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December, 5, 2016

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Asia > Japan
Japan will request a record defense budget next year amid growing worries over North Korea and tensions with China, reports said Friday.
Japan will develop a new land-to-sea missile as part of plans to beef up its defence of remote southern islands, as tensions with mainland China increase over the disputed territory, a report said Sunday.
Cool Kitty
Japanese character Hello Kitty joins waitresses who work in Akihabara district as they sprinkle water on a perimeter of a shrine during an annual summer event at Kanda Myojin shrine in Tokyo, Sunday, Aug. 14. The event was held as a countermeasure to urban heat islands.
Japan restarted a nuclear reactor on Friday despite a court challenge by local residents, in a boost for Tokyo's faltering post-Fukushima push to bring back atomic power.
Japanese emperor hints at abdication in national address
Emperor Akihito said Monday his advancing age and weakening health mean he may no longer be able to carry out his duties, setting the stage for Japan to prepare for an historic abdication.
Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito may be heir to one of the world's oldest monarchies, but he is not shy about knocking the institution he represents or his country's warring past.
Japan warms up to emperor's possible abdication
Japanese will tune in to Emperor Akihito's rare video message Monday following reports that he would abdicate in the next few years, which initially came as shock but was welcomed by many as a deserved rest for the 82-year-old beloved monarch.
Japan marks Hiroshima anniversary
Japan on Saturday marked 71 years since the city of Hiroshima was destroyed by a U.S. atomic bomb, as its mayor urged the world to unite in abolishing nuclear weapons.
Japan summoned Chinese diplomats Saturday to protest after six Chinese coast guard vessels approached disputed East China Sea islands accompanying a fleet of hundreds of Chinese fishing boats.
Japan's new defense head warns on N. Korea, China
Japan's hawkish new defense minister singled out North Korean provocations and Chinese use of "force" in territorial disputes on Thursday as she reviewed troops on her first day in the job.
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