Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed on Friday that he would not "tolerate" any challenge to Japanese control over the contested Diaoyutai Islands, which are called the Senkakus in Japan and are also claimed by Taiwan, after China's growing incursions into the area.
"We simply cannot tolerate any challenge now and in the future. No nation should make any miscalculation or underestimate the firmness of our resolve," Abe said at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.
"No one should ever doubt the robustness of the Japan-US alliance," he added.
Speaking after talks at the White House with US President Barack Obama, Abe added that "I have absolutely no intention to climb up the escalation ladder."
He called for the two nations to work on common interests and called Japan's relations with China "among the most important" with any country.
"The doors are always open on my side for the Chinese leaders," Abe said.
The Japanese leader insisted that history and international law proved that the islands "are Japan's sovereign territory."
Abe said that no one contested Japan's sovereignty between 1895, when Tokyo annexed the islands, and 1971, the year before the US returned the islands along with Okinawa to Japan after seizing them in World War II.
The estimated number of people who visited Japan in May jumped 31.2 pct from a year before to 875,400, topping 800,000 for the first time in the month, the Japan National Tourism Organization said Wednesday. (Jiji Press )
The number of people who committed suicide in Japan in 2012 was 27,858, dropping below 30,000 for the first time in 15 years, the Cabinet Office said in a white paper on Tuesday. The figure was 2,800 fewer than in 2011. (Japan Today )
A collection of materials related to a 17th century mission sent by a Japanese feudal lord to Europe and the world's oldest autographic diary left 10 centuries ago by a Japanese regent have been selected for the UNESCO Memory of the World registry, the Japanese education ministry said Wednesday. (Global Post )
Almost 1,500 people were transported to hospitals by ambulance due to heatstroke last week, up sharply from 942 in the preceding week, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said Tuesday. (Japan Times )
Among about 200,000 traffic signals nationwide, 16 percent are being used beyond the end of the expected lifetime of their electrical systems and some have even toppled over due to age, according to the National Police Agency. (Yomiuri )
In May, Akira Ikoma, the editor of a guide to men's entertainment called Ore no Tabi (My Journey), said that "Abenomics" had caused a spike in prices at high-end soapland bathhouses in Tokyo. However, the same editor tells Shukan Post (June 28) that the initiative is not impacting the low-end market in the same way. (Tokyo Reporter )