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's Maritime Self-Defense Force transport ship Osumi carrying a Patriot Advanced Capability-3, or PAC-3, surface-to-air missile battery arrived at the remote southwestern Japan island of Ishigaki Saturday in preparations for a possible missile launch by North Korea. (Jiji Press)
The annual number of accidents during gymnastic formation performances has exceeded 8,000 for four years in a row since fiscal 2011 in primary, middle and high schools, according to the Japan Sport Council (JSC). (the-japan-news.com)
As if accommodating Chinese visitors on their usual shopping sprees weren't enough, major Japanese retailers are now actively working to lure this demographic to their storefronts for the Lunar New Year. (Nikkei)
Sharp Corp. and Hon Hai Precison Industry Co. on Friday signed a contract granting the Taiwan electronics giant preferential rights to negotiate over a bailout plan for the struggling Japanese company. (the-japan-news.com)
The day before his arrest at his apartment for possession of stimulant drugs, former professional baseball player Kazuhiro Kiyohara visited a dealer in Gunma Prefecture, investigative sources revealed on Friday, reports Sports Hochi. (Tokyo Reporter)
The number of people charged with stimulant abuse in Japan tops 10,000 every year, and the number of such people aged 40 years or older has been increasing in particular, police said. (the-japan-news.com)
Police referred a 16-year-old high school student to prosecutors on Friday on suspicion of using software on other people's computers to obtain the online account details of several hundred people, including records of their online shopping. (Japan Times)