News Momii was only recently appointed

Chairman previously claimed use of 'comfort women' was 'common'

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is led by a Shinto priest as he visits Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo

Japanese PM to explain controversial shrine visit

Neighbouring countries unhappy over public 'celebration' of Japan's attacks

Xu Shuaijun's hot air balloon near the disputed islands

China-Japan tensions: Chef crashes balloon near disputed islands

The islands have caused tension between the countries for some time

Japan's homeless drafted in to help with Fukushima nuclear clear-up

Japan’s homeless are being recruited to clean up at the now defunct radioactive Fukushima nuclear power plant.

Bending Adversity, By David Pilling - Review

From the outside, Japan can seem like an enigmatic and mysterious country. Historically closed off to foreign influence until relatively recently, the island nation can seem to Western eyes to be almost incomprehensible in its outlook – culturally, politically and even economically.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is pushing through economic policies that have been coined Abenomics

2013 has been the year of smaller companies

Firms which avoided global woes provided the best returns

Okinawa approves move for US marine base after 17 years of negotiations

The governor of Okinawa has approved controversial plans to relocate a US Marine base to a less populous area – but said he would keep pressing to move the base off the of the Japanese island altogether.

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

China denounces Japan plans top increase military defence spending

China has said it is 'firmly opposed' to Japanese five-year defence plan

Mark Dampier: Britain's small-cap funds punched well above their weight this year

It's been a good year for stock markets. In particular, European and Japanese markets have made large gains. There is a lesson here for all investors: despite a poor economic backdrop, stock markets can perform well. This is often because much of the bad news is priced in and markets are focusing on improved corporate prospects. Similarly, it shows the most uncomfortable investment decisions often turn out to be correct.

Michael Rogers

Former Team Sky rider Michael Rogers tests positive

The Australian is a three-time former world time trial champion

Two men hanged by government in Japan in latest ‘secret executions’

Human rights groups slam practice in which inmates are told they will die just hours beforehand

Waters poses with a Speed Graphic press camera in 1952

Fred Waters: Second World War veteran who earned a Purple Heart and went on to take pictures in Korea and Vietnam

Fred Waters was a photographer for Associated Press who covered everything from the Korean and Vietnam wars to the construction of the Gateway Arch. Waters was born in Alabama in 1927. His family moved to Miami in the 1930s and he got a job as a clerk in the photographic lab of the Miami Herald.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's nationalist views are likely to antagonise victims of Japan's wartime aggression

Japan disappoints as Q3 growth is revised down

Japan’s private sector is losing faith in prime minister Shinzo Abe’s “shock and awe” tactics to revive the world’s third biggest economy after worrying figures today showed business investment flat-lining in the latest quarter

Shinji Kagawa with Robin van Persie

Manchester United v Newcastle: David Moyes could be without Shinji Kagawa and Robin van Persie, as well as Wayne Rooney for Old Trafford match

Rooney is suspended, Kagawa has a sickness bug and it is not clear if RVP is ready to return

The Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, denies that he is trying to gag the press

Japan cracks down on leaks after scandal of Fukushima nuclear power plant

State secrecy law carrying threat of 10-year jail term criticised as attack on democracy but PM denies trying to gag press

Arts & Entertainment
Ricky Gervais at a screening of 'Muppets Most Wanted' in London last month
tvAs the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian on why he'll never bow to critics who habitually circle his work
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Don (John Hamm) and Megan (Jessica Paré) Draper are going their separate ways in the final series of ‘Mad Men’
tvReview: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
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Life & Style
Going down: Google's ambition to build an elevator into space isn't likely to be fulfilled any time soon
techTechnology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
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David Cameron sings a hymn during the enthronement service of The Most Rev Justin Welby as Archbishop of Canterbury, at Canterbury Cathedral last year
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From long to Jong: Guy Pewsey outside Mo Nabbach’s M&M Hair Academy in west London before the haircut
fashionThe Independent heads to an Ealing hairdressers to try out the North Korean dictator's trademark do
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Vito Mannone fails to keep out Samir Nasri's late strike
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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
Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics

Is sexual harassment a fact of gay life?

Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics
Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith: The man behind a British success story

Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith

Acton Smith launched a world of virtual creatures who took the real world by storm
Kim Jong-un's haircut: The Independent heads to Ealing to try out the dictator's do

Our journalist tries out Kim Jong-un's haircut

The North Korean embassy in London complained when M&M Hair Academy used Kim Jong-un's image in the window. Curious, Guy Pewsey heads to the hair salon and surrenders to the clippers
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part
Vespa rides on with launch of Primavera: Iconic Italian scooter still revving up millions of sales

Vespa rides on with launch of the Primavera

The Vespa has been a style icon since the 1950s and the release this month of its latest model confirms it has lost little of its lustre
Record Store Day: Independent music shops can offer a tempting alternative to downloads

Record Store Day celebrates independent music shops

This Saturday sees a host of events around the country to champion the sellers of well-grooved wax
Taunton's policy of putting philosophy at heart of its curriculum is one of secrets of its success

Education: Secret of Taunton's success

Taunton School, in Somerset, is one of the country's leading independent schools, says Richard Garner
10 best smartphones

10 best smartphones

With a number of new smartphones on the market, we round up the best around, including some more established models
Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

The former Australia coach on why England must keep to Plan A, about his shock at their collapse Down Under, why he sent players home from India and the agonies of losing his job
Homelessness: Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Zubairi Sentongo swapped poverty in Uganda for homelessness in Britain. But a YMCA scheme connected him with a couple offering warmth and shelter
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park
The pain of IVF

The pain of IVF

As an Italian woman vows to keep the babies from someone else’s eggs, Julian Baggini ponders how the reality of childbirth is often messier than the natural ideal