POLITICS

Oct 25
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s decision to let Japan’s military fight overseas could open the way for the country to deploy minesweepers in South Korean waters in the event of a war with North Korea, a senior U.S. admiral said on Friday. (Reuters)
Oct 23
Japanese Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso told Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli on Wednesday of Japan’s wish to have a bilateral summit on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum summit in November in Beijing. (Jiji Press)
Oct 22
Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso on Wednesday had a chat with Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli as the two countries are trying to mend relations badly strained by territorial and wartime historical issues, sources familiar with the matter said. (Kyodo)
Oct 22
The Japanese government said Tuesday it will settle a damages lawsuit with former workers at factories using asbestos in Osaka Prefecture, western Japan, that was sent back by the Supreme Court after their defeat at a lower court. (Jiji Press)
Oct 21
On his first day in his new job, industry minister Yoichi Miyazawa said Tuesday he will soon be ready to visit communities near nuclear power plants, apparently pledging to maintain the momentum for reactor restarts. (Japan Times)
Oct 21
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe decided Monday to name Yoichi Miyazawa and Yoko Kamikawa, both lawmakers of his ruling Liberal Democratic Party, to replace two cabinet members who resigned the same day over scandals, aiming to quickly revive his government after the double setback. (Jiji Press)
Oct 21
Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto met with the head of an anti-Korean group on Monday as he considers cracking down on hate speech rallies in the western Japan city, but they ended up having a shouting match in which they more or less just insulted each other. (Kyodo)
Oct 21
The resignation of two scandal-scarred ministers could rapidly erode public support for a cabinet that faces a host of tough decisions, including a consumption tax hike, the restart of nuclear reactors and diplomatic bargaining with distrustful neighbors. (Nikkei)
Oct 21
The Japanese and U.S. governments said Monday that they have agreed to conclude a pact that allow environmental surveys in U.S. base sites in Japan before they are returned to Japan. (Jiji Press)
Oct 20
The resignation Monday of Yuko Obuchi, Japan’s industry minister, was a heavy blow to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the cabinet he named last month. And there are concerns in the government and ruling parties that Obuchi is only the first in a string of coming cabinet resignations. (Nikkei)