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

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent