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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Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness