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.

Carter off to Japan - report

The bi-weekly rugby newspaper Midi-Olympique has reported the 112-test All Black will leave Paris club Racing 92 in June to take up a lucrative deal with a Japanese team.

The 35-year-old is in the final year of his contract at Racing 92 and is reportedly close to agreeing which Japanese club he'll sign with, for what's likely to be his last contract as a professional player.

Carter left New Zealand rugby after the successful 2015 World Cup campaign and last year helped his club win the Top 14, defeating Toulon in the final. 

PIC Japan opens Tonga Tourism Seminar

PIC Deputy Director Takehiro Kurosaki detailed recent trends in the tourism scenario in the Pacific Island countries with a particular focus on Tonga. Tonga Tourism Ministry officials Melesungu Pule and Simata-e-laa Palu, who worked as interns at PIC at the time, made the presentation on Tonga and the opportunities for tourism in the country.

The formal proceedings were followed by a traditional spread of Tongan delicacies including Lo’i Feke made with octopus and coconut milk, which the guests greatly enjoyed.

Could the Bledisloe be decided in Japan?

Fox Sports Australia is reporting that the October Test against the Wallabies will be played in Japan in the lead-up to the All Blacks' match against the Brave Blossoms on 3 November.

It would also be a chance for both sides to get accustomed with Japan's facilities ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

The last time the two sides played each other outside their home nations was in 2010 in Hong Kong - where Australia won the match 26-24.

Both sides have also played each other in Japan back in 2009. Australia also won that match.

Two die as Typhoon Lan hits Japan

Typhoon Lan made landfall at Shizuoka, 175km (110 miles) south-west of Tokyo, at about 03:00 local time on Monday (18:00 GMT Sunday).

Gusts of up to 198km/h (123mph) hit the country, its weather agency said.

The storm, which drenched many regions over the weekend as Japan voted in its national elections, led to almost 300 flights being cancelled on Monday, after 500 were cancelled on Sunday.

What is the difference between tropical storms?

Shinzo Abe wins resounding victory in Japan, exit polls say

On hearing of his victory he said he would "firmly deal with" threats from North Korea.

The public broadcaster NHK put Mr Abe's Liberal Democratic Party-led (LDP) coalition at 312 seats, allowing it to retain its two-thirds "super majority".

This is vital to his ambition to revise Japan's post-war pacifist constitution.

Article 9 of the constitution, enacted by the country's American occupiers in 1947, calls for the complete renunciation of war.