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Japan's cabinet on Thursday approved a set of bills bolstering the role and scope of the military, as the pacifist country redefines its position in the increasingly roiled Asia-Pacific region.
Japanese cabinet gives its approval to rules covering expansion of the military


Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is moving ahead this week with legislation that would boost the military's international role, in a significant shift of the country's pacifist policies.

A Japanese zoo said Thursday it is rethinking the name of a baby monkey after a public poll decided on "Charlotte," following complaints it was disrespectful to the UK's newborn princess.

Japan's meteorological agency on Wednesday raised a volcanic warning for the popular hot springs resort of Hakone by one notch, forbidding access to a hiking trail.

Japan launched a major push at the United Nations on Tuesday to rally support for efforts to finally resolve the issue of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea four decades ago.

The United States and Japan will work toward strengthened economic ties, including promoting more direct investment in each other's markets and approval of a Pacific trade agreement, officials said Friday.
Abe touts economic synergy with US in visit


Japan is planning to pledge a 26 percent cut in its greenhouse gas emissions from 2013 levels, ahead of a global summit on climate change this year, officials said Friday.

Millions of Japanese seniors could receive iPads under a program to supply the elderly with specially equipped tablets that remind them when to take medicine and advise where to find community support services.

Shinzo Abe became the first Japanese prime minister to address a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress on Wednesday, offering heartfelt testimony on the need for deeper ties while facing controversy over his views of World War II.
Abe offers 'deep remorse' over World War II


The final suspect in the 1995 deadly nerve gas attack on the Tokyo subway was jailed for life on Thursday, for his part in a crime that shocked the world.

The group representing Japan's zoos and aquariums said Thursday it was baffled by its exclusion from a global body over the way its members catch dolphins.

The Bank of Japan (BOJ) on Thursday cut its annual growth and inflation forecasts, as a slate of tepid data highlight weakness in the world's number three economy, while analysts expect further monetary easing later in the year.

Japanese carrier ANA said Thursday its annual net profit more than doubled on robust international business, but rival Japan Airlines saw its bottom line worsen as the weak yen undercut lower fuel prices.

Shinzo Abe will become the first Japanese prime minister to address a joint session of the U.S. Congress, expected Wednesday to bring a message of deepening economic and security ties in the face of mainland China's growing clout.
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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to address joint session of United States Congress

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