Since a small contingent of Marines landed in the northern port town of Darwin last month, the U.S. has shown greater interest in using Australian military facilities as part of a larger effort to refocus its military capabilities in Southeast Asia and the western Pacific.
"We have no better ally or friend in the world than Australia, and we have no area in the world which is as important or dynamic over the next 50 years as the Asia Pacific," says Jeffrey Bleich, the U.S. ambassador to Australia.
It's only for women — and only for one woman at a time, it seems.
But officials in Ichihara City, Japan, claim they've created the "biggest public toilet in the world."
As The Japan Times reports, outside the city's train station there's now a fenced-in, "200-sq.-meter plot of land" with flowers, plants, pathways and — "smack in the middle" — a toilet enclosed in a glass box.
Now, back here in Washington, D.C., President Barack Obama will host Japan's prime minister, Yoshihiko Noda, at the White House tomorrow. It's been more than three years since a Japanese head of state attended a White House summit.