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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to hold snap elections on Dec. 14, two years ahead of schedule, as he seeks to bolster his public support by delaying another scheduled tax hike, reports said Saturday.

Japanese auto parts maker Takata said Friday that US justice authorities have opened a criminal investigation into its exploding airbags, which have been linked to at least five driver deaths.
Takata hit with US criminal probe over exploding airbags


Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe could call a snap election for next month, two years early, with a plan to boost his support by delaying another scheduled tax hike, reports said Wednesday.

More than three years into Japan's massive cleanup of the tsunami-damaged nuclear plant, only a tiny fraction of the workers are focused on the key tasks of dismantling the broken reactors and removing radioactive fuel rods.

A man died after setting himself on fire in a Tokyo public park in apparent protest over Japan's military policies, media reports say.

Japanese auto parts maker Takata is facing the biggest test in its 80-year history amid lawsuits, a possible criminal probe, and accusations of “deception and obfuscation” over an air bag defect linked to several U.S. deaths.

China and Japan “need each other,” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Tuesday as he called for the testy Asian neighbors to step up tentative efforts to put deep hostility behind them.

Opinion polls in Japan's far southern Okinawa islands have given an anti-U.S. base candidate the edge in next weekend's gubernatorial election, a potential setback for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Midterm earnings reports from companies listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange have shown higher profits overall thanks to the weaker yen, particularly among automobile, electronics and other manufacturers that export goods or make products overseas.

A governor gave final approval Friday for a nuclear power plant to restart in southern Japan, the first to resume operations under new safety rules imposed in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima Dai-ichi meltdowns caused by an earthquake and tsunami.
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