Obama lauds US-Japan ties in meeting with Prime Minister Abe

US President Barack Obama has met with Prime Minister Abe on his state visit to Japan, following a formal reception at the Imperial Palace. Tricky talks on a trade accord top the agenda, but both sides have reservations. Barack Obama said on Thursday in Tokyo that the disputed Senkaku Islands, called Diayou by China, were covered by a US-Japanese defense pact if they came under attack. Obama also said, however, that the US had no […]

Death toll of capsized South Korean Ferry reaches 128

The death toll on the South Korean ferry accident have risen dramatically, with an official count of 128 dead as of yesterday. The ferry’s captain and 6 crew members have been detained by authorities in regards to the disaster. The Sewol ferry sank last Wednesday on a routine trip south from the port of Incheon to the traditional honeymoon island of Jeju. Of the 476 passengers and crew on board, 339 were children and teachers […]

Cyclone threatens to disrupt search for missing Malaysian plane

By Byron Kaye PERTH, Australia Mon Apr 21, 2014 5:48pm EDT (Reuters) – A tropical cyclone was threatening to hamper the search for a missing Malaysian jetliner in a remote stretch of the Indian Ocean on Monday, as a submarine drone neared the end of its mission scouring the sea bed with still no sign of wreckage. The search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, which vanished on March 8 with 239 people on board, has […]

Japan expands army footprint for first time in 40 years, risks angering China

(Reuters) – Japan began its first military expansion at the western end of its island chain in more than 40 years on Saturday, breaking ground on a radar station on a tropical island off Taiwan. The move risks angering China, locked in a dispute with Japan over nearby islands which they both claim. Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, who attended a ceremony on Yonaguni island to mark the start of construction, suggested the military presence could be enlarged to […]

Malaysian plane search in 44th day, sea bed scans could end in days

By Byron Kaye and Matt Siegel SYDNEY/PERTH, Australia Sat Apr 19, 2014 10:27pm EDT (Reuters) – The search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 entered its 44th day on Sunday as Australian search officials said a crucial series of sonar scans of the Indian Ocean floor could be completed within a week. The air, surface and underwater search is now focused on footage taken by a U.S. Navy deep sea drone, which has narrowed its […]

Prosecutors extend Korea ferry captain’s detention as death toll mounts

By Ju-min Park and Jungmin Jang JINDO/MOKPO, South Korea Sun Apr 20, 2014 1:56am EDT Reuters) – South Korean prosecutors investigating a ferry disaster said on Sunday they would seek to extend the detention of the ship’s captain and two other crew by 10 days as they tried to determine the cause of an accident that may claim more than 300 lives. The ferry, the Sewol, was on a 400-km (300-mile) voyage from Incheon to […]

Ferry captain defends evacuation delay on capsized South Korean vessel

The detained captain of the capsized South Korean ferry has justified a decision not to immediately evacuate the vessel. More than 270 passengers are still missing, although divers have located another three bodies. Captain Lee Joon-seok told reporters the evacuation was delayed to prevent passengers entering the freezing waters before the arrival of rescue vessels. “At the time a rescue ship had not arrived. There were also no fishing boats around for rescues, or other […]

Bodies found trapped inside sunken South Korean ferry: coastguard

By Ju-min Park JINDO, South Korea Fri Apr 18, 2014 9:54pm EDT (Reuters) – Divers searching for survivors of a capsized South Korean ferry saw three bodies floating through a window of a passenger cabin on Saturday but were unable to retrieve them, the coastguard said, hours after the ship’s captain was arrested. The ferry, carrying 476 passengers, many of them schoolchildren, and crew, capsized on Wednesday on a journey from the port of Incheon […]