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Table Tennis Diplomacy that Brought the Koreas TogetherJōjima Mitsuru

Ogimura Ichirō may have been short in stature, but he was a giant of sports diplomacy. A world table tennis champion more than 50 years ago, Ogimura’s experiences abroad shaped his worldview and contributed to his efforts to usher China back onto the world stage and bring together North and South Korean athletes to create their first-ever united team at international competitions.
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Japan Mulling Possibility of Summit Talks with North Korea (News)

Tokyo, March 14 (Jiji Press)—The Japanese government has started considering whether it is possible to arrange talks between Prime Minister Abe Shinzō and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Japanese government officials said Wednesday. Abe is expected to make a careful judgment on the matter, after examining the likelihood of North Korea taking specific actions toward denuclearization. Talks …
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Japanese Abductee Families Pin Hopes on US–North Korea Summit (News)

Tokyo, March 9 (Jiji Press)—Families of Japanese citizens abducted decades ago by North Korea pinned high hopes on Friday on a possible meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. "At last, we have come this far," said Yokota Sakie, 82, whose daughter Megumi was abducted by the reclusive nation in 1977 at the age of 13. "I'm looking forward" to their meetin…
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Putting Japan–Korea Relations into Perspective: Lessons from the Pyeongchang OlympicsAsaba Yūki

As the North Korean delegation returns triumphant from its “charm offensive” in Pyeongchang, Tokyo and Seoul should be thinking about stepping up their own public-diplomacy game with the goal of uniting to counter the growing North Korean threat.
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Abe Meets North Korea’s Number Two Official in Pyeongchang (News)

Pyeongchang, South Korea, Feb. 9 (Jiji Press)—Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzō briefly met with North Korea's second-highest-ranking official on Friday, during their visit to Pyeongchang, South Korea, to attend the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics, according to South Korea's presidential office. Abe shook hands and exchanged words with Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the Su…
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Abe Urges Moon to Implement Comfort Women Pact (News)

Pyeongchang, South Korea, Feb. 9 (Jiji Press)—Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzō at a meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Friday urged Seoul to steadily implement its December 2015 bilateral accord with Tokyo on the issue of so-called comfort women. They reaffirmed cooperation among the two Asian countries and the United States in dealing with North Korea's nuclear and missile de…
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Abe, Pence Agree to Keep Maximum Pressure on North Korea (News)

Tokyo, Feb. 7 (Jiji Press)—Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzō and US Vice President Mike Pence, at a meeting in Tokyo on Wednesday, reconfirmed their countries' stances of continuing to apply maximum pressure on North Korea to make the reclusive state abandon its nuclear and missile development programs. The Abe-Pence meeting took place ahead of their separate talks with South Korean President …
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A North Korean Spy Ship in Yokohama: The Japan Coast Guard MuseumJulian Ryall

The Japan Coast Guard museum displays the day-to-day operations of the JCG, although the incident it was opened to showcase—the sinking of a North Korean espionage boat—resembles a spy thriller more than real life.
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Japan Local Governments Troubled by Apparent North Korean Wooden Boats (News)

Tokyo, Dec. 20 (Jiji Press)—With a record number of wooden boats apparently from North Korea having drifted to Japan this year, local governments in northeastern Japan are busy dealing with the bodies of their crews and disposing of the vessels. The number of such vessels that have been found drifting in the Sea of Japan, which separates Japan and the Korean Peninsula, or washed up on the Japan…
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Japan Decides to Boost Missile Defense with Aegis Ashore (News)

Tokyo, Dec. 19 (Jiji Press)—The Japanese government decided at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday to introduce the Aegis Ashore ground-based missile defense system in a bid to better prepare for ballistic missiles from North Korea. The government plans to acquire two Aegis Ashore batteries for deployment at Self-Defense Forces facilities in Akita Prefecture, northeastern Japan, and Yamaguchi Prefectu…
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