1) North Korea says it has halted an investigation into missing Japanese nationals, including those who were abducted by the North
2) Japan’s government says it will consider on a case-by-case basis whether to grant entry to North Korean women’s soccer team for the Olympic qualifiers in Osaka.
3) The Japanese city of Sendai is to open a museum that preserves memories of the city as it stood before the earthquake and tsunami hit the area nearly 5 years ago.
4) People across Japan held events and rallies on Thursday to support or oppose a national holiday honoring the country’s founding.
February 11th is Japan’s National Foundation Day. Before the end of World War Two, it was celebrated as the day the legendary first emperor ascended the throne. Critics say the holiday was used before the war to promote nationalism and militarism.
5) Finance Minister Taro Aso says the government will respond appropriately to the rapid appreciation of the yen against the dollar.
Aso told reporters on Friday that there have been volatile moves on foreign exchange markets.
6) Police in the Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago are investigating the suspected murder of a Japanese woman musician.
Police and officials at the Japanese embassy say 30-year-old Asami Nagakiya was found dead under a tree in a park in the capital, Port of Spain, on Wednesday morning local time. They suspect Nagakiya was strangled.
7) A Britain-based group that observes the Syrian civil war says the Islamic State militant group has been deploying local children as fighters on the front lines after a month of training.
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says about 100 children are among the roughly 450 people who completed training for new fighters last week.