POLITICS – 3

Dec 27
Japanese central and local governments are to hold the first missile evacuation drill in central Tokyo next month. (NHK)

Dec 22
The Japanese government is considering making the Dec. 23 national holiday, the birthday of Emperor Akihito, a normal day after his planned abdication on April 30, 2019, officials said Thursday. (Jiji)

Dec 21
The Tokyo metropolitan government and industry groups agreed on Wednesday to open a planned new wholesale food market in the Japanese capital’s Toyosu district on Oct. 11, 2018. (Jiji)

Dec 20
Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said Tuesday he needs a better way to travel overseas to compete with China’s diplomatic clout, including potentially the purchase of a dedicated airplane (Japan Today)

Dec 20
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has set up an Instagram account, promising to start posting in earnest in the new year on the photo-sharing social media platform, which is especially popular among young people. (Japan Today)

Dec 20
atsuya Hashimoto, the 63-year-old mayor of Awara city in Fukui Prefecture, who has been accused of sexually harassing a married woman, including kissing, hugging and licking her toes, said Monday that he plans on suing the woman and her husband over attempted extortion, local media reported. (Japan Today)

Dec 19
The Emperor and Empress of Japan will switch residences with the Crown Prince’s family after the Emperor’s abdication. (NHK)

Dec 19
Japanese authorities have found 2 more bodies beneath one of the 2 wooden boats that washed ashore on the Sea of Japan coast. The vessels are believed to have come from North Korea. (NHK)

Dec 19
The Japanese government has reaffirmed its policy of enhancing its coast guard by obtaining new patrol vessels and aircraft. (NHK)

Dec 19
The Japanese government intends to deploy a new ground-based missile defense system. This is in response to the acceleration of North Korea’s missile development program. (NHK)