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Archive for Japan

Newsline: South Korea’s foreign ministry lashes out at Japan’s island claim

South Korea issued a strong protest against Japan’s territorial claim over disputed islands made in a national security strategy released on Friday while cautiously responding to Tokyo’s plans for an unprecedented military buildup. South Korea’s foreign ministry on Friday demanded an immediate removal of the territorial claims from Japan’s national strategy documents, saying in a statement that the move did nothing to help “building a future-oriented relationship” between the two countries. (https://neuters.de/world/asia-pacific/south-korea-protests-japans-island-claim-national-security-strategy-2022-12-16/) The foreign ministry later said it summoned a senior diplomat from Japan’s embassy in Seoul to lodge the protest. The islands known as Dokdo in Korea and Takeshima in Japan are controlled by Seoul with a small contingent of coast guards. In a separate statement, the foreign ministry said it hoped the implementation of Japan’s new security policy will be transparent and contribute to regional peace and stability while continuing to uphold the spirit of is pacifist constitution.

Newsline: Japanese ambassador meets Taliban official

The Taliban say one of their top officials has met with Japan’s ambassador to Afghanistan. This comes after Japan partially reopened its embassy in Kabul last month. The Taliban said their acting interior minister, Sirajuddin Haqqani, held talks with Okada Takashi in the capital on Sunday. (https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20221024_40/) The embassy said both sides exchanged candid views on issues including girls’ education and media freedom. Japan temporarily closed the embassy after the Taliban regained power last year. The meeting between Haqqani and Okada took place at a time when the international community is considering how to deal with the Taliban. The group has not been recognized as a legitimate government by any country so far.

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: U.S. Diplomat to Discuss North Korea’s Missile Launches With Japan, South Korean Counterparts

Deputy U.S. Secretary of State Wendy Sherman will discuss North Korea’s recent missile launches, along with other issues of regional security including China and Taiwan, at meetings with her Japanese and South Korean counterparts in Tokyo next week, a senior State Department official said. (https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2022-10-20/u-s-diplomat-sherman-to-discuss-n-korea-missile-launches-with-japan-s-korean-counterparts-official) “We will discuss a range of issues, including the DPRK’s numerous ballistic missile launches this year, the PRC (People’s Republic of China), and Russia’s unprovoked and devastating war against Ukraine,” the official said while briefing reporters on the talks from Oct. 24-26, adding the officials will also discuss tensions over Taiwan.

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: China’s top diplomat held seven-hour talks with high-ranked Japan official

Japan’s national security adviser met China’s top diplomat for seven hours of talks that covered topics including Taiwan and the war in Ukraine, a Japanese government official said Thursday. Accepting an invitation from China, Takeo Akiba travelled to the city of Tianjin, southeast of Beijing, to meet Yang Jiechi on Wednesday afternoon, the official told AFP. (https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/high-ranked-japan-and-china-officials-hold-seven-hour-talks/ar-AA10MHg4) Chinese state news agency Xinhua also reported that the pair had met, weeks before the countries commemorate the 50th anniversary of their normalised ties on September 29. In recent weeks, Japan has protested Chinese missiles that it believes landed in its economic waters during military drills around Taiwan, while China called visits by Japanese ministers to a controversial war shrine a “serious provocation”. But during the meeting, which included dinner, the high-ranked men took the opportunity to discuss an array of geopolitical issues. Akiba “conveyed Japan’s position” on Taiwan to Yang, and stressed the importance of “peace and stability” in the Taiwan Strait, the National Security Secretariat official said. According to Xinhua, Yang told Akiba that “Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory, and the Taiwan question bears on the political foundation of China-Japan relations and the basic trust and good faith between the two countries”. Akiba and Yang also talked about a perennial controversy over disputed islets in the East China Sea — known as the Senkaku by Tokyo and the Diaoyu by Beijing — the official said. In July, Japan lodged a protest with China over a Chinese naval vessel sailing near the islands.