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.

Police hunt final fugitive in Tokyo gas attack

Police said today they were closing in on the last fugitive suspected of carrying out a doomsday cult's deadly nerve gas attack on Tokyo's tube train network 17 years ago.

US and euro slump sends markets into global spin

World markets were badly hit yesterday as the fallout from poor US economic data, warnings over the future of the Euro and fears of a global recession spooked investors.

Japanese woman on run for 17 years relieved at arrest

A woman wanted for 17 years for allegedly helping to produce the deadly nerve gas used in a 1995 attack on Tokyo subways said she feels relief at her arrest because she doesn't have to hide her identity anymore, police said today.

Woodford begins battle against unfair dismissal

Michael Woodford, the British whistleblower sacked from Japanese cameras and endoscopes giant Olympus begins his multi-million pound unfair dismissal case against the company at a London tribunal today.

Sacked Olympus boss Woodford starts fight against unfair dismissal

Michael Woodford, the British whistleblower sacked from Japanese cameras and endoscopes giant Olympus, begins his multi-million-pound unfair dismissal case against the company at a London tribunal today.

World's tallest tower 'Sky Tree' opens in Tokyo

The world's tallest tower and Tokyo's biggest new landmark, the Tokyo Sky Tree, has opened to the public.

Japanese fugitive penguin 337 spotted in Tokyo Bay

After Penguin Number 337 made a daring bid for freedom from a Tokyo aquarium and vanished into the waters of Tokyo Bay two months ago, many feared the worst for the adventurous feathered fugitive.

The Sou Fujimoto designed three-storey house in Tokyo

A perfect home for making an exhibition of yourself

If only there were a well-worn idiom about people living in glass houses. Perhaps "people who live in glass houses... really shouldn't live in glass houses"? Or at least not this one.

Thousands march in Tokyo as last atomic plant shuts

Activists celebrate as Japan is nuclear-free for first time in 42 years

Baldness cure hopes sparked by hairless mice

New hopes of a cure for baldness have been sparked after Japanese researchers claimed to have successfully grown hair on hairless mice.

A hydrogen explosion rips through the tsunami-damaged Fukushima nuclear plant

I had to act to save the world after Fukushima, says former premier

It reads like a dispatch from the pages of Godzilla, who was a fictional metaphor for nuclear weapons, wreaking destruction with a blast of radiation from his mouth: the world's most populated metropolis is threatened with fallout from an out-of-control nuclear power plant.

Sleeping giant Japan turns to tourism to wake up its economy

The nation hopes to rise from the tsunami's devastation, just as it did from the ravages of war. Mark Leftly reports from Tokyo

Travel Agenda: World Ski and Snowboard festival; Palais de Tokyo; San Giorgio hotel

Tomorrow: The World Ski and Snowboard festival is under way in the Canadian resort of Whistler, with freelate-night music events, art and fashion exhibitions, and extreme sports bringing the season to a jubilant close until 22 April (wssf.com).

Lindsay Hawker's father 'relieved' as killer Tatsuya Ichihashi loses sentence appeal

The father of a English teacher murdered in Japan today spoke of his relief after her killer lost an appeal against his life sentence.

Shareholders told to reject Olympus books

The scandal at Olympus took another twist yesterday when a major investor advisory group told shareholders to reject the camera company's newly restated accounts, and vote against two new board nominations in case they decide to sue the firm in the future.

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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
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine