Japan

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

An employee of Japan's toy maker Megahouse displays the new puzzle of human parts and organs "Jintai-mokei" (model of the human anatomy) at the annual Tokyo Toy Show in Tokyo

Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP

An employee of Megahouse, a Japanese toymaker, with a puzzle of human parts and organs ‘Jintai-mokei’ at the Tokyo Toy Show

Japanese farmers and their supporters hold placards of against the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)

Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images

Japanese farmers and their supporters hold placards against the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal at a rally in front of the prime minister’s Tokyo residence. Japan wants to retain tariffs on rice, wheat, beef and pork, sugar, and dairy products, amid strong concern from the domestic agricultural industry.

A couple with Japanese traditional clothing or kimono poses for a wedding photo session at a park in Tokyo, Tuesday, April 8, 2014.

Eugene Hoshiko/AP

A couple in Japanese traditional clothing pose for their wedding photos in a Tokyo park on Tuesday

A supporter of the Czech Republic cheers during the quarterfinal of Davis Cup World Group tennis at Ariake Colosseum in Tokyo.

Shizuo Kambayashi/AP

A Czech Republic supporter cheers during the quarter-final of Davis Cup World Group tennis at Ariake Colosseum in Tokyo.

Guy Deveau of Canada finishes a sand sculpture named "Soviet Union" at the Sand Museum in the Tottori Dune in Tottori, Japan. The 7th annual sand sculpture exhibition hosted by this world's first sand museum, features the theme "Russia" this year as mark to hosted 2014 Winter Olympic Game in Sochi. The exhibition is open to the public from April 19, 2014 to January 4, 2015

Buddhika Weerasinghe/Getty Images

Guy Deveau of Canada finishes his “Soviet Union sand sculpture at the Sand Museum in the Tottori Dune in Tottori, Japan. The 7th annual sand sculpture exhibition hosted by this world’s first sand museum, features the theme “Russia” this year. The exhibition is open to the public from April 19, 2014 to January 4, 2015

Max Aaron of the U.S. competes during the men's short program at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Saitama, north of Tokyo, March 26, 2014.

Toru Hanai/Reuters

High flyer: American figure skater Max Aaron competes during the men’s short programme at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Saitama, north of Tokyo, on Wednesday

Police officers bow to offer prayers in silence for the victims in Namie, near the striken TEPCO Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in Fukushima prefecture on March 10, 2014, one day before the third anniversary of March 11 massive earthquake and tsunami.  The 9.0 magnitude earthquake in 2011 sent a huge wall of water into the coast of the Tohoku region, splintering whole communities, ruining swathes of prime farmland and killing nearly 19,000 people.

Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP

Police officers offer prayers for victims in Namie, near the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, on Monday, one day before the third anniversary of March 11 earthquake and tsunami. The 9.0 magnitude earthquake in 2011 sent a huge wall of water on to the coast of the Tohoku region, splintering whole communities, ruining swaths of prime farmland and killing nearly 19,000 people.

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.