Some are pointing fingers at Iran, which has threatened to close off the strategic Strait of Hormuz in retaliation for sanctions, for denting a Japanese oil tanker this week. Some 40 percent of the world's oil shipments pass through the strait.
Japan angered abolitionists by executing two men this week, in the first hangings since the country’s center-left government took office in September. Tokyo's new government says it still has plans to review its use of the death penalty.
Japan's yakuza mafia has long run unchecked. Recent sumo scandals highlight a deepening war against organized crime in Tokyo.
George Steinbrenner won no fans in Japan with his disparaging comments toward beloved baseball players Hideki Irabu and Hideki Matsui. Japan actually has its own version of the iron-fisted team owner.
In Sunday's upper house parliamentary elections, Japanese voters turned against the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ). Prime Minister Naoto Kan's plan to double the consumption tax to 10 percent is behind the backlash, say analysts.
A court in Japan gave Sea Shepherd activist Peter Bethune a suspended two-year jail term Wednesday. During last winter's annual 'whale wars,' he sneaked onto a whaling ship to try to arrest its captain for sinking the Ady Gil speedboat.
'The Cove,' an Oscar-winning documentary about a controversial dolphin slaughter in Japan, will be released in six theaters July 3. The movie caused a showdown between nationalist protesters and free-speech advocates.
Japanese sumo scandals involving gambling and mob ties could upend an upcoming Nagoya tournament. Friday, public broadcaster NHK made the unprecedented threat to pull coverage of the tournament.
Japan beat Denmark today, though it was unlikely that many Asians rooted for the Asian team in the match. Regional loyalties in Asia are threadbare, say academics, which means there is little 'Asian identity.'
Japan's new Prime Minister Naoto Kan unveiled a cabinet Tuesday of six new members and 11 from the Hatoyama administration. Polls show 63 percent of Japanese have high hopes for Kan's administration.
Unless China shifts its policies toward more democracy and tends to the interests of the rising urban middle class, it risks ending up in the same cul-de-sac as Japan.
The first PM in more than a decade not to hail from a political dynasty, the populist Naoto Kan hopes to boost his party's standing ahead of July elections.
Yukio Hatoyama is Japan's fourth prime minister in a row to last for less than a year, and the 14th to hold the post in 21 years. Many PMs have risen as part of a political dynasty without having to hone leadership skills.
Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said Wednesday he would resign after coming under fire for weak leadership and reneging on a promise to move a US military base off Okinawa island.
North Korea tensions are reportedly behind Japan Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's unpopular decision to keep the US base on Okinawa. But the move will damage his party's prospects in the July election.
Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama backtracked from a campaign promise to close a controversial US Marine base on Okinawa. He said he was bowing to strategic reality, but the reversal is costing him support at home.
Growing numbers or Japanese who study abroad see their future linked to a Chinese university. But US educators are fighting back, citing better schools and the ability to learn all-important English.
Japan is scheduled to launch the IKAROS spacecraft this week, which will be powered by wafer-thin solar sails. The craft is headed for Venus, making it the first to attempt interplanetary travel using only solar power.
Prime Minister Hatoyama’s vow to reexamine agreed-upon plans to move the Marines from Futenma, their US base in Okinawa, nears a May 31 deadline. What many see as his mishandling of the issue may cost him in parliament.
The gender gap yawns wide, despite Japan's female astronaut and new antidiscrimination laws. The World Economic Forum recently downgraded Japan three spots to 101st place on its latest gender discrimination report.
The experienced and large delegation from Japan showed a deft hand in its win against a bluefin tuna ban and other measures at the 175-nation CITES meeting on endangered species in Qatar.
Japan's Hatoyama, the new prime minister, is carrying out a campaign promise to push aside bureaucrats and shift more power to the politicians. The effort is playing to favorable reviews – though budging an entrenched bureaucracy will take time.
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.
The Japanese government is touting nuclear power plants as an easy way to cut carbon emissions. But safety is a public concern on the earthquake prone island, where a 6.9 magnitude quake hit on Saturday.
A tsunami warning is out for the eastern seaboard of Japan.