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Trump Makes 2 Big Moves on Tariffs

He lifts them on Canada and Mexico and postpones action against Japan, Europe

(Newser) - Bogged down in a sprawling trade dispute with US rival China, President Trump took steps Friday to ease tensions with America's allies—lifting import taxes on Canadian and Mexican steel and aluminum and delaying auto tariffs that would have hurt Japan and Europe. By removing the metals tariffs on... More »

'Beautiful Harmony' Era Dawns in Japan

In silent ceremony, Naruhito receives imperial sword

(Newser) - Following in the footstops of his father Akihito in 1989 and grandfather Hirohito in 1926, Naruhito ascended to Japan's Chrysanthemum Throne on Wednesday. The 59-year-old—who officially became Emperor Naruhito at midnight Tuesday after his father's abdication —took possession of the imperial sword and jewel in a... More »

'Today, I Am Concluding My Duties as the Emperor'

Akihito announces abdication in palace ceremony

(Newser) - Japanese Emperor Akihito announced his abdication at a palace ceremony Tuesday in his final address, as the nation embraced the end of his reign with reminiscence and hope for a new era. "Today, I am concluding my duties as the emperor," Akihito said as he stood in front... More »

Married 26 Years, She Can't Watch Him Become Emperor

Unless it's on TV: Japanese succession rules bar Masako from attending Naruhito's ascension

(Newser) - On Wednesday, Crown Prince Naruhito will become an emperor and usher in the "Reiwa" era, and the world will be watching—but one important person won't be seeing it up close. Per the New York Times , Naruhito's wife of 26 years, Masako, isn't allowed to be... More »

Japan Is Getting a Rare 10-Day Vacation. Not Everyone's Happy

Extended break starts Saturday to celebrate ascension of Naruhito to emperor

(Newser) - The "Reiwa" era is nearly upon Japan, and big plans are afoot to commemorate it. As Crown Prince Naruhito prepares to ascend to emperor status on May 1, taking the throne from his father, Akihito, who's abdicating, what Reuters calls an "unprecedented" 10-day holiday is on the... More »

Removal of Fuel From Melted Reactor Begins

Milestone reached in Fukushima cleanup

(Newser) - The operator of the tsunami-wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant has begun removing fuel from a cooling pool at one of three reactors that melted down in the 2011 disaster, a milestone in the decades-long process to decommission the plant. Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Monday that workers operating from a control... More »

US Sailor, Woman Found Dead in Bloody Bedroom

The killing comes at a time of rising tensions in Okinawa

(Newser) - Tragedy struck Okinawa on Saturday morning when a US Navy sailor apparently used a knife to kill a woman and then take his own life, CNN reports. The bodies were found in a bloody bedroom on the Japanese island. "This is an absolute tragedy and we are fully committed... More »

Lone Survivor of WWII Massacre Kept Another Dark Secret

'History detective' reveals Aussie nurses were raped before being killed by Japanese troops

(Newser) - Vivian Bullwinkel was the sole survivor of a horrific World War II massacre, in which 21 of her fellow Australian army nurses were forced into the ocean and machine-gunned by Japanese troops on Indonesia's Bangka Island. Now, "history detective" Lynette Silver has added another terrible piece to the... More »

8 Years After Fukushima, 367 Can Return Home

That doesn't mean they want to

(Newser) - Japan partially lifted an evacuation order in one of the two hometowns of the tsunami-wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant on Wednesday for the first time since the 2011 disaster. Decontamination efforts have lowered radiation levels significantly in the area about 4 miles southwest of the plant where three reactors had meltdowns... More »

Getting Hotter in Japan: Virginity

About 1 in 4 heterosexuals there haven't had sex by their 20s and 30s

(Newser) - More young adults than ever in Japan appear to be forgoing sex. A new public health study finds that about one in four heterosexuals in their 20s and 30s remain virgins, reports CNN . Specifically, the percentage of women between the ages of 18 and 39 who've never had sex... More »

Ghosn Calls His Unusual Re-Arrest 'Outrageous'

Ex-Nissan boss is back behind bars

(Newser) - Former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn is back in the Tokyo Detention Center after what legal experts say was a highly unusual re-arrest of somebody out on bail. Ghosn—who was released on $8.9 million bail almost a month ago after 108 days in custody—was detained Thursday on suspicion... More »

Japan Announces the Name of Its New Era

It's 'Reiwa'

(Newser) - There have been four eras in Japan's modern history—and on Monday, the nation learned what its fifth would be called. The country's chief Cabinet secretary announced it by raising a board displaying two characters: Rei and Wa, for the "Reiwa" era. The BBC explains it's... More »

Ex-Nissan Boss Released on Breathtaking Bail Sum

Lawyer questions grounds for Ghosn arrest

(Newser) - The Tokyo District Court approved the release of former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn on 1 billion yen—$8.9 million—bail on Tuesday, ending nearly four months of detention. The acceptance of Ghosn's request for bail, his third, came a day after one of his lawyers said he was... More »

World's Tiniest Baby Boy Survives

Born at 9.45 ounces in August, he was discharged last Wednesday

(Newser) - Doctors opted for an emergency cesarean section at 24 weeks' gestation after discovering the fetus wasn't gaining weight. The baby boy weighed 9.45 ounces at his August birth—and has survived, making him the smallest baby boy ever to do so. The BBC reports the baby was discharged... More »

Gotcha: Japanese Spacecraft Shoots Asteroid, Takes Sample

The mission will help scientists learn more about the formation of the solar system

(Newser) - In an audacious space success, a Japanese probe cruised to an asteroid 170 million miles away, fired a bullet into its surface, and collected samples from the bits that flew off. Around 6:30pm EST on Feb. 21, team members from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency gave the order to... More »

Plea to Tree Thieves: Please Water the Bonsai

Japanese couple mourning loss of 7 'tree babies'

(Newser) - Victims of a recent theft in Japan have a plea for the thieves: Please water our "tree babies." Seiji Iimura, a bonsai master whose family has dabbled in the art form for centuries, and his wife, Fuyumi Iimura, are sharing detailed care instructions for seven miniature bonsai trees... More »

Japan's Women Are Sick of This Valentine's Day Tradition

The ladies aren't really feeling 'giri choco,' or 'obligation chocolates,' for their male co-workers

(Newser) - In Japan, there are all kinds of chocolate that women hand out on Valentine's Day: There's "honmei choco" ("true feelings chocolate") that their romantic interests or partners receive, as well as "tomo choco" ("friend chocolate") given to platonic pals, usually other females.... More »

Japan's Abe on 10-Year-Old's Death: 'We Failed'

Girl had complained of abuse by father, but she was returned to her home

(Newser) - Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stood before Japan's parliament Thursday and said the government had failed a 10-year-old girl. Mia Kurihara was found dead in the bathroom of her home near Tokyo last month, and both her parents are now facing charges. An autopsy didn't reveal a cause of... More »

Jailed Auto Boss Says Execs Plotted Against Him

Ghosn says he's a victim of 'treason'

(Newser) - Jailed former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn says he's the innocent victim of treacherous rivals at the company. In an interview with Nikkei Asian Review —his first since his Nov. 19 arrest—Ghosn said he is certain the financial misconduct charges against him are the result of "plot... More »

Russia to Japan: Time to 'Accept the Results of WWII'

Two countries are still in territorial dispute over islands

(Newser) - World War II ended in 1945, and in the decades since, Japan and Russia have never signed a peace treaty to formally end hostilities. That's partially because the two countries have been in a territorial dispute over islands—known as the Southern Kuriles or Kuril Islands in Russia and... More »

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