China is already sounding furious about the idea, first floated by the US Seventh Fleet commander. But Japanese leader Shinzo Abe's aim has long been to beef up security cooperation and extend its reach to vital shipping lanes.
Japanese leader will work to stand against terror while doing everything possible to free two citizens. His views are shaped by the 2013 slaying of 10 Japanese working at an Algerian gas plant by an Al Qaeda-linked group.
Prime Minister Abe is already parsing the words he will use in August to describe Japan's attitude toward the war, a hot-button issue across Asia. This week he characterized his new position as 'forward-looking.'
The prime minister has called a snap election for Dec. 14 and postponed a highly unpopular tax hike. Japan's economy slipped into recession this week, raising questions about Abe's centerpiece 'Abenomics' initiative.
Takashi Onaga backs moving the US military entirely off Okinawa. He would scrap a deal already forged between Japan and the US to shift Futenma air base to a new location, but Prime Minister Abe has the ultimate say.
Over 200,000 women were forced to have sex with Japanese soldiers from the 1920s until defeat in 1945. A newspaper's recent retraction of a purported eye-witness account has reignited far-right debate.
Industry minister and pro-nuclear advocate Yuko Obuchi and Justice minister Midori Matsushima were both appointed last month but stepped down today amid allegations of impropriety. They were part of Abe's effort to raise the profile of professional women.
For the first time, a foreign actress will play a leading role in the popular morning TV spot for Japanese public broadcaster NHK. The show is based on a historic Scottish-Japanese couple, and promotes cross-cultural couples living in Japan today.
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is pushing for more women in the workforce, and wants to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping in November. The first cabinet reshuffle since his election comes as his popularity dips.
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in Japan Saturday for a five-day state visit focused on trade and defense ties. India and Japan have mutual concerns about China's rise – but China is also both countries' largest trade partner.
Concrete walls could ultimately stretch 140 miles along Japan's tsunami-damaged northeast coast. The project's breathtaking scale and cost – as well as doubts about its effectiveness – are drawing ire.
Japan could become the world's third-largest gambling market if lawmakers pass a bill legalizing casinos. A drive to boost tourism – especially before the 2020 Olympics – is behind the move, but opponents worry about addiction and social ills.
Prime Minister Abe’s wife, Akie, has become an unusually public first lady – one who is unafraid to share views on everything from LGBT issues to the sales tax that often differ from those of her husband.