Japan seeks biggest defense budget rise in 22 years
Reuters -- Aug 31
Japan's Defense Ministry said on Friday it was seeking a three percent increase in next year's budget allocation, the biggest rise in 22 years, with most of the growth linked to revised personnel costs and equipment imports made more expensive by a weaker yen.

The budget request for the year from April 2014 comes as Japan remains locked in a territorial spat with China over uninhabited East China Sea islets, fraying ties between Asia's two biggest economies and raising security concerns.

Saddled with hefty public debt, Japan had been cutting its defense spending in recent years. But Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who returned to power last December for a rare second term pledging to stand tough in the islands row, increased this year's defense budget for the first time in 11 years.

The ministry said it planned to request 4.82 trillion yen ($48.97 billion) in budget appropriations, up 3.0 percent from the current year.

Source: Reuters
Jul 29
McDonald's Holdings Co. (Japan) apologized Tuesday for a recent scandal over chicken meat provided by a Chinese producer, promising to do "whatever it takes" to ensure the safety of food on its menu. (Kyodo)
Jul 29
Russia criticized Japan on Tuesday for imposing new sanctions against Moscow over the recent shooting down of a Malaysian Airlines passenger jet in eastern Ukraine. (Jiji Press)
Jul 29
More than 8,580 people were taken to hospitals in the week through Sunday due to heat stroke or heat exhaustion and 15 died, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said Tuesday. (Kyodo)
Jul 29
A 16-year-old girl was sent to prosecutors Monday after she was arrested the day before on suspicion of killing a 15-year-old female classmate. (The Japan News)
Jul 29
A maternity clinic in Nagano Prefecture has overseen the birth of 118 babies to 79 married couples using sperm from the husbands' fathers, it has been learned. (The Japan News)
Jul 29
Restaurants across Japan serving grilled eel were busy on Tuesday with customers seeking to build up stamina to overcome the summer heat. (NHK)
Jul 29
During her first court hearing at the Tokyo District Court last week, Kasumi Tochinai, a former employee at staffing agency Pasona who has been charged with possession and use of stimulant drugs, came up with a few creative explanations for how she could have tested positive for illegal chemicals in her system. (Tokyo Reporter)
Jul 29
A series of anonymous murder confessions were posted on the popular 2channel Internet forum Saturday evening, prompting police to investigate their possible link with the death and dismemberment of 15-year-old Aiwa Matsuo in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture. (Japan Times)
Jul 28
Eleven people died, one person remains unconscious and two are missing after water-related accidents across Japan over the weekend, police and Fire and Disaster Management Agency officials said Monday. (Japan Today)
Jul 28
Police in Tokyo said Sunday they have arrested the father of TV "talent" and model Rola for allegedly defrauding Japan's national health insurance system. (Japan Today)
Jul 28
The results of a poll to pick the 16 singers who will perform on the next single by SNH48, the Shanghai-based sister group of the hugely popular all-female pop group AKB48, were released over the weekend at an event that drew more than 3,000 fans. (Japan Times)
Jul 28
Residents have taken part in a horse festival that boasts a history of over 1,000 years in Soma, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan. (NHK)
Jul 27
The Metropolitan Police Department on Friday launched a special team to deal with stalking, domestic violence and child and elder abuse. (The Japan News)
Jul 27
Police in Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture, said Saturday they have arrested a 24-year-old man who tried to get a 9-year-old girl into his car. (Japan Today)
Jul 26
South Korea's War Museum has retracted its decision to cancel an exhibition of the popular Japanese manga "One Piece" after a court ordered that the event should go ahead. (NHK)