Top government officials from Japan and the US have agreed to work together to improve the situation in Syria.
In a phone call on Saturday, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida told US Secretary of State John Kerry that he agrees it was highly likely chemical weapons were used in Syria.
He said the use of such weapons was unacceptable on humanitarian grounds. He said the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was making the situation worse by turning a blind eye to human suffering.
A civil war has been raging in the country since 2011.
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)