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Archive for Japan

Newsline: Japan closes Haiti embassy

Japan has temporarily closed its embassy in Haiti due to the worsening security and humanitarian situation, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said on Monday. (https://news.yahoo.com/japan-temporarily-closes-haiti-embassy-231712480.html) It is unclear how soon the embassy will reopen, a ministry official said. Japan has been urging its citizens not to travel to Haiti for any reason and for nationals who already there to leave the country immediately. Haiti is facing acute fuel shortages due to a blockade by a coalition of gangs that are demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry, with economic activity coming to a halt and many hospitals forced to close or curtail their operations.

Newsline: Japan reopens embassy in Kyiv

Japan will reopen its embassy in Kyiv on Wednesday, the Japanese foreign ministry said in a statement. (https://uk.investing.com/news/world-news/japan-says-to-reopen-embassy-in-kyiv-on-wednesday-2771282) Japan temporarily closed its embassy in the capital on March 2.

Newsline: Japan expels Russian diplomat in retaliatory move

Japan gave a Russian diplomat six days on Tuesday to leave the country, according to the Japanese foreign minister. Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi’s office said on Tuesday that it summoned ambassador Mikhail Galuzin to notify him the unnamed diplomat is being expelled. The diplomat is based at the Russian Consulate General in Sapporo, Japan, a major northern city. Galuzin, the Russian ambassador to Japan, said the diplomat “did not engage in activities violating his authority” in a statement obtained by Kyodo News. (https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2022/10/04/japan-expels-russian-diplomat-retalliation/9241664899583/) The move comes after Russian officials accused Japan’s consul in the city of Vladivostok of espionage, detaining him for three hours before removing him from the country. Consul Tatsunori Motoki was declared persona non grata and returned home last week. Japan maintains his innocence. He was first detained in late September.

Newsline: Japan Demands Russian Apology Over Detention of Diplomat

Japan demanded an apology from Russia for what it saw as the unjust detention of one of its diplomats in Vladivostok, who Tokyo said was blindfolded and physically restrained after the Kremlin falsely accused him of spying. Top government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno told a regular news briefing in Tokyo on Tuesday that the diplomat committed no illegal activity and Russia had violated international conventions through the detention. “The treatment and accusations are absolutely unacceptable,” Matsuno said, adding the diplomat, who was detained on Monday, is facing no major health issues. (https://news.yahoo.com/japan-demands-russian-apology-over-024811870.html) Russia expelled a Japanese consul in Vladivostok, accusing the diplomat of paying for sensitive information. Tatsunori Motoki was given 48 hours to leave the country, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said, according to Tass.

Newsline: Man arrested for possessing ‘gunpowder’ near US Embassy in Tokyo

A 26-year-old male student was arrested on charges of violating the explosives control law after he was found in possession of what appeared to be homemade gunpowder while near the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo last month. Before his arrest, Shogo Koyama, a university student from Suita, Osaka Prefecture, had been quoted as saying during voluntary questioning that he had “come to throw (explosives) into the embassy” after learning how to make the mixture online, according to investigative sources. (https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20220920/p2g/00m/0na/054000c) Koyama is suspected of placing around 160 grams of gunpowder into a cloth-wrapped cup and carrying it in his pocket while on the street in front the embassy around 9 p.m. on Aug. 8. He was stopped by a police officer on duty who noticed him acting suspiciously. The police have searched locations including the man’s house in Osaka Prefecture in western Japan and seized what are believed to be ingredients needed to make gunpowder.

Newsline: Diplomats from Japan, US, South Korea reaffirm joint stance on North Korea

Diplomats from Japan, the United States and South Korea reaffirmed their commitment on Wednesday to working together in response to any threat from North Korea, including a possible new nuclear test. The three senior diplomats in charge of North Korean affairs also underscored their efforts to strengthen their security partnership. Takehiro Funakoshi, director-general of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau of Japan’s Foreign Ministry, said the focus of the trilateral cooperation is North Korea and its accelerating nuclear and missile development. Sung Kim, the U.S. special envoy for North Korea, said the three countries are prepared for “all contingencies … in responding to (North Korea’s) provocations” and to protect allies in the region. Kim Gunn, South Korea’s special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, called for further efforts to ensure full implementation of sanctions against North Korea under United Nations Security Council resolutions. Funakoshi said he and his U.S. and South Korean counterparts, Sung Kim and Kim Gunn, were to discuss their countries’ responses to North Korea as they work together to enhance regional deterrence amid “a looming possibility of further provocations including another nuclear test.” (https://wtop.com/asia/2022/09/japan-us-s-korea-reaffirm-joint-response-to-n-korea-threat/) North Korea last conducted a nuclear test, its sixth, in 2017, and experts have noted signs of preparations for another test.

Newsline: Japan security adviser to meet China’s top diplomat

Arrangements are being made for Japanese national security adviser Takeo Akiba to visit China soon for talks with its top diplomat Yang Jiechi, the Jiji news agency said on Wednesday, citing unidentified government sources. (https://news.yahoo.com/japan-security-adviser-readies-meet-044126470.html) Akiba is likely to voice Japan’s concern over China’s military drills around Taiwan in the wake of a visit to the island by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and propose building stable and constructive Sino-Japanese ties, the agency added.

Newsline: Diplomacy between Japan and Asean seen as challenging

Japan’s diplomacy with Asean is seen to have become more challenging following the tensions that were precipitated by United States House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visit to Taiwan recently. Southeast Asia is seen as a region at the forefront of rivalry between Japan and China, but Asean is known for its principle of neutrality toward major powers, and its dialogue partners. According to a report in Kyodo News, some international relations experts said Tokyo should not try to pressure Asean into its camp if it wants to maintain a relationship of mutual trust with the 10-member group. The recent Asean foreign ministerial meeting in Phnom Penh, that also saw China, Japan, Russia and the United States participating in other sessions, is seen by some as a showdown between the world powers. (https://www.msn.com/en-my/news/national/challenging-diplomacy-between-japan-and-asean/ar-AA10u2cZ) Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan had China reacting furiously as Beijing considers it part of China. The Chinese reactions included the launch of a four-day, large-scale live-fire military drill near Taiwan using ballistic missiles, some of which fell into Japan’s exclusive economic zone. In an apparent protest at Japan’s siding with the core of the Western alliance over Taiwan and Ukraine, the Chinese and Russian foreign ministers — Wang Yi and Sergey Lavrov — had left their seats by the time their Japanese counterpart Yoshimasa Hayashi spoke at a parallel session of the East Asia Summit last Friday. China had also canceled one-to-one talks between Wang and Hayashi shortly before they were supposed to meet in the Cambodian capital.

Newsline: Former U.S. Ambassador to Japan Elected to Senate

Republican Bill Hagerty has won an open U.S. Senate seat in Tennessee, replacing retiring Sen. Lamar Alexander (R). Hagerty, who defeated Democrat Marquita Bradshaw, served as U.S. ambassador to Japan under President Trump from 2017 to 2019. When he stepped down as ambassador, Hagerty said, “These past two years have been the greatest of our lives. We will return to Tennessee with the warmest memories of this beautiful nation and the Japanese people. We will forever cherish the hospitality we have been shown here.” (http://www.rafu.com/2020/11/former-u-s-ambassador-to-japan-elected-to-senate/) Hagerty also fostered U.S.-Japan ties for three years from the late 1980s to the early 1990s while working in Tokyo for the Boston Consulting Group.

Newsline: China agrees on Japan’s ambassador appointment

China has agreed on Japan’s plan to name Hideo Tarumi, former deputy minister at the foreign minister’s Secretariat, as ambassador to China, sources familiar with bilateral relations said Sunday. Tarumi, 59, is expected to assume his duties in the new post as early as this year, subject to cabinet approval. (https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/08/30/national/politics-diplomacy/china-agrees-japans-ambassador-appointment/) There had been speculation that Beijing may not agree on Tarumi’s appointment as the Communist Party of China was watching his advanced intelligence capability with worry, the sources said. Beijing apparently agreed on his appointment to prevent its ties with Tokyo from worsening amid an escalation in tensions between China and the United States, the sources said. But a Japanese government source said Tarumi will have difficulty acting freely in China if he gets the Beijing post.