Get away from shore - US and Japan warn after Tonga tsunami

The US warned of strong currents and waves, and coastal flooding.

The huge underwater volcanic eruption caused waves of more than a metre to crash into Tonga.

The eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Haʻapai volcano was heard across the South Pacific, and eventually as far away as the US.

A tsunami warning has been issued for parts of Australia's east coast and Tasmania, and the north and east coast areas of New Zealand's North Island.

About 27 feared dead in Osaka building fire

Police are investigating whether the blaze was started deliberately, public broadcaster NHK said.

The victims suffered cardiopulmonary arrest, a term often used in preliminary reports before a death is officially confirmed, reports say.

Footage showed blackened windows after dozens of firefighters extinguished the blaze on the fourth floor.

All of those feared dead were reportedly in a psychiatric clinic on the fourth floor of the building, located in a busy commercial and entertainment district.

2022 Beijing Winter Olympics: Australia joins US diplomatic boycott

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the decision was in response to "human rights abuses" in China's Xinjiang province and "many other issues that Australia has consistently raised".

Athletes would still attend, he added.

China has condemned the US announcement and threatened to retaliate, without giving further details.

On Monday, the US said it would not send diplomats to the Games in Beijing over concerns about China's human rights record.

Japan provides five new vehicles to Tonga’s Ministry of Health

The vehicles were handed over by the Japanese Ambassador Kensaku Munenaga to the Minister of Health Dr 'Amelia Tu'ipulotu.

Ambassador Munenaga said, “Even if vaccines are available, we cannot fully utilize them without an appropriate supply system. Vaccines, especially those for COVID-19, require swift distributions and more importantly, a very sensitive temperature control. Therefore, its supply system is called a Cold Chain.”

The vehicles will support vaccination programs in Tonga, especially outer islands, she said.

Japan donates new tanker to the Tonga Fire and Emergency Services

The water tanker which has a capacity to carry 7000 litres of water was donated through a grant of USD$63,417 provided through Japan's ongoing Grant Assistance for Grass-Roots Human Security Projects.

Japan’s Ambassador to Tonga, Kensaku Munenaga said, "In the aftermath of natural disasters, such as cyclones, this water tanker will also quickly deliver essential water sources to vulnerable people," he said.

The large tank on the truck was donated by one of Japan’s cities, Isehara, while the truck itself was donated by Kansai Airports.

Japan's Princess Mako finally marries commoner boyfriend Kei Komuro

Under Japanese law, female imperial family members forfeit their status upon marriage to a "commoner" although male members do not.

She also skipped the usual rites of a royal wedding and turned down a payment offered to royal females upon their departure from the family.

She is the first female member of the royal family to decline both.

Wallabies overcome Japan in Oita to extend winning streak

Wingers Tom Wright and Jordan Petaia crossed for tries in the first half, while forwards Taniela Tupou, Rob Leota and Connal McInerney added scores after the break to maintain Australia's 100% record in six tests against Japan.

Japan, who scored tries through Lomano Lemeki and Ryoto Nakamura, drew within four points of the lead at 27-23 with five minutes remaining but debutant hooker McInerney touched down off the back of rolling maul to snuff out home hopes of an upset.

PIF members discuss Fukushima treated nuclear wastewater with Japan

The Government of Japan committed to ongoing dialogue with Forum Members as a priority follow up to the PALM9 Summit in July. This followed Japan’s announcement in April of plans to begin discharge in 2023, for a period of up to 40 years. The announcement drew strong global response, including from the Forum Chair and Leaders.

In his opening comments at the third briefing on Tuesday afternoon, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Henry Puna noted the issues require “open and frank consultation” along with sustained dialogue at the political and technical level.

Japan donates waste management vehicles to Tonga

The new vehicles will be used by the Waste Management Ltd to collect garbage more efficiently in all villages from Lifuka to Foa.

Japan’s Ambassador Munenaga Kensaku handed over the vehicles to Waste Authority Ltd CEO,  Malakai Lomu Sika and Board Chair, Lord Lasike.

The vehicles was funded with a grant of USD$85,000 through Japan's Grant Assistance for Grass-Roots Human Security Projects.

They include a compactor truck and two flat-bed trucks.

Japan provides grant for Tonga’s new tugboat

The Ambassador of Japan to Tonga, Kensaku Munenaga, and Prime Minister Rev Dr. Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa, signed and exchanged notes for the assistance in Nuku’alofa on Friday.

Tonga’s Ministry of Public Enterprises and Ports Authority Tonga will be responsible for the tugboat.

Ambassador Munenaga said, “Maritime transportation is vital for an islands country like Tonga and Japan, and it is necessary for Tonga to enhance its maritime transportation capability for furthering economic prosperity in the Kingdom.”