Japan is expected to take on a tougher stance in its long-festering territorial rows with South Korea and China as a hawkish leader of its main opposition party is seen likely to take its premiership in elections expected within months.
Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday returned to the helm of the Liberal Democratic Party, pledging to make Japan a "strong nation" ― remarks highlighting his conservative, nationalist policy orientation.
Abe has said that he would visit the Yasukuni Shrine honoring war criminals, seek to recognize Japan's right of collective defense and reverse a series of Tokyo's apologetic statements over its wartime atrocities.
These, should they be put in action, may seriously damage ties with South Korea and China, where resentment over Japan's past militarism runs deep, with its territorial claims fanning nationalism ahead of leadership changes in both nations, experts warned.
Tokyo prosecutors plan to look into whether a man, who has been arrested for allegedly vandalizing copies of Anne Frank's diary, is mentally competent to be held criminally responsible for his actions, informed sources said Wednesday. (Jiji Press )
Apparently perplexed but thrilled to find himself in the spotlight, Iwao Hakamada, formerly the world's longest-serving death-row inmate, made his first public appearance Monday in Tokyo since being released from prison and hospitalized. (Japan Times )
Aichi prefectural police are investigating a possible link between the discovery of the bodies of a husband and wife and their eldest son, and the body of a male relative of the deceased family who was found hanging by his neck in a hotel. (Japan Today )
The body of one of two missing workers who died on March 30 after a floating pier overturned while being unloaded from a barge during construction work on a remote rocky atoll, was found on Sunday, the coast guard said. (Japan Today )