Negotiating Asia’s troubled waters

President Barack Obama’s tour of Asia was supposed to start today by striking a delicate balance, but he has already riled China.

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North Korea fires two ballistic missiles near Japan

A ballistic missile like the two North Korea fired.
A ballistic missile like the two North Korea fired. Credit: PA

North Korea has fired two ballistic missiles, the Japanese government said.

The missiles were launched between 1.20am and 1.30am local time from somewhere near Kaesong in southwestern North Korea.

They flew about 500 km (310 miles) before splashing into waters separating Japan and the Korean peninsula, Japan's Defence Ministry said.

There were no damages or casualties from the firing but Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said: "This is a clear violation of UN Security Council resolutions."

Dramatic footage captures Japanese landslide

Dramatic footage has captured the moment Typhoon Neoguri caused a landslide in Japan's southern main island of Kyushu after passing through the islands of Okinawa.

The powerful typhoon has brought heavy rain across the country, leaving three people killed and 45 injured, Reuters has reported.

Evacuation advisories have been issued for more than 42,000 homes and officials are asking the public to be on alert for further landslides and flooding.

Weather officials say more heavy rain is expected across the country as Neoguri moves east with up to 80 millimeters per hour of rainfall and a maximum wind velocity of 90 kilometers per hour.

Read: Typhoon Neoguri causes destruction in Okinawa

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Typhoon Neoguri causes destruction in Okinawa

Typhoon Neoguri has caused destruction as it passes over Japan's southern island of Okinawa.

Half a million people have been urged to seek shelter as the powerful typhoon brought torrential rain and high winds to its south-western islands.

A wooden house which collapsed due to strong winds caused by Typhoon Neoguri is seen in Naha, Okinawa. Credit: Reuters
A roadside tree which collapsed due to strong winds caused by Typhoon Neoguri is seen in Naha, Okinawa. Credit: Reuters
Women walk in strong winds at Kokusai street, a shopping and amusement district in Naha, on Japan's southern island of Okinawa. Credit: Reuters

The powerful typhoon forced Japanese authorities to cancel flights and schools have been closed.

Forecasters said the storm could be one of the strongest to hit Japan, generating waves up to 14m.

Read: 500,000 urged to evacuate as typhoon heads to Japan

500,000 urged to evacuate as typhoon heads to Japan

More than 500,000 people have been urged to evacuate their homes on Japan's southwestern islands as Typhoon Neoguri sweeps in.

Typhoon Neoguri, with gusts of more than 155 mph, races towards Okinawa island.
Typhoon Neoguri, with gusts of more than 155 mph, races towards Okinawa island. Credit: APTN

"People must take the utmost caution," Keiji Furuya, state minister in charge of disaster management, told a news conference.

Buses have ground to a halt in many areas as the typhoon moves towards Japan.
Buses have ground to a halt in many areas as the typhoon moves towards Japan. Credit: APTN

The storm will be at its most powerful as it passes Okinawa, some 1,000 miles (1,600 km) southwest of Tokyo on Tuesday, and is forecast to reach Tokyo later in the week.

Japan urges 100,000 to evacuate as typhoon moves in

More than 100,000 people have been urged to evacuate their homes in Japan as a powerful typhoon threatens to bring torrential rain and high winds to the country's southern islands.

Typhoon Neoguri weakened from its original status as a super typhoon, but remains intense, with gusts of more than 155 mph (250 km per hour).

It is powering towards the Okinawa island chain where emergency rain and high-seas warnings were in effect.

Nearly 7,000 households lost power and an oil refinery halted operations.

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Astronaut tweets picture of super typhoon from space

Nasa astronaut Reid Wiseman took this picture from the International Space Station of Super Typhoon Neoguri as it headed towards Japan:

Japanese politician's hysterical apology goes viral

Footage of an under-fire Japanese politician dramatically banging his fists on his desk and wailing remorsefully over alleged misuse of public funds has attracted millions of views on YouTube.

Ryutaro Nonomura was filmed crying and yelling "you don't understand" at reporters at a press conference in the city of Kobe, amid suspicion of misuse of more than 3 million yen (£17,000) in expenses.

AKB48: Japanese girl band members hurt in saw attack

AKB48 members Rina Kawaei (L) and Anna Iriyama speak to media after being discharged.
AKB48 members Rina Kawaei (L) and Anna Iriyama speak to media after being discharged. Credit: Reuters

Two members of popular Japanese girl band AKB48 have been discharged from hospital after a man wielding a saw attacked them at a fan event.

Rina Kawaei, 19, and Anna Iriyama, 18, received cuts to the hands and heads after a man slashed them with the instrument, according to local news network Kyodo.

An upcoming concert in Tokyo was cancelled after the attack, along with other fan events.

A 24-year-old man has since been arrested.

Ukraine crisis: Japan imposes visa bans against Russia

Japan imposed visa bans on 23 people, following the United States and the European Union in announcing expanded sanctions against Russia over its actions in Ukraine.

US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel with Japan's PM Shinzo Abe Credit: Reuters

"Japan expresses serious concern that Russian moves to violate Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, including the annexation of Crimea, are continuing," Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said in a statement.

The Japanese government did not disclose the names, titles or nationalities of the people hit with the new visa bans, but said the list was was based on those compiled by the US and the EU.

Moscow has already denounced what it called "Cold War" tactics for the new U.S. and EU sanctions imposed on Russian and Ukrainian allies of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Japan has previously condemned Russia's actions in Ukraine and followed the US and the EU in imposing sanctions against the country.

The US Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel visited Japan earlier this month to discuss Japan's security in the light of the crisis in Crimea.

Read: Violent clashes in eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk

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