Japan

4:20pm

Wed April 23, 2014
The Salt

Obama Gets A Taste Of Jiro's 'Dream' Sushi In Name Of Diplomacy

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 9:06 pm

President Obama shakes hands with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe before a private dinner at Sukiyabashi Jiro in Tokyo on Wednesday. At Sukiyabashi Jiro, people pay a minimum of $300 for 20 pieces of sushi chosen by the patron, Jiro Ono.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

President Obama kicked off the first leg of his tour of Asia on Wednesday with some sushi diplomacy.

He dined with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at a revered and tiny temple of sushi in Tokyo called Sukiyabashi Jiro. The subterranean restaurant, with just 10 seats at the counter, was made famous by the 2011 documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi.

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3:24am

Tue March 18, 2014
The Salt

Japanese Tea Ritual Turned 15th Century 'Tupperware' Into Art

Courtesy Freer Gallery of Art

Eight hundred years ago, tea was rare in Japan. It arrived from China in simple, ceramic storage jars. Chinese ceramists churned these jars out with little care or attention; they stuffed tea leaves into them and shipped them off.

The jars were "the Chinese version of Tupperware," says Andrew Watsky, a professor of Japanese art history at Princeton.

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10:00am

Thu March 6, 2014
Business

Colorado Farmers Told To Sit Tight For Final Trade Deal

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says a new trade pact with a group of Asian countries could increase American farm exports. Here, a crane loads grain-filled containers, some of which are exported.
Credit Bill Wheelhouse / Harvest Public Media

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is telling farmers to be patient while his office hammers out a major trade deal with a group of Asian countries, called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

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1:04am

Wed January 15, 2014
The Salt

Soon To Be Big In Japan, Jim Beam's Roots To Stay In Kentucky

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 8:48 am

In a $16 billion deal this week, Japanese beverage giant Suntory announced it plans to purchase Beam Inc., maker of Jim Beam and owner of other popular bourbon brands, including Maker's Mark.
Bruce Schreiner AP

In a $16 billion deal this week, Japanese beverage giant Suntory announced it plans to purchase Beam Inc., the maker of Jim Beam bourbon and the owner of other popular bourbon brands like Maker's Mark.

Those and most other bourbons are made in Kentucky, and the deal has some hoping the drink's growth in the global market won't come at the expense of its uniquely Kentucky heritage.

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4:56pm

Tue December 31, 2013
World

Japan's State Secrets Law: Hailed By U.S., Denounced By Japanese

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 6:31 pm

A November demonstration against Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Designated Secrets Bill drew thousands of protesters. The Japanese Parliament has since passed the law, under which people convicted of leaking classified information will face five to 10 years in prison.
Franck Robichon European Pressphoto Agency/Landov

Earlier in December, the normally sedate Japanese Parliament disintegrated into chaos. Opposition party members screamed, pounded the speaker's desk and flapped papers in his face — but all in vain.

In a shocking display of brute force, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling party, the Liberal Democratic Party, railroaded into law a sweeping, vague and hastily drafted secrets protection bill.

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