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February, 24, 2017

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Asia > Japan
Japan is planning for Emperor Akihito to retire and be replaced by his eldest son on January 1, 2019, reports said Wednesday, as the country works on a legal framework for its first abdication in 200 years.
 
CAL and Japan Airlines sign MOU to strengthen cargo and passenger cooperation
Taiwan's main carrier China Airlines and Japan Airlines agreed on Tuesday to strengthen cargo and passenger cooperation.
 
Hairspray and hangovers greet Japan's new adults
Draped in dazzling kimonos, thousands of expensively made-up young Japanese women marked their entry into adulthood on Monday -- with many planning a night on the booze to celebrate.
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Japan's ambassador to South Korea returned to Tokyo on Monday, reiterating its frustration over a statue of a "comfort woman" which has reignited a diplomatic row over Tokyo's wartime sex slavery.
 
A brisk start
Japanese bathers pray for a healthy 2017 while dipping in a cold-water tub with blocks of ice at a park adjacent to Teppozu Inari Shinto Shrine during a winter ritual in Tokyo, Sunday, Jan. 8. About 100 people gathered for the mid-winter event.
 
Bluefin tuna auctioned off for US$632,000
A Japanese sushi chain boss bid a winning 74.2 million yen (US$632,000) Thursday for a 212 kilogram bluefin tuna in what may be Tsukiji market's last auction at its current site in downtown Tokyo.
 
Lions and fish
A lion dance makes its way to a diner at a sushi restaurant at Asakusa district in Tokyo on Tuesday, Jan. 3.
 
Japanese emperor greets New Year well-wishers
Japan's Emperor Akihito delivered his traditional New Year address Monday with tens of thousands of people flocking to the Imperial Palace for what could be his last such appearance after he expressed his desire to abdicate.
 
A squirrel eats an offering on the altar on New Year's Day at the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine in Kamakura, near Tokyo, Sunday, Jan. 1. The temple, like many throughout Japan, was crowded over the New Year's weekend, with locals visiting to offer a prayer in hope of a fresh start in 2017.
 
Kim says N. Korea in 'final stages of test launching ICBM'
North Korea is in the "final stages" of developing an intercontinental ballistic missile, leader Kim Jong-Un said Sunday, claiming the country had significantly bolstered its nuclear deterrent in 2016.
 
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