protesters demonstrate against parliamentary reversal of 'defense only' stance

(Newser) - Japan's parliament today attracted protesters and opposition lawmaker walkouts after its lower house voted to allow the country's military to fight overseas, a power eschewed since WWII, the New York Times reports. A package of 11 security-themed bills supported by PM Shinzo Abe and the US—and given... More »

Stunned Japan Slams ISIS' 'Unforgivable Act of Violence'

As PM Abe comes under fire for apparent execution of Haruna Yukawa

(Newser) - Japanese PM Shinzo Abe today blasted ISIS' apparent execution of hostage Haruna Yukawa as an "outrageous and unforgivable act of violence" and wasted little time in demanding the release of Kenji Goto, reports the New York Times . While the US and Japan are both still in the process of... More »

Japan to ISIS: We Won't Pay Ransom for Hostages

Country wants extremists to know its money isn't 'aimed at killing Muslims'

(Newser) - Japan says it's exercising every diplomatic channel in the wake of ISIS' video threat to kill two Japanese hostages, emphasizing that the funds it's contributing to the international effort against the group are "not aimed at killing Muslims … and that [ISIS] shouldn't harm the two... More »

ISIS Gives Japan 72 Hours to Pay $200M Ransom

Video shows two hostages in orange jumpsuits

(Newser) - In a video released online today, ISIS threatens to kill two Japanese hostages unless it receives a $200 million ransom in the next 72 hours. The video, posted on militant websites associated with the extremist group, mirrors other hostage threats it has made. The militant in it also directly addresses... More »

In Japan, Abe's Party Rolls to a Landslide

Liberal Democratic Party cements its power

(Newser) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling party is headed for a landslide victory in lower house elections, according to projections released seconds after polls closed today. The projections show the ruling Liberal Democratic Party easily retaining its majority in the 475-seat lower house of parliament. Exit polls have been... More »

Japan PM Calls Snap Election Next Month

Shinzo Abe also puts off tax hike, says he'll step down if plan doesn't work

(Newser) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called a snap election for December and put off a sales tax hike planned for next year, vowing today to step down if his strategy to revive the ailing economy falls flat. Despite Abe's aggressive revival policies to end two decades of stagnation, the... More »

Japan Slides Into Shock Recession

World's 3rd-largest economy shrinking again

(Newser) - Japan's economy unexpectedly slid into recession as housing and business investment declined following a sales tax hike, further clouding the outlook for the global economy. The world's third-largest economy contracted at a 1.6% pace in the July-September quarter, the government said today, contrary to predictions it would... More »

Japanese Man Sets Self on Fire in Rare Protest

Thought to be railing against Tokyo's move to bolster defense forces

(Newser) - A man set himself on fire at Tokyo's busy Shinjuku railway station today in what appears to be a rare violent political protest. The man, who appeared in his 50s or 60s, was taken to the hospital after suffering serious injuries, said Daiji Kubota, an officer at the Shinjuku... More »

Why Japan's Shinzo Abe Is World's Best Leader

Noah Smith: He's setting an example across all fronts

(Newser) - Quick, name the world's best leader. Some familiar names might flit through your head, but Noah Smith at Bloomberg suggests one that probably didn't: Shinzo Abe of Japan. In his second go-round as prime minister, Abe has shined on everything from the economy to social reforms to foreign... More »

Obama in Japan: Diplomacy, Sushi, Soccer With a Robot

Obama pledges to defend Japan in dispute over 'rock'

(Newser) - President Obama guaranteed that the US would protect Japan if its dispute with China over the Senkaku Islands comes to blows, a serious moment in a conspicuously fun Tokyo trip. Obama said the islands have historically been administered by Japan, and that a US treaty "covers all territories administered... More »

China Seizes Japanese Ship Over Debt ... From 1936

Move could harm business ties: Japan

(Newser) - China has seized a Japanese cargo ship, saying the move is tied to payment that's been missing since 1936. At that time, Japan leased a pair of Chinese ships which later sank, the BBC reports, citing Japan's Kyodo News. The "sudden seizure" of the ship, acknowledged by... More »

Japan PM Chucks Ban on Exporting Weapons

Country looks to maintain regional power balance

(Newser) - In 1967, Japan banned weapons exports—first to selected countries, then worldwide. Now, PM Shinzo Abe is ditching those rules, the New York Times reports. A key reason: As China exhibits growing military strength, Abe wants "to maintain the balance of power in the region," an expert says.... More »

Things Getting Frosty With Japan ... Over WWII

Japan broadcasting official: US made up 'Rape of Nanking'

(Newser) - Remember the "Rape of Nanking," which saw Japanese troops kill up to 300,000 Chinese soldiers and civilians, according to Chinese numbers, in 1937? Well the word from Naoki Hyakuta—newly-appointed to the board of governors of Japan's state broadcaster, known as NHK, and a personal friend... More »

Japan PM Visits Shrine, Thumbs Nose at China, S. Korea

Both are enraged over deliberate WWII snub

(Newser) - Japanese PM Shinzo Abe set off a diplomatic furor today with a visit to a shrine to Japan's World War II dead—including no shortage of war criminals—that has China and South Korea sputtering in rage. Dressed to the nines and appearing on live television, Abe entered the... More »

Japan Slammed Over 'Secret Executions'

2 executed in secret hangings, common in country in support of capital punishment

(Newser) - Japan secretly executed two men today, in the fourth round of such executions since Shinzo Abe took power last December. Justice Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki signed off on the secret orders for Mitsuo Fujishima and Ryoji Kagayama, both convicted murderers, who likely would have been told of their fates only hours... More »

Japan Sparks Furor With Bill to Boost Secrecy

Newspapers, demonstrators protest leak-prosecuting measure

(Newser) - Looking to boost Japan's role in the region and the world, the country's conservative prime minister has sparked an uproar with his plan to increase state secrecy. A bill that just passed the lower house of parliament would raise penalties on civil servants and journalists who leak sensitive... More »

Japan PM's Party Wins Control of Parliament

Abe's LDP controls both chambers for 1st time since '07

(Newser) - Japanese broadcasters projected that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling coalition won a majority of seats in the upper house of parliament in elections today, giving it control of both chambers for the first time in six years. The win is seen as an endorsement of Abe's economic program,... More »

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