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In a first under Trump, U.S. warship sails within 12 miles of China-claimed Mischief Reef

By Jesse Johnson
- via The Japan Times    May 25, 2017

Chinese dredging vessels are purportedly seen in the waters around Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea in this still image from video taken by a P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft provided by the United States Navy May 21, 2015. A U.S. warship reportedly sailed within 12 nautical miles of the reef this week. | U.S. NAVY / VIA REUTERS

The U.S. Navy has sailed within 12 nautical miles of one of China’s man-made islands in the disputed South China Sea — the first so-called ...

First Japanese female civilian honored among fallen U.N. peacekeepers

via The Japan Times    May 25, 2017

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks during a ceremony Wednesday to honor fallen peacekeepers at the U.N. headquarters in New York. | KYODO

Miho Hirose, a Japanese civilian, was among the 117 fallen peacekeepers honored in memoriam Wednesday at an annual ceremony at the United Nations headquarters in ...

DP unveils resolution on female Imperial family members being able to establish branches

via The Japan Times    May 25, 2017

Japan’s main opposition force, the Democratic Party, on Wednesday released its draft of a Diet resolution to be attached to a bill for Emperor Akihito’s ...

Revival-seeking rural Japan feels left out as casino plans favor major cities

By Lisa Du,Yuki Hagiwara,Grace Huang
- via The Japan Times    May 25, 2017

Casino development is seen as a potential boon to the gaming industry, given Japan's wealthy population and its proximity to China. | BLOOMBERG

Tokyo, Osaka and Yokohama are emerging as likely candidates for casino resorts under the government’s new bidding framework, triggering criticism from smaller cities that say ...

To reduce work stress, Japan firms turn to office cats, dogs and goats

via The Japan Times    May 25, 2017

A cat lies in front of a computer at IT firm Ferray on May 16 in Tokyo. | AFP-JIJI

Workaholic Japan is known for long office hours and stressed-out employees, but one company claims to have a cure: cats. A total of nine fluffy ...

Beloved doll Licca-chan keeps spirits up in disaster-hit Fukushima

via The Japan Times    May 25, 2017

Children gather for an event to mark the 50th anniversary of the debut of Licca-chan, a popular dress-up doll, on May 6 in the town of Ono in Fukushima Prefecture. The doll's production plant has played an important role in the area's reconstruction. | KYODO

Long-popular doll Licca-chan has been a perennial favorite among tourists, drawing crowds of young fans, helping support the reconstruction of Fukushima Prefecture from the 2011 ...

Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia teams up with Exile’s Hiro to create a contemporary fusion of vision and sound

By Mark Schilling
- via The Japan Times    May 25, 2017

Dynamic duo: Hiro (left), leader of the mega-group Exile, and Tetsuya Bessho, president of Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia, have joined forces for this year's festival. | MARTIN HOLTKAMP

From its debut in 1999 as the passion project of actor Tetsuya Bessho, Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia has grown into a big event ...

Oita woman pushes herself as firefighter, strives for karate Olympic gold

via The Japan Times    May 25, 2017

Hikaru Ono (center) and teammates perform in the 2016 World Senior Championships in female team kata in Linz, Austria in October. Her team won the gold medal. | KYODO

As a member of a world karate championship team aiming for Olympic gold in 2020, Hikaru Ono is confident of her strength. But even for ...

Hollywood’s love storyboard

By Kaori Shoji
- via The Japan Times    May 25, 2017

Happy couple: Harold and Lillian Michelson are responsible for some classic Hollywood images. | © 2015 ADAMA FILMS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

If you’re the type who sticks around after a movie to read the credits, you’ll know it takes more than one village to make a ...

A taste of summer on the French Riviera

via The Japan Times    May 25, 2017

Back by popular demand, The French Kitchen at the Grand Hyatt Tokyo is hosting Soiree Blanche 2017, a series of luxurious summer events every Saturday ...

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