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A publicly funded research institute in Japan, already embattled after accusing one of its own stem cell scientists of faking data, has spent tens of thousands of dollars on designer Italian furniture, reportedly to use up its budget.
 

Pacifist Japan is gradually learning to love its military, with an apparent public relations campaign under way to soften its image, featuring online popularity contests, a much-touted soprano vocalist and dating events.
Japan's military engages in popularity push

 

Japan on Monday insisted it had made no decision on whether to resume whaling in the Southern Ocean next year, after a militant environmental group said Tokyo intended to evade an international court ruling.
 

Japan has ordered the slaughter of some 112,000 chickens after officials confirmed Sunday bird flu infections at a poultry farm in the south.
 

A Japanese cabinet minister visited a controversial war shrine in Tokyo on Saturday, in a move that sparked condemnation by South Korea, which along with China sees it as a symbol of Japan's past militarism.
 

Japanese consumers are keeping their wallets firmly closed after the first sales tax rise in 17 years, with luxury items and appliances suffering as one major department store reported a 25 percent drop in sales.
 

Three teenagers believed to be behind scams that raised US$4 million are being quizzed by Japanese police, reports said Thursday.
 

A young female scientist accused of fabricating data made a tearful apology live on Japanese television Wednesday for “mistakes” in her research, but insisted her ground-breaking conclusions on stem cells were accurate.
Japanese stem cell scientist stands by criticized research

 

Japan's main opposition leader on Tuesday chided Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for conservative statements on war history and voiced fear he could be a “destabilizing” factor in East Asia.
 

A senior Japanese politician has announced he is resigning as his party's leader, despite insisting that he spent an undeclared US$8 million loan not on politics but on personal items — including an ornamental rake.
Japan lawmaker announces plan to resign over US$8 mil. loan scandal

 
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