April 24, 2014 |
TOKYO - During a long day in the coded world of Japanese diplomacy, President Obama's easiest conversation Thursday was with a robot. “I can kick a soccer ball,” said the Honda humanoid to the president. “OK, come on,” replied Obama, who caught the kick with his foot and complimented the metallic athlete. “That was pretty impressive.” Besides offering the least complicated interaction of the day, the demonstration at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation also had Obama in a comfort zone, focusing on science, technology and the opportunity for collaboration with a top American ally and trade partner.
April 23, 2014 |
TOKYO - Declaring that "the United States is and always will be a Pacific nation," President Obama launched an Asia tour designed to assure leaders of ally nations that they have a strong U.S. backup at a time of rising regional tension. Appearing with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday morning, Obama said the "U.S.-Japan alliance is the foundation not only for our security in the Asia-Pacific region but also for the region as a whole. " He later said the U.S. security treaty with Japan "covers all territories under Japan's administration, including the Senkaku islands," but reiterated that Washington did not take a position on competing claims of sovereignty.
April 22, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - After more than four years and 20 rounds of negotiations, the world's biggest free-trade deal in a generation has come down in good part to this: the United States and Japan squabbling over beef. With President Obama due to arrive Wednesday in Tokyo for a two-day summit with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, their aides have been pulling all-nighters in the hope of reaching a compromise on tariffs for beef and, to a lesser extent, pork and dairy products. The proposed 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership is seen as the centerpiece of Obama's promised re-balance in foreign policy priorities to fast-growing Asia-Pacific.
April 18, 2014 |
Universal Studios Japan's Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction will open July 15, the theme park announced Friday at an event attended by Japanese and foreign dignitaries. The $500-million Wizarding World, similar to an attraction that opened at Universal Orlando Resort in 2010, will include rides incorporating environments and characters from the "Harry Potter" book and film franchises. The themed land, part of the 108-acre theme park in Osaka, will feature attractions such as Hogsmeade Village, the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride, and Hogwarts castle. Universal Studios Japan unveiled that castle -- the focal point of the Wizarding World -- at an event attended by Caroline Kennedy, U.S. ambassador to Japan, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. ON LOCATION: Where the cameras roll Universal Studios Hollywood will open a similar Wizarding World attraction in 2016.
April 7, 2014 |
It is not unusual to find coaches from other schools visiting UCLA practices. It is a little different when one comes from halfway around the world to be there. Daisuke Nishimura , head coach at Kyoto University, and one of his assistants traveled to Los Angeles last week to watch spring practices as a guest of offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone . The two met last summer, when Mazzone was in Japan doing football clinics with a group of coaches. "I love the passion for it," Mazzone said.
April 4, 2014 |
Concluding a three-day visit to Japan, Olympic inspectors expressed satisfaction Friday with early preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games. The four-man contingent visited a number of existing and potential venues and held discussions with the host country's organizing committee. "Tokyo 2020 has successfully undertaken a number of important steps on its seven-year Olympic journey," said John Coates, chairman of the coordination commission for the International Olympic Committee.