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Japan bolstering defenses against North Korea threat, Abe says

As tensions continue to escalate in East Asia, Japan is bolstering defense measures in response to what Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called his nation’s most serious security threat since World War II. Abe outlined his plan Friday during a policy speech in parliament. His agenda included strengthening Japan’s missile defense …

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Tokyo Governor Sees Boost as Abe Dissolves Japan Parliament

Japan’s opposition forces appeared set to consolidate around Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, whose new political group narrowed a gap in opinion polls with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling party weeks ahead of a general election. Abe dissolved parliament on Thursday for an election expected on Oct. 22. The Democratic Party, …

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North Korea—the Deeper Issues

By Graham Fuller It’s hard to make up a character like Kim Jong Un—his demeanor that reeks callow youth, corpulent self-indulgence, bathing in the adulation of his attendant military brass who sport the highest crowned military visors in the business, the adoring public applause as he presides over another reckless …

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The Latest: Swiss president eyes mediation of NKorea crisis

The Latest on North Korea’s nuclear test and the world reaction (all times local): 6 p.m. Switzerland’s president says her country could help mediate the standoff between North Korea and other countries over its nuclear and missile programs. Doris Leuthard said Monday the small, proudly neutral Alpine country that has …

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North Korea says conducts ‘perfect’ hydrogen bomb test

North Korea conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on Sunday, which it said was an advanced hydrogen bomb for a long-range missile, marking a dramatic escalation of the regime’s stand-off with the United States and its allies. The announcement from Pyongyang came a few hours after international seismic …

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China’s Maritime Choke Points

By​ George Friedman for Stratfor — There is widespread interest in the rising tensions over the waters east of China. China has become increasingly assertive in the region, and regional powers from Japan to Singapore have become alarmed at China’s behavior. The Chinese recently built an island in the South …

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Trump wants to leave U.S. allies in the lurch

By Bill Schneider for Reuters — Thanks to Donald Trump, Americans now know what a populist foreign policy looks like: “Not isolationist, but America First.” That’s how the Republican presidential front-runner defined his views to an interviewer last week. “I like the expression,” Trump said, implying that he had never …

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The Japanese Government’s Decision To Postpone FM’s trip To Russia

The Levant – – Japan’s top government spokesman said on Friday that no decisions had yet been made about a possible visit by Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida to Russia. “As for Kishida’s visit to Russia and everything connected with it, nothing has been decided so far,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga …

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Russia And Japan: A Peace Treaty Conclusion

The Levant – – MOSCOW, September 18.. “Japanese Foreign Minister [Fumio] Kishida’s working visit to Russia will take place on September 20 to 22,” the Russian Foreign Ministry Sergey Lavrov , said.” His talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov are scheduled for the visit as well as [Kishida’s] participation …

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Japan, Jordan seek news on fate of ISIS captives

Reuters – Japan and Jordan scrambled on Friday to find out what had happened to two of their nationals being held by Islamic State, after a deadline passed for the release of a would-be suicide bomber being held on death row in Amman. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said every …

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In Japan, some blame the victims for Islamic State hostage crisis

Reuters – The images always share terrifying similarities: hostages kneeling in orange jumpsuits, a black-clad terrorist threatening a beheading. This time, however, the victims are Japanese, and the response of their government and the attitudes of their fellow citizens expose key differences from the standard Western response. Those differences may …

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