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Japan lawmaker: I spent $8m undeclared loan on lucky charm

A leading Japanese politician insisted an undeclared $8 million loan had been spent on personal items, including a lucky bamboo rake, as a former Tokyo governor was indicted in another cash scandal Friday. Yoshimi Watanabe, the head of the minor opposition grouping Your Party has admitted receiving 800 million yen ($7.8 million) from the chairman of a leading cosmetic company, but denies it had anything to do with his political work.

Asian designers centre stage at Paris fashion

Asian designers on Thursday took to the catwalks at Paris fashion week with the sharp lines of South Korea's Wooyoungmi's scorched desert-inspired collection vying for attention with young Japanese designer Yusuke Takahashi's colourful exploration of traditional dyeing techniques for Issey Miyake. In a collection described as a departure from Wooyoungmi's "steady focus on her ideal man as a source of inspiration" the South Korean drew on winter thoughts of a "scorched desert landscape".

Hashimoto denies "comfort women" were sex slaves

Japan Restoration Party co-leader Toru Hashimoto, facing a barrage of criticism over his recent remarks about wartime sexual servitude, said Sunday he does not believe that so-called comfort women were "sex slaves who were forced into service through violence, threat and abduction." Hashimoto, who doubles as Osaka mayor, reiterated in a TV program that Japan "has a responsibility" toward the women, but said it is "unfair" to single out Japan.
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