David McNeill

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AKB48 perform during one of their daily concerts at Tokyo’s Akihabara theatre

Meet AKB48: Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success

The group is one of the world’s most successful acts  – but they are steeped in controversy

Protesters with anti-war placards hold a mass rally outside the Prime Minister’s office in Tokyo

Japan's pacifist constitution: After 70 years, nation changes the rules so it can go to war

The country will now be able to engage in collective self-defence and come to the aid of a military ally who is under attack, but the move has proved to be bitterly divisive

Japanese government agrees to landmark change in pacifist stance

Japan’s coalition government has approved a controversial reinterpretation of the nation’s pacifist constitution that will let its troops fight overseas for the first time since World War II.

Publishers fear a ban on owning child pornography will hit the manga industry

Manga and anime industries to be exempt from Japan's new law banning images of child abuse

At least 600 children a year fall victim to paedophile directors and photographers

A man stands in front of the Monument for the Victims of the Nanjing Massacre.

How Japan’s ‘BBC’ is rewriting its role in the Second World War

Naoki Hyakuta says Japan was lured into the Second World War by America while liberating Asia from white colonialism.

Japanese fishermen transporting slaughtered dolphins in Taiji harbour; the water of the cove is red with the blood of dead animals. Locals brand criticism of the cull 'cultural imperialism'

Taiji Cove dolphins: Japanese government defends 'lawful' slaughter as hunters prepare to kill 200 animals

Hundreds of dolphins are killed in a remote Japanese bay during hunting season. The town argues it is an important tradition, but conservationists maintain the bloody practice is inhumane

March 1974: Hiroo Onoda (2nd left) walking from the jungle where he had hidden since World War II. Onoda has died at the age of 91

Hiroo Onoda, the last Japanese soldier to give himself in: “When I surrendered, the past seemed like a dream”

Second Lt. Onoda, who finally surrendered in 1974, has died at the age of 91

Ikumi Yoshimatsu has become the heroine in a drama that her supporters say has exposed one of the nation's dirtiest secrets: claims that the Yakuza helps to run the entertainment industry

Miss Japan Ikumi Yoshimatsu joins battle against mafia in the media

A beauty queen is in hiding after exposing a major talent agency’s alleged links to a crime syndicate

Kim Jong-un visited a fisheries station and a ski resort in recent days

Execution of Kim Jong-un’s uncle Jang Song-thaek raises fears in South

Five of the seven officials who walked alongside Kim Jong-il’s hearse in December 2011 have been killed, purged or sent to labour camps

Jang Song Thaek being escorted to court
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A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried