Abe, Pence urge China to act on N.Korea

Pence arrived in Japan from South Korea on Tuesday, and had lunch with Abe at the prime minister’s office.

They were joined by Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, Economy Minister Hiroshige Seko, and US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

Abe expressed the hope of demonstrating the strength of the Japan-US alliance at a time when the North Korean situation is growing increasingly harsh.

He also stressed the need to keep pressuring the North to agree to a serious dialogue.

He said Japan welcomes the stance of the US administration of President Donald Trump that all options are on the table, rather than continuing the idea of strategic patience.

Pence replied that the US is determined to work closely with Japan and other allies to achieve peace and stability in the region.

He said the US understands that this is a challenging time for the people of Japan, living with increasing provocations across the Sea of Japan. He added that the US is with Japan 100 percent.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US Vice President Mike Pence have agreed on the importance of the role of China in dealing with the increasing threats from North Korea. (NHK)

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says the government is making contingency plans to ensure the safety of Japanese nationals on the Korean Peninsula in the face of increasing tensions in the region. (NHK)

In Tokyo’s Ginza district, several luxury brand stores opened one after the other last year. Have a look inside and you will see smartly dressed young women waiting on rich customers. But while a lot of women long for jobs at luxury brand stores, the reality is a lot different. Their working conditions are almost blue-collar. (Japan Today)

The number of rockets Japan will launch for its key space projects will total a record figure of eight in fiscal 2017. (Nikkei)

A medical student was sentenced Monday to three years in prison for gang raping a woman with his classmates. (Japan Times)

The body of a missing elementary school boy has been found submerged in a river in Hitachi City, police said on Sunday, reports TV Asahi. (tokyoreporter.com)

Just over a year ago, the Japanese press was agog with stories of their “national treasure,” Seibu Lions pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, going overseas to play baseball in the U.S. While bemoaning the loss of a homegrown star, there was also a hint of pride in Matsuzaka’s ability to compete in the MLB. (Japan Today)

A redevelopment project will soon begin near Tokyo Station including the construction of Japan’s tallest skyscraper. (NHK)

The parents of the Vietnamese schoolgirl killed in Chiba Prefecture last month returned to Japan on Sunday after holding her funeral and hearing the shocking news about the suspect’s arrest. (Japan Times)

Narita Airport and 11 other Japanese airports on Saturday started using portable personal identification devices to speed up immigration checks, at a time when the number of tourists from abroad is soaring. (the-japan-news.com)

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