Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling coalition won a comfortable majority in the upper house of parliament.
Pacific nation trade ministers seeking a deal for a free trade pact appear to be near agreement after five years of debate. The breakthrough came amid protests in Atlanta, after five days and nights of negotiations.
A panel in Japan's upper house has approved legislation that would see troops fight abroad for the first time since World War II. Opposition parties say the shift in policy violates the constitution.
The uncompromising leader of the Japanese island prefecture refuses to bow to pressure from governments of Japan and the US, throwing into doubt the schedule for Washington's "pivot" to the Pacific. Julian Ryall reports.
Japanese PM Shinzo Abe's failure to express a clear "heartfelt apology" for his country's actions during World War II reflects a missed opportunity to ease tensions that have haunted the region for decades, experts say.