Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is considering a visit to Iran, apparently to ease tensions between the country and the United States. Such a visit would be the first by a Japanese prime minister since 1978.
Informed sources say Abe is thinking of making the visit in mid-June at the earliest, to meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Abe is expected to make a final decision after meeting US President Donald Trump in Tokyo on Monday.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is visiting Japan from Wednesday.
Japan's Foreign Ministry said Zarif's three-day visit through Friday was quickly arranged at Iran's request. He is to have talks with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono on Thursday, and pay a courtesy call to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
I recently spent a cold afternoon strolling around Hamarikyu Gardens, a stone's throw from The Asahi Shimbun Tokyo headquarters, the office to which I send my biweekly manuscripts.
Why visit a famous garden in the dead of winter when there's not much to see? Tsk-tsk. It's the lack of the in-your-face colors and fragrances that vigorously compete for attention, like in the spring, that opens one's senses to the muted joys that abound if only we become aware.
In Japan, Hawaii has been synonymous with a popular overseas destination for nearly 50 years. For Japanese, these distant, isolated islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean are a southern tropical paradise. But beneath the balmy weather and white sandy beaches, there is much more than meets the eye. What is the real Hawaii like?