Tag: Japan

China cautiously welcomes Trans-Pacific free trade deal

China has cautiously welcomed a free trade deal struck between 12 Pacific Rim countries, the biggest in decades. The US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) cuts trade tariffs and sets common standards in member countries including Japan and the US. China said it was “open to any mechanism” that follows World Trade Organization rules. But it did […]

Japan launches ‘My Number’ national ID system

Japan has launched a national identification system that will be used for taxation and social security payments, with a 12-digit number to be assigned to all citizens.The law concerning “My Number” identification system took effect on Monday, with registered mail containing notification cards for the system now being sent to all households.Citizens can request a […]

Japan fires world’s most powerful laser and is compared to Death Star weapon

‘With heated competition in the world to improve the performance of lasers, our goal now is to increase our output to 10 petawatts,’ said the institute’s Junji Kawanaka, an associate professor of electrical engineering at the university.   To put that into context, according to Popular Science, a 50,000 watt laser successfully took down a drone […]

Japan Moves to Allow Military Combat for First Time in 70 Years

Defying broad public opposition and large demonstrations, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe won a crucial vote in Parliament on Thursday for legislation that would give Japan’s military limited powers to fight in foreign conflicts for the first time since World War II.   Mr. Abe’s party and its allies in the lower house of Parliament approved […]

Military chief says Japan might conduct surveillance over the South China Sea

Japan’s top military commander, Admiral Katsutoshi Kawano, said on Thursday he expected China to become increasingly assertive in the South China Sea and it was possible Japan would conduct patrols and surveillance activities there in the future.   Speaking in Washington, Kawano said there had been “talk” of Japan conducting such patrols in the South […]

Philippines in US, Japan naval drills amid China sea row

Manila has been holding the naval drills with its longtime ally Washington since 1995. But the exercise with Tokyo, a World War II foe, is only its second ever after one earlier this year.   This week’s Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) drill with Washington will include a P-3 Orion aircraft, of the type […]

Whose splendid isolation?

THE Shangri-La Dialogue, an annual powwow in Singapore for Asia-Pacific defence chiefs, has begun to follow a pattern: America and its friends in Asia line up to criticise China for its alleged transgressions in the seas around its coast; China issues fierce, mendacious and unconvincing rebuttals; everybody goes home. Last year, China’s crimes were its […]

Japan to give $400 mn to Pacific islands to fight climate change

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Saturday pledged $453 million in aid to Pacific island nations to help them combat climate change and natural disasters.   Abe made the pledge as leaders of 14 Pacific island nations gathered for a two-day meeting, which began on Friday in Iwaki, Fukushima prefecture, to discuss their development needs. […]

Obama Moves Closer to Inking Pacific Trade Deal

President Obama may move closer to a career-defining Pacific Rim trade deal Tuesday that could permanently alter the balance of power between the White House and Congress on trade issues.   The Senate is expected to approve a bill to give the president “fast track” authority to make trade deals, reducing Congress’ role to approving […]

US and Japan pushing for defense minister meeting with South Korea

The US and Japan, which recently strengthened their alliance into a “global” framework, are now planning to request a trilateral defense ministers‘ meeting with South Korea at May’s Asian Security Summit (Shangri-La Dialogue) in Singapore. With this, Seoul is now finding itself rapidly drawn into the US-Japan alliance’s strategic decision to present a military counterweight […]