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S. Korea demands Japan take sincere steps to realize summit

South Korea is open to a summit with Japan but demands Japan first take sincere steps on historical issues to create the right conditions for talks to produce substantial results, a spokesman for South Korean President Park Geun Hye said Monday.

Gov't may put off decision on collective self-defense

The Japanese government may postpone until the summer officially changing its constitutional interpretation to enable the country to come to the defense of allies under attack, amid calls from within the ruling coalition for a careful debate on the matter, government and coalition sources said Sunday. The government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had planned to change the interpretation through a decision by the Cabinet by the June 22 end of the current session of parliament.

U.S. welcomes Abe's intention not to retract sex slave apology

The United States on Friday welcomed Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's confirmation that his government will not retract its 1993 apology for forcing women into sexual slavery during World War II. "We welcome Prime Minister Abe's statements in the Diet on March 14, and consider the comments a positive development," said a U.S. State Department spokesman.

Japan PM Abe says 'no change' to wartime sex slave apology

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Friday that his government would not revise a landmark 1993 "comfort women" apology, and said he was "deeply pained" by the suffering of women drawn into a system of wartime brothels. Abe, who has made similar remarks in the past, has faced criticism for his government's plan to review what is known as the Kono statement, which acknowledged official complicity in the coercion of military sex slaves, a historical legacy that draws raw resentment in neighbouring South Korea.

Japan opposition lawmaker urges Abe to impose sanctions on Russia

A senior Japanese opposition lawmaker urged Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government on Thursday to impose sanctions against Russia over the situation in Ukraine. "It is important to be in step with the United States and European countries and join them in sanctions," Seiji Maehara, former president of the Democratic Party of Japan, told reporters during a trip to Washington.

LDP eyes law to monitor foreign-owned property near defense facilities

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party is preparing legislation that would empower the state to enter foreign-owned properties near bases of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces and the U.S. military to examine how the land is used, according to a gist of the measure obtained Thursday. The legislation, which is being drafted by a specially appointed LDP panel, would require such properties to be inspected every three years. The panel may also recommend the government consider regulating real estate transactions around defense facilities.

Japan lawmaker urges Abe effort on US, S.Korea

An influential Japanese opposition lawmaker called Wednesday on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to work for more stable relations with the United States and South Korea after rifts over historical disputes. Seiji Maehara, a former foreign minister and prominent member of the largest opposition Democratic Party of Japan, said that close allies Washington and Tokyo would inevitably have disagreements but should address them privately.

Japan's Abe seeks trilateral summit with South Korea, U.S

By Nobuhiro Kubo TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan is trying to arrange a trilateral summit with South Korea and the United States for this month, a government official said on Wednesday, in a bid to thaw Tokyo's frozen relations with Seoul. Seoul appears cool to the idea of a meeting of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, South Korean President Park Geun-hye and U.S. President Barack Obama on the sidelines of a global nuclear-security summit in the Hague, Netherlands, on March 24-25.

Japan's ruling bloc eyes approving new weapons export rules

Japan's ruling parties responded positively Wednesday to government-presented draft new principles on arms exports, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe tries to update Tokyo's long-held restrictive policy. The pacifist junior coalition partner New Komeito party relaxed its stance against the new guidelines, which they fear would open the way for arms exports to be expanded without clear limits, and is now ready to work out details.

New York Times accepts Japan's request to correct editorial on Abe

The New York Times has accepted the Japanese government's request for correcting its editorial earlier this month on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's view on history, the Foreign Ministry said Wednesday. The daily admitted March 5 in its online edition that the March 2 editorial "incorrectly stated" Abe's government may invalidate Japan's 1993 apology over Korean women forced to serve in military brothels during World War II. It came in response to Japan's protest, the ministry's press secretary, Kuni Sato, said at a press conference.
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