International News

U.S. warns against travel to Japan with Olympics just 2 months away

WASHINGTON — The U.S. State Department on May 24 advised its citizens not to visit Japan due to a surge in coronavirus cases, raising its travel alert to the highest level of 4 just two months before the start of the Tokyo Olympics. Although the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee played down concerns that the […]

Still recovering, Japan marks 10 years since tsunami hit

TOKYO — Japan fell quiet at 2:46 p.m. March 11 to mark the minute that an earthquake began 10 years ago, setting off a tsunami and nuclear crisis that devastated the country’s northeast coast in a disaster that one survivor said he fears people are beginning to forget. Carrying bouquets of flowers, many walked to […]

Ten years and still recovering

Ten years have passed since the March 11, 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. The coastal towns are almost unrecognizable with new buildings, roads and bridges. When I visit these towns, I am in awe of how they have been rebuilt so quickly. I am again reminded of how beautiful this region and ocean are. Many […]

EXPLAINER: How dangerous is the Fukushima nuke plant today?

OKUMA, Japan — A decade ago, a massive tsunami crashed into the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Three of its reactors melted down, leaving it looking like a bombed-out factory. Emergency workers risked their lives trying to keep one of history’s worst nuclear crises from spiraling out of control. Proper equipment has now replaced ragged […]

Japan court says same-sex marriage should be allowed

TOKYO — A Japanese court for the first time ruled March 17 that same-sex marriage should be allowed under the country’s constitution, a moral victory that does not have any immediate legal consequence but could bolster efforts for legalization. The Sapporo District Court said sexuality, like race and gender, is not a matter of individual […]

Japan braces for aftershocks as M7.3 quake injures over 150

FUKUSHIMA, Japan — Japan’s northeastern region braced for aftershocks Feb. 14 following an earthquake of magnitude 7.3 overnight that injured more than 150 people, cut power and water, and disrupted bullet train services, with some residents looking weary as they tidied up the mess in their homes and shops. No deaths were attributed to the […]

Furor over Tokyo Olympics chief’s sexism proved too big to defuse

TOKYO — The global uproar over Tokyo Olympics chief Yoshiro Mori’s remarks accusing women of talking too much proved too big in the end to be defused with an apology. Mori, 83, tried to draw a line in the sand last week by retracting what he called his “inappropriate remarks,” but critics were not impressed […]

Japanese American Sen. Inouye to be remembered in ancestral home

The city government of Yame, Fukuoka Prefecture is planning to establish the monument to Inouye in a park planted with dogwood trees sent to Japan as a gift from the United States   TOKYO — A bust commemorating the legacy of Daniel Inouye (1924-2012), the first Japanese American member of the U.S. Congress, is to […]

Suga elected Japan PM as Abe era ends, forms continuity Cabinet

TOKYO — Yoshihide Suga was elected Japan’s prime minister by parliament on Sept. 16, with the country’s first new leader in nearly eight years forming a Cabinet filled with familiar faces as he vows to stay the course set by his predecessor Shinzo Abe. For Suga, who became chief of the Liberal Democratic Party earlier […]

VOICES OF THE NIKKEI COMMUNITY: The aftermath of the Hiroshima atomic bomb

This first-person account of the aftermath of the Hiroshima bombing was written several years ago by Ame Kobayashi, as part of her family memoirs. Ame was born in Idaho and raised there on a farm by her parents Junji and Kuniko Hamada, one of six children. She was sent to Japan after high school to […]

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