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CAIRO, Sept 22, 2018 (MENA) - The Japanese Ambassador here Masaki Noke stressed that Egypt has a great civilization, adding that enhancing joint ties is a top priority for the best interests of the two peoples.

The remarks came during the conference held on Saturday at Cairo University under the rubric "150 years since Meiji Period's reforms - how to benefit from the Japanese experience".

The diplomat pointed out that the Japanese people have been keen on benefiting from other countries to achieve scientific and social development and at the same time preserve the Japanese identity.

Noke further asserted that a Japanese delegation visited Egypt in 1860 as they studied the judicial system, noting that the Egyptian universities have specialized departments to teach the Japanese language.

TOKYO, Sept 21, 2018 (News Wires) - Japan’s Naomi Osaka exuded a major champion’s aura on Friday as she dispatched Barbora Strycova 6-3, 6-4 to reach the Pan Pacific Open semi-finals, despite being nowhere near her best.

The third seed, who stunned Serena Williams to capture the US Open title earlier this month, failed to hit the same heights she did on that historic night in New York.

But she still had too much firepower for Strycova in Tokyo, advancing to face either Italy’s Camila Giorgi or former world number one Victoria Azarenka in the last four.

Eighth seed Strycova had little answer to her opponent’s venomous hitting and the world number seven bagged the first set with a sledgehammer forehand that almost tore the racquet from the Czech’s hand.

The 20-year-old Osaka, contesting her first tournament since becoming Japan’s first Grand Slam singles winner, never looked back against a player 12 years her senior, another forehand rocket bringing up a first match point.

Strycova saved that one but moments later, Osaka fired a bruising serve into the body to extend her current winning streak to nine matches.

“I’ve played her three times and each time it’s been very hard,” said Osaka, who reached the Tokyo final in 2016.

“I don’t feel any extra pressure playing in Japan,” added Japan’s latest sporting celebrity, who has a Japanese mother, a Haitian father and was raised in the United States.

“I’ve improved a lot of things in the last few years and I feel excited playing here.”

Earlier, fourth seed Karolina Pliskova saved two match points before the former women’s top-ranked player ended American qualifier Alison Riske’s run with a 6-1, 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/4) victory.

The Czech, who smashed a racquet in disgust after squandering multiple chances at 5-5 in the deciding set, completed a “lucky win” with a sliced backhand that Riske wafted into the net after two hours, 40 minutes.

“It was an important win for me,” said Pliskova after reaching her first Tokyo semi-final.

“I saved a couple of match points — she was a little bit better than me but you need a bit of luck in tennis. I’m just happy to be able to fight back.”

TOKYO, September 17, 2018 (News Wires) - More than 28 per cent of Japan’s population is now officially classified as elderly according to government data, the highest rate in the world as the first wave of postwar baby boomers enter old age.

Those aged 65 or older now make up a record 35.6 million, or 28.1 per cent of the total population, the government said Sunday.

The proportion is the highest by far in the world, ahead of 23.3 per cent in Italy, 21.9 per cent in Portugal and 21.7 per cent in Germany, according to UN data for those countries.

The government also said those aged 70 or older accounted for 20.7 per cent of the population, surpassing 20 per cent for the first time.

The figures show the nation’s postwar baby boomers are now entering old age, it said.

The demographic shift is due to a combination of a low birthrate and long life expectancy.

Japan’s rapidly greying population poses a major headache for policymakers who are faced with trying to ensure an ever-dwindling pool of workers can pay for the growing number of pensioners.

TOKYO, September 17, 2018 (News Wires) - A Japanese submarine has for the first time joined a naval drill in the South China Sea, the Ministry of Defence said on Monday, in an expansion of Japanese activity in the disputed waterway claimed by China and others.

The submarine Kuroshio took part in the exercise on Thursday with other Japanese warships, including the Kaga helicopter carrier, which is on a two-month tour of Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean, a ministry spokesman said.

It was the first time a Japanese submarine had conducted drills there.

The exercise, which involved the submarine trying to evade detection, was conducted away from island bases built by China to push its claims in the strategic sea.

However, the exercise could still anger China because submarines represent a greater potential menace to shipping than surface vessels.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, asked about the exercise, said China “urges the relevant external country to respect the efforts made by regional countries to resolve the South China Sea issue through talks”.

“Act with caution and don’t take any acts that could damage peace and stability in the region,” the spokesman, Geng Shuang, added.

China claims virtually the entire South China Sea. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam also have claims to parts of it. Taiwan also claims it.

Chinese naval ships and monitoring stations on its fortified islands routinely challenge foreign aircraft and vessels in the region, sources have said previously.

China insists its intentions in the South China Sea are peaceful but its more assertive stance has raised worries about confrontation.

The U.S. Navy has conducted so-called freedom of navigation patrols in the South China Sea and has said it would like to see more countries challenge China in the waterway, through which some $3 trillion of ship-borne trade passes each year.

Last month, a British Royal Navy amphibious assault ship, HMS Albion, sailed close to islands claimed by China in the South China Sea to exercise “freedom of navigation” rights.

Britain’s first such operation prompted a strong protest from China, which sent aircraft and a naval vessel to meet the British ship.

In a separate announcement, the Japanese defence ministry said the Kuroshio, with a crew of 80, would make a five-day port visit to Vietnam’s strategic naval base at Cam Ranh Bay from Monday.

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia, September 12, 2018 (News Wires) - Russian President Vladimir Putin turned to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on a conference stage on Wednesday and offered to sign a peace treaty by the end of this year to formally end World War Two hostilities between their countries.

But soon after Putin made the dramatic offer, a Japanese government spokesman in Tokyo said Japan wants the return of islands in the Pacific captured by Russian troops in the last days of the war before it signs a peace treaty.

Russia and Japan have been in dispute for seven decades over the islands and as a result have still not formally ended their World War Two hostilities. The standoff has held back economic ties between the two near-neighbours.

“An idea has just come into my head,” Putin said to Abe during a question and answer session at an economic forum in the Russian city of Vladivostok.

“Let’s conclude a peace treaty before the end of this year, without any pre-conditions.”

Later in the same session, Putin said of his offer: “I was not joking.” He said his idea was that the two sides sign a treaty first, and then work through the issues on which they are in dispute afterwards.

Both Moscow and Tokyo claim sovereignty over the islands, known in Russia as the Kurile islands and in Japan as the Northern Territories.

At a regular briefing in Tokyo for reporters after Putin had made the offer, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said: “I don’t want to comment on what President Putin said....However, our position that the Northern Territories issue is resolved before any peace treaty remains unchanged.”

Both Abe and Putin say they want a solution to the dispute. The Japanese leader has said a deal would unlock trade and investment from Japanese companies for Russia, which is isolated from Western investment because of sanctions.

But for Putin, who casts himself publicly as a fierce champion of Russia’s national interests, giving up the islands would risk a political backlash at home.

Earlier, Putin said security in the region was a key issue and that Russia was concerned by a move to establish a U.S. missile defense system there.

Japan decided last year it would expand its ballistic missile defense system with U.S.-made ground-based Aegis radar stations and interceptors.

“This is all the subject of negotiations... We have been negotiating for 70 years,” Putin said.

“Shinzo said let’s change approaches. Okay,” Putin said, before proposing they sign a peace treaty.

SEOUL, South Korea, Sept 11, 2018 (News Wires) - Playing under coach Hajime Moriyasu for the first time, Japan got back on the field Tuesday and beat Costa Rica 3-0 in a friendly.

The Japanese team, which reached the second round at the World Cup, canceled its previous friendly against Chile because of an earthquake in Hokkaido.

Sho Sasaki was credited with the opening goal in the 16th minute in Osaka although his header was directed into the net by the head of Costa Rica defender Bryan Oviedo. Takumi Minamino and Junya Ito added goals in the second half.

Also, South Korea held Chile to a 0-0 draw in Suwon.

Both Japan and South Korea are preparing for the Asian Cup in January.



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