Results of Japan's "comfort women" statement review due out Fri.
TOKYO - The results of a review on how the so-called Kono statement, regarding Asian women who were forced to work in Japan's wartime military brothels, was composed are set to be released Friday.
"The results will be released with consent by the Diet, and a member of the review team will give an explanation," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a press conference, referring to the statement that offered an apology to the women, euphemistically called "comfort women."
Nikkei ends at nearly 5-month high on hopes for economic recovery
TOKYO - The Nikkei stock index rose for the third consecutive day to end at nearly a five-month high Thursday, bolstered by upbeat market sentiment amid speculation U.S. monetary easing will remain in place for some time to back an economic recovery.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended up 245.36 points, or 1.62 percent, from Wednesday at 15,361.16, the highest closing since Jan. 29. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange finished 19.89 points, or 1.59 percent, higher at 1,269.04.
LDP, Komeito confirm no Cabinet OK on collective self-defense by Sun.
TOKYO - Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and New Komeito party leader Natsuo Yamaguchi confirmed Thursday there will be no Cabinet approval for Japan's potential exercise of the right to collective self-defense by the end of the current Diet session this weekend.
The leaders of the two ruling parties, meeting at the prime minister's office, agreed that the Liberal Democratic Party and its junior coalition partner after the Diet session will continue talks on exercising the right, which would enable the Self-Defense Forces to come to the defense of Japan's allies under armed attack.
150 Australians fighting with militants in Syria, Iraq: gov't
SYDNEY - About 150 Australians have been fighting with militants in places like Syria and Iraq, Foreign Minister Julia Bishop said in a television interview Tuesday, while voicing concern over the threat they might pose if they return to Australia.
"We are concerned that Australians, including dual nationals, are working with them, being radicalized, learning the terrorist trade and if they come back to Australia, of course, it poses a security threat," she said in an interview with Australian Broadcasting Corp.
Minister retracts controversial comments on Fukushima nuclear crisis
TOKYO - Environment Minister Nobuteru Ishihara retracted on Thursday controversial remarks he made earlier this week suggesting payments to local authorities would ultimately settle the issue of where to store nuclear-contaminated soil from crisis-hit Fukushima Prefecture, after opposition parties demanded his resignation.
But Ishihara made clear he has no intention of resigning, saying he wants to fulfill his responsibilities as minister.