As the world gets tougher on China, Japan tries to thread a needle
economictimes -- Jul 27
Earlier this year, as it became clear that the coronavirus pandemic was not going to pass quickly, the Japanese government delayed plans for what would be the first state visit by a Chinese leader to Tokyo since 2008.

Now, with Chinese military aggression rising in the region and Beijing cracking down on Hong Kong, Japan is considering canceling Xi Jinping’s visit altogether — but very gingerly.

“We are not in the phase of arranging a concrete schedule now” was how Toshimitsu Motegi, the foreign minister, put it this month.

While its top allies have taken a harder line on China — especially the United States, which dramatically escalated tensions this past week by closing the Chinese Consula ..

It has abandoned plans to purchase an American missile defence system, which in part had been considered a shield against China. And the government has continued to tiptoe around the issue of the state visit by Xi, even as polls show that most Japanese believe it should be scrapped.

News source: economictimes
Nov 28
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Friday that shorter hours for bars and restasurants serving alcohol would be "crucial" in stemming the coronavirus spread, with other major cities Osaka, Nagoya and Sapporo having already taken or getting set to take similar steps. (Japan Today)
Nov 28
The Diet on Friday gave the green light to stop Saturday as well as next-day delivery of standard postal mail to address a worker shortage and falling demand due to increased use of the internet. (Japan Today)
Nov 25
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government is poised to ask bars and restaurants that serve alcohol to shorten their hours. (NHK)
Nov 25
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has reasserted his country's sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands. He stressed the necessity of avoiding any action that could complicate matters in the waters around the islands. (NHK)
Nov 24
The Japanese government is considering giving a new honorific title to female imperial family members who lose their royal status after marriage to enable them to engage in public duties, government sources said Monday. (Kyodo)
Nov 23
Governors across Japan have called on the government to let them know as soon as possible about any changes to its programs designed to promote travel and dining. (NHK)
Nov 23
Chinese state media lashed out against Japan and Australia last week over their “confrontational” new defense pact and said the two countries would “pay a corresponding price” if it threatens China’s security. (TomoNews US)
Nov 23
Infectious disease experts have weighed in on Saturday's decision by the government to review its Go To Travel tourism promotion campaign, criticizing the move as too late and likely to have little effect in preventing the further spread of COVID-19. (Japan Times)
Nov 22
Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide has announced that he's partially halting government programs brought in to boost travel and dining out. (NHK)
Nov 19
Japan will adopt stronger security requirements for drones used in defense and infrastructure surveillance next fiscal year, a move that will essentially shut out Chinese-made devices from government procurement. (Nikkei)
Nov 18
Japan's Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide says his country and Australia have reached broad agreement on a pact related to joint exercises by the Self-Defense Forces and the Australian military. (NHK)
Nov 17
Japan's Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide has conveyed to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison hope for a stronger bilateral partnership to realize a free and open Indo-Pacific. (NHK)
Nov 17
Hokkaido's local government heads agreed Monday to ask residents of Sapporo to refrain from nonessential outings following back-to-back days of record coronavirus infections in the region. (Japan Times)
Nov 17
The International Olympic Committee has awarded former Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo its highest honor for his contribution to the Olympic movement. (NHK)
Nov 17
A subtle change in Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's phrasing of a key Japanese foreign policy concept -- a "free and open Indo-Pacific" -- has raised questions about whether Tokyo has shifted its stance. (Kyodo)
Nov 16
Leaders from 15 Asia-Pacific nations have signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP, a huge free economic zone. (NHK)
Nov 15
Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide says he will work with Southeast Asian countries to fight the coronavirus. (NHK)
Nov 14
Japan's Regulatory Reform Minister Kono Taro says the use of personal seals will likely be abolished for most government paperwork. (NHK)
Nov 14
Japan will seek to keep in step with the new U.S. administration under President-elect Joe Biden in taking fiscal stimulus steps to revive the pandemic-hit world economy, while watching whether Washington will seek to return to a Trans-Pacific free trade pact it quit three years ago, Japanese officials say. (Japan Times)
Nov 13
Japan's Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide says US President-elect Joe Biden has suggested that Washington will help Japan defend the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea under the bilateral security treaty. (NHK)