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S. Korea criticizes Japan's claim over islets in textbooks

South Korea on Friday criticized the Japanese government's move to include Tokyo's territorial claim to South Korean-held islands in elementary school textbooks. "Our government strongly criticizes the Japanese government's approval of elementary textbooks that stepped up the level of provocation over Dokdo," a statement by the Foreign Ministry said, referring to the disputed islands by their Korean name.

Abe, Obama to hold summit April 24 in Tokyo

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Barack Obama plan to hold a meeting April 24 in Tokyo where they are expected to reaffirm the robust Japan-U.S. alliance, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Friday. Japan will invite Obama on April 24 and 25 as a state guest, though the exact date of his arrival is not immediately known, Suga said at a news conference, indicating Obama may arrive in Japan on April 23.

Virginia governor signs East Sea bill despite Japan's objections

Gov. Terry McAuliffe has signed into law a bill requiring Virginia textbooks to note that the waters between Japan and the Korean Peninsula, commonly known as the Sea of Japan, are also referred to as the East Sea, the Washington Post reported in its online edition Thursday. Virginia is believed to be the first state to mandate the change, lobbied for by Korean-Americans who argue that the term "Sea of Japan" is an artifact of Japan's past colonialism.

Korean activists urge Chinese not to give up on forced labor lawsuits against Japanese

BEIJING, April 3 (Yonhap) -- A group of South Koreans who won a landmark lawsuit last year against Japanese firms for forced labor during World War II held a rare meeting on Thursday to discuss ways to help Chinese plaintiffs in their fresh lawsuit against Mitsubishi Materials Corp. seeking compensation for wartime forced labor.

Japan relaxes arms export regime to fortify defense

By Kiyoshi Takenaka and Nobuhiro Kubo TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan eased its weapons export restrictions on Tuesday in the first major overhaul of arms transfer policy in nearly half a century, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe seeks to fortify ties with allies and bolster the domestic defense industry.

N. Korea warns Japan over de facto embassy in Tokyo

BEIJING, April 1 (Yonhap) -- North Korea warned Japan against selling a property in Tokyo that serves as the North's de facto embassy during their first high-level talks in more than a year, the chief Pyongyang delegate said Tuesday, adding that there would be "no need" for progress in bilateral talks unless Japan addresses the issue.

No progress in N. Korea-Japan talks unless Tokyo resolves pro-Pyongyang office

BEIJING, April 1 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's ambassador in charge of talks to normalize relations with Japan said Tuesday that there will be no progress in high-level talks between the two sides unless Japan resolves the issue of a pro-Pyongyang office in Tokyo. Song Il-ho made the remarks as he left for Pyongyang from Beijing, after wrapping up two days of talks here with Japanese officials for discussions expected to focus on the North's abduction of Japanese citizens decades ago.

N. Korea slams Japan's approval to sell de facto embassy building

A committee providing support to North Korean citizens living abroad on Friday denounced a Japanese court's approval to sell Pyongyang's de facto embassy building in Tokyo to a property dealer, describing it as "political persecution," and warned it will take countermeasures. In a statement carried by the Korean Central News Agency, the Korean Committee for Aiding Overseas Compatriots did not mention what these measures would be against the sale of the headquarters of the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan, known as Chongryon.

N. Korea slams Japan's approval to sell de facto embassy building

A committee providing support to North Korean citizens living abroad on Friday denounced a Japanese court's approval to sell Pyongyang's de facto embassy building in Tokyo to a property dealer, describing it as "political persecution," and warned it will take countermeasures. In a statement carried by the Korean Central News Agency, the Korean Committee for Aiding Overseas Compatriots did not mention what these measures would be against the sale of the headquarters of the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan, known as Chongryon.

China's Xi says Japan's wartime atrocities 'fresh in our memory'

BERLIN (Reuters) - Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Friday during a visit to Berlin that Japan's wartime atrocities were still "fresh in our memory". Japan occupied parts of China in the 1930s and 1940s. In December, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe angered China and South Korea by visiting Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine, which they see as a symbol of Japan's wartime aggression as it honors convicted war criminals as well as others who died in battle.
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