Japan, China engage in war of words over disputed East China sea

KONFRONTASI - China and Japan have stepped up a war of words in their long-running row over the sovereignty of East China Sea islands after Tokyo summoned Beijing’s ambassador to protest China’s activities in the disputed waters.

The Japanese Foreign Ministry said in a Tuesday statement that it had summoned Chinese Ambassador to Tokyo Cheng Yonghua, urging Beijing to withdraw its vessels from the waters as a measure to reduce tensions there.

Japan protests Chinese vessels near disputed islands

KONFRONTASI-For the second time in two days, Japan has protested to Beijing over Chinese coastguard ships and fishing vessels sailing into waters close to disputed islands in the East China Sea.

The two countries are locked in a long-running dispute over the uninhabited islets, known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China. 

Japan's foreign ministry said that seven Chinese coastguard ships, including four that appeared to be armed, and about 230 fishing vessels sailed on Saturday close to what Tokyo considers its territorial waters.

Knife attacker in Japan kills 19 in their sleep at disabled center

KONFRONTASI-A knife-wielding man broke into a facility for the disabled in a small town near Tokyo early on Tuesday and killed 19 patients as they slept, authorities said, Japan's worst mass killing in decades.

At least 25 other residents were wounded in the attack at the Tsukui Yamayuri-En facility in Sagamihara town, about 25 miles (40 km) southwest of Tokyo.

"This is a very heart-wrenching and shocking incident in which many innocent people became victims," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a regular news conference in Tokyo.

Japanese in Tokyo protest against US military presence

KONFRONTASI-In Tokyo, about 100 people took to the streets Sunday in protest against the military presence of the United States on Japan’s southern island of Okinawa and the crimes committed by US soldiers there.

The demonstrators marched through the streets of downtown Tokyo to denounce a plan by the government to relocate a contentious US military base on Okinawa.

The angry protesters chanted slogans against the plan holding banners that read, “no more base.”

Japan calls in Chinese envoy after ship enters disputed waters

KONFRONTASI - Japan has summoned China's ambassador to protest an alleged violation of what Tokyo regards as its territorial waters after a Chinese navy ship sailed close to disputed islands in East China Sea for the first time.

According to Japan’s Foreign Ministry, the Chinese naval vessel entered waters surrounding Senkaku around 00:50 am (1550 GMT) on Wednesday.

Japan 'alert' for possible North Korea missile launch

KONFRONTASI-Japan has put its military on alert for a possible North Korean ballistic missile launch, national and international media said.

Tokyo government ordered naval destroyers and anti-ballistic missile Patriot batteries to be ready to shoot down any projectile heading for Japan, state broadcaster NHK said.

A government official confirmed that an order was issued, according to the Reuters news agency. The official declined to be identified as he is not authorised to speak to the media, the agency said.

Magnitude 6 quake hits south Japan, nuclear power plants safe

KONFRONTASI-An earthquake of magnitude 6 hit southern Japan on Thursday, bringing down some buildings, a government spokesman said, but there were no immediate reports of injuries and the nuclear regulator reported no problems at power plants.

The quake struck 11 km (7 miles) east of the city of Kumamoto, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. It initially said the magnitude was 6.2 but revised it down. Japanese public broadcaster NHK said the quake registered 6.4.

U.S, Japan, South Korea warn North Korea again over 'provocations'

KONFRONTASI-U.S. President Barack Obama joined with South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday to present a united front over what he called "provocations" committed by North Korea in its recent nuclear and missile tests.

Meeting on the sidelines of a global nuclear security summit in Washington, the three leaders recommitted their countries to each other’s defense and warned they could take further steps to counter threats from Pyongyang.

China warns Japan over intelligence station

KONFRONTASI - China has warned Japan over the launch of a radar station in the East China Sea that will give Tokyo a permanent base to gather intelligence on the surrounding areas.

Japan opened the new Self Defense Forces base on Monday. The base is situated on the island of Yonaguni at the western extreme of a group of Japanese islands in the East China Sea. These islands are some 150 kilometers (90 miles) south of the disputed islands known as the Senkaku islands in Japan and the Diaoyu in China.

Japan's nuclear refugees face bleak return five years after Fukushima

KONFRONTASI-Tokuo Hayakawa carries a dosimeter around with him at his 600-year-old temple in Naraha, the first town in the Fukushima "exclusion zone" to fully reopen since Japan's March 2011 catastrophe. Badges declaring "No to nuclear power" adorn his black Buddhist robe.

Hayakawa is one of the few residents to return to this agricultural town since it began welcoming back nuclear refugees five months ago.