Environment ministers from the G8 rich nations on Monday urged their leaders to set a global target to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, a small but vital step in the fight against climate change. But they stopped short of suggesting specific interim targets ahead of 2050, a key demand of developing countries in tough United Nations-led talks to forge a new treaty on global warming.
Japan's health minister raised the possibility on Tuesday that someone had deliberately contaminated Chinese-made dumplings imported into Japan with pesticide in an incident that made 10 Japanese sick and sparked a food scare. Japanese police have set up a joint task force to investigate the case on suspicion of attempted murder.
Japan ordered its naval ships on Thursday to withdraw from a refuelling mission in support of United States-led operations in Afghanistan as a political deadlock kept the government from meeting a deadline to extend the activities. The Pentagon said that Japan's withdrawal would not affect its patrolling of the Indian Ocean.
Yasuo Fukuda, a seasoned moderate lawmaker, was chosen as Japan's Prime Minister on Tuesday, then tapped veteran ministers from his predecessor's Cabinet to confront a resurgent opposition keen to force an election. The Liberal Democratic Party chose Fukuda as its leader to revive party fortunes after a disastrous year of scandals.
Japan's ruling party on Sunday picked Yasuo Fukuda, who seeks warmer ties with Asian neighbours, to succeed Shinzo Abe as prime minister in an effort to revive the party's fortunes and fill a political vacuum. Fukuda will be chosen as prime minister on Tuesday by virtue of the ruling camp's huge majority in Parliament's Lower House.
Japan's defence minister resigned on Tuesday over remarks that appeared to accept the 1945 atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe quickly tapped a woman for the post to try to quell the furore ahead of an election this month.
A scandal-tainted minister in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Cabinet committed suicide on Monday, compounding problems for the Japanese leader whose support has slumped ahead of a July election. It was the first suicide by a Japanese Cabinet minister since the days after Japan's defeat in World War II, according to officials at the national library.
Shinzo Abe, a conservative advocate of a more muscular Japanese foreign policy, was overwhelmingly elected as ruling party leader on Wednesday, setting the stage for his election as prime minister next week. Abe, set to become Japan's first prime minister born after World War II, has pledged to rewrite Japan's pacifist Constitution.