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Japan scrambles jets for drone near disputed islands

Japan scrambled fighter jets Monday after an unidentified drone flew near Tokyo-controlled islands at the centre of a bitter dispute with China, a defence ministry spokesman said. It was the first reported incident of its kind. Japan’s Air Self-Defence Force sent an unspecified number of jets to the area, the…

Oscar-winning Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki retiring from feature-length movies

Japanese Oscar-winning animator Hayao Miyazaki said Friday he was retiring from feature-length movies because he could no longer maintain the pace — but would still go into work every day apart from Saturday. The acclaimed 72-year-old director said he had become too old for the kind of craftmanship and physical…

Japan shuts down nuclear reactor in preparation for inspection

One of Japan’s two remaining working nuclear reactors was taken offline Tuesday, with the other to be shut down later this month and no restarts in sight amid public hostility to nuclear power. Kansai Electric Power started reducing generating power at its Unit No. 3 at the Oi plant, Fukui…

Nationalists and environmentalists square off at protest against Japanese dolphin hunt

Environmentalists staged a rally in Tokyo Saturday to protest the start of Japan’s annual dolphin hunt, which was made infamous by an Academy Award-winning documentary. The rally organiser, Action for Marine Mammals, said it was one a number of demonstrations taking place around the world this weekend ahead of the…

Time ‘running out’ to save some tuna species from overfishing

Time is running out to save some species of tuna from overfishing, environmental groups warned Monday, calling for Japan to take the lead in reducing the global catch. Industrial-scale fishing that takes large amounts of young tuna from the ocean before they are old enough to breed is destroying the…

Mother of Japanese pop star jumped from 13th floor in apparent suicide

The mother of Japanese pop singer Hikaru Utada has been found dead after plunging from a 13th storey apartment in an apparent suicide, reports said Thursday. Police believe Keiko Fuji, 62, jumped to her death from the Tokyo home she shared with a man in his 30s, Jiji Press said,…

Tons of radioactive water pouring out of crippled Fukushima nuclear plant

By Mari Saito and Antoni Slodkowski TOKYO (Reuters) – Highly radioactive water from Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant is pouring out at a rate of 300 tons a day, officials said on Wednesday, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ordered the government to step in and help in the clean-up. The…

Hiroshima marks 68th anniversary of atomic bombing

Tens of thousands were due to gather at a peace memorial park in Hiroshima on Tuesday to mark the 68th anniversary of the US atomic bombing of the Japanese city. Ageing survivors, relatives, government officials and foreign delegates were to observe a moment of silence at 8:15 am (2315 GMT…

U.S. military helicopter crashes in Japan’s Okinawa

TOKYO (Reuters) – A U.S. military helicopter crashed on Japan’s southern island of Okinawa on Monday, U.S. Forces in Japan said, an incident which may stoke anger over the concentration of U.S. military bases on the island. The Japanese defence minister said three of the four people onboard were confirmed…

Official refuses to resign after saying Japan should follow Nazis’ constitution overhaul

Japan’s gaffe-prone deputy prime minister on Friday rejected calls for his resignation after stoking international condemnation by saying Tokyo could learn from the Nazis’ swift overhaul of Germany’s constitution. Taro Aso, who is also Japan’s finance minister, added that he had no plan to apologise, as he repeated a day-earlier…

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