Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda won the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) presidency Monday and will replace Naoto Kan as prime minister. The aftermath of the tsunami and earthquake will test his leadership.
Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara resigned Sunday after having accepted illegal political donations. It was another blow to Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who has only 20 percent support in the polls now.
Japan's foreign minister is in Moscow to discuss the Kuril Islands. Russia and Japan never signed a peace agreement after World War II because of a dispute over the territory.
US envoy Stephen Bosworth ended a tour to northeast Asian capitals Friday without any definitive response to North Korea's offer for talks without preconditions. Japan and South Korea rejected the proposal.
US envoy Stephen Bosworth arrives in Tokyo Thursday after visiting Seoul and Beijing. Implicit in his talks is a push for Japan and South Korea to cooperate for mutual defense against North Korea.
Prime Minister Naoto Kan is finding his nation dependent on the US in responding to North Korea, even as public opposition to the US base on Okinawa remains high.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visited the Kuril Islands Monday, ruffling Japan, which also claims what it calls the Northern Territories. Japan has recently sparred with China over disputed islands.
The confrontation in disputed waters between a Chinese fishing boat and Japanese Coast Guard vessels have quickly soured China-Japan relations. Neither governments appear ready to lose face in the standoff.
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.