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.
Obama said the US would defend Japan in any conflict with China over the Senkaku islands. His trip has targeted better relations with Prime Minister Abe, whose comments about Japan's World War II history have caused strains.
President Park and Prime Minister Abe met in The Hague with President Obama, who seeks a unified front in dealing with North Korea's nuclear weapons program. Sensitive historical issues were sidestepped.