N. Korea fires 2 suspected missiles in 4th launch this year
North Korea on Monday fired two suspected ballistic missiles into the sea in its fourth weapons launch this month, South Korea's military said, with the apparent goal of demonstrating its military might amid paused diplomacy with the United States and pandemic border closures. Japan’s Prime Minister’s Office also said it detected a possible ballistic missile launch from North Korea, but didn’t immediately provide more details. Japan’s Coast Guard issued a warning for vessels traveling around Japanese waters to watch out for falling objects, but no immediate damage was reported.news.yahoo.com
Japan keeps border controls as it prepares for omicron surge
Japan will keep its borders closed to most foreign citizens through February as it attempts to accelerate coronavirus booster shots for elderly people and expand hospital capacity to cope with the rapidly spreading omicron variant, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Tuesday. Japan briefly eased border controls in November after COVID-19 cases rapidly declined, but quickly reinstated a ban on most foreign entrants after the highly transmissible new variant emerged. Kishida said the stringent border controls have helped slow the variant's spread and “bought time” to prepare for an imminent surge.news.yahoo.com
Japan Cabinet OKs record defense budget amid Taiwan concerns
Japan’s Cabinet has approved a record 5.4 trillion yen ($47 billion) defense budget for fiscal 2022 that includes funding for research and development of a new fighter jet and other “game-changing” weapons as Japan bolsters its defense capabilities in response to China’s growing military might and its tensions with Taiwan.
Japan retracts new flight bookings ban after criticisms
Japan says it has retracted a ban on new incoming international flight bookings to defend against the new variant of the coronavirus only a day after the policy was announced, following criticisms that it was an overreaction. The transport ministry on Wednesday issued a request to international airlines to stop taking new reservations for flights coming into Japan until the end of December as an emergency precaution to defend against the new omicron variant. The ministry said Thursday it has retracted the request after receiving criticisms that the ban was too strict and tantamount to abandoning its own people.news.yahoo.com
Japan bans entry of foreign visitors as omicron spreads
Japan announced Monday it will suspend entry of all foreign visitors from around the world as a new coronavirus variant spreads, prompting an increasing number of countries to tighten their borders. “We are taking the step as an emergency precaution to prevent a worst-case scenario in Japan,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said. The decision means Japan will restore border controls that it eased earlier this month for short-term business visitors, foreign students and workers.news.yahoo.com
Japan PM vows to step up defense amid China, NK threats
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, at his first troop review Saturday, renewed his pledge to consider “all options,” including acquiring enemy base strike capability, and vowed to create a stronger Self-Defense Force to protect the country amid growing threats from China and North Korea. Kishida said the security situation around Japan is rapidly changing and that “the reality is severer than ever,” with North Korea continuing to test-fire ballistic missiles while advancing its capability, and China pursuing a military buildup and increasingly assertive activity in the region.news.yahoo.com
Japan, Vietnam express serious concern about South China Sea
The leaders of Japan and Vietnam expressed serious concern on Wednesday about the situation in the South China Sea and any unilateral actions aimed at altering the status quo, and agreed to work together to sustain free and open sea lanes as tensions escalate in the region amid China's rise. Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh is the first foreign leader to visit Japan for talks with new Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who took office in October. Kishida told Chinh in his opening remarks that “Vietnam is an important partner who holds a key to achieving ‘a free and open Indo-Pacific,’" a vision aimed at countering China's increasingly assertive territorial claims in the disputed region.news.yahoo.com
US Indo-Pacific Command chief in Japan, reaffirms commitment
The head of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command has met with Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and reaffirmed America’s commitment to achieving a free and open Indo-Pacific despite rising tensions amid China’s increasingly assertive military actions.
Kishida reelected Japan's PM in parliamentary vote
Fumio Kishida, who was reelected as Japan’s prime minister after his governing party scored a major victory in key parliamentary elections, says the coronavirus remains the country’s most urgent issue and pledged to take steps to mend the pandemic-battered economy.
Japanese parliamentary elections crucial for new PM's rule
Japan’s new Prime Minister Fumio Kishida faces a crucial test in Sunday's national parliamentary elections, which will determine if his government will have enough support to stay in power long enough to repair the pandemic-hit economy, and tackle climate change and China’s rise.
Japan PM says Fukushima wastewater release can't be delayed
Japan's new prime minister on Sunday said the planned mass disposal of treated but still radioactive water stored at the tsunami-wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant cannot be delayed, despite concerns from local residents. Speaking at his first visit to the facility since taking office, Fumio Kishida said his government would work to reassure residents in the prefecture about the technical safety of the wastewater disposal project. The Fukushima Daiichi plant suffered a triple meltdown in 2011 following a massive earthquake and tsunami.news.yahoo.com
Kishida vows to lead with 'trust and empathy' to fix Japan
In his first policy speech, new Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has promised to strengthen the country’s response to the coronavirus pandemic in case of another resurgence and revive its battered economy while bolstering defenses against threats from China and North Korea.
Tokyo residents react after Fumio Kishida picked as next PM
Tokyo residents react after Japan's ruling party elected former foreign minister Fumio Kishida its new leader, setting him on course to become the next prime minister of the world's third-largest economy. Kishida, 64, will be confirmed as the new premier in a vote in parliament on October 4 and will then lead the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) into general elections that must happen by November. The 64-year-old won the ruling party's leadership vote, beating popular vaccine chief Taro Kono to finally clinch a job he has long targeted.news.yahoo.com