The World This Week

JAPAN'S Prime Minister, Kiichi Miyazawa, fights this week to restore authority over his country's government and its ruling party, both battered by scandal. Coming days see important hearings on the Sagawa money-and-mobsters affair, the announcement of a political reform package and a cabinet reshuffle to revive the fortunes of his unpopular government.

Noboru Takeshita, the former prime minister and grandee of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), appears before parliament today for the second time to face interrogation about his alleged links to organised crime. He is followed tomorrow by two former executives of Sagawa Kyubin, the trucking company at the heart of the scandal. On Friday, an aide to the disgraced LDP powerbroker Shin Kanemaru is to be questioned on what happened to the dollars 4m ( pounds 2.5m) his boss took in illegal donations from Sagawa Kyubin.

The LDP meanwhile announces on Wednesday measures to clean up the political system and prevent more illegal funding scandals - three of which have rocked the party since 1988 - undermining confidence in the party that has ruled Japan since 1955.

And on Saturday Mr Miyazawa reshuffles his cabinet. The appointments will be scrutinised for evidence of the Prime Minister's reforming intentions. He is expected to appoint a new finance minister, probably Yoshiro Mori, to deal with Japan's economic downturn. Keenly awaited by the public is the appointment of justice minister: after the uproar at the casual way state prosecutors handled the Sagawa scandal, Mr Miyazawa is under intense pressure to appoint a Mr Clean. This could be Hyosuke Kujiraoka, a party veteran who recently declared he was disillusioned by factional manoeuvring and corrupt practices.

Yitzhak Rabin, the Israeli Prime Minister, visits Rome today on a European tour that brings him to London tomorrow. On Wednesday he lunches with John Major and addresses MPs. The trip comes as the Middle East peace talks resume in Washington today for two weeks. Palestinians want the United States to intervene more forcefully and put more pressure on Israel, but serious attempts to make progress are likely to be put on ice until Bill Clinton takes office in January.

Nato defence ministers meet in Brussels on Thursday and Friday and are expected to make a final decision on the European Fighter Aircraft project. And European heads of government meet for an EC summit in Edinburgh on Friday and Saturday.

Thursday is Human Rights Day, the day when the Nobel Peace Prize will be awarded in Oslo to Guatemala's indigenous rights activist Rigoberta Menchu.

Elections take place today for 12 seats in the House of Assembly in Tobago. The island has been linked with Trinidad in a unitary state since 1889, but Tobagonians complain they are being neglected by the central government, prompting talk of secession among the 44,000 islanders.

Giorgio Strehler, Italy's greatest theatre director, appears in court in Milan on Thursday accused of embezzling pounds 300,000 of an EC grant he was given to fund courses for aspiring actors and theatre technicians at his Piccolo Teatro in Milan. The maestro is accused not of pocketing the money, but of frittering it away on telephone bills, cleaning the theatre and costumes for a recent production of Faust.

Another example of a show- business initiative turning sour is the 42nd Miss World contest on Saturday at Sun City, the gamblers' pleasure resort in the South African 'homeland' of Bophuthatswana. Eighty-four contestants will take part - though none from the homeland itself. The African National Congress says it will disrupt the event unless free political activities are allowed in Bophuthatswana.

Also kicking out against intolerance, Italy's football players are to carry banners denouncing racism on to the pitches before matches on Sunday. They are alarmed by a rise of right-wing violence orchestrated on the terraces by shaven- headed 'naziskins'.

Arts & Entertainment
The Honesty Policy is a group of anonymous Muslims who believe that the community needs a space to express itself without shame or judgement
music
News
Waitrose will be bringing in more manned tills
newsOverheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
Life & Style
life
Arts & Entertainment
Back in the suit: There are only so many variations you can spin on the lives or adventures of Peter Parker
filmReview: Almost every sequence and set-up in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 seems familiar from some earlier superhero film
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Arts & Entertainment
Jack Gleeson as Joffrey Baratheon in Game of Thrones
tv
Life & Style
Father and son: Michael Williams with son Edmund
lifeAs his son’s bar mitzvah approaches, CofE-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys he’s experienced in learning about his family’s other faith
Arts & Entertainment
Ian Anderson, the leader of British rock band Jethro Tull, (right) and British guitar player Martin Barre (left) perform on stage
musicJethro Tull frontman leads ‘prog rock’ revival
Sport
Gareth Bale dribbled from inside his own half and finished calmly late in the final to hand Real a 2-1 win at the Mestalla in Valencia
sport
Arts & Entertainment
Who laughs lass: Jenny Collier on stage
comedy... writes Jenny Collier, the comedian whose recent show was cancelled because there were 'too many women' on the bill
News
House proud: keeping up with the Joneses now extends to children's playhouses
newsLuxury playhouses now on the market for as much as £800
News
news
Life & Style
Stir it up: the writer gets a lichen masterclass from executive chef Vivek Singh of the Cinnamon restaurants
food + drinkLichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines
Extras
indybest
Arts & Entertainment
Ken Loach (left) and Mike Leigh who will be going head to head for one of cinema's most coveted prizes at this year's Cannes Film Festival
filmKen Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
News
The academic, Annamaria Testa, has set out on her website a list of 300 English words that she says Italians ought to stop using
newsAcademic speaks out against 'Italianglo' - the use of English words in Italian language
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Apprentice IT Technician

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...

1st Line Technical Service Desk Analyst IT Apprentice

£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...

1st Line Helpdesk Engineer Apprentice

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...

Sales Associate Apprentice

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit