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.
In Japan, Toyota recall woes were met first with disbelief and then with an onslaught of criticism from Japanese media outlets more accustomed to eulogizing the 'Toyota way.'
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.
Japanese carmakers, such as Toyota, are developing an affordable hydrogen car using fuel cells. Meanwhile, the government and energy companies are funding hydrogen refueling stations needed for the cars' widespread use.
A diplomatic ruckus has reignited over resource-rich and militarily strategic seas that lie off their coasts, as China moves to build a tourist resort in the Paracels and calls Japan's building plans on Okinotori illegal.
Newly appointed Japan finance minister Naoto Kan faces the tough task of stimulating a struggling economy while keeping public debt under control. His role as deputy prime minister was to wrench policy powers away from bureaucrats.
Japan's Imperial Household initally balked at a 'last minute' request by China's visiting vice president to meet with the Emperor Akihito. The request was made 19 days ahead, instead of 30. But the meeting will take place Tuesday in Tokyo.
Japan unveiled a fresh $81 billion stimulus package Tuesday, as a rising yen hurts exports and domestic demand remains low.
Obama, in first stop of his Asia trip, addressed the thorny issue of a US military base in Okinawa. Despite recent tensions, Obamamania is still strong in Japan.
As China rises and the dollar falls, the US ally seeks more independence, but not less security, from America. Tokyo is the first stop on the president's Asia tour.
Obama will say that Asia is crucial to answering the world's major challenges – although the US intends to remain a leader across Asia. The president visits Japan, Singapore, China, and South Korea starting Friday.
But questions over a US role in any economic grouping and rivalry between China and Japan may thwart a rapid rollout of either plan.
The new government of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has vowed to boost financial support for parents in an effort to increase its birthrate, one of the lowest in the world.
Homelessness has doubled over the past year, say some, as once-vaunted community and company support has frayed. Many people sleep in parks or 24-hour Internet cafes.
Yutaro Gomikawa used his small-time fame on the national homeless soccer team to get government aid usually unavailable to young people.
Exit polls on Sunday gave the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) more than 300 seats in Japan's 480-seat Diet (parliament), ending more than 54 years of nearly unbroken rule by the Liberal Democratic Party.