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APEC Summit in Beijing Brings Minor Thaw to Japan-China Relations

The first formal talks between Japanese and Chinese leaders in two and a half years took place on the sidelines of this month’s APEC summit in Beijing. Prime Minister Abe Shinzō and President Xi Jinping spoke for the first time since assuming leadership, marking an upturn for frosty bilateral relations. This article summarizes the key points of the latest summit and the 25-year history of APEC.
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Hong Kong’s Pro-Democracy Protests Strike a Global ChordKurata Tōru

The world has been closely watching developments in Hong Kong, where pro-democracy forces have protested Beijing’s proposed election reform for the city. Chinese authorities have stood firm in the face of the protests, raising the possibility of a long-term stand-off between the two sides. Kurata Tōru, a professor at Rikkyō University, examines the protests, which he views as occupying the front line of a new “cold war.”
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Building Legends in International Cooperation: An Interview with JICA President Tanaka Akihiko

Japan's top foreign aid official looks back on six decades of official development assistance and airs his vision for "cooperation with a face" and the kind of ODA that will be remembered for years to come.
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Japanese Studies Overseas: A Target for More Strategic SupportKawashima Shin

The field of Japanese studies in other countries is currently undergoing a major transformation in various respects. I would like to offer a quick overview of the concerns this raises based on what I have heard from researchers and academics working in this field. First of all, the focus of interest is rapidly shifting away from topics like literature and economic affairs to “soft culture” topi…
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Tackling China’s Diabetes ProblemIizuka Yōko

China now has the largest diabetic population in the world. In October 2011 a Japanese medical team began a project in Shanghai to apply Japanese-style treatment to this growing problem. Iizuka Yōko, born in China to a Chinese father and Japanese mother, was involved in proposing and planning the project, and she participated in it as a physician.
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The Rise of Ramen: How “Chinese Noodles” Became a Japanese Favorite

Originally from China, ramen has become one of Japan’s most popular dishes over the past few decades, sparking intense competition among the nation’s ramen shops. This article looks at the history behind Japan’s infatuation with ramen.
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Issues and Expectations for Indonesia’s Incoming PresidentShiraishi Takashi

Joko Widodo, a politician who worked his way up from a common background, is about to take office as president of Indonesia. Shiraishi Takashi considers the significance of Widodo’s election and the prospects for the new president.
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Popularizing Japan’s “Mother and Child Health Handbook” Overseas

The Mother-Child Health Handbook, introduced in Japan in the mid-1960s, contributed to improvements in child health and a rapid drop in the country’s infant mortality rate. Now an effort is being made to promote this same system overseas, particularly in Asia and Africa. Nippon.com interviewed one of the leaders of this movement, Fukuda Kiyoko (wife of former Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo), to learn more about the handbook and its benefits.
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Yasukuni Shrine: the Basics

Prime Minister Abe Shinzō’s visit to Yasukuni Shrine on December 26, 2013, was the first by a Japanese leader for seven years and drew fierce criticism from China and South Korea. What started as a place to honor those who fell while fighting the Tokugawa shogunate has become a center of controversy in East Asian relations. This article presents the key historical, religious, and political information regarding the shrine.
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Chinese Tourists in Japan: Return of the Big Spenders

As tension over the Senkaku Islands cools, Chinese tourists have been returning to Japan in large numbers, with over 1 million visiting the country in the first half of 2014. Chinese not only outnumber visitors from other countries but also outspend them, laying out large sums on trips and at stores. They are eager to buy made-in-Japan products, which have a reputation for high quality. And with their open wallets, they are becoming increasingly important customers for businesses in Japan.
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