“The Japanese have acknowledged that their emperor is not a god…



“The Japanese have acknowledged that their emperor is not a god and he has been stripped of all political power, but the nation still views its monarch as so central to the sense of identity that he is not permitted to resign. Now, Emperor Akihito is suggesting that his people let him retire.He is 82 years old. He has had cancer. He has had surgery. So, in a uniquely Japanese moment on Monday, he went on television to hint at his desire for Parliament to change the law so he can give the job to his son.”

For more, see Jonathan Soble, “At 82, Emperor Akihito of Japan of Japan Wants to Retire, Will Japan Let Him?The New York Times (7 August 2016)

“China’s expansive assertion of sovereignty over the South China…



“China’s expansive assertion of sovereignty over the South China Sea suffered a major blow Tuesday when an international tribunal ruled that its claims have no legal or historical basis, throwing up the possibility of a new period of tension and confrontation in the region.Beijing fiercely rejected the decision by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, which sided unequivocally with the Philippines against China. The United States urged calm.“

For more, see Simon Denyer and Emily Rauhala, “Beijing’s Claims to South China Sea Rejected by International Tribunal,” The Washington Post (12 July 2016)

Image: Lars Karklis / Washington Post

“For the first time in nearly two centuries, the emperor of…



“For the first time in nearly two centuries, the emperor of Japan has said that he will abdicate the throne before he dies. According to NHK, the public broadcaster in Japan, Emperor Akihito, 82, who in 1989 succeeded his father, the wartime emperor Hirohito, told close aides that he intended to pass the throne to his son, Crown Prince Naruhito, 56, before dying. No modern emperor has done so: The last emperor to abdicate was Emperor Kokaku, in 1817.“

For more, see Motoko Rich, “Emperor Akihito, in First for Japan since 1817, Plans to Abdicate,The New York Times (13 July 2016)

Image: Shizuo Kambayashi / Agence France-Presse; Getty Images        

“Memorial Day weekend is normally party time on Gate Street, a…



“Memorial Day weekend is normally party time on Gate Street, a seedy strip of bars and clubs outside a giant United States Air Force base here. During this year’s holiday, though, Gate Street was all but deserted, its customers — young Americans from the military installations that blanket much of this southern Japanese island — barred by their superiors from partying in public.

The reason: a recent murder that has angered Okinawans and damaged relations between Tokyo and Washington.”

For more, see Jonathan Soble, “Okinawa Murder Case Heightens Outcry Over U.S. Military’s Presence,” The New York Times (4 June 2016)

Image: Adam Dean / New York Times

“ 5月17日,国际不再恐同日。长沙,孙文麟和胡明亮在聚光灯和支持者的注视下,互相交换了戒指,接受了孙的母亲和胡的父亲颁发的一张自…



“ 5月17日,国际不再恐同日。长沙,孙文麟和胡明亮在聚光灯和支持者的注视下,互相交换了戒指,接受了孙的母亲和胡的父亲颁发的一张自制结婚证,完成了每 一对恋人都梦寐以求的事:成为一对“夫妻”。一个多月前,他们曾是“中国同性婚姻登记第一案”的原告,尽管诉讼被驳回,他们反而坚定了在一起相守的决心。”

摄影/黄启晴 编辑/王崴

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Via China File // h/t @gstrafella