Japan

Japanese Geisha prepares green tea as Miko looks during the annual Baikasai, Plum Blossom Festival at Kitano Tenmangu Shrine on February 25, 2014 in Kyoto, Japan. This annual event commemorates enshrined Michizane Sugawara, a politician and plum-blossom aficionado of the Heian-Period, who died in the year 903.

Buddhika Weerasinghe/Getty Image

A geisha prepares green tea during the annual Baikasai, the Plum Blossom Festival, at Kitano Tenmangu Shrine in Kyoto, Japan. The festival commemorates enshrined Michizane Sugawara, a politician and plum blossom aficionado of the Heian period, who died in the year 903

Japanese honor guards hold their guns before a welcoming ceremony for Lithuanian Defence Minister Juozas Olekas (unseen in this picture) at the Defense Ministry in Tokyo on February 25, 2014. Olekas is now here to exchange views with Japanese officials.

Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP

Japanese honour guards hold their guns before a welcoming ceremony for Lithuanian defence minister Juozas Olekas at the Defence Ministry in Tokyo on Tuesday.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sits during a lower house budget committee session at the parliament in Tokyo February 20, 2014. Remarks by aides to Abe about U.S.-Japan ties and the wartime past are giving the Japanese leader a political headache as he seeks to soothe strains with key ally Washington amid rising regional tensions.

Yuya Shino/Reuters

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attends a lower house budget committee session at the Japanese parliament in Tokyo on Thursday. Remarks by aides to Mr Abe about US-Japanese ties and the wartime past are giving the leader a political headache as he seeks to soothe strains with key ally Washington amid rising regional tensions.

A troop of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force participates with the US Marine Corps of  Expeditionary Fire Support System during the US -JAPAN military exercise Iron Fist 2014  outside the USMC base in Pendleton, California on February 06, 2014.

Joe Klamar/AFP

A member of the Japan Ground Self-Defence Force takes part in the US -Japan Exercise Iron Fist manoeuvres at the US Marine base in Pendleton, California

Sapporo's local idol group, Team Crereco performs on a stage in front of a10-metre-tall and 18-metre-wide ice statue of the National Palace Museum in Taipei during the 65th annual Sapporo Snow Festival in Sapporo on February 5, 2014. The week-long festival started with a total of 198 snow statues on display and expects to attract around two million visitors.

Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP

Sapporo’s local idol group Team Crereco performs in front of a 10-metre-tall and 18-metre-wide ice statue of Taipei’s National Palace Museum during the 65th annual Sapporo Snow Festival on Wednesday. The week-long festival features 198 ice statues on display and expects to attract about 2m visitors.

Japanese Macaques groom each other in a hot spring at a snow-covered valley in Yamanouchi town

Issei Kato/Reuters

Japanese Macaques groom each other in a hot spring at a snow-covered valley in Yamanouchi town, central Japan, on Monday.

Japanese women in kimonos ride a train after a ceremony celebrating Coming of Age Day at an amusement park in Tokyo...Japanese women in kimonos ride a train after a ceremony celebrating Coming of Age Day at an amusement park in Tokyo January 13, 2014. According to a government announcement, about 1,210,000 men and women who were born in 1993 reached coming of age this year and the number is 10,000 less people than last year. The figure is the smallest number since the government started counting in 1968. REUTERS/Yuya Shino

Yuya Shino/Reuters

Japanese women in kimonos head home after celebrating Coming of Age day in Tokyo. According to the government, about 1.21m men and women who were born in 1993 reached coming of age this year. The figure is the smallest number since the government started counting in 1968. Read more

The 3D-custom-painted Toyota 86 by ARTIS company's Takahiko Izawa is displayed at the Kuhl Racing Factory booth during the Tokyo Auto Salon 2014 exhibition at the Makuhari Messe in Chiba on January 10, 2014. Almost 400 domestic and foreign companies participated in the three-day-long custom car exhibition with almost 800 vehicles on display.

Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP

The 3D custom-painted Toyota 86 by Artis company’s Takahiko Izawa is displayed at the Kuhl racing factory booth during the Tokyo Auto Salon 2014 exhibition at the Makuhari Messe in Chiba

People pray on the first day of business in 2014 at the Kanda Myojin shrine in Tokyo, Japan, on Monday, Jan. 6, 2014. Japanese equities rallied more than any other developed market last year, with the Topix surging 51 percent, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe boosted stimulus to stoke inflation and spur growth in the world s third-biggest economy.

Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

People pray on the first day of business in 2014 at the Kanda Myojin shrine in Tokyo, Japan. Japanese equities rallied more than any other developed market last year, as prime minister Shinzo Abe boosted stimulus to stoke inflation and spur growth in the world’s third-biggest economy

Japanese  well-wishers shout "banzai" (cheers) for Japan's Emperor Akihito during the royal family's public appearance for New Year celebrations at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo...Japanese well-wishers shout "banzai" (cheers) for Japan's Emperor Akihito during the royal family's public appearance for New Year celebrations at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo January 2, 2014.

Yuya Shino/Reuters

Japanese well-wishers shout “banzai” to Japan’s Emperor Akihito during the royal family’s public appearance for new year celebrations at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on Thursday.