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'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 finds black particles in Moderna vaccine

A pharmacist saw several black particles in one vial of the vaccine in Kanagawa Prefecture, according to authorities.

Some 3,790 people had already received shots from the batch. The rest of the batch has now been put on hold.

It comes less than a week after Japan suspended the use of about 1.63 million Moderna doses due to contamination.

The pharmacist found the black particles while checking for foreign substances before the vaccine's use.

The jab's domestic distributor has collected the vial suspected to be contaminated.

COVID-19 vaccines from Japan boost Samoa’s vaccination programme

This is in line with its National Deployment and Vaccination Plan.

112,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine arrived in the country last week.

Japanese yakuza mobster sentenced to death

The court in the city of Fukuoka found that Nomura Satoru, aged 74, had ordered four assaults, one of which resulted in death.

The verdict came despite a lack of direct evidence against Nomura, local media said. He denied any involvement.

It is believed to be the first time a senior member of Japan's mafia, the yakuza, has been sentenced to death.

"I asked for a fair decision... You will regret this for the rest of your life," Nomura told the presiding judge after his sentencing on Tuesday, according to Japan's Nishinippon Shimbun newspaper.

Japan provides 110,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Samoa

At the Ninth Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM9) which took place on 2 July, Japan has announced its intention to provide Pacific Island countries with a total of approximately 3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines by around the end of the year including through the COVAX Facility

This provision of COVID-19 vaccines to Samoa is implemented as part of the announcement. Japan will continue to provide various assistance in cooperation with relevant countries and international organizations towards the earliest convergence of COVID-19.

Fiji gets an early scare but wins opening match at Tokyo Olympics

Japan went into half time leading the Rio Olympic gold medalists.

Fiji started well and withing less than a minute, Jiuta Wainiqolo ran straight through two Japanese defenders to score.

Iosefo Masi scored the team’s second try.

However, just before halftime Japan managed to score a team try through Lote Tuqiri as the hosts led 14-12 at the break.

Another Fijian, Kameli Soejima got Japan further in the lead with an unconverted try just after halftime as they led 19-12.

Japan hands over new school building to Safotu village

The building funded by Japan was handed over by Japan’s Ambassador to Samoa, Genichi Terasawa

Ambassador Terasawa commended the village for their hard work and dedication for completing such a huge project. 

The funding of the new building's construction was provided through the Embassy's Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects. 

Japan pledged $278,934.93 to fund the project.

Caretaker Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi and caretaker Cabinet Ministers were among the honoured guests.