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.

Joshua Damasio / Flickr

It’s still too early to determine what impacts the Marriott hotel strike may have on tourism in Hawai‘i. That may be one challenge for the new leader of the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, expected to be named soon. On the other side of the Pacific, there’s a different sort of challenge for tourism.

Chris 73 / Wikimedia Commons

It’s been a week of some dramatic developments in Japan. These changes have nothing to do with politics or diplomacy, but a lot to do with the cultural history of the country’s capital city.

Gretar Ívarsson

Warnings from a UN panel this week about the pace of climate change are putting a new focus on the use of fossil fuels. When it comes to one form of renewable energy, several countries in the Asia Pacific are expanding their goals.

David Newton / Wikimedia Commons

Navy ships from more than a dozen countries will be taking part in an event next week in South Korea. But there is controversy – not about ships or weapons, but about a flag.

Sonata(talk / Contributions) / Wikimedia Commons

An election in Japan may have an impact on U.S. military planning in the Asia Pacific. The election was in Okinawa, and the potential effects may stretch all the way to Hawaii.

Pedro Szekely / Flickr

Short-term vacation rentals remain a controversial topic both here in Hawai‘i and in many locations around the world. In Japan, the government has adopted an ambitious plan to regulate the practice. And now there’s a case that’s testing the system.

663highland / Wikimedia Commons

Heavy rains and wind have had an impact on transportation around the islands this week. But some flights to Honolulu have been affected by another storm in the Pacific — one that hit last week.

Wikimedia Commons

It’s been a tough week for natural disasters in Japan. The northern island of Hokkaido was struck by a powerful earthquake yesterday. Earlier in the week, the southern and western parts of the country were slammed by the strongest typhoon to hit the country in 25 years. That storm killed at least 11 people and the recovery will take some time. 

Wikimedia Commons

At a meeting of the International Whaling Commission in Brazil today, Japan will propose a series of changes to effectively lift the worldwide ban on commercial whaling. The moratorium took effect in 1985.

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Soo C. Kim/Released)

Hawaii’s tourism industry is on track for another year of growth. Last week, the Hawaii Tourism Authority reported increased spending and visitor arrivals on every island except the Big Island. The figures are even more dramatic for another location that is expecting continued growth in tourism: Japan.

Anonyme / Wikimedia Commons

The United States and Mexico have reached a preliminary agreement on a new trade deal. It will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement, but many questions remain about the details. And some of the questions stretch all the way to the Asia Pacific.

Jan Smith / Flickr

Hawai‘i and Japan share a number of cultural ties, but there’s another practice that’s the same in both locations. Neither observes Daylight Saving Time. But in Japan, that may change.

Rs1421 / Wikimedia Commons

Reports have surfaced this week that one of Japan’s leading medical schools changed the test scores of women applying for admission. An investigation shows the practice started nearly a decade ago — with the aim of suppressing the number of women who become doctors.

海上自衛隊 / mod.go.jp

Four years after ending a 50 year ban on defense exports, it looks as if Japan’s first major foreign sale will be an amphibious plane that Greece wants to use as a firefighter.

Yamaguchi Yoshiaki / Flickr

Summertime means hotter weather. Last Wednesday, Lihue hit a record high at 87-degrees. But in recent weeks, most of Japan and parts of Korea have been baking under far higher temperatures.

Chris 73 / Wikimedia Commons

If a morning commute is part of your work life, it’s probably not your favorite part of the day. But it definitely could be worse. In one Asian city, the government is stepping in to try to help — especially during the summer.

Keith Allison / Flickr

Last winter, almost every club in Major League Baseball tried to woo Japan’s Shohei Ohtani before he decided to join the Los Angeles Angels. Now, the Kansas City Royals have signed a 16-year-old Japanese pitcher who just graduated from junior high.

TeroVesalainen / Pixabay

What to do about vacation rentals is an issue around the state. But while Hawaii’s legislature has not been able to agree on state-wide measures, in Japan a new national law takes effect a week from tomorrow. And it’s already having an impact.

Dennis Tang / Flickr

There is news out this week about the amount of Pacific Bluefin Tuna in the ocean. Researchers say this variety of tuna has been overfished for many years. But the latest numbers have drawn different interpretations from various groups, depending on their agendas. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

eutrophication&hypoxia / Flickr

Coral reefs are a focus for many scientists here in Hawai‘i and around the world. A new government study of Japan’s largest coral reef confirms what scientists have been saying. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Rs1421 / Wikimedia Commons

The top career official in Japan’s Ministry of Finance has resigned over allegations of sexual harassment. But the official is still contending that he has done nothing wrong. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

meineresterampe / Pixabay

Hawai‘i’s state legislature is in recess today, but a number of bills will be returning for consideration and discussion later this week. One issue that is NOT going anywhere this session is casino gambling. But on that topic, it’s a very different story in Japan. HPR’s Bill Dorman has it in today’s Asia Minute.

Moyan Brenn / Flickr

The number of foreign residents living in Japan has hit a new record. More than 2.5 million foreigners live in Japan, and the fastest-growing part of that population may surprise you. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

HeungSoon / Pixabay

President Trump’s recent talk about trade tariffs has focused on China. But another trade dispute looks like it will take a toll on a country very important to Hawaii. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff / Wikimedia Commons

President Trump will have a new Secretary of State advising him ahead of his planned meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un later this spring. But while the headlines in the United States are focused on these bi-lateral talks, some coverage in Asia is already looking at another possible high-level meeting. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jarod Hodge / U.S. Navy

On Sunday, the Chinese Communist Party announced that presidents will no longer be limited to two terms, clearing the way for Xi Jinping to remain in office for the foreseeable future. The news comes as the U.S. and its Indo-Pacific allies reconsider an old idea – an informal alliance called the "Quad."  We have more from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

Tonight on Bridging the Gap i'm focusing on Jazz from Japan...a country that has turned out an awful lot of good music, but is often overlooked for whatever reason.  A lot of the show will be centered around a new compilation released by BBE records entitled "J-Jazz, Deep Modern Jazz from Japan 1969-1984" which features some incredibly hard to find and forgotten recordings.

DDD DDD / Wikimedia Commons

Presidents’ Day is a holiday for many people—including Hawai‘i’s public school students. One issue that public school students here don’t have to worry about is school uniforms. But in Japan, that’s a different story. And for one school, it’s a story that’s drawn international attention. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Ku'uwehi Hiraishi

Professional soccer is once again trying to find a foothold in Hawai‘i. Organizers of this week’s Pacific Rim Cup hope to make Hawai’i the international east-meets-west sporting venue. HPR’s Ku’uwehi Hiraishi reports.