Japan

A diver feeds red heart-shaped squid meat (C) to rays at a feeding session ahead of Valentine's Day at the Sunshine Aquarium in Tokyo.

Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP

A diver feeds red heart-shaped squid meat (C) to rays at a feeding session ahead of Valentine’s Day at the Sunshine Aquarium in Tokyo.

Well-wishers wave Japanese flags to celebrate Japan's Emperor Akihito's 81st birthday at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2014. Emperor Akihito said he  ardently  hoped Japan will strive hard as a peaceful country, as he celebrated his 81th birthday Tuesday ahead of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II next year.

Eugene Hoshiko/AP

Well-wishers outside the Imperial Palace in Tokyo wave Japanese flags to celebrate Emperor Akihito’s 81st birthday

A diver wearing a Santa Claus costume feeds a sunfish to attract visitors at the Hakkeijima Sea Paradise aquarium in Yokohama, suburban Tokyo

Tsuno Yoshikazu/AFP

A diver wearing a Santa Claus costume feeds a sunfish to attract visitors at the Hakkeijima Sea Paradise aquarium in Yokohama, suburban Tokyo

.A couple sits under a street lamp in a park near Christmas lights in central Tokyo, December 12, 2014.

Thomas Peter /Reuters

A couple sits under a street lamp in a park near Christmas lights in central Tokyo on Friday

An H2-A rocket carrying space explorer Hayabusa2, lifts off from a launching pad at Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima, southern Japan, Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014.  The Japanese space explorer was launched Wednesday on a six-year roundtrip journey to blow a crater in a remote asteroid and collect samples from inside in hopes of gathering clues to the origin of earth.

Kyodo News/AP

An H2-A rocket carrying space explorer Hayabusa2 lifts off from a launching pad at Tanegashima Space Centre in Kagoshima, southern Japan. The Japanese space explorer was launched on Wednesday on a six-year round-trip journey to blow a crater in a remote asteroid and collect samples from inside, in hopes of gathering clues to the origin of earth.

Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda answers questions on the country’s economy during a press conference at the BOJ headquarters in Tokyo.

Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images

Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda answers questions on the country’s economy during a press conference at the BoJ headquarters in Tokyo

Workers wearing protective gear rest at the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, Okuma, Fukushima prefecture, northeastern Japan

Shizuo Kambayashi/EPA

Workers wearing protective gear rest at the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, Okuma, Fukushima prefecture, northeastern Japan

APEC 2014 Summit in Beijing, China...epa04483563 Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (L) shakes hands with China's President Xi Jinping (R), during their meeting at the Great Hall of the People, on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings, in Beijing, China, 10 November 2014. APEC is an inter-governmental forum with 21 member countries and regions, that seeks to promote sustainable growth and economic integration, and reduce trade barriers across the Asia-Pacific region. Jinping and Abe met for the first time to face to face talks, since they came into office, on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Beijing, China, on 10 November 2014.  EPA/KIM KYUNG-HOON / POOL 0

Kim Kyung-Hoom/EPA

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (L) shakes hands with China’s President Xi Jinping (R), during their meeting at the Great Hall of the People, on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings, in Beijing, China. 

Japanese lawmakers follow a Shinto priest (R) during a visit to the controversial Yasukuni shrine

Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP

Japanese lawmakers follow a Shinto priest as part of a visit by more than 100 lawmakers to a Tokyo shrine condemned by China and Korea as a symbol of Japan’s militarist past 

JSDF soldiers conduct rescue operations on Mount Ontake, which erupted on September 27, 2014 and straddles Nagano and Gifu prefectures in central Japan...Japan Self-Defense Force (JSDF) soldiers conduct rescue operations on Mount Ontake, which erupted September 27, 2014 and straddles Nagano and Gifu prefectures in central Japan, in this October 7, 2014 handout photograph released by the Joint Staff of the Defence Ministry of Japan. Two more bodies were found on Mount Ontake on Tuesday, nearly a week and a half after the eruption that killed at least 51 people, Japanese media reported. The search continues for 10 people still missing in what has become the nation's worst volcanic disaster in a century.

JSDF/Reuters

Soldiers from the Japan Self-Defense Forces conduct search operations on Tuesday on Mount Ontake, which erupted on September 27. Sixteen people are still missing following the eruption of the volcano, which straddles Nagano and Gifu prefectures in central Japan.

Rescue work resumes at Japanese volcano...epa04422786 A handout aerial picture dated 27 September 2014 taken by Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Chubu Regional Development Bureau shows the eruption of the Mount Ontake, between Gifu and Nagano prefectures, in central Japan. On 29 September 2014, five more survivors were found in critical condition near the summit of the volcano. 10 people were confirmed dead late 28 September and more than 60 injured.

EPA

An aerial photograph shows the eruption of Mount Ontake in central Japan. More than 30 hikers were found dead on Sunday on the mountainside, a day after the eruption sent plumes of smoke hundreds of metres into the sky. 

"Butch," the first customer at SoftBank Corp.'s Omotesando store displays his newly purchased Apple Inc. iPhone 6 for a photograph outside the store in Tokyo, Japan, on Friday, Sept. 19, 2014. Apple stores attracted long lines of shoppers for the debut of the latest iPhones, indicating healthy demand for the bigger-screen smartphones.

Yuriko Nakao/Bloomberg

“Butch,” the first customer at SoftBank Corp.’s Omotesando store displays his newly purchased Apple Inc. iPhone 6 outside the store in Tokyo, Japan, on Friday

A man dressed in a navy uniform holds Japan's rising sun flag at the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, Japan, on Friday, Aug. 15, 2014. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stayed away from the Tokyo war shrine on the 69th anniversary of Japan s World War II defeat today, instead sending a donation as he seeks a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

A man in navy uniform holds Japan’s rising sun flag at the Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo, Japan, on Friday. Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime minister, stayed away from the war shrine on the 69th anniversary of Japan’s defeat in the second world war.

Children pray for their ancestors after sweeping their family tombstones at a cemetery in Haiki, Nagasaki Prefecture, southern Japan, Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014 as they celebrate the Bon Festival. Japanese believe that their ancestors' spirits return to their homes to reunite with their family during the three-day festival starting Aug. 13.

Eugene Hoshiko/AP

Children pray for their ancestors after sweeping family tombstones at a cemetery in Haiki, Nagasaki Prefecture, south Japan on Wednesday as they celebrate the Bon Festival.

A woman walks past a "smiling" sunflower in a field in Tokyo on August 7, 2014. Some 20,000 sunflowers were enjoyed by visitors to the area this week.

Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP

A woman walks past a “smiling” sunflower in a field in Tokyo on Thursday, where about 20,000 sunflowers were in full bloom for visitors to enjoy

People walk in the rain in front of a Atomic Bomb Dome at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park on the day of the 69th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, 2014 in Hiroshima, Japan. Japan marks the 69th anniversary of the first atomic bomb that was dropped by the United States on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, killing an estimated number of 70,000 people instantly with many thousands more dying over the following years from the effects of radiation. Three days later another atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, ending World War II.

Buddhika Weerasinghe/Getty Images

Visitors head to the 69th anniversary commemoration of the dropping of the atomic bomb, which in 1945 destroyed much of Hiroshima and three days later Nagasaki effectively ending the second world war. The ceremony took place on Wednesday in front of the atomic bomb dome at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, Japan

A beluga whale sprays water onto visitors at a summer attraction at the Hakkeijima Sea Paradise aquarium in Yokohama, suburban Tokyo on August 6, 2014.  Tokyo's temperature climbed over 35 degree Celsius on August 6 following a heatwave in the area.

Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP

A beluga whale sprays water onto visitors at a summer attraction at the Hakkeijima Sea Paradise aquarium in Yokohama, suburban Tokyo. Tokyo’s temperature climbed over 35 degree Celsius on Wednesday following a heatwave

People holding umbrellas walk against strong winds and heavy rain brought about by Typhoon Neoguri on a street in Naha, on Japan's southern island of Okinawa, in this photo taken by Kyodo July 9, 2014. Torrential rains battered Japan's Okinawa islands on Wednesday as a weakened but still dangerous typhoon, leaving two dead and threatening widespread flooding as it headed for the nation's main islands.  Mandatory credit.

Kyodo/Reuters

People struggle against strong winds and heavy rain brought about by Typhoon Neoguri on a street in Naha, on Japan’s southern island of Okinawa on Wednesday

Visitors stand watch blue fin tunas in a 2,200-ton tank at Tokyo Sea Life Park in Tokyo, Monday, July 7, 2014. The tank is designed to create artificial flow of the ocean to keep the fish alive.

Koji Sasahara/AP

A visitor watches blue fin tunas in a 2,200-tonne tank at Tokyo Sea Life Park on Monday.

 Dancers dressed in traditional costume perform dance under the colorful ornaments of Tanabata during the Shonan Hiratsuka Tanabata Festival on July 4, 2014 in Hiratsuka, Japan. Tanabata is a Japanese star festival celebrated on July 7 every year. People enjoy going out wearing traditional yukata robe and write their wishes on colorful paper strips to hang on bamboo trees.

Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images

Dancers dressed in traditional costume perform under the colourful ornaments of Tanabata during the Shonan Hiratsuka Tanabata Festival on Friday in Hiratsuka, Japan