Japan

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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.

Ku'uwehi Hiraishi

Professional soccer is coming back to Hawaiʻi. It’s not only for a short stay – but state officials hope the Pacific Rim Cup is part of a broader movement: growth in sports tourism for the islands. HPR’s Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi reports.

Joshua Damasio / Flickr

The pace of visitors coming to Hawaii has slowed since the first half of last year, but 2018 was still a record year. One challenge for the global tourism industry is dealing with different languages — especially in places like stores or restaurants. A Japanese company has now come up with one answer — which may be duplicated elsewhere.

Craig Nagy / Flickr

A Chinese trade delegation is heading to Washington this week for two days of meetings with U.S. officials. The discussions take place as a series of American companies are reporting that slower growth in China’s economy is hurting their profits—and that impact is also being felt in the Asia Pacific.

http://www.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/53471/photos

After three hours of talks in Moscow yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made no progress on the long running territorial dispute over four islands north of Hokkaido. While the two sides agreed to keep talking, a breakthrough looks as distant as ever.

RGB256 / Wikimedia Commons

Many countries tax tourists when they leave. The United States has done it for years — including international visitors leaving Hawaii. But in one Asian country, this is the first week for that practice.

Wikimedia Commons

Diplomatic tensions between Japan and South Korea are rising again, after South Korean courts allowed lawsuits to proceed against Japanese companies, seeking compensation for forced labor during the Second World War. Japan argues that these issues were resolved in the 1965 treaty that established diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Australian Customs and Border Protection Service

Japan’s decision to leave the International Whaling Commission and resume commercial whaling drew swift criticism from conservation groups, and some said Japan is now a “pirate nation.”

NormanEinstein / Wikimedia Commons

As recently as last month, Japan and Russia appeared to be making progress on a long-standing dispute over four islands, with an outside chance of an agreement as soon as next month. On Monday, Moscow announced the construction of new military barracks on two of the islands and on Tuesday, Tokyo announced a protest.

Joshua Damasio / Flickr

Visitor spending in Hawaii so far this year is running about 9-percent ahead of last year’s pace. But tourism is growing even faster in one of the main sources of Hawaii’s visitors: Japan.

The White House / Flickr

The Group of Twenty meeting in Argentina wrapped up this weekend — generating a number of headlines. But there were also some smaller stories that may be significant in the long term. And that includes an unusual bit of diplomacy involving three countries.

Dragoner JP / Wikimedia Commons

Step by step, the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been revising Japan’s post-war pacifist defense policies. The latest move involves plans to deploy an aircraft carrier for the first time since 1945.

Charles Haynes / Flickr

Around the world, certain foods are associated with particular locations. For most people, sushi goes with Japan, bratwurst with Germany, and kimchi is a match for Korea. But on that last one, there’s been a development.

Rs1421 / Wikimedia Commons

It’s been about three months since one of Japan’s leading medical schools admitted that it discriminated against women candidates. Tokyo Medical University said it altered test scores for years – favoring male applicants. Now government investigators say other medical schools may have done the same.

seaninjapan / Flickr

Pedestrian deaths remain a focus of concern across Hawai’i – where they are running at roughly seven times the pace of last year’s fatalities. In parts of Asia, there is another safety issue that’s drawing a lot of attention.

Jeff Schmaltz / NASA

Lawmakers are facing calls for increased government spending because of the cost of recovery from a series of disasters. That could be a headline here in Hawai‘i, but it’s a story this week from Japan.

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