Japan has offered $5 billion in nonmilitary aid to Afghanistan as it ends refueling mission for US forces. Some say that's more in line with Japan's pacifist Constitution – others see a copout.
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.
But questions over a US role in any economic grouping and rivalry between China and Japan may thwart a rapid rollout of either plan.
American Christopher Savoie was arrested Sept. 28 in Japan after trying to get his children back from his ex-wife. The case has underscored widely different views in the US and Japan of parental rights and child-rearing.
Kim Jong-il's regime also delineated 'no-sail zones' off both its east and west coasts in a bid to show toughness ahead of talks on its nuclear program.
President Barack Obama's Nobel Peace Prize is praised in many countries as a reflection of a "new hope" in world politics, but others worry it came too soon. A global roundup of views.
Rio will be the first South American city to host the Games. Chicago's loss is a disappointment to President Obama, who traveled to Copenhagen to promote the US bid.
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.
UN officials say it gave fresh momentum to upcoming talks for a new climate change treaty. But many unresolved issues remain.