• Momota Covid-19 positive, Japan pull out of Thailand tournaments
    Bangkok, January 3 (IANS): Japan have withdrawn their singles and doubles players who were on their way to Thailand for the two Thailand Open Super 1000 tournaments after men's singles world no 1 Kento Momota tested positive for Covid-19. The Badminton World Federation (BWF) said in a statement that Momota had undergone a mandatory RT-PCR test along with the rest of the team at the Narita Airport in Tokyo en route to Thailand capital Bangkok. The squad was set to leave for the c
  • Coronavirus pandemic deepens Japan's demographic crisis
    TOKYO, October 4 (Reuters): Tumbling numbers of pregnancies and marriages in Japan during the coronavirus pandemic are likely to intensify a demographic crisis in the rapidly ageing nation. Japan has the most aged society in the world, with more than 35% of its population expected to be 65 and over by 2050, a trend that poses risks for economic growth and straining government finances. "I reckon the spread of the coronavirus is having many people worried about getting p
  • Japan PM's meddling in science panel a 'dangerous direction' - scholars
    TOKYO, October 23 (Reuters): Scholars excluded from Japan's top science advisory panel said the move was unconstitutional and a dangerous sign of how newly installed Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will wield power. Suga broke precedent in rejecting membership to six scholars to the Science Council of Japan (SCJ), a body set up after World War Two to provide independent scientific input for policy-making. The spurned academics had previously criticised government policy, i
  • Japan researchers show masks do block coronavirus, but not perfectly
    TOKYO, October 22 (Reuters): Japanese researchers showed that masks can offer protection from airborne coronavirus particles, but even professional-grade coverings can't eliminate contagion risk entirely. Scientists at the University of Tokyo built a secure chamber with mannequin heads facing each other. One head, fitted with a nebulizer, simulated coughing and expelled actual coronavirus particles. The other mimicked natural breathing, with a collection chamber for viruses
  • What is the Malabar exercise, and why is it significant?
    NEW DELHI, October 21 (Reuters): Australia will join three-way naval exercises involving the United States, Japan and India, in a move that could provoke concern from China, which has criticised similar joint drills in the past. Here are some of the most common questions on the Malabar exercise: WHAT IS THE MALABAR EXERCISE? The Malabar naval exercise began in 1992 as a training event between the United States and India. Japan joined it in 2015, but Australia has not
  • Indonesia, Japan seek stronger security, economic ties in China's shadow
    JAKARTA, October 20 (Reuters): Japan and Indonesia agreed on Tuesday to speed up talks on the export of Japanese defence gear and technology to Indonesia and to have their defence and foreign ministers meet soon, reflecting concern over China's regional assertiveness. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is on a four-day trip to Vietnam and Indonesia, his first since taking office last month, and part of Tokyo's effort to strengthen ties with the two key countries in
  • Japan will take steps to guard against Olympics cyberattacks
    TOKYO, October 20  (Reuters): Japan said on Tuesday it would take countermeasures to ensure next year's Tokyo Olympics are not derailed by cyberattacks after Britain and the United States accused Russia of orchestrating efforts to disrupt the Games. Olympics organisers reported no significant impact on their operations for the 2020 Games, which were postponed until next year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Britain and the United States on Monday condemned what they sa
  • In Tokyo, Pompeo slams China and seeks support from Asian allies
    TOKYO, October 6 (Reuters): U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Japan on Tuesday to rally support from Washington's closest allies in Asia, calling for deeper collaboration with Japan, India and Australia as a bulwark against China's growing regional influence. The East Asia visit, Pompeo's first in more than a year, coincides with worsening tensions with China. Yet the call for a united front against Beijing is a sensitive subject for Washington's
  • Japan's Suga, under fire, defends rejection of scholars for science panel
    TOKYO, October 5 (Reuters): Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, under fire for rejecting six scholars for membership of a science advisory panel, defended the move on Monday amid growing criticism that it violated the constitution's principle of academic freedom. Suga, who took office last month after Shinzo Abe resigned, has enjoyed high support among voters who approve of his promises to deregulate, reduce mobile phone rates and digitalise services as he tries to revi
  • Japan Airlines ditches 'ladies and gentlemen' for gender-neutral greetings
    Thomson Reuters Foundation Japan Airlines said on Monday it would swap "ladies and gentlemen" for gender-neutral greetings, following other global airlines in adopting more inclusive language for passengers. Announcements at airports and on flights operated by the Japanese carrier will use the new forms of address from Oct. 1, the airline said. "Attention all passengers" and "Good morning everyone" will be among the terms adopted, local media reporte
  • Japan PM Suga and China's Xi agree to pursue high-level contacts in first talks
    TOKYO, September 25 (Reuters): Japan's new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said on Friday he had agreed with Chinese President Xi Jinping in their first talks to pursue high-level contacts in a bid to promote regional and international stability. "Stable relations are important not just for our countries but for the region and the international community. I want to fulfil that responsibility," Suga said in comments aired by pubic broadcaster NHK after he spoke with
  • Japan's PM says to gradually allow foreign long-term visa holders to enter from October
    TOKYO, September 25 (Reuters): Japan will gradually start allowing entry to foreigners with newly issued long-term visas from October, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said on Friday, further relaxing tough restrictions introduced earlier this year to guard against imported cases of coronavirus. The relaxation will be applied to foreigners with the appropriate visas, including student and dependent visas, sequentially from countries where the novel coronavirus has subsided, Suga s
  • Japan's new PM calls for better ties with South Korea, cooperation on North Korea
    TOKYO/SEOUL, September 24 (Reuters): Japan's new prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, spoke to South Korea's president for the first time on Thursday, calling for both countries to repair their frayed ties and cooperate to counter any threat from North Korea. Relations between the two U.S. allies have deteriorated sharply over the past year over war-time history and trade, in particular the issue of Korean labourers forced to work at Japanese firms during Japan's 1910-19
  • Japan's Suga hopes for 'forward-looking' ties in letter to South Korea's Moon
    SEOUL, September 21 (Reuters): Japan's new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has expressed hopes for improved relations in a letter to South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Moon's office said on Monday, amid strained ties over history and trade. Feuds dating back to Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule of Korea continue to dog bilateral relations, including the issues of Korean labourers forced to work at Japanese firms and women at military brothels during World War II.
  • Japan's PM Suga says agreed to coordinate closely with Trump after first talks
    TOKYO, September 20 (Reuters): Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and U.S. President Donald Trump discussed the importance of their countries' alliance in phone talks on Sunday, their first since Suga took over as Japan's new leader. Suga said Trump told him they should further develop the Japan-U.S. alliance together, while Suga told Trump the alliance was the foundation of regional peace and stability. Suga, speaking to reporters, also said they agreed to coord
  • Women's rights seen taking a backseat under Japan's new government
    Thomson Reuters Foundation Women's rights campaigners in Japan have expressed disappointment about the appointment of only two women in the new government's 21-member cabinet, saying they expect little progress to tackle wide gender disparities. Yoshihide Suga, who took office as prime minister on Wednesday following the resignation of Shinzo Abe, has made no reference to women's rights so far, and activists said his record in Abe's government did not auger well f
  • Two-thirds of Japan public support new PM Suga - Kyodo poll
    TOKYO, September 17 (Reuters): New Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's government was backed by 66.4% of the public, Kyodo news agency said on Thursday, citing the results of its telephone poll conducted on the first two days of his administration. Suga became Japan's first new prime minister in nearly eight years on Wednesday, pledging to contain COVID-19 and push reforms after retaining about half of predecessor Shinzo Abe's cabinet. Asked when the lower h
  • Japan's Suga crafts 'continuity cabinet' after voted prime minister
    TOKYO, September 16 (Reuters): Japan's Yoshihide Suga was voted prime minister by parliament on Wednesday to become the country's first new leader in nearly eight years, appointing a new cabinet that kept about half of the familiar faces from predecessor Shinzo Abe's lineup. Suga, 71, Abe's longtime right-hand man, has pledged to pursue many of Abe's programmes, including his "Abenomics" economic strategy, and to forge ahead with structural reforms
  • South Korea ready for talks with Japan to improve ties, Moon tells Suga
    SEOUL, September 16 (Reuters): South Korean President Moon Jae-in has told Japan’s new prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, that he was willing to sit down anytime in a bid to improve ties strained by historical and economic disputes, Moon's office said on Wednesday. Disputes dating from the neighbouring nation's colonial occupation of Korea from 1910 to 1945 deepened over a 2018 order by South Korea’s Supreme Court for a Japanese steelmaker to pay compensat
  • Japan's Suga wins party leadership race, headed for premiership
    TOKYO, September 14 (Reuters): Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, a loyal aide to outgoing prime minister Shinzo Abe, won a landslide victory in a ruling party leadership election on Monday, paving the way for Japan's first change of leader in nearly eight years. Suga, 71, who has promised to continue Abe's key policies, said his big win would give him the backing to pursue his reform goals - including deregulation and breaking down bureaucratic silos - an