China's former ambassador to Japan appointed as foreign minister
Bloomberg -- Mar 17
Wang Yi, a career diplomat and former ambassador to Japan, was named China's foreign minister, as Asia's two biggest economies grapple with a territorial dispute in the East China Sea.
Wang, whose appointment was ratified by the National People's Congress in Beijing yesterday, replaces Yang Jiechi, 62, who was an interpreter for former U.S. President George H.W. Bush when he served as a diplomat in Beijing in the 1970s. Yang was named as one of five councilors to the State Council, the cabinet, which is headed by Premier Li Keqiang.
Wang, 59, will move from the Taiwan Affairs Office, where he was director. He was ambassador to Japan from 2004 to 2007, and previously headed the Foreign Ministry's Asia department. A visiting scholar at Georgetown University in 1997, he worked in Japan in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
High levels of a toxic substance called strontium-90 have been found in groundwater at the devastated Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan, the utility that operates the facility said on Wednesday. (Reuters )
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 )
Leaders of the Group of Eight nations on Tuesday condemned "in the strongest terms" any use of chemical weapons in Syria and called on all sides to allow U.N. investigators to look into their alleged use, as they wrapped up their two-day summit in Northern Ireland. (Kyodo )
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 )
Tokyo District Court decided on Monday to open planned examinations of three witnesses who are former senior members of the Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult and now death-row inmates, during an upcoming trial of another former senior Aum member. (Jiji Press )