Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 4:06 am
Credit Itsuo Inouye / AP
Japan marked for the first time Sunday the end of the allied occupation of the country following its defeat in World War II.
"We have a responsibility to make Japan a strong and resolute country that others across the world can rely on," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at a ceremony in Tokyo that was attended by dignitaries, including Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko.
China says Japan's decision to participate in joint military exercises with the United States will not dampen its resolve to defend its claim to a disputed island chain that has been a recurring source of tension between the Asian neighbors.
In reference to the joint drills, planned for June, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said "foreign pressure" cannot sway China from protecting its territorial sovereignty in the East China Sea.
For most of us, the office vending machine is good for a mid-day pick-me-up; that's pretty much it. But for one Japanese man it is much more. He hosts a blog called "I Take a Picture of the Vending Machine Every Day or So, I'm Very Sorry." Since 2005 he's taken nearly daily pictures of the same vending machine. Over the years the sodas move, the ads change, and there was that true moment of drama - the machine started taking digital payments.
Currency traders were stunned last week by aggressive action from Japan's central bank. The Bank of Japan embarked on a bond-buying program that, by one measure, is twice the size of the extraordinary moves by Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve in the United States. The BOJ's move is an effort to shock the Japanese economy out of more than a decade of sluggish growth and deflation.