Boris Dittrich, a former Dutch parliamentarian and an advocacy director for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) program of a global human rights group, said that Japan needs to make more efforts to promote the rights of sexual minorities. The 57-year-old LGBT director for U.S.-based Human Rights Watch played a major role in making same-sex marriages legal in the Netherlands in 2001, the first country in the world to do so.
In her first official overseas trip in 11 years, Crown Princess Masako, together with Crown Prince Naruhito attended the coronation ceremony for the Netherlands' King Willem-Alexander last Tuesday. The Princess' stress-related illness has kept her out of the public eye since 2002, and this trip was carefully planned by the Imperial Household Agency, with her physicians accompanying them to Amsterdam.
Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako left Japan for the Netherlands on Sunday to attend the week-long celebrations for the coronation of Prince Willem-Alexander who will become the new Dutch king on Tuesday. This is the first overseas trip in seven years for the Princess, who was diagnosed with a stress-induced illness in 2002.
If media reports are true, Japan's Crown Princess Masako will be making her first overseas trip in seven years to accompany Crown Prince Naruhito and attend the coronation of Prince Willem Alexander of the Netherlands on April 30. The Princess was diagnosed with a stress-induced adjustment disorder in 2004 and has mostly stayed in the country since then.
The Institute of Cetacean Research, the managing government agency for Japanese whaling activities, has criticized the Australian government for tolerating the activities of hardline conservationists that have interfered with and caused damage to its whaling fleet. They cited the federal government being a safe harbor for the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, the number one enemy of the annual whale hunt initiated by the Japanese government for "research" purposes.
Shigeru Iwasaki, chief of the Japanese Self-Defence Forces' Joint Staff, said that the Lockheed Martin's F-35 fighters that Japan purchased from the United States are the best choices for Japan's future national security. This statement comes after reports that some nations are reconsidering their purchase of the F-35 jets.
Environmental extremist group Sea Shepherd is now trying to have criminal charges filed against Japanese whalers in the Netherlands. As two of the group's ships sail under Dutch flags, they the country's authorities to prosecute the Japanese for acts of piracy for intentionally ramming their ships during their recent scuffle in the Southern Ocean.
Both teams were already assured of a semifinals spot in the World Baseball Classic in San Francisco, but up for grabs was the top seed in Pool 1 and Japan won 10-6 over the Netherlands in its final game of the group. Japan gets the top seed after winning all of its 3 games at home and will play the first semifinals game on Sunday.
Just two days after besting Taiwan, the two-time defending champion Japan offered up an embarrassing defeat to the Netherlands on Sunday, winning 16-4, and moving on the World Baseball Classic semifinals in the U.S. With six home runs, and scoring in all seven innings of the game, Japan was already up 12-0 by the sixth, resulting in the game to be called in the seventh under the mercy rule.
In the wake of a dangerous stunt performed by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, an animal activist group, when a Dutch-registered vessel came very close to two Japanese ships in the Atlantic Ocean last Friday, February 15, Japan asks Netherlands to take effective action against the group and require it to stop interfering with its annual whale hunt. This act marks one of the group's first sabotage attempts against Japan's so-called research whaling this season.