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

Japan’s trade deficit has hit an all-time high as imports were swollen by higher energy prices and a weak yen.

Japanese fishing vessel,

Video: US Coast Guard sinks Japanese tsunami 'ghost ship'

It was cast adrift last year by the Japanese tsunami and has since made a long lonely journey across the Pacific, but today the Japanese ghost ship ‘Ryou-Un Maru’ finally rests in a watery grave after being unceremoniously sunk by the US coastguard.

Flavours to savour: the shrimp burger

'The fifth taste': Chefs are harnessing umami's savoury powers to change the way we eat

We've known about the so-called 'fifth taste' for more than 100 years.

The Unit 4 reactor at the crippled Fukushima plant

'Lethal' level of radiation found at Fukushima

A lethal level of radiation has been detected inside one of the reactors at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, throwing fresh doubts over the operator's claims that the disabled complex is under control.

The Unit 4 reactor at the crippled Fukushima plant

Still critical: radiation levels at Fukushima can kill in minutes

Latest readings from tsunami-stricken nuclear plant overturn claims that reactors have been made safe

Magnitude 7.1 earthquake hits central Chile

A magnitude-7.1 earthquake struck central Chile, the strongest and longest that many people said they had felt since a huge quake devastated the area two years ago.

The tsunami-hit Japanese fishing boat, 4,700 miles from home

Wreck leads tsunami debris heading for Canada

A Japanese fishing vessel swept away by last year's disaster is on course for British Columbia's coast as fears grow for wildlife

Hardy's accepts £143m takeover offer from US rival

Hardy Underwriting, an insurer to Lloyd's of London, has accepted a £143m cash takeover offer from a US rival, in the latest bout of consolidation in the insurance and reinsurance sector.

Most Japanese favour phasing out nuclear power

The vast majority of Japanese favour the gradual phasing out of nuclear plants but accept that some reactors may need to be retained to secure enough power in the short term, according to a newspaper poll.

Japan remembers triple catastrophe

With moments of silence and prayers, Japan today was remembering the massive earthquake and tsunami that struck the nation one year ago, killing just over 19,000 people and unleashing the world's worst nuclear crisis in a quarter of a century.

Fukushima meltdown risk 'kept secret for months'

Four hours after a tsunami swept into the Fukushima nuclear power plant a year ago today, Japan's leaders knew the damage was so severe that the reactors could melt down, but they kept their knowledge secret for months. Five days into the crisis, the then prime minister, Naoto Kan, voiced his fears that it could turn worse than Chernobyl.

Fading memories: Almost a year after the Japanese tsunami a trove of photographsspeak of love, loss and, perhaps still, hope

Memory and forgetting were life or death issues for the people of Japan's north-east coast on 11 March 2011. Factory worker Akio Komukai recalls speeding away from the coast after the earthquake struck and meeting children on their way home from school. "They were walking toward the sea and I rolled down the window of my car and shouted: 'Tsunami tendenko' – 'There's a tsunami coming! You need to run away!'"

IoS wins three major international design awards

The Independent on Sunday has won three top international awards for design, it was announced yesterday.

High yen and Thai floods hit growth

Floods in Thailand and a strong yen did heavy damage to Japan as the world's second-biggest economy floundered in the final quarter of 2011, official figures showed yesterday.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London

Nasal New York indie kids Clap Your Hands Say Yeah were in London last night to remind us why back in 2005 they were tipped to be bigger than The Strokes. Part of the first wave of internet sensations, their self-titled debut garnered more buzz than Lana Del Rey.

Revealed: secret evacuation plan for Tokyo after Fukushima

'Spine-chilling' thought of an uninhabitable capital pushed Prime Minister to scrap nuclear power
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Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker