Japan will temporarily recall its ambassador to South Korea, Nagamine Yasumasa, in protest at the installation of a girl's statue symbolizing Korean comfort women in front of the Japanese consulate-general in Busan, southern South Korea, Japan's top government spokesman said Friday.
Morimoto Yasuhiro, the consul-general in Busan, will also be recalled temporarily, Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide told a press conference.
Tokyo decided the strong measures, believing that the installation of the statue goes against the spirit of a Japan-South Korea agreement reached in December 2015 to "finally and irreversibly" resolve the issue of women who were forced into prostitution for Japanese troops before and during World War II.
The Japanese government's action is expected to throw cold water on its relationship with Seoul, which has shown signs of improvement since the landmark agreement, pundits said.
The statue in Busan, erected late last month by a South Korean civic group, is the second of its kind, after one in front of Japan's embassy in Seoul, which was set up in December 2011.
The United States, Japan and other countries surrounding North Korea are on high alert over the nation's provocative actions, including the possibility it would conduct its sixth nuclear test, as Tuesday marked the 85th anniversary of the foundation of its Korean People's Army. (the-japan-news.com)
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has decided to appoint Masayoshi Yoshino, a former State Minister of the Environment, as the new minister in charge of rebuilding areas hit by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. (NHK)
Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber, 23, will perform at Tokyo's Ajinomoto Stadium on Sept 23 and 24. It will be Bieber's fourth concert tour in Japan and his first visit since last August. (Japan Today)
Despite the initial excitement among major financial institutions, the Bank of Japan's push for exchange-traded funds tracking companies that actively raise employee pay or invest in new equipment has run aground. (Nikkei)
Japan's growing labor shortage threatens the nation's ubiquitous convenience stores, whose business model relies on an army of part-timers packing bento lunch boxes, manning cash registers and delivering goods 24/7. (Japan Today)
The labor ministry referred advertising agency Dentsu Inc. and three officials from its offices in Nagoya, Osaka and Kyoto to prosecutors on Tuesday on suspicion of violating the Labor Standards Law by making employees work overtime beyond legal limits. (Japan Times)