japan

.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.

Japan PM Abe eats a local grilled fish during his official campaign kick-off for the Dec 14 lower house election, in Soma...Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is also leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), eats a local grilled fish during his official campaign kick-off for the December 14 lower house election, at the Soma Haragama fishing port in Soma, Fukushima prefecture, December 2, 2014.    REUTERS/Issei Kato (JAPAN - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS FOOD TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

Issei Kato/Reuters

Japan‘s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is also leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, eats a local grilled fish during his official campaign kick-off for the December 14 lower house election, at the Soma Haragama fishing port in Soma, Fukushima prefecture. 

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.

High waves batter a breakwater at a port at Kihou town in Mie prefecture, central Japan on October 6, 2014. Strong typhoon Phanfone slammed into Japan, packing gusts and huge waves that have already swept three US military officials out to sea, as it made a beeline for Tokyo. AFP PHOTO / JIJI PRESS    JAPAN OUTJIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images

Jiji Press/AFP/Getty

High waves batter a port at Kihou town in Mie prefecture, Japan. Typhoon Phanfone slammed into Japan, packing gusts and huge waves that have swept three US airmen out to sea in Okinawa. 

aerial...Rescuers conduct a search operation near the peak of Mount Ontake in central Japan Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014. Search efforts for people missing since Saturday's surprise eruption resumed Wednesday morning. (AP Photo/Kyodo News) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT

Kyodo News/AP

Rescuers conduct a search operation near the peak of Mount Ontake in central Japan on Wednesday. Search efforts for people missing since Saturday’s surprise eruption resumed Wednesday morning.