Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Sunday he will closely monitor how the U.S. Congress will react to President Barack Obama's decision to ask it to support a military strike punishing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime for the alleged use of chemical weapons.
"I took President Obama's announcement as the expression of his grave determination," Abe told reporters in Chiba Prefecture. "I will closely watch the process in the U.S. Congress."
Japan "will continue to closely cooperate with the United State and international community in collecting and analyzing information" on Syria, he also said. "We will work to ensure even a little improvement" in the situation.
Japan has been stung by its third political scandal in a week after the country's new industry minister - whose predecessor resigned over allegations of misspending - admitted that his staff had spent office money at a sex bar. (The Guardian)
The government said Friday it has chosen Nobel physics prize laureates Shuji Nakamura and Hiroshi Amano and five others as this year's winners of Japan's top cultural award, the Order of Culture. (Kyodo)
In possibly a legal first, a female civil servant on Tuesday sued the government over what she calls institutional sexism at the ministry she works for, citing almost two decades of blocked promotions and pay raises. (Japan Times)