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Australia PM says Olympic unity won’t denuclearize N. Korea

TOKYO — Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said Thursday he welcomed the recent dialogue between North and South Korea but marching together at the Winter Olympics won’t denuclearize the Korean Peninsula. Turnbull, visiting Japan to talk with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe about regional security, trade and other issues, cautioned against optimism. “We have to be …

Japan Emperor turns 84, thanks people over abdication plans

TOKYO — Japan’s Emperor Akihito marked his 84th birthday on Saturday with a pledge to fulfill his duties until the day of his abdication in 2019, and to prepare for “passing the torch to the next era.” Akihito waved to thousands of well-wishers from a balcony of the royal palace. He was to attend birthday …

Toshiba unveils device for Fukushima nuclear reactor probe

YOKOHAMA, Japan— Toshiba Corp.’s energy systems unit on Friday unveiled a long telescopic pipe carrying a pan-tilt camera designed to gather crucial information about the situation inside the reactor chambers at Japan’s tsunami-wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant. The device is 13 metres (43 feet) long and designed to give officials a deeper view into the nuclear …

Japan Cabinet OKs record $46 bln defence budget

TOKYO — Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet on Friday approved Japan’s biggest 5.19 trillion yen ($46 billion) defence budget to bolster ballistic missile defence capability amid escalating threats from North Korea. Under the plan endorsed Friday, Japan’s 2018 defence budget rises 1.3 per cent from the current year. It would be the sixth annual increase …

Japan approves missile defence system amid NKorea threat

TOKYO — Japan’s Cabinet on Tuesday approved a plan to purchase a set of costly land-based U.S. missile combat systems to increase the country’s defence capabilities amid escalating threats from North Korea. The approval will allow the Defence Ministry to buy two Aegis Ashore systems to add to Japan’s current two-step missile defence consisting of …

Tokyo’s baby panda appears before selected guests, media

TOKYO— A baby panda made a special appearance Monday before Tokyo’s governor, a group of local schoolchildren and the media one day ahead of its official public debut. Xiang Xiang, a 6-month-old female giant panda, will debut Tuesday in a limited public viewing for avid fans who obtained tickets through a highly competitive lottery process. …

UN chief says sanctions key to denuclearize North Korea

TOKYO—United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Thursday that unified efforts to fully implement sanctions on North Korea are key to resolving the country’s growing missile and nuclear threat. Guterres, who met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo, also said that North Korea must be denuclearized for peace and stability in the region. Guterres …

Okinawa boy injured after window falls off US Marine chopper

TOKYO — Japanese officials said a boy was injured in Okinawa on Wednesday when a metal window frame fell from a U.S. military helicopter, the second such incident in the past week on the southern island. Officials from the city of Ginowan said the window fell from a CH-53 transport helicopter and landed on a …

Japan protests San Francisco’s ‘sex slave’ statue decision

TOKYO— Japan expressed strong regret Friday over San Francisco’s decision to give city property status to a statue commemorating Asian women who worked in military brothels for Japanese troops during World War II, with Osaka declaring it will terminate its 60-year sister-city ties. The signing of legislation making the memorial public property “destroyed trust,” Osaka …

Melania Trump visits Mikimoto, Japan’s famed pearl retailer

TOKYO — While her husband chased golf balls with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Japan’s premier course, U.S. first lady Melania Trump focused on a more iridescent sort of orb: pearls. Abe’s wife, Akie, greeted the first lady with a bow as she arrived at the Mikimoto Pearl flagship store in Tokyo’s glitzy Ginza shopping …

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