How Putin’s Spooking Japan Further Away From Pacifism
Bombed-out and poverty-stricken after surrendering in World War II, Japan disbanded its military and renounced war, devoting its efforts instead to economic development under a pacifist constitution. More than seven decades later, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has spooked Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s ruling party into calling for a doubling of defense spending over five year. Increased tension with China over Taiwan has only added to the sense of urgency.washingtonpost.com
How the BOJ Gets a New Governor and Why It Matters
Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda is due to step down in April after the longest stint at the helm of the central bank in its 140-year history. Kuroda has spearheaded the most ambitious monetary stimulus program of modern times, with measures that have turned the bank into the largest owner of stocks and government bonds in Japan and made it the last major anchor of ultra-low interest rates in the world. The BOJ’s first change of guard in a decade could have wide-reaching ripple effects inwashingtonpost.com
Japan minister to quit over execution remark, PM delays trip
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has decided to delay his departure Friday to Southeast Asia to attend three upcoming summits, apparently to sack his justice minister over a remark he made about capital punishment that was criticized as inappropriate. Justice Minister Yasuhiro Hanashi was reportedly to submit his resignation Friday to Kishida, two days after he made a comment at a party meeting that his low-profile job makes lunchtime news only when he uses his “hanko” stamp to approve executions in the morning. The remark quickly sparked criticisms from the opposition and even within Kishida’s governing party and could further shake his government, which is already mired in a controversy over its decades-long ties with the Unification Church, a South Korea-based religious sect accused in Japan of problematic recruitment and brainwashing adherents into making huge donations.news.yahoo.com
Japan Cabinet OKs $200B spending plan to counter inflation
Japan’s Cabinet has approved a hefty economic package including 29 trillion yen ($200 billion) in government spending to counter the blow from inflation, signaling that the greater concern of its policymakers is that the economy will stall, not overheat.
Abe's militaristic funeral captures Japan's tense mood
For all the heated arguments ahead of the controversial state funeral of assassinated former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe — both for and against — it was the images of Tuesday's ceremony that most clearly tell the story of a deeply divided nation still struggling to process the legacy of perhaps the most polarizing leader in its modern history.
Japan to ease COVID-19 border controls from Sept. 7
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has announced plans to ease border controls by eliminating requirements for pre-departure COVID-19 tests for travelers who have received at least three vaccine doses from early September, and he will also consider increasing daily entry caps as soon as next monthwashingtonpost.com
Japan marks WWII's end, Kishida doesn't mention aggression
Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida renewed Japan's no-war pledge at a somber ceremony Monday as his country marked the 77th anniversary of its World War II defeat, but he did not mention Japanese wartime aggression. In his first address as prime minister since taking office in October, Kishida said Japan will “stick to our resolve to never repeat the tragedy of the war." Kishida did not mention Japanese aggression across Asia in the first half of the 20th century or the victims in the region.news.yahoo.com
China halts climate, military ties over US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Taiwan visit
China says it is cutting off dialogue with the U.S. on a range of vital issues from climate change to military relations and anti-narcotics efforts in retaliation for a visit this week to Taiwan by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Japan warns of rising global tension, Russia-China arms ties
Japan warned of escalating national security threats stemming from Russia’s war on Ukraine and China’s tensions with Taiwan in an annual defense paper issued Friday, as Japan tries to bolster its military capability and spending. The annual defense white paper, approved by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s Cabinet on Friday, highlights the need for Japan’s military buildup to address security concerns and seeks to gain public support for a stronger military and increased budget, which Kishida’s governing party aims to double in coming years.news.yahoo.com
Ex-leader Shinzo Abe critically shot in shock Japan attack
Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, an arch-conservative and one of his nation's most divisive figures, was shot and critically wounded during a campaign speech Friday in western Japan. Police arrested the suspected gunman at the scene of an attack that shocked many in Japan, which is one of the world’s safest nations and has some of the strictest gun control laws anywhere. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Abe was in “grave condition” and he hoped Abe would survive.news.yahoo.com
Why Japan Will Struggle to Do Without Russian Energy
Japan’s stake in a big Russian energy project known as Sakhalin-2 is in limbo after President Vladimir Putin signed a decree to transfer the rights to a new Russian company. Resource-poor Japan depends on Russia for its natural gas needs, which is why Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has been reluctant to make a complete break with Moscow. While Japan is working frantically to secure alternative supplies, a global energy crunch means that it will be challenging for the island nation to quit Russianwashingtonpost.com