Japan

Toru Hanai/AP

TOKYO — A heavy downpour and strong winds pounded Tokyo and surrounding areas on Saturday as a powerful typhoon forecast to be Japan's worst in six decades made landfall and passed over the capital, where streets, nearby beaches and train stations were long deserted.

Senior Airman Andrew Lee / U.S. Air Force photo

Today marks the end of an era in Japan. The very last phone paging service in the country stopped operating just after midnight.

Evan Vucci/AP

President Trump says the United States and Japan have reached what he calls the “first stage of a phenomenal new trade agreement.” But the full details are a little less clear.

Ahn Young-joon/AP

Japan and South Korea will begin discussions about a long-running trade dispute. The talks are part of a process set up by the World Trade Organization — but in South Korea, consumers are taking direct action. 

AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon

A continuing dispute between South Korea and Japan has moved from politics and history to business.

cegoh / Pixabay

A national study earlier this year found that Hawaii is one of the most dangerous states in the country for older pedestrians. Cars are the main concern, but bicyclists on sidewalks are another challenge. In one Asian city, lawmakers are considering forcing bicycle riders to buy liability insurance.

State Department photo/ Public Domain

The United States is expressing concern about the downward spiral in relations between two of its closest allies in the Asia Pacific. It’s been another week of disputes involving Japan and South Korea — and the concerns are stretching all the way to Hawaii.

Kimimasa Mayama/Pool Photo via AP

This has been a very busy week for diplomacy in Northeast Asia. Some of the talks involve the United States, but the highest level meetings involve three of the largest countries in the region.

Senior Airman Colville McFee / U.S. Air Force

In the Asia Pacific, China and Russia have held an unusual joint aerial mission. Yesterday, the two countries carried out what they described as their first shared long-range air patrol in Asia — drawing a sharp reaction from two U.S. allies.

AP Photo / Ahn Young-joon

An escalating dispute between Japan and South Korea is moving into a new phase this week. South Korean officials are coming to Washington to ask for help from the United States.

apasciuto / CC BY 2.0 / Flickr

It’s been nearly three months since the Hōkūleʻa returned from its latest ocean voyage. But elsewhere in the Pacific, another group has just completed a much shorter voyage – navigating by nature and paddling as a team.

Australian Customs and Border Protection Service / CC-BY-SA-3.0 / Wikimedia Commons

Amid ceremony and fanfare, commercial whaling ships left Japanese ports yesterday for the first time in 33 years.

S. Herman (Voice of America)

Relations between Japan and South Korea have hit another snag. Japan is restricting exports to South Korea of some materials used in the production of smartphones. And the move is part of a much wider dispute.

Shealah Craighead / The White House

The Group of 20 meetings start tomorrow in Japan. While much of the focus remains on President Trump’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, there are a number of regional discussions that have already begun.

W. Robert Howell / CC BY-ND 2.0 / Flickr

According to a national report out last week, Hawaii is the third most dangerous state in the country for pedestrians over the age of 50. The report from the advocacy group “Smart Growth America” found older pedestrians are three times more likely to be killed than people under 50. For another island community in the Pacific, there’s a renewed focus on safety and older drivers.

sharonang / Pixabay

While short-term vacation rentals remain the focus of political debate in Hawaii, other locations are taking different approaches to the issue. That includes Japan.

Ben Mierement / National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

One more country is taking steps to cut back on single-use plastic bags. Japan is proposing some changes ahead of hosting an international gathering later this month.

World's Direction / CC0 1.0 / Flickr

President Trump’s threat of tariffs on goods coming from Mexico has disrupted financial markets. And while the move would impact the earnings of a number of U.S. companies, it’s also a concern in Asia.

Evan Vucci/AP

  TOKYO — It was a day of sumo-sized diplomacy. Plenty of world leaders have tried to butter up President Donald Trump with flattery and favors. Japan's Shinzo Abe on Sunday raised the bar for all of them.

D. Myles Cullen / Official White House Photos

President Trump is heading to Japan this week. He’s also going back next month for a meeting of regional leaders, but the trip starting later this week may have less policy substance than photo opportunities.

Pierre de Coubertin (1863-1937)

The Tokyo Summer Olympics are still more than a year away, but the process of selling tickets has started — at least for residents of Japan. That got underway last week with some challenges, but organizers have already scored a victory in another area: recycling.

nox-AM-ruit / CC BY 2.0 / Flickr

Trade talks between the United States and China remain a focus for global financial markets, as they have been for much of the week. But there’s other trade news involving China this week — and it’s a story involving billions of dollars and renewable energy.

Japan Pool via AP

 

Update, April 30, 5:04 p.m.

TOKYO -- Emperor Naruhito has vowed in his first address to fulfill his duty as a symbol of state and the people as defined under Japan's Constitution.

Naruhito announced his succession to the Chrysanthemum Throne in the address Wednesday, a day after his father abdicated.

He said he will keep in mind his father's devotion to peace and stay close to the people. Naruhito also said he feels solemn as thinks of the heavy weight of his responsibility.

Wikimedia Commons

A new book out in Australia reports that 22 Australian nurses were raped by Japanese troops before they were machine gunned in February, 1942. The book also says that Australian officials gagged the sole survivor of the massacre.

Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Peter Burghart / U.S. Navy

USS Fitzgerald has left dry dock at a shipyard in Mississippi, almost two years after the guided missile destroyer collided with a merchant ship off the coast of Japan. That was one of four accidents in the Pacific Fleet in 2017 that cost the lives of 17 sailors.

Nesnad / CC BY-SA 3.0 / Wikimedia Commons

Japan marks a new period of its history in in four weeks and a day. That’s when a new emperor will take the throne and a period of time will get a name.

This session of Bridging the Gap will feature mostly music from Japan. It's inspired by this picture of a 19th century model posed as Nakano Takeko, a female samurai from the Boshin war.

Sonata(talk / Contributions) / Wikimedia Commons

Denny Tamaki, the governor of Okinawa, plans to meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as soon as this Friday, to present him with the results of this past weekend’s referendum. 72-percent on Okinawa voted against a long-standing plan to relocate a U.S. Marine air base. The referendum is non-binding, but the decision to go ahead with construction may have repercussions.

cincomomo / Flickr

As you’ve probably heard, there are outbreaks of measles reported in several states and the World Health Organization reports cases up 30 percent worldwide since 2016. According to the WHO, measles killed 110,000 people in 2017, most of them children under five. Two countries in the Asia Pacific are struggling with outbreaks.

Bronisław Piłsudski / National Museum of Natural History, National Anthropological Archives

Japan’s government is planning to recognize an ethnic minority as an indigenous people of Japan. It’s part of a bill before parliament which would mark a move forward for a group that has long faced discrimination.

Pages