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.

IoS wins three major international design awards

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

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!'"

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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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