Japan is host to more than a dozen US bases in Okinawa. Some residents of the island's small port of Henoko, where the US wants to build a controversial military base, say they could use the boost to business.
Japan may try again to relocate the Futenma US base in Okinawa to the fishing village of Henoko, ahead of a May deadline to resolve the issue. But both antibase activists and the US have voiced objections to that plan.
Choi Hyun-mi, who fled to South Korea as a girl and soon won a world boxing championship, has helped boost the morale of fellow North Korean defectors who continue to struggle in their adopted country.
Two Greenpeace activists in Japan face up to 10 years in prison for tactics used in exposing black market sales of whale meat. Anti-whaling groups hope Monday's trial helps turn Japanese public opinion against the whale harvest.
China was criticized by the US ambassador and other foreign diplomats after a Beijing court rejected the appeal of top Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo against his 11-year jail sentence, the severest in recent memory.
Campaigning for the Philippines elections kicked off this week in familiar style, with famous names dominating the ballots and already 60 people killed in political violence. Here’s what to look for ahead of the May polls.