Australian PM Abbott reshuffles cabinet to focus on jobs, families

SYDNEY - Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, battling a slide in public support, reshuffled his cabinet on Sunday, promoting the overseer of a tough immigration programme and throwing out his gaffe-prone defence minister.

Recent Japan News

Magnitude 5.9 earthquake hits Japan's Honshu island - USGS 20 Dec 2014

TOKYO - A 5.9 magnitude earthquake hit Japan's Honshu island on Saturday, the U.S. Geological Survey said, shaking Fukushima where crippled nuclear power plants are located, but local media said there was no tsunami warning.

Thailand looking to Japan for railways revamp 20 Dec 2014

BANGKOK, Dec 20 - Thailand is talking to Japan with a view to building three rail routes in the Southeast Asian country, a Thai minister said on Saturday, the latest move by its military government to kick-start long-delayed plans to modernise its aging rail network.

Japan, South Korea condemn Sony hack; Chinese paper says movie is senseless 20 Dec 2014

TOKYO - Japan and South Korea condemned a hacking attack on Sony Pictures that the United States has blamed on North Korea and said they would cooperate in international efforts against cyber-crime as asked for by Washington.

Japan, S.Korea condemn Sony hack; Chinese paper says movie is senseless 20 Dec 2014

* Japan in close contact with U.S., no comment on possible steps

Japan's Idemitsu in talks to buy Showa Shell for $4.1 bln-source 20 Dec 2014

TOKYO, Dec 20 - Japanese oil refiner Idemitsu Kosan Co is in talks to acquire a smaller rival, Showa Shell Sekiyu, for $4.2 billion in a deal that could create the nation's second largest player in the domestic gasoline market, a person with knowledge of the issue said.