Japan

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Tokyo Districts Give Boost to Same-Sex Marriage

Two Tokyo wards are considering a plan to issue same-sex “partnership certificates,” putting the spotlight on the status of same-sex marriage in Japan. Trendy Shibuya Ward got the ball rolling in early Februar... Read More...
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In Japan, a Year for Poignant Memories

One Monday morning in 1995, Kazumashita Takahashi , an assistant station master on the Chiyodu Subway line in central Tokyo, was on duty when the 8:10 train pulled in. Many of the passengers were civil servants... Read More...
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Aging Japan May Not be a Crisis

Japan’s aging, shrinking population will cause serious problems for the country throughout the 21st century. Although the fertility rate has recovered to 1.39, this is still very low by international standards.... Read More...
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Japan Launches New Space Probe

Following the epic voyage of the first Hayabusa space probe to the asteroid Itokawa (named after Japan’s first Nobel Laureate in science) – and back, Japan last week launched a new and improved version. Its mis... Read More...
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Godzilla’s New Stomping Ground

Looking hardly a day over 60 million years old, Godzilla turned 60 this year, brought back to life as Hollywood resuscitated the slumbering giant monster and turned what had been and is a Japanese icon into an ... Read More...
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Japan and the South China Sea Conflict

Imagine this scenario: China decides to erect another offshore oil digging rig this time in waters in the South China Sea claimed by the Philippines. It surrounds the rig with numerous coast guard vessels. Mani... Read More...
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Sea Shepherd or Sea Scandal?

At a small pier at the bottom of Ann Street in Williamstown, a bayside suburb of Melbourne is a small letterbox with the words "Sea Shepherd" painted over it. It is a remarkably open entry to what has been c... Read More...
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Blundering into war

It was surely enough to send a shiver down American, European and Asian spines in the lead-up to the festive season, the signs of a putative new war in East Asia. But was anyone really listening, even as Sou... Read More...
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Past is Present for Japan

In the nearly one year that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been in power, he has visited some 23 countries, far more than any other Japanese premier in his first year in office. He has visited all 10 Asean count... Read More...