Its new hostage video calls on Japan, whose prime minister is touring the Middle East, to ends its 'foolish' support of the US-led campaign against Islamic State, and marks the first time the group has demanded cash in a video.
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.'
New scholarships for college and graduate students aim to reverse a sharp decline in the number of Japanese young people studying abroad. Concerns have grown about a younger generation that is too inwardly focused at a time of growing tensions in Asia.
Prime Minister Abe and President Obama arrive in Myanmar on Wednesday for talks following the APEC summit in Beijing. Japan is putting yen and influence into an economic zone here. China calls it containment; others call it cooperation.
The leaders of Asia's two largest powers met Monday on the sidelines of APEC summit hosted by Beijing. A thaw may lead to a crisis management system aimed at tamping down tensions over a disputed island chain where both countries have stepped up naval patrols.
With 12 Japanese MLB players having appeared in the World Series – Nori Aoki of the Kansas City Royals is the latest – avid baseball fans across East Asia want the sport restored after two Olympic shutouts.
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.
After the North backtracked on its promise to investigate within months the fate of Japanese abducted decades ago, an apparently impatient China said it would host a meeting next week between the two countries.
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.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's trip to Latin America immediately follows the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping. Both are chasing investment and energy deals, although with different strategies.
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.