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Tajik Foreign Minister Hamrokhon Zarifi met with Mr. Kazayuki Hamada, a Parliamentary Secretary and Deputy Foreign Minister of Japan in Kuwait on Sunday, Asia-Plus reported on Monday.

The Tajik MFA information department reports the high officials discussed a number of issues related to bilateral mutually beneficial cooperation between Tajikistan and Japan. Zarifi and Hamada reportedly hailed the current level of bilateral cooperation between the two countries.


Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan resigned Friday after a little more than a year in office following the passage of two major pieces of legislation, DPA reported.

His successor is to be chosen next week, and the front runner is seen as former foreign minister Seiji Maehara.

Kan, 64, had promised to resign after the passage of the bills approving the issuance of deficit-covering government bonds and promoting renewable energy, which was done Friday.


Japan's sovereign credit rating was downgraded one step Wednesday by Moody's Investors Service, which cited Japan's public debt, which is the largest in the world and rising since the 2009 recession, and its weak economic growth prospects, DPA reported.

Moody's lowered Japan's rating from Aa2 to Aa3 while saying that the outlook for the world's third-largest economy remained stable.

Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda said faith in Japanese bonds had been undamaged by the downgrade, but it would certainly raise pressure on the Japanese government to clean up the country's finances.


The Government of Japan decided to give emergency grant aid in the amount of $350,093 thousand through the UN development programme for the support in holding the presidential elections in Kyrgyzstan, the press service of the Japan Embassy in the KRG reported, writes.


The Government of Japan is continuing to provide assistance to Tajikistan, Asia-Plus reported.

On August 17, Mr. Yoshihiro Nakayama, Ambassador, Embassy of Japan in Dushanbe, and Mr. Suhrob Okhunov, Chairman of Kuhistoni Mastchoh District, signed a grant contract for "Project for Construction of Secondary School in Rogif village, Ivan-Tojik Jamoat, Kuhistoni Mastchoh district," the Japanese Embassy reports.


A strong earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale jolted Japan's northeastern Honshu island at 2: 36 p.m. local time and triggered a tsunami advisory in Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures, the weather agency said.

No abnormalities have been observed in Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant following the quake as of press time, Xinhua reported.


The governor of Japan's northern island of Hokkaido Wednesday said she had approved the restart of a nuclear reactor, the first resumption of plants suspended since the nation's worst atomic accident in March, DPA reported.

Harumi Takahashi was to inform Industry Minister Banri Kaieda of her approval for reactor number 3 at Tomari Nuclear Power Station on the island. After receiving her call, Kaieda was also expected to give the final go-ahead for operator Hokkaido Electric Power Co to resume the reactor.


Japan observed the 66th anniversary of the end of World War II on Monday as it struggles to cope with its worst nuclear crisis and recover from the natural disasters that struck the north-east in March, DPA reported.

Some 7,200 people, including Emperor Akihito, Empress Michiko and Prime Minister Naoto Kan attended the annual ceremony in central Tokyo to remember 3.1 million soldiers and civilians who perished in the war.

The premier had said in March the country was facing the biggest crisis since the end of World War II as it was struggling to avert a nuclear disaster.


Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said Wednesday he would leave office as promised after two key bills are passed in parliament in late August, DPA reported.

"When they are enacted, we will quickly prepare for the Democratic Party of Japan's (DPJ) presidential election," Kan told a parliamentary session, Kyodo News reported.

"My Cabinet has done what it had to do and I have no regrets."

The premier is seeking parliamentary approval of the bill to allow the government to issue deficit-covering bonds in the current financial year and a bill to promote the use of renewable energy.


Former Japan defender Naoki Matsuda died on Thursday in hospital after collapsing on the pitch during training two days earlier, his club Matsumoto Yamaga said dpa reported

The club said in a statement on their website that Matsuda died in the early afternoon.

Matsuda, 34, collapsed after a warm-up training run on Tuesday from a suspected heart attack. He did not respond to artificial respiration efforts on the training ground and cardiopulmonary resuscitation in hospital did also not save him.