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Yappy New Year for Japan's worshipping pets

Toukyo - Some might describe the idea as barking mad but a shrine in Tokyo is offering blessings to pets to protect the fluffy creatures from a 'ruff' year ahead.

Op-Ed: Trump major gaffe with China gets ominous response

Sydney - If there is one thing China will never negotiate, it’s the One China policy, which says that Taiwan and China will reunify. Donald Trump’s suggestion that the policy is negotiable has caused an extraordinarily angry reaction in Beijing.

Japan fish exorcists battered by animal abuse claims

Toukyo - A religious ceremony in Japan where carp are plied with alcohol before being returned to a river has left animal rights activists feeling green around the gills.

Scientists closer to solving mystery of Earth's core

Toukyo - Japanese scientists say that silicon is likely the mystery element in the Earth's inner core, claiming progress on solving one of the planet's deepest secrets.

Japan plans to have new emperor in 2019: media

Toukyo - Japan is planning for Emperor Akihito to retire and be replaced by his eldest son on January 1, 2019, reports said Wednesday, as the country works on a legal framework for its first abdication in 200 years.

Japan envoy returns home in S.Korea 'comfort woman' row

Toukyo - Japan's ambassador to South Korea returned to Tokyo on Monday, reiterating its frustration over a statue of a "comfort woman" which has reignited a diplomatic row over Tokyo's wartime sex slavery.

Japan PM urges S.Korea to remove 'comfort woman' statue

Toukyo - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has called on South Korea to remove a statue of a "comfort woman" which has reignited a diplomatic row over Tokyo's wartime sex slavery.

Japan recalls S. Korea envoy over 'comfort woman' statue

Toukyo - Japan recalled its ambassador to South Korea on Friday to protest the placing of a statue symbolising victims of Japanese wartime sex slavery outside its consulate in the city of Busan last month.

Insurance firm replaces 34 jobs with AI 'like a human'

An insurance company has replaced almost 30 percent of its workforce with an artificial intelligence system that is capable of calculating insurance payouts and analysing a range of text and media. 34 humans will lose their jobs to the machine.

Japan's 'Tuna King' wins annual auction for $636,000

Toukyo - Japan's self-styled "Tuna King" has done it again -- paying more than $600,000 for a single fish.

Op-Ed: North Korean ICBMs: Regional detonator or nuisance?

Sydney - The supposed development of a long range intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capability by North Korea has several ramifications. Whether or not the ICBM can hit the U.S. or not, it represents a potential catalyst for a serious regional war.

Japanese Emperor greets New Year well-wishers

Toukyo - Japan's Emperor Akihito delivered his traditional New Year address Monday with tens of thousands of people flocking to the Imperial Palace for what could be his last such appearance after he expressed his desire to abdicate.

Japan defence minister visits Yasukuni war shrine

Toukyo - Japan's hawkish defence minister prayed Thursday at a controversial war shrine in Tokyo the day after accompanying Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on a symbolic visit of reconciliation to Pearl Harbor, drawing swift condemnation from neighbour South Korea.

Strong quake hits northeast Japan, no tsunami risk

Toukyo - A strong earthquake struck northeast of Tokyo late Wednesday but there was no fear of a tsunami, Japan's meteorological agency said.It put the magnitude at 6.3, while the US Geological Survey measured it at 5.9.

Japan hails Pearl Harbor visit while bracing for Trump

Toukyo - Japanese on Wednesday hailed a historic visit by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Pearl Harbor, praising his message of reconciliation with the United States but wary of the future after Donald Trump takes office.

Japan's Abe departs for visit to Pearl Harbour

Toukyo - Prime Minister Shinzo Abe departed Monday for Hawaii where he will visit Pearl Harbour with US President Barack Obama as the two countries highlight decades of post-World War II reconciliation.

Huge crowds cheer Japan emperor on 83rd birthday

Toukyo - The biggest crowds of his nearly three-decade reign thronged Japan's Imperial Palace on Friday to celebrate Emperor Akihito's 83rd birthday on what could be his last such appearance after expressing his desire to abdicate.

Japan sends troops to fight massive fire

Toukyo - A rapidly-spreading fire engulfed more than 100 buildings and sparked evacuations in a northern Japanese city on Thursday, leaving two people injured and forcing authorities to mobilise the military.

US makes biggest Okinawa land return since 1972

Toukyo - A deal to return American military land on Okinawa to the Japanese government was hailed on Wednesday as the biggest such land transfer in more than four decades.

Japan backs off pregnancy clause for Syria refugees

Toukyo - A Japanese programme aimed at accepting a small number of refugees from war-torn Syria promised Wednesday to remove language from documents which implied that pregnant women are not welcome to apply.
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