Japan lodged on Monday a protest against Russia's deployment of land-to-ship missiles and troops on the Russian-occupied four northwestern Pacific islands, called Northern Territories in Japan.
The Japanese government finds it "regrettable" for Russia to build up military capabilities on the four islands "that are inherent territories of our nation," Defense Minister Tomomi Inada told her Russian counterpart, Sergei Shoigu, in Tokyo.
She also pointed out that the environment surrounding Japan's national security has become tougher due to progress in North Korea's missile and nuclear development and China's continued expansion in the East and South China Seas.
Meanwhile, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov agreed at their meeting in the capital the same day that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit Russia in late April to have a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Osaka Prefectural Police have arrested a 35-year-old man on charges of murder after his elderly neighbor was found stabbed to death, possibly the result of a feud over a pet dog, reports TBS News. (tokyoreporter.com)
Leading parcel delivery firm Yamato Transport Co. said Friday that it will raise its basic tariff for retail customers by ¥140-¥180 excluding tax in September, marking its first rate hike in 27 years. (the-japan-news.com)
As tension spikes on the Korean peninsula, a French amphibious assault carrier sailed into Japan's naval base of Sasebo on Saturday ahead of drills that risk upsetting China, which faces U.S. pressure to rein in North Korea's arms programs. (Japan Today)