Abe sends Yasukuni offering
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made his third ritual offering to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine for war dead, media reported yesterday, but again did not visit in person to avoid angering Asian victims of the nation’s war-time aggression. Visits by Japanese leaders to the shrine in Tokyo have outraged China and South Korea, because war-time leaders convicted as war criminals by an Allied tribunal are honored there along with Japan’s war dead. Abe made the offering in the name of the prime minister to mark the shrine’s autumn festival, which runs until Sunday, Kyodo news agency reported, citing a shrine source. It was the third time that Abe has sent an offering to the shrine since he returned to office after his December election victory.
Suicide bombing kills 13
A suicide bomber blew up his explosives-laden car among houses in an ethnic minority village in the north, killing at least 13 people and injuring 52, police officials said on condition of anonymity. They said the bombing happened yesterday morning in the Shabak Village of al-Mowafaqiah near the restive city of Mosul. Shabaks are ethnically Turkomen and Shiite by religion. Most Shabaks were driven out of Mosul by Sunni militants during the sectarian fighting a few years ago.
Stop detaining Syrians: AI
An international human rights group is urging Egypt to end its policy of unlawfully detaining Syrian refugees, including children, and forcibly returning them to their homeland, where civil war is raging. Amnesty International (AI) says hundreds who fled the bloodshed in Syria — including many children without their parents — face prolonged detention in poor conditions or deportation, which has in some cases separated family members. The Britain-based group says appalling conditions in detention and the threat of being sent back to Syria is prompting many refugees to flee again. It says many embark on a treacherous journey by sea to Europe.
Typhoon leaves 11 dead
Rescuers have recovered more bodies after a typhoon flooded thousands of homes, raising the toll to 11 dead and five missing, officials said yesterday. Floods inundated more than 34,000 homes in three central provinces after Tyhoon Nari, which already had destroyed or damaged about 13,000 homes in seven provinces, the national floods and storms control department said. The typhoon damage included homes that collapsed or had roofs blown off by the winds. Nari hit Vietnam’s central coast early Tuesday after crossing the Philippines over the weekend, killing 13 people there.
No retrial for poison killer
A man who poisoned his wife, lover and three other women with pesticide-laced wine has lost his final bid for a retrial after over 40 years on death row, a spokeswoman for the Supreme Court said yesterday. The decision, which came down on Wednesday, means that 87-year-old Masaru Okunishi has exhausted all avenues of appeal and will likely die in prison — either by old age or execution. The octogenarian, who spent decades in solitary confinement and is now hospitalized, has long protested his innocence, saying his confession in the 1961 killings was coerced by police. Okunishi was charged in the deaths of five women who drank wine laced with pesticides at a community party in the village of Nabari.