No image available
/ 28 May 2008

Japan pledges to double aid to Africa

Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda pledged on Wednesday to double Tokyo’s aid to Africa by 2012 to spur growth and attract private investment — a model that helped propel post-war Japan into economic prosperity. Japan will provide up to -billion in flexible, low-interest ”soft loans” to Africa over the next five years.

No image available
/ 17 April 2008

G8 business chiefs spar over climate change

World business chiefs gathered in Tokyo on Thursday to discuss ways to tackle global warming as transatlantic tensions emerged over how far industry should go to reduce emissions. The heads of the business federations of the Group of Eight (G8) industrialised nations agreed that climate change needs serious attention.

No image available
/ 16 March 2008

Glaciers melt ‘at fastest rate in past 5 000 years’

The world’s glaciers are melting faster than at any time since records began, threatening catastrophe for hundreds of millions of people and their eco-systems. The details are revealed in the latest report from the World Glacier Monitoring Service and will add to growing alarm about the rise in sea levels and increased instances of flooding, avalanches and drought.

No image available
/ 5 February 2008

Japan: China dumpling poisoning may be deliberate

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.

No image available
/ 11 January 2008

Japan resumes Afghan war role

Japan is to resume its role in the war in Afghanistan after its government on Friday forced through a Bill extending a controversial refuelling mission. The move brought to an end months of political deadlock, and relieved friction with Washington over its commitment to the so-called war on terror.

No image available
/ 17 November 2007

Japan fleet plan to hunt humpbacks draws protests

Japan’s whaling fleet is set to depart on Sunday for an annual hunt that this year for the first time will take humpback whales — a perennial favourite among whale-watchers — sparking protests from activists. Japan abandoned commercial whaling in accordance with an international moratorium in 1986, but began the next year to conduct what it calls scientific research whaling.

No image available
/ 1 November 2007

Japan pulls out of Afghanistan coalition

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.

No image available
/ 25 September 2007

Euro resumes record-setting run

The euro resumed its record-setting run against the dollar on Tuesday, climbing to ,4153 after a pair of economic reports painted a dismal picture for United States consumers and the ailing home sales market. The strength of the euro drew concern, with Spain’s finance minister warning of problems.

No image available
/ 23 September 2007

Ruling party picks new leader for Japan

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.

No image available
/ 14 September 2007

Japan’s outgoing PM admitted to hospital

Japan’s political crisis deepened when the Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, was admitted to hospital suffering from exhaustion less than 24 hours after suddenly announcing his resignation. Abe (52) was seen by a doctor on Thursday morning after feeling unwell and was admitted to Keio hospital in Tokyo later in the day.

No image available
/ 12 September 2007

Japan PM Abe quits after year of scandal, crisis

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe abruptly announced his resignation on Wednesday after a year in power dogged by scandals, an election rout and a crisis over Japan’s support for United States-led operations in Afghanistan. The hawkish Abe, who took office promising to boost Japan’s global security profile, had seen his clout dwindle.