Japan

Illegal fishing on Pacific leaders summit agenda

The Pacific Island Leaders Meeting, known as PALM, is held in Japan every three years.

Japan's government hosts the PALM summits as a way to share its assistance programme with Pacific Island Forum countries.

Ahead of this summit, Tokyo said measures to help Pacific countries enforce maritime law within their maritime jurisdictions would be included in a joint statement for the eighth PALM meeting.

Pacific Island countries struggle to adequately police their exclusive economic zones which have become subject to regular incursions by so-called Vietnamese blue boats.

Fakaosilea released by Brumbies

The flanker has featured in four matches this season, and was named on the bench last weekend but wasn't injected into their clash with the Rebels.

Fakaosilea's contract was supposed to run until the end of the 2018 season, but the Brumbies agreed to release him.

He has struggled to make a consistent mark in his two seasons in Canberra, with injuries and a growing depth in the backrow limiting his chances.

New dormitory for Tonga’s Montfort Technical Institute

The construction is funded through Japan’s Grant Assistance for Grass-Roots Human Security Project with a grant amount of USD$87,831.

The new dormitory will also have its own kitchen and bathroom facility.

Principal of Montfort, Brother Curzmecias Sebastian said the project will provide an accommodation facility for students from the outer islands.

Japan to host PALM8

Japanese ambassador to Fiji Masahiro Omura said the meeting was held once in every three years since 1997.

“This is an important meeting where leaders of 14 Pacific Island countries get together and we are hoping they all will participate again come next year,” he said.

Omura said Japan was also promoting various forms of exchange programmes for Fiji.

Japan seeks longer-range cruise missiles amid North Korea threat

The announcement by Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera comes amid regular missile tests by North Korea and increased tensions between the nations.

The missiles will be deployed on Japan's fleet of fighter jets and have a range of up to 1,000km (621 miles).

The move is likely to be controversial, as Japan limits its military to self-defence.

But conservative Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pushed in recent months to loosen the country's military restrictions, imposed in the wake of World War Two.

England's $233m RWC plan

A record war chest of more than £120 million (NZ$233.5m) is to be invested in the professional game over the next two years and the RFU has given the green light to the "detailed and comprehensive plans" of Jones for the build-up to the tournament in Japan.

Expenditure on professional rugby in England soared last year by over 50 per cent to a record £63.7 million ($124 million). Investment going into the 2015 World Cup was £44.3 million ($86.2 million).

Japan almost beat France

France have won just three of their 11 tests in 2017 and were fortunate not to suffer their most humbling reverse yet as flyhalf Tamura lined up a 74th minute conversion with the scores level.

The kick was just to the left of the posts, one that Tamura would expect to make comfortably, but the miss allowed the home side to escape with a draw as they managed to survive more pressure from the visitors in the remaining minutes.

The result, though, was set to still intensify the unwelcome spotlight on coach Guy Noves two years out from the Rugby World Cup.

'Ikale Tahi players slammed for poor attitude

The 'Ikale Tahi's four match winning run against the Brave Blossoms came to a thuddering halt in Toulouse as the Japanese ran in five unanswered tries.

Toutai Kefu said they missed too many tackles in a poor performance.

"I think our attitude probably wasn't right to start with," he said.

"We lacked a little bit of urgency around the ruck and if you don't have that it's 100 percent attitude and just mental aptitude, to be hungry enough to win the ball.

"So I think from our point of view that's the first thing we need to fix."

Sumo bar fight rocks Japan

In a case that has enthralled Japan and dominated news headlines for a week, a 33-year-old grand sumo champion, a Mongolian called Harumafuji, is accused of assaulting a younger wrestler, a 27-year-old Mongolian called Takanoiwa, with items possibly including a beer bottle, an ice pick, an ashtray, a microphone and a karaoke remote control.

Harumafuji, who holds the top rank of yokozuna, says he used only his bare hands, and a contentious investigation is now going on. Still, he's expected to be forced out.

Defensive-minded Japan blows away Tonga

Going up against a side that qualified for the 2019 Rugby World Cup as the second-ranked team from Oceania behind Fiji, the Brave Blossoms blew away the Pacific islanders. Japan displayed some scintillating 15-man rugby and a well-organized, robust defense in a 39-6 victory at Stade Ernest Wallon.

Japan came into the game as the more experienced side with its starting XV having won 392 caps to Tonga’s 157. It was more of the same among the reserves, with Japan’s replacements having played 58 tests to just six by Tongan backups.