Japan Protests S.korean Drill On Takeshima

Japan protests S.Korean drill on Takeshima

Japan's Foreign Ministry has lodged a strong protest over a South Korean military drill on the Takeshima Islands of Shimane Prefecture.

Foreign Ministry officials said they confirmed that the exercise started on Thursday morning.

Two Regions In Japan Named Unesco Eco-parks

Two regions in Japan named UNESCO eco-parks

A UNESCO committee has decided to add 2 regions in Japan to UNESCO's World Network of Biosphere Reserves.

The 2 sites are the Sobo, Katamuki and Okue region in southwestern Japan and the Minakami region north of Tokyo.

Table Tennis: Harimoto Beaten In Japan Open Qualifier

Table tennis: Harimoto beaten in Japan Open qualifier

Up-and-coming Japanese teenager Tomokazu Harimoto failed to reach the main draw of the Japan Open after losing in the third round of men's singles qualifiers on Thursday.

The 13-year-old, who became the youngest player to reach the last eight of the world championships earlier this month, lost 4-1 to China's Liang Jingkun at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.

"conspiracy" Law Enacted To Punish Planning Of Crimes In Japan

Japan's parliament enacted Thursday contentious legislation to criminalize the planning of serious crimes, which the government says will help thwart terrorism but opponents claim could lead to the suppression of civil liberties and excessive state surveillance.

The amendment to the law on organized crime cleared a vote in a plenary session of the House of Councillors, or upper house, after the ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito took the unorthodox step on Wednesday of bypassing an upper house committee vote.

Japan At Turning Point To Address Falling Birthrate: Expert

Japan at turning point to address falling birthrate: expert

Japan's leading expert on population urged the country on Wednesday to take comprehensive measures to stem its falling birthrate and get everyone involved in tackling the expected drop in population.

Saying Japan is now at a "historic turning point," Ryuichi Kaneko, deputy director general at the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, called for making investments in turning around the current environment where the birthrate remains low.

Executive Of Volkswagen Japan Nabbed For Alleged Stimulant Drug Use

Executive of Volkswagen Japan nabbed for alleged stimulant drug use

A German senior executive of the Japanese arm of Volkswagen AG was arrested Wednesday for the alleged use of a stimulant drug, police said.

Thomas Siebert, 53, is suspected of using the drug in Tokyo or vicinities early this month. The senior corporate executive officer of Volkswagen Group Japan admitted to using cocaine but denied the use of any other illegal drugs, the police said.

Japan Complains About Russian Vessel

Japan complains about Russian vessel

Japan has complained to Russia after a coast guard patrol found a Russian vessel engaged in unauthorized activities in Japan's Exclusive Economic Zone.

Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters on Tuesday that patrollers found the vessel towing what looked like a cable off Cape Soya in Hokkaido, northern Japan, on Monday last week.

Un Council Discusses Media Independence In Japan

UN council discusses media independence in Japan

A UN expert on freedom of expression has urged Japan to enhance media independence by amending a law. The Japanese government objected to his presentation.

UN Special Rapporteur David Kaye voiced the opinion in his speech at a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday.

Historical Issues Should Not Impede Ties With Japan: S. Korea's Moon

Historical issues should not impede ties with Japan: S. Korea's Moon

SEOUL (Kyodo) -- South Korean President Moon Jae In told an envoy of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday that the divisive issue of women forced into wartime brothels for the Japanese military should not impede the development of bilateral ties.

Moon, who took office last month, was quoted by the presidential office as telling Toshihiro Nikai, secretary general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, that the South Korean people cannot accept a landmark 2015 deal between Tokyo and Seoul to resolve the two countries' long-running feud over the issue.