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Japan to enhance cooperation with U.S. during Obama visit: Abe

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday Japan and the United States will deepen bilateral cooperation in security and other areas when President Barack Obama visits Tokyo later this month. The two leaders "will stress the roles of the Japan-U.S. alliance to contribute to peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region," Abe told a meeting of the government and ruling parties. "We will confirm the strong Japan-U.S. alliance and work out further concrete cooperation," he added.

Japan's Abe closer to deal on looser limits on military

By Linda Sieg and Nobuhiro Kubo TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government and ruling party are close to a consensus on the need to ease the pacifist constitution's constraints on the military's ability to fight alongside allies abroad, but have yet to persuade their junior coalition partner to agree to the historic change.

Japan's consumption tax rate raised for 1st time in 17 years

Japan's consumption tax rate was raised Tuesday for the first time in 17 years, with concern mounting that the 3-percentage-point jump to 8 percent will hurt the economy and thwart Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's attempt to beat nearly two decades of deflation. The first round of the two-stage tax hike is aimed at covering swelling social security costs for Japan's graying population, which would help boost government tax revenues and restore the nation's fiscal health, the worst among major industrialized economies.

Japan's consumption tax raised for 1st time in 17 years

Japan's consumption tax rate was raised Tuesday for the first time in 17 years, with economic data suggesting the 3-percentage-point jump to 8 percent will hurt the economy and thwart Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's attempt to beat nearly two decades of deflation. The first round of the two-stage tax hike is aimed at covering swelling social security costs for Japan's graying population, which would help boost government tax revenues and restore the nation's fiscal health, the worst among major industrialized economies.

Gov't to take "necessary measures" following consumption tax hike: Abe

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Tuesday the government will take necessary measures to support the economy in the wake of the first consumption tax rate hike in 17 years. "We cannot overlook an opportunity of breaking away from deflation," Abe told reporters at his official residence. "We will take necessary measures in consideration of people's lives." His comments came after Japan's consumption tax rate was raised 3 percentage points to 8 percent Tuesday. ==Kyodo

Abe bets he can break Japan sales tax jinx with April 1 rise

By Linda Sieg TOKYO (Reuters) - Shinzo Abe has already ensured himself a place in Japan's history books with his comeback as prime minister five years after a brief, troubled first term. Now he aims to break another jinx by implementing a sales tax increase, a move that has been the downfall of previous leaders.

(News Focus) S. Korea, Japan have long way to go to repair ties

By Chang Jae-soon BERLIN, March 26 (Yonhap) -- U.S. President Barack Obama successfully played the role of a dialogue broker between South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday, but his efforts are unlikely to lead to any immediate warming of chilly relations between the two American allies.

Japan-S.Korea meet a chance to see 'real Abe'

Tokyo Wednesday hailed the first summit between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Park Geun-Hye as a chance for the leaders to build a rapport after more than a year of backbiting. The talks in The Hague were hosted by US President Barack Obama, whose administration is increasingly frustrated by incessant sniping between its two major Asian allies. "It seemed that she did not have a good impression of the prime minister, so I think she was able to get a glimpse of his real personality," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters.

Park agrees with Obama, Abe to work closely on N. Korea

By Chang Jae-soon THE HAGUE/BERLIN, March 26 (Yonhap) -- The leaders of South Korea, the United States and Japan agreed Tuesday to convene their chief negotiators on the North Korean nuclear issue as they held rare three-way talks amid American efforts to mend ties between Seoul and Tokyo. The meeting marked the first formal talks between South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe since they took office more than a year ago, possibly signaling a thaw in strained relations between Seoul and Tokyo.

Abe, Park meet in U.S.-brokered trilateral summit

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Park Geun Hye held their first formal talks Tuesday in a U.S.-brokered trilateral summit with North Korean issues top of the agenda. The three-way summit with U.S. President Barack Obama was arranged in the hope that face-to-face talks between Abe and Park will help the two countries to ease tensions and enhance trilateral efforts to deal with regional problems such as North Korea's nuclear ambitions.
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