The Guardian view on new climate goals: a destination is not enough | Editorial

Bad decisions are harming the UK’s green credentials. Boris Johnson must get beyond targets if he wants be taken seriously The starting gun has been fired. With a pledge to cut the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions by 78% by 2035 compared with 1990 levels, Boris Johnson’s government has begun the bidding process that will set […]

‘No action on anything’: Australia increasingly isolated as US and others ramp up climate ambition

Ex-diplomat Dean Bialek says as other countries take ‘massive steps forward’ from Paris any attempt by Canberra to ‘fly under the radar’ will fail Australia must stop wasting time and shift to renewable energy to spark job creation, Albanese says International pressure on the Morrison government over the climate crisis is expected to increase as […]

Warren Gatland warns Premiership players they risk Lions snub

Dispute with Premiership Rugby over player release grows Poor form could also count against England players says Gatland Warren Gatland has warned that British & Irish Lions hopefuls based in England face the prospect of missing out on the South Africa tour unless Premiership Rugby softens its stance in an escalating disagreement over player release. […]

The Guardian view on the Tokyo Olympics: must the show go on?

With coronavirus surging in Japan and internationally, this summer’s Games are a risky prospect As coronavirus swept the globe last spring, Japan portrayed the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics until this summer as an opportunity as well as a necessity. The delayed Games would be the light at the end of the tunnel; […]

Top banks could be investigated over $20bn fire sale of hedge fund assets

Collapse of Archegos has reportedly prompted SEC and FCA inquiries into Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Nomura and others UK and US regulators are looking into whether global investment banks breached rules by holding group discussions shortly before launching a fire sale of nearly $20bn worth of assets belonging to the distressed hedge fund Archegos Capital […]

Climate crisis ‘likely cause’ of early cherry blossom in Japan

Peak bloom reached on 26 March in Kyoto and experts say impact of global warming is to blame Japan’s famous cherry blossoms have reached their flowery peak in many places earlier this year than at any time since formal records began nearly 70 years ago, with experts saying the climate crisis is the likely cause. […]

Coronavirus live news: France ICU cases climbing rapidly; German lockdown row deepens

Number of patients in intensive care in France near to numbers reached in autumn 2020; state leader pushes back after Merkel criticism of inaction Merkel threat to centralise Covid response as some states refuse to act WHO: Covid probably passed to humans from bats via other animal Madeira lets in tourists who can show Covid […]

Suez canal: Dutch and Japanese teams brought in to help free ship

Salvage teams from Netherlands and Japan called in to help refloat Ever Given, which is blocking canal Salvage teams from the Netherlands and Japan have been enlisted to redraw plans to free a giant container ship blocking the Suez canal, as fears grew that the operation could take weeks. Taiwan’s Evergreen Marine Corp, which leased […]

Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics organisers confirm overseas fan ban

‘Covid-19 situation in Japan … still very challenging’ Overseas ticket holders will be refunded, organisers say Coronavirus – latest updates | All our coronavirus coverage Overseas spectators will not be permitted to attend this summer’s rearranged Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo. An announcement was made after a meeting of the International Olympic Committee, International […]

Why Japan’s carmaking heavyweights could be facing an electric shock

Analysis: The rapid development of battery-only cars is eclipsing petrol vehicles and even hybrids, leaving Japan’s big producers racing to catch up Japan’s traditional carmaking giants need to raise their game in the race to develop pure, battery-driven electric vehicles or risk being left behind by Chinese, American and European producers, analysts have warned. Despite […]

Why Britain is tilting to the Indo-Pacific region

Critics warn of imperial fantasy but the economic and political forces pulling the UK back to the region are real Some will call it a tilt, others a rebalancing and yet others a pivot but, either way, the new big idea due to emerge from the government’s foreign and defence policy review on Tuesday will […]

Susie Cave: ‘My imagination can get a little bit scary’

Susie Cave’s darkly romantic creations have made her label, the Vampire’s Wife, a cult favourite – with Vogue naming one design ‘the dress of the decade’. Here, she talks about family tragedy, life with Nick Cave and why she is motivated by beauty Susie Cave’s Brighton kitchen is painted a very specific bruised-peach pink and […]

Myanmar coup: six protesters killed as world leaders vow to restore democracy

Deaths come as US, India, Australia and Japan vow to work together to address crisis in Myanmar At least six protesters were killed by security forces in Myanmar, witnesses and media have reported, as activists marked the anniversary on Saturday of a student whose killing in 1988 sparked an uprising against the military government. Three […]

Keep your head: the self-decapitating sea slugs that regrow their bodies – hearts and all

The disembodied head of the sacoglossan sea slug feasts on algae while its old body decomposes, and a new one grows If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, then it’s unlikely that you are a sacoglossan sea slug (apologies to Rudyard Kipling). Scientists in Japan have discovered that this […]

Harvard professor sparks outrage with claims about Japan’s ‘comfort women’

Academics reject J Mark Ramseyer’s claim women were not forced into sexual slavery during second world war A Harvard University professor has sparked outrage among fellow academics and campaigners after claiming that women forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military had chosen to work in wartime brothels. J Mark Ramseyer, a professor of Japanese […]

An uncertain future for Japan’s love hotels – in pictures

With Japan’s rules on movement less restrictive than many other countries, its love hotels have fared relatively well during the coronavirus pandemic. But in a country where, according to government research, over 40% of men and women aged 18-34 have never had sex and with its current population of 126 million forecast to fall a […]

‘My mother begged me not to go’: the Japanese women who married Koreans – and never saw their family again

Mitsuko left Japan in 1960 for a new life in North Korea. Once there, she realised she – and hundreds of others like her – could never go back It has been six decades since Mitsuko Minakawa boarded a ferry on the Sea of Japan coast, bound for a new life in North Korea. But […]

Master brewer: the woman excelling in Japan’s male world of sake

Miho Imada has won international acclaim as a tôji, or master brewer of the traditional Japanese tipple As a child, Miho Imada promised herself she would never perform “women’s work” to support her family’s sake brewery. She saw how her mother juggled looking after five children with cooking three meals a day for groups of […]

‘My favourite Christmas abroad’: readers’ travel tips

From meditation in Japan to romance in snowy New York, readers tell the stories of their Christmas travels One Christmas, I went to a zen meditation retreat in Oita, on the southernmost Kyushu island, because I was feeling very burned out. The meditation retreat, as you would imagine, was pretty relaxed and the resident monk […]

‘I’m pleased it is being used for people’s safety’: QR code inventor relishes its role in tackling Covid

Masahiro Hara came up with black and white pattern to optimise inventory in automotive industry The eureka moment that helped Masahiro Hara perfect the Quick Response, or QR code, sprang from a lunchtime game of Go more than a quarter of a century ago. He was playing the ancient game of strategy at work when […]

Tree of the week: ‘This black pine represents how nature forces change on to living things’

This tree in Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan, cultivated according to the traditional practice of niwaki, inspired Rod Hardingham so much he has tried to grow a similar one in his B&B in Kent Rod Hardingham’s favourite tree, a black pine in Tatsuno, embodies not only his love of gardens and nature, but also a decades-long affinity […]

The artisan talent behind a Japanese watch collection that adapts ancient traditions for the modern world

Centuries of knowledge and decades of skill combine to create timepieces that are true works of Japanese craftsmanship Though Switzerland may come to mind first, watch wearers should also consider Japan a centre of quality timepiece manufacture. Seiko, pioneers of the Japanese wristwatch, remain faithful to the design philosophies and traditions that have made Japan […]

From ceramics to anime: how a watchmaker is being inspired by Japan’s cultural riches

Seiko’s Presage collection brings Japanese arts to life, celebrating everything from the ancient technique of enamelling to the modern artistry of Studio Ghibli From porcelain production techniques that date back centuries to the peerless animated films of Studio Ghibli, Japan has offered much to the world of art and craftsmanship. This, in turn, has been […]