Japanese climbers stranded on N.Z. peak may not be rescued until weekend

INTERNATIONAL Two Japanese climbers stranded by atrocious weather on New Zealand’s highest peak for five days may not be rescued before the weekend, searchers said Wednesday. (5) [MAINICHI]

U.S. serviceman’s World War II photo album returns home

INTERNATIONAL The war has finally ended for 90-year-old Tokio Watanabe. The former Japanese soldier, who fought in the Philippines in World War II and was later captured by Soviet troops, recently had his wish partially fulfilled to return a belonging that had long weighed on his mind: a photo album of a U.S. serviceman. [ASAHI]

Japan to pull military from Iraq by year’s end

INTERNATIONAL Japan will pull its Air Self-Defense Force out of Iraq, part of an effort to withdraw its 210 military personnel from the country by the end of 2008, Prime Minister Taro Aso said Friday. [CNN]

All 9 Japanese trapped in Mumbai hotels freed

INTERNATIONAL All nine Japanese nationals known by the Japanese Foreign Ministry to have been trapped in two hotels in Mumbai following a series of attacks have managed to escape, a senior ministry official said Friday evening. [KYODO]

China to welcome first Japanese warship since WWII

INTERNATIONAL China prepared Tuesday to welcome the first Japanese war ship to visit since World War II in a dramatic sign of improving relations between East Asia’s two major powers. [AFP]

Japan apologizes, offers compensation to Taiwan over boat sinking

INTERNATIONAL Japan officially apologized to Taiwan on Friday and reiterated its willingness to offer compensation for a ship collision earlier this month that sparked a diplomatic row. [KYODO]

Crown Prince attends Brazil fetes

INTERNATIONAL Crown Prince Naruhito attended a ceremony Wednesday hosted by Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in Brasilia to celebrate the centennial of Japanese emigration to Brazil. [THE JAPAN TIMES]

Chinese demonstrators decry gas deal with Japan

INTERNATIONAL A small Beijing crowd of Chinese protesters on Wednesday denounced a compromise with Japan over disputed undersea gas, saying the deal could betray national interests. [REUTERS]

Interviews open for Indonesian nurses

INTERNATIONAL Japanese government officials in Jakarta have begun interviewing Indonesians hoping to work as nurses or caregivers under the Japan-Indonesia Economic Partnership Agreement. [ASAHI]

Japanese tourist held captive in Iran apologizes for ‘causing trouble’

INTERNATIONAL A 23-year-old Japanese tourist who was freed Saturday after being held captive since October by bandits in southeastern Iran apologized Monday for having caused trouble to the governments of Japan and Iran. (1)

N. Korea to reopen probe into abductions

INTERNATIONAL North Korea has promised to reopen its investigation into Japanese abducted by state agents and cooperate in handing over four hijackers holed up in Pyongyang since 1970 after they commandeered a Japan Air Lines plane on a domestic flight. [ASAHI]

Lucie Blackman’s parents split over Obara appeal

INTERNATIONAL The appeal against the acquittal of Joji Obara on charges of being involved in the death of Lucie Blackman is dividing the parents of the slain Tokyo bar hostess. (1) [KYODO]

Japan defense think tank warns of China’s space development

INTERNATIONAL China’s evolving space development should be closely watched for its potential impact on the country’s military buildup, a Japanese Defense Ministry think tank report said Thursday. [KYODO]

Health ministry suspends imports of Italian mozzarella

INTERNATIONAL The health ministry has suspended imports of Italian-made buffalo mozzarella after high levels of dioxin were found in the cheese, an official said Wednesday. [AFP]

Search for Japanese man missing from sunken U.S. ship suspended

INTERNATIONAL The U.S. Coast Guard said that bad weather forced it to suspend the search for the last missing crew member of the sunken U.S. fishing ship Alaska Ranger off the coast of the Aleutian Islands on Monday night. [KYODO]

Slain Briton’s family asks Japanese police, public to help catch killer

INTERNATIONAL The family of a British woman killed a year ago in Japan appealed to police and the public on Monday for help in finding her suspected killer. (2) [MAINICHI]

The interior of a Ippudo ramen restaurant in Fukuoka.

Photo: Yuichi Sakuraba. Creative Commons

Ippudo hopes to bring Japanese ramen boom in U.S.

INTERNATIONAL Ippudo, the famous Japanese ramen noodles chain originating from Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan, has opened its first store outside Japan in New York City with hopes of bringing the Japanese ramen boom to the United States. [KYODO]

French Prime Minister to visit Japan, nuclear plant

INTERNATIONAL French Prime Minister Francois Fillon will visit Japan next month on a trip that includes a tour of a controversial new nuclear plant, Tokyo’s foreign ministry said Friday. [AFP]

Retired LAPD detective duo return to investigate Miura case

INTERNATIONAL Retired Los Angeles detectives Jimmy Sakoda and Louis Ito — who led the probe into the 1981 shooting of the wife of Japanese businessman Kazuyoshi Miura — have returned as investigators of the case, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said Wednesday. [THE JAPAN TIMES]

Legal steps to transfer Miura to California cause unexpected delay

INTERNATIONAL Legal proceedings to decide whether to transfer to Los Angeles Kazuyoshi Miura, currently being held on murder and conspiracy charges over the 1981 shooting of his wife, are taking longer than anticipated due to the case being handled in two separate locations. (1) [YOMIURI]

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