Tourism Minister: Outbreak May Have Tough Impact

Tourism minister: Outbreak may have tough impact

Japan's transport and tourism minister says the coronavirus outbreak is expected to hit the country's tourism industry hard, and the government is considering support measures.

Kazuyoshi Akaba told reporters on Monday that regular passenger flights connecting Japan and China have been reduced by 60 percent. He said he is concerned about a further reduction.

Justice Minister Mulls Ways To Prevent Escapes

Justice minister mulls ways to prevent escapes

Japan's Justice Minister Masako Mori is planning to ask her advisory panel to debate legal revisions to prevent bail-jumping.

The move comes after former Nissan Motor Chairman Carlos Ghosn fled Japan last month as well as other cases of escapes.

Japan Minister Eyeing Paternity Leave Welcomes Son

Japan Minister eyeing paternity leave welcomes son

Japan's Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi is likely to take paternity leave sometime in the next three months, now that his son has been born.

Koizumi told reporters on Friday that his wife had given birth to the baby. Koizumi's wife is a freelance TV presenter.

Minister Koizumi Will Take Paternity Leave

Minister Koizumi will take paternity leave

Japan's Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi will take childcare leave after the upcoming birth of his first baby.

When he assumed the post last September, Koizumi said he didn't want to leave everything up to his wife. He said he wanted to do more in the household.

Japan's Justice Minister Refutes Ghosn

Japan's justice minister refutes Ghosn

Japan's justice minister says former Nissan Motor Chairman Carlos Ghosn's criticism of Japan's justice system was mostly abstract, unclear or baseless.

Masako Mori rebutted Ghosn's remarks in a news conference shortly after 9 a.m. Japan time on Thursday.

Environment Minister Mum On Future Coal Policy

Environment minister mum on future coal policy

Japan's environment minister has addressed a key UN climate change conference in Spain. Shinjiro Koizumi once again acknowledged international criticism about the country's continuing reliance on coal. But he stopped short of announcing any policy changes.

Koizumi said, "I am aware of global criticism including on our coal-relating policies. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for stopping our addiction to coal. I took this as a message to Japan."

Minister Inspects Airport Measures For Asf

Minister inspects airport measures for ASF

Japan's agriculture minister has called for tightening quarantine at airports to prevent African swine fever from entering the country.

Taku Eto visited Tokyo's Haneda Airport on Thursday, and inspected the customs and immigration area of its international flight terminal.

Abe Becomes Japan's Longest-serving Prime Minister

Abe becomes Japan's longest-serving prime minister

Shinzo Abe has become Japan's longest-serving prime minister, breaking a record set over a century ago. Prime Minister Abe's total tenure reached 2,887 days on Wednesday.

Abe told reporters on Wednesday morning, "Each and every day I have done my best to carry out the policies I promised the Japanese people I would. I believe I was able to reach this day through those efforts."

Former Minister Suggested Private-sector Exams

Former minister suggested private-sector exams

Voice recordings acquired by NHK have revealed that a former education minister called for the introduction of private-sector English exams for admission to a top state university.

The University of Tokyo decided to introduce the exams in April of last year, just two weeks after a ruling Liberal Democratic Party meeting in which the recordings were made. Until then, the university had been taking a cautious stance on private-sector exams.

Education Minister To Hear From His Predecessors

Education minister to hear from his predecessors

Japan's education minister says his ministry will conduct hearings with his predecessors to examine what led to the idea of using private-sector English tests as part of a standardized test for university admission.

Koichi Hagiuda was responding to a question from an opposition party member at a Diet session on Thursday. He was asked about his ministry's abrupt decision last week to postpone the introduction of the English tests planned for next April.

Ex-minister Denies Ties To English Test Business

Ex-minister denies ties to English test business

Former education minister Hakubun Shimomura has flatly denied a media report that he is in a "cozy relationship" with a company that administers English tests.

Shimomura told reporters that no such ties exist with the firm in question. The Shukan Bunshun weekly reported the allegation in its latest issue on Thursday.

Japanese Justice Minister Resigns

Japanese justice minister resigns

Justice Minister Katsuyuki Kawai has stepped down. He is the second Cabinet minister to resign in less than a week.

A weekly magazine alleges that Kawai's wife violated the election law during her successful run in this year's Upper House election. It says Anri Kawai made payments to campaign staff that exceeded the legal limit.

Justice Minister Kawai Submits Resignation Letter

Justice Minister Kawai submits resignation letter

Japan's Justice Minister Katsuyuki Kawai has submitted his letter of resignation to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The move follows reports that the office of his wife, Anri Kawai, who was elected to the Upper House in July, made payments to staff over the legal limit.