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Ground broken to build GSDF facility on Yonaguni Island near Senkakus

The Defense Ministry broke ground Saturday on a facility for a coastal surveillance unit to be deployed on Yonaguni Island, the westernmost Japanese island not far from a group of islands whose ownership is contested by China. "It's very important to take a solid surveillance posture on remote islands," Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera told reporters after attending the groundbreaking ceremony on the island.

Ground broken to build GSDF facility on Yonaguni Island near Senkakus

The Defense Ministry broke ground Saturday on a facility for a coastal surveillance unit to be deployed on Yonaguni Island, the westernmost Japanese island not far from a group of islands whose ownership is contested by China. "It's very important to take a solid surveillance posture on remote islands," Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera told reporters after attending the groundbreaking ceremony on the island.

4 Chinese naval vessels sail just outside Japanese waters near Okinawa

A missile-fitted destroyer and three other Chinese naval vessels sailed just outside Japanese territorial waters Monday near Okinawa Prefecture in the first such operation since Oct. 29, the Defense Ministry said. The destroyer, two frigates and a logistical supply ship sailed through the "contiguous" zone between Okinawa's Yonaguni and Iriomote islands for about three hours but remained outside the territorial waters, the ministry said.

Post-tsunami deaths outnumber disaster toll in one Japan area

Health complications stemming from Japan's 2011 tsunami have killed more people in one Japanese region than the disaster itself, the local authority said Thursday. Data compiled by officials and police show that almost three years after the huge waves smashed ashore, 1,656 people living in Fukushima prefecture have died from stress and other illnesses related to the disaster, compared with 1,607 who were killed in the initial calamity.

Tokyo's first Irish festival aims to promote friendship, understanding

The first major Irish festival in Japan will be held on March 16 in Tokyo, aiming to promote local understanding towards the European island country and mutual friendship, the Irish Embassy in Japan said. The "I Love Ireland" festival at Yoyogi Park in Shibuya Ward will mark the Irish national celebration of St. Patrick's Day, expecting 10,000 visitors, Irish Ambassador to Japan John Neary said at a recent press conference in Tokyo.

Japan files damages suit against Chinese captain over 2010 collision

The Japanese government filed a damages suit with the Naha District Court on Wednesday against the Chinese captain of a fishing boat that collided with Japan Coast Guard vessels in disputed waters off the Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands in September 2010. The 44-year-old skipper, Zhan Qixiong, has not responded to repeated claims for damages of 14.29 million yen to cover repair costs by the 11th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters in Naha, Okinawa Prefecture.

Japan to file damages suit vs. Chinese captain over 2010 collision

Japan will file a damages suit against the Chinese captain of a fishing boat that collided with a Japan Coast Guard ship in Japanese waters off the Senkaku Islands in 2010, transport minister Akihiro Ota said Wednesday. The 44-year-old skipper Zhan Qixiong has not responded to repeated claims for damages of 14.29 million yen to compensate repair costs by the 11th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters in Naha, Okinawa Prefecture.

Campaign begins for Yamaguchi gubernatorial election

Official campaigning for the Feb. 23 Yamaguchi gubernatorial election began Thursday, with three candidates in the race. The election is being held due to the resignation of Shigetaro Yamamoto as governor due to poor health and before the expiration of his four-year term.

U.S. gov't posts medical report on 1945 atomic bombings

The U.S. Energy Department has made available online a report compiled after the August 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on the medical effects of the bombs, according to a Japanese scholar. Shigenobu Nagataki, honorary professor at Nagasaki University, asked U.S. authorities last year to release the six-volume 1951 report, "Medical Effects of Atomic Bombs," which was known only to a limited number of researchers.

Two critical after Japan navy collision

Two people were critically ill Wednesday after their fishing boat collided with a Japanese naval vessel in waters between two of the country's main islands, officials said. Television footage showed the upturned hull of a small fishing boat in the Seto Inland Sea off Hiroshima after what the coastguard said was a collision at around 8:00 am (2300 GMT Tuesday) with the 8,900-ton Osumi, a naval transport ship. All four people aboard the fishing boat were pulled from the water.
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