Princess Aiko’s Yearbook Essay: “Praying for Peace in the World”

On March 22, the Imperial Household Agency announced that Toshinomiya Aiko-sama, the daughter of Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako, had written an essay for Gakushuin Girls’ Junior High School memorial yearbook on the occasion of her graduation. Princess Aiko’s essay, titled “Praying for Peace in the World,” is reprinted below in full:   […]

Defense Minister Tomomi Inada’s visit to Yasukuni Shrine: A tribute to ‘priceless lives’

Defense Minister Tomomi Inada visited Yasukuni Shrine on December 29, 2016, and later answered questions from a group of reporters. A transcript of the discussion is below:    Q: What did you write in the guest book?   A: I made the following entry: “December 29, 2016, Defense Minister, Tomomi Inada”   Q: What about […]

Did Murakami’s “Killing Commendatore” Restart a History War?

An unforeseen proxy war is escalating over world-famous author Haruki Murakami’s first new full-length novel in four years, Killing Commendatore (Kishidancho Goroshi). In the book, one of Murakami’s characters expresses his doubts about the number of victims of the Nanjing Incident in 1937 which occurred under the Japanese military’s occupation of China during the Fifteen-Year […]

Japan and the U.S. Conduct Joint Operations in the East China Sea

The Sankei Shimbun has learned that earlier this week, a Maritime Self-Defense Force fleet and an American carrier strike force led by the nuclear-powered carrier USS Carl Vinson began joint operations in the East China Sea. It is rare for officials to confirm full-scale drills carried out jointly between U.S. carrier groups and Japanese Maritime […]

Reopening the Abduction Case Files – Part Five: “Something strange is happening along the Sea of Japan”

This article originally appeared in the Sankei Shimbun morning edition, September 4, 2012.    A suspected case of an abduction carried out by North Korea was confirmed as fact at a summit between the leaders of Japan and North Korea in 2002. Sankei Shimbun had already reported the case 23 years earlier.   On January […]

Reopening the Abduction Case Files – Part Four: “Maybe our child is alive too…”

This article originally appeared in the Sankei Shimbun morning edition, September 3, 2012. All ages and dates are counted from that date.   At a Japan-North Korea summit, then-Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Il admitted to abducting Japanese people and asserted that five abductees were still alive. Of those, the Japanese side had been unsuccessfully tracking the […]

Reopening the Abduction Case Files – Part Three: Whose Bones?

This article originally appeared in the Sankei Shimbun morning edition, September 2, 2012. All ages and dates are counted from that date.   In 2004, North Korea handed over what it claimed were the remains of Megumi Yokota. By that time, nearly two years had passed since then-Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Il had admitted that Megumi […]

Reopening the Abduction Case Files – Part Two: How North Korea Used Megumi as a Bargaining Tool

This article originally appeared in the Sankei Shimbun morning edition, September 1, 2012. All ages and dates are counted from that date.   Megumi Yokota, who was abducted by North Korean agents as she was coming home after middle school badminton practice, is representative of North Korea’s abduction victims. If her case is brought to […]

Reopening the Abduction Case Files – Part One: Why Did North Korea Lie about Megumi’s Death?

This article originally appeared in the Sankei Shimbun morning edition, August 31, 2012. All ages and dates are counted from that date.   “I regret to inform you…”   That was how then-Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Shigeo Uemura began while speaking to Yokota Megumi’s father, Shigeru (79) and mother, Sakie (76), in a room at […]