News Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivers his special address at the opening session of the World Economic Forum in Davos

Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe sent a shiver through the global diplomatic community today, by explicitly comparing tensions between Tokyo and Beijing to animosity between European powers in the run-up to the First World War.

London fund makes it big in Japan

A fledgling London-based activist investment fund that is looking to shake-up corporate Japan has outperformed the Tokyo Stock Exchange in its first six months.

David Blaine attends the

Wanted: One bright spark, GSOH

It makes you wonder. What is going on inside David Blaine's head that he needs to morph from simple street magician to Grand Guignol narcissist? Since his first TV special hit US screens 15 years ago, the illusionist's "tricks" have become not merely more mystifying but also more extreme.

Japan's first 'Cuddle Cafe' opens, only £24 to sleep with a girl

Japan’s first "co-sleeping specialty shop", coined the "cuddle cafe", opened last week, giving customers the chance to rest their weary eyes with a snuggle.

Berdych targets London

Tomas Berdych eased his way into the second round of the Japan Open with a 6-1, 7-6 victory over France's Benoît Paire yesterday. Second seed Berdych almost inflicted the dreaded "bagel" on Paire in the first set until the Frenchman finally held serve in the sixth game but the Czech was pushed in the second.

Agnieszka Radwanska to face Nadia Petrova in Pan Pacific Open final in Tokyo

Defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska pulverised Angelique Kerber 6-1 6-1 today to set up a final with Nadia Petrova at the Pan Pacific Open.

South Korea's president Lee Myung-bak visits disputed islands

South Korean president Lee Myung-bak made a surprise visit today to islets at the centre of a long-running territorial dispute with Japan, ignoring warnings from Tokyo that it would worsen the neighbours' already strained relations.

Michael Phelps kisses his record 19th Olympic medal

Yesterday at The Games: Equestrian silver saves day for GB – but Phelps makes a bigger splash

US swimming star is now most decorated Olympian after winning his 19th medal

'The Olympic Park feels like a vast concrete Glastonbury'

Grace Dent: Using ninja internet tactics, I finally enter Olympic Park

After five days of Olympic red-button surfing, it was time to actually leave the house and enter the Olympic Park.

Children from the tsunami-hit regions hand out good-luck charms to Japan’s Olympians at a ceremony in Tokyo

Medal spotlight on Japan: Tsunami is always on their mind

Plenty of money has been spent trying to boost the Japanese team's medal haul – but the real world is never far way

Radiation probe over 'cover-up'

Japanese authorities are investigating subcontractors on suspicion that they forced workers at the Fukushima nuclear plant to under-report the amount of radiation they were exposed to so they could stay on the job longer.

Leading article: A sobering reminder of the truth about our Afghan 'legacy'

The video of the Taliban executing a woman in the street, only miles from Kabul, is a sobering reminder of dismally disappointing legacy of foreign intervention in that hopelessly divided country from which Western countries are now hurrying to disengage themselves.

Lagarde sounds global growth warning

IMF chief raises alarm as US jobs data falls short and eurozone worries return

Investors heckle Sir Howard Stringer at Sony's annual meeting

Sony's chairman Sir Howard Stringer was heckled by investors who vented their fury at the annual meeting after the electronics giant made a record loss of ¥456.7bn (£3.68bn).

Yoko Ono: To The Light, Serpentine Gallery, London

Childish and brainless, Ono lives down to her name

Whistle-blower Woodford settles for £10m after his Olympus sacking

The British former chief executive of Olympus, Michael Woodford, will receive £10m in a settlement over his dismissal for whistle-blowing at the giant Japanese cameras and medical equipment maker.

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Independent Travel
Vietnam & Cambodia
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Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album