Science Minister Hails Hayabusa2 Mission

Science minister hails Hayabusa2 mission

Japanese science minister Masahiko Shibayama has expressed high hopes for the ongoing Hayabusa2 mission.

Shibayama said on Friday that the details will remain unknown until the space probe returns to Earth, but he hopes that rock samples were successfully collected from the asteroid Ryugu and that the samples will shed light on the origin and the evolution of the solar system as well as the study of life.

Minister: Survey Change May Have Affected Pay Data

Minister: Survey change may have affected pay data

Japan's labor minister says excluding data on daily workers from a jobs survey may explain why official statistics showed a rise in wages.

Labor Minister Takumi Nemoto was speaking at the Lower House budget committee on Thursday regarding problems with the ministry's monthly survey.

Olympic Minister Apologizes For Leukemia Gaffe

Olympic minister apologizes for leukemia gaffe

Japan's minister in charge of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games has apologized for saying he was disappointed to hear that one of the nation's promising swimmers has been diagnosed with leukemia.

Yoshitaka Sakurada on Wednesday retracted his comments from the previous day about 18-year-old gold medal hopeful Rikako Ikee.

Japan's Defense Minister Rebuffs S.korea's Claim

Japan's defense minister rebuffs S.Korea's claim

Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya has stressed that aircraft of Japan's Self-Defense Forces have, at all times, been conducting patrolling activities appropriately, in accordance with international and domestic law.

Talking to reporters on Thursday, Iwaya said that SDF patrol planes would have no intention or reason to be a threat to South Korean navy ships in any way.

Labor Minister Apologizes For Improper Data

Labor minister apologizes for improper data

Japan's labor minister has pledged to find out why his ministry kept releasing improper job statistics that apparently led to underpayment of benefits to millions of people.

At a news conference on Friday, Takumi Nemoto offered deep apologies for causing trouble to the public over the ministry's release of statistics compiled through improper methods for years. The data in question cover corporate salaries and working hours surveyed monthly.

Vice Foreign Minister Lodges Protest With S.korea

Vice foreign minister lodges protest with S.Korea

A senior Japanese Foreign Ministry official has lodged a protest with South Korea over its announcement that it would close a foundation set up under an agreement with Japan to support people referred to as wartime comfort women.

Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Takeo Akiba summoned South Korean Ambassador to Japan Lee Su-hoon at noon Wednesday. Earlier in the day, South Korea announced it would dissolve the foundation to support comfort women. They met for fifteen minutes.

Minister Draws Reaction For Not Using Computer

Minister draws reaction for not using computer

Foreign media have reported Japan's cybersecurity minister's admission that he doesn't use computers.

Yoshitaka Sakurada made the admission during questioning by an opposition lawmaker at a Lower House committee meeting on Wednesday. Sakurada is also the minister in charge of preparing for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Japan's New Cybersecurity Minister Has Never Used A Computer

Japan's New Cybersecurity Minister Has Never Used A Computer

With cybersecurity challenges mounting and attacks getting more sophisticated, you would expect that the people governments put in positions responsible for cyber defence would have at least some knowledge of the subject matter. That’s wasn’t a requirement, apparently, for the Japanese government because the man it has appointed as its new cybersecurity minister has never used a computer in his life.

Independent lawmaker Masato Imai inquired about cybersecurity minister Yoshitaka Sakurada’s qualifications during a lower house session yesterday. “Since I was 25 years old and independent I have instructed my staff and secretaries. I have never used a computer in my life,” Sakurada reportedly responded, according to Kyodo News.

Prime Minister Abe Meets President Xi

Prime Minister Abe meets President Xi

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing. It's the first official visit by a Japanese leader to China in 7 years.

Xi said, "As the international situation changes, China and Japan are becoming increasingly dependent on one another. Our countries also have a growing number of common interests and concerns on a multilateral level. The rapid changes in the world are providing China and Japan with opportunities for more in-depth cooperation."

Okinawa's New Governor Meets Prime Minister Abe

Okinawa's new governor meets Prime Minister Abe

The new governor of Okinawa in southern Japan has asked the prime minister to launch new talks on a plan to relocate a US military base in the prefecture.

Denny Tamaki met Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga in Tokyo on Friday. The meeting was their first since Tamaki was elected last month.

Minister To Seek Understanding On Okinawa Base

Minister to seek understanding on Okinawa base

Japan's new defense minister has pledged efforts to seek local understanding on plans to move a US military base in Okinawa and deploy a new ground-based Aegis missile defense system.

Takeshi Iwaya was speaking to reporters on Thursday. He said the government remains committed to moving the US Marine Corps Futenma Air Station in Ginowan City in Okinawa to the Henoko district of Nago City, also in the prefecture, at an early date.

Justice Minister Confirms Executions

Justice Minister confirms executions

The main culprits behind a series of attacks that terrorized Japan in the 1990s are dead. Japan's Justice Minister has confirmed the execution of 6 jailed members of the doomsday cult Aum Shinrikyo.

They were the last remaining members on death row. This comes after the cult's former leader and 6 other members were put to death in early July.

Justice Minister Confirms Cult-related Executions

Justice minister confirms cult-related executions

Japan's Justice Minister Yoko Kamikawa says she signed orders to execute 7 death row convicts linked to the Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult after careful consideration.

The cult's founder Shoko Asahara, whose real name is Chizuo Matsumoto, and 6 of his disciples were executed on Friday morning.