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February, 22, 2017

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Asia > Japan
140 buildings on fire in Japan wind-swept blaze
A restaurant fire whipped by high winds spread to at least 140 buildings Thursday in a small Japanese city on the Japan Sea coast.
 
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's cabinet on Thursday approved Japan's biggest annual defense budget in the face of North Korea's nuclear and missile threats and a territorial row with China.
 
Japan scraps 'Monju' experimental reactor
Japan formally approved a plan Wednesday to scrap an experimental fast-breeder nuclear reactor that drained government finances for decades without living up to hopes it would be a savior for the resource-poor country's energy needs.
 
A Japanese program aimed at accepting a small number of refugees from war-torn Syria is under fire for implying that pregnant women are not welcome.
 
Japan began killing about 122,000 farm birds on Tuesday to contain another outbreak of a highly contagious strain of avian flu, officials said.
 
The U.S. Marines on Monday resumed flights of their controversial Osprey aircraft in Japan, less than a week after a crash off the southern island of Okinawa sparked local protests.
 
Japan has begun slaughtering about 210,000 farm birds in northern Hokkaido to contain another outbreak of a highly contagious strain of avian flu, an official said Sunday.
 
Putin, Abe signal no resolution on island dispute
Russia and Japan on Friday signaled there was no resolution after a two-day summit to a decades-long territorial dispute that has blocked them from achieving a peace treaty to formally end World War II hostilities.
 
Smiley-faced success for emoji creator
From a humble smiley face with a box mouth and inverted "V's" for eyes, crude weather symbols, and a rudimentary heart -- emoji have now exploded into the world's fastest-growing language.
 
Charlotte's excellent adventure
This handout picture shows a pony that ran away from a pet shop in downtown Tokyo. The pony, a male miniature named Charlotte, enjoyed a brief taste of freedom -- and some grass -- before being gently coaxed back.
 
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