Constitutional Questions Grow over Japan PM's Military Plans

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks during a press conference at his official residence in Tokyo, Thursday, May 14, 2015. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

TOKYO — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's pledge to the U.S. to increase Japan's military contribution internationally is facing more questions about potential conflicts with the nation's pacifist Constitution. Opposition lawmakers demanded answers from key Cabinet members at a hearing Wednesday, after three prominent constitution experts — ... more

Okinawa Governor Hopes US Will Heed Base Plan Protests

Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga speaks during a press conference at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan in TokyoWednesday, May 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

TOKYO  — The governor of southern Japan's Okinawa prefecture said Wednesday he would travel to the United States to convey local objections to the relocation of a U.S. air base as protests intensify over the plan seen as being forced onto the island. A plan formulated in 1996 between the Japanese and American governments would move U.S. Marine ... more

US Defense Budget Already Counting on Japan Self-Defense Plan

A flag display for a meeting between Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. and Gen. Harukazu Saito, the chief of staff of Japan Air Self-Defense Force, at Tokyo, Japan, March 23, 2015. (Gabriela Garcia/USMC)

YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — The latest 2016 U.S. defense bill assumes Japan will adopt government-backed proposals on defending its allies, even though Japanese lawmakers have yet to vote on them. “The United States supports recent changes in Japanese defense policy, including the adoption of collective self-defense and new bilateral guideline... more

Japan's Leader Sends Offerings to Controversial War Shrine

Religious offerings dedicated by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are seen, center background, as people pray at the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo during an annual spring festival on Tuesday, April 22, 2015. (KOJI UEDA/AP)

TOKYO  — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent religious offerings Tuesday to a Tokyo shrine that honors the country's war dead, including convicted World War II leaders, a likely signal that he won't pray there ahead of trips to an international conference and the United States. Previous visits and offerings to Yasukuni Shrine have drawn sha... more

Families Struggle With Radon in Military Housing

A commercially available radon recorder shows short- and long-term readings for concentrations of the gas at an apartment in Yokohama, Japan. Erik Slavin/Stars and Stripes

Marine Col. Anthony White had already lost a kidney to cancer that doctors attributed to living on Camp Lejeune, N.C., where thousands were sickened by contaminated water for more than three decades. So when he found out in 2011 that his home at Okinawa's Plaza housing area had exposed him and his family to elevated levels of radon, White took a... more

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