Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe (right, front) and his Italian counterpart Matteo Renzi (centre) arrive at a news conference, at Mr Abe’s official residence in Tokyo, Japan, on Monday. Photograph: Thomas Peter/EPA

Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe asked US vice president Joe Biden on Wednesday for an investigation into possible spying on high-level Japanese gov(...)

Manufacturing  was down again in China in July, the fifth month in a row of contraction in the sector.  Photograph:  Natalie Behring/Reuters

China’s factory activity shrank more than initially estimated in July, contracting by the most in two years as new orders fell, dashing hopes that the(...)

Smoke billows over the Japanese city of Nagasaki after an atomic bomb was dropped on August 9th, 1945. Photograph: Reuters

Polls show most Americans still consider the decision to use atomic weapons in the second World War correct, although support among women and the youn(...)

Hirotami Yamada at the peace memorial in Nagasaki commemorating the victims of the atomic bombing of the city by the US 70 years ago. ‘I saw people so injured ... that you couldn’t tell if they were alive or dead.’ Photograph: David McNeill

Luck and geography decided life or death in Nagasaki. Hirotami Yamada survived because he was at school, more than 3km from the hypocentre of the plut(...)

Chinese industrialist Li Jinyuan  brought 6,400 of his employees on holiday to France in May – a trip that cost more than €13million – where they formed a record-breaking ‘longest human phrase’, reading ‘Tiens’ dream is Nice in the Côte d’Azur’. Photograph: Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images

It starts with a pennant flag held aloft by a scarily enthusiastic twenty-something tour guide, skilled in speaking high-tempo Mandarin without pau(...)

Michael D Higgins: “We need to confront the hegemonic ethic of individualism and insatiable consumption at the roots of our behaviour and replace it with a new thinking”. The President was speaking at  the Consciouness Summit in Paris.  Photograph: EPA/ETIENNE LAURENT

Two news items about climate change illustrate how public opinion is becoming more aware of the dangers in a year of major choices about how to mitiga(...)

A man using his smartphone walks past an advertisement board for Japan’s Nikkei newspaper’s digital media on a street in Tokyo. Japanese media group Nikkei has agreed to buy the Financial Times from Britain’s Pearson for $1.3 billion. Photograaph:  Yuya Shino/Reuters

The takeover of the Financial Times by Nikkei is probably a surprise, at least to those outside the media. Nikkei’s long-term plan might become clear (...)

Copies of the Financial Times  sit in a rack at a newsstand in London. Concerns have been raised over the ’pink paper’s new owner

The decision by the Nikkei group, publisher of Japan’s top financial newspaper, to pay £844 million (€1.2 billion) for one of the marquee brands in gl(...)

Pucker up to your technology and get down with a robot. If you’re so connected to your online relationships that you quiver with anticipation every(...)

A view of the artificial grass court in use at the Irish Open at Fitzwilliam. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho.

Joshua Pim, Helen Wills Moody, Maureen Connolly and Rod Laver, winner of four Wimbledon titles and the Irish Championship in 1962, decorate the sta(...)