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Another Japanese national temporarily held by Kurds in northern Iraq

February 22, 2015 - 00:32
Japan's Foreign Ministry said Saturday another Japanese national has been temporarily detained as a suspicious person by authorities in the Kurdish autonomous zone in northern Iraq earlier this month. (Kyodo)
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Abe defends playing golf during hostage crisis

February 22, 2015 - 00:22
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe responded to criticism in the Diet on Friday about his playing golf and attending concerts in late December after he had been informed that two Japanese were being held hostage by Islamic State extremists. (Japan Today)
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Govt plans to make Diet approval mandatory for SDF deployment overseas

February 19, 2015 - 21:56
A proposal put forward by the Japanese government Thursday calls for making parliamentary approval mandatory for the overseas dispatch of the Self-Defense Forces. (Jiji Press)
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Chinese ships found poaching in Japan hit record high

February 19, 2015 - 00:16
The number of Chinese ships found carrying out poaching and other crimes in Japanese waters in 2014 hit a record high of 16 since the survey launch in 1977, the Japan Coast Guard said Wednesday. (Jiji Press)
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Japan prepared to lower voting age to 18 next year

February 17, 2015 - 23:21
The voting age for national elections will likely be lowered to 18 from the current 20, starting with the next upper house election in the summer of 2016, as both ruling and opposition parties are set to submit to parliament as early as next week a bill for that purpose, lawmakers said Tuesday. (Kyodo)
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SDF holds drill for Japanese in Thailand

February 15, 2015 - 22:08
Japanese Self-Defense Forces personnel have conducted an evacuation drill for Japanese nationals in eastern Thailand. (NHK)
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S. Africa Ambassador raps Sankei Shimbun article

February 15, 2015 - 21:55
South African Ambassador to Japan Mohau Pheko has lodged a protest with the Sankei Shimbun against a column which she saw as hailing apartheid, the major Japanese daily revealed Sunday. (Jiji Press)
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Indonesia to ink defense agreement with Japan

February 15, 2015 - 00:20
The Defense Ministry confirmed on Friday that it would soon sign a defense cooperation treaty with Japan. (
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Abe visits areas hit by 2011 disaster

February 14, 2015 - 23:52
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has paid his first visit of the year to areas in northeastern Japan hit by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. (NHK)
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Authorities in Iraq temporarily detained Japanese

February 14, 2015 - 23:49
Japan's foreign ministry officials say authorities in Iraq's Kurdish autonomous region detained a Japanese man for several days earlier this month. (NHK)
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Japan's Nikai, S. Korea's Park agree on comfort women issue

February 13, 2015 - 23:19
Japanese ruling party executive Toshihiro Nikai and South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Friday agreed on the need to resolve the thorny bilateral issue of so-called comfort women. (Jiji Press)
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U.N. Security Council moves to cut funding to degrade Islamic State

February 13, 2015 - 03:45
The U.N. Security Council on Thursday unanimously approved a resolution designed to cut off financing to so-called Islamic State and other terrorist groups and individuals, threatening to impose sanctions on those who trade smuggled oil that is believed to have become an important source of revenue for them. (Kyodo)
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Islamic State magazine says hostage crisis meant to 'humiliate' Japan

February 13, 2015 - 03:43
The Islamic State militant group said in its English-language magazine published Thursday that the recent hostage crisis involving two Japanese men was aimed at shaming Japan after the country pledged aid for countries fighting the group. (Kyodo)
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Abe issues message on National Foundation Day

February 11, 2015 - 11:21
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has delivered a message for Japan's National Foundation Day in which he pledged to press on with reforms that will preserve the country's way of life for future generations. (NHK)
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Japan Conditionally Permits Aid for Foreign Military Activities

February 10, 2015 - 23:37
The Japanese government adopted at a cabinet meeting Tuesday new guidelines on Japan's official development assistance that, albeit conditionally, permit for the first time Japan's support for activities undertaken by foreign militaries. (Jiji Press)
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Govt. panel convenes on Japanese hostage killings

February 10, 2015 - 08:32
A Japanese government panel met for the first time on Tuesday to assess its response to the apparent killing of 2 Japanese hostages by Islamic State militants. (NHK)
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Japan's foreign aid shifts focus

February 10, 2015 - 03:34
The Japanese government is shifting the focus of its overseas aid to securing national interests. The Cabinet approved a new charter for official development assistance on Tuesday. (NHK)
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SDF new amphibious vehicle shown to media

February 9, 2015 - 23:01
Japan's Ground Self-Defense Force has demonstrated a US-made amphibious vehicle to be used for defense of remote islands. (NHK)
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Japan, Thailand to cooperate in fight against terrorism

February 9, 2015 - 22:48
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Thai counterpart Prayut Chan-o-cha condemned on Monday the recent killings of two Japanese men taken hostage by Islamic State militants and agreed to cooperate in the fight against terrorism. (Kyodo)
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Japan defends confiscation of passport over Syria trip plan

February 9, 2015 - 08:46
Japan's top government spokesman on Monday defended its decision to confiscate the passport of a freelance photographer who had planned to travel to Syria, part of which is under the control of Islamic State militants, saying the government has a responsibility to ensure the safety of Japanese citizens traveling abroad. (Kyodo)
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