POLITICS – 3

Jan 03
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Wednesday he was able to “tee off to a good start” as he played his first round of golf in 2019. (Japan Today)

Jan 01
Japan’s new era name will be announced on April 1, one month before the current crown prince ascends to the throne, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has decided.
(Nikkei)

Dec 29
Japan’s Defense Ministry has released a video to back up its claim that a South Korean naval ship directed its fire-control radar at a Japanese patrol plane last week.
(NHK)

Dec 28
Two death row inmates who killed a company president and an employee at the firm were hanged Thursday morning in Osaka, the Justice Ministry said, bringing the number of executions in the country this year to 15. (Japan Times)

Dec 26
Japan’s government on Tuesday adopted a slew of measures to encourage foreign nationals to work in the country and to smooth their integration into society. (Nikkei)

Dec 20
Japan will stop charging extra for hospital visits by expectant mothers from next month amid criticism that the fee amounts to a tax on pregnancy and is applied even in cases where women do not need special care related to their pregnancy. (Japan Times)

Dec 19
Japan has approved new defense guidelines, including a plan to upgrade an existing destroyer into a de-facto aircraft carrier.
(NHK)

Dec 15
Japan’s central government is pushing ahead with a controversial plan to relocate an American military base within the southern prefecture of Okinawa. They’ve started full-scale land reclamation work despite strong local opposition.
(NHK)

Dec 12
Japan is seeking to possess its first aircraft carrier to allow for the deployment of U.S.-made stealth fighters as it seeks to bolster its arms capability under a new 10-year defense plan. (Japan Today)

Dec 12
A court in Beijing has sentenced a Japanese man in his 70s who was arrested in China in June 2015 to 12 years in prison for spying, sources well-informed about Sino-Japanese relations said Tuesday. (Japan Today)