Japan

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For the first time in nearly eight years, Japan has a new Prime Minister. While Shinzo Abe has left the government, his influence remains — including in the cabinet of his successor.

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Professional sports are back in a big way in the United States, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Football League opened its season yesterday, while playoffs are underway for basketball and hockey. Major League Baseball is approaching the end of its regular season, but in parts of Asia, that season will stretch a bit longer.

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SEOUL, South Korea — A powerful typhoon damaged buildings, flooded roads and knocked out power to thousands of homes in South Korea on Monday after battering islands in southern Japan, killing one person and injuring dozens of others, before weakening as it passed North Korea.

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TOKYO — Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has expressed his intention to step down due to his declining health, according to reports Friday by NHK and other Japanese media.

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TOKYO — Japan on Saturday marked the 75th anniversary of its surrender in World War II, with Emperor Naruhito expressing “deep remorse” over his country’s wartime actions at a somber annual ceremony curtailed by the coronavirus pandemic.

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The visitor industry is adjusting its expectations for the summer now that Governor David Ige has delayed the next stage of re-opening to travelers who test negative for the coronavirus. While that delay will last until at least September, a new phase of travel is now under consideration in Japan.

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TOKYO — Deep floodwaters and the risk of more mudslides that left at least 34 people confirmed or presumed dead hampered search and rescue operations Sunday in southern Japan, including at elderly home facilities where more than a dozen died and scores were still stranded.

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Governor David Ige says he’s close to announcing details of a plan to re-open trans-Pacific travel to Hawaii. Other locations in the region are taking a cautious approach, but moving to a new phase this week.

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The most heavily populated urban area in the world is lifting restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic. Today is the first day that Tokyo will move to a new phase of reopening.

AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko

Japan has moved into a new phase of re-opening this week – including its largest city.

AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko

TOKYO — Japan plunged into recession in the first quarter as the coronavirus pandemic battered manufacturing, exports and spending, and economists expect worse damage lies ahead.

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Across the country and around the world, leaders of states and countries are making decisions about whether and how far to re-open. This week, the leader of one of the largest economies in the Asia Pacific announced his latest approach to fighting the pandemic.

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This could be a crucial week when it comes to fighting the spread of the coronavirus in Japan. The country will soon launch into “Golden Week” — a series of holidays which is usually one of the biggest travel periods in the country. But of course, this year is different.

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has declared a state of emergency in several regions of the country, including Tokyo. While the declaration gives local governors the power to close schools and some other public institutions, individual behavior is another matter.

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Japan has issued a travel warning for its nationals, urging them not to make nonessential trips to the United States because of the rapidly expanding coronavirus outbreak in that country, the foreign ministry said in a statement Sunday. Together with Gov. David Ige's new quarantine order for visitors, the move will likely further deepen the plunge in international arrivals to Hawaii.

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As cases of the novel coronavirus continue to grow in the United States and elsewhere, many events around the world are being cancelled or postponed. But at least one big question mark remains: the Tokyo Olympics.

Tonight's episode is co-curated by Mister Modular of KTUH FM Honolulu. His real name is Leon Naldo, and we're also fortunate to have him on staff here at HPR as a board operator. Leon has a degree in Information & Computer Science and he's been an on-air DJ at KTUH for 7 years. His show "My Little Corner of the World" airs every Friday from 9 AM to noon.

Kanaeokana

Japan has suspended its yearly funding for the Thirty Meter Telescope, citing the stalemate over its construction on Mauna Kea. While this doesn’t mean the country is pulling out of the multi-nation project as opponents urged it to do, the country does supply key components for the telescope.

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Japan's government plans to close all public schools in the country for more than a month. Word of that decision comes as the coronavirus continues to cause complications around the region.

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Nearly one in five residents in Hawai’i is 65 or older. That’s the seventh-highest figure in the country, and that part of the population is growing faster here than the national average. Japan is graying even faster, and is moving closer to a major age-related change.

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BEIJING — Deaths from a new virus rose to 490 in mainland China on Wednesday while new cases on a Japanese cruise ship, in Hong Kong and in Thailand showed the increasing spread of the outbreak and renewed attention toward containing it.

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There’s a development this week involving a Japanese cabinet official that’s making national news in that country. It’s not a scandal — it has to do with taking advantage of an employee benefit.

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Hawaii’s tourism figures for 2019 have not yet been released, but they have for Japan. It’s a record number, but it also shows some changes in visitor arrivals.

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TOKYO — By jumping bail, former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn, who had long insisted on his innocence, has now committed a clear crime and can never return to Japan without going to jail.

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TOKYO — Japan on Friday revised a roadmap for the tsunami-wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant cleanup, further delaying the removal of thousands of spent fuel units that remain in cooling pools since the 2011 disaster. It's a key step in the decades-long process, underscoring high radiation and other risks. The government and the plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., still keep a 30- to 40-year completion target.

A look at some of the challenges:

MORE THAN 4,700 UNITS OF FUEL IN POOLS

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For most Americans, this is a slower than usual week at work. But in the world of diplomacy, this is a busy time — especially in northeast Asia, where the heads of government of Japan, South Korea and China are all meeting this week.

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The end of the week brought some troubling economic news for two of Hawaii’s key tourism markets. Both Japan and South Korea have seen slowing business, and policy makers are cautious heading into the end of the year.

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TOKYO — During Pope Francis’ recent visit to Japan, Harumi Suzuki stood where his motorcade passed by holding a sign that read: “I am a survivor.”

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Last week’s move by the Honolulu City Council to ban many forms of single-use plastic is the latest development in a wider movement. In Japan, a smaller step is in effect this week.

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Convenience stores around the world are often known for being open all the time. But that’s changing in at least one Asian country, and not for the reasons you might think.

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