Tomoyasu Website 2023

Tomoyasu Website 2023

December 1, Friday, 2023

1. Japan is facing the growing challenge of promoting solar panel recycling. Large numbers of panels will need replacing by the late 2030s. Renewable energy is one of the topics in the COP28 climate conference now underway in Dubai. In Japan, solar power accounted for 9.2 percent of the power supply in fiscal 2022 – the highest figure among renewable energy sources. Japan’s government plans to raise that to around 16 percent in fiscal 2030. 2. Japanese retail giant Seven & i Holdings has announced it will purchase the largest convenience store chain in Australia. The move is part of an effort to expand the firm’s business outside of Japan and North America.
3. Japan’s job market looked a little more positive in October. The jobs-to-applicants ratio was up for the first time in 10 months. The labor ministry says there were 130 openings for every 100 people seeking work. That’s an uptick of 0.01 point from September.

November 30, Thursday, 2023

1. The body of a crewmember of a US military Osprey transport aircraft that crashed off the southern Japanese coast has been handed over the US side. Japan’s defense ministry says the Osprey requested an emergency landing at an airport on the island of Yakushima at around 2:35 p.m. on Wednesday, local time. The aircraft disappeared from Japan’s Self-Defense Forces’ radar screens near the island about five minutes later.
2. Delegates from more than 190 countries and regions are gathering in the United Arab Emirates for the UN climate change conference that opens on Thursday. COP 28 is scheduled to continue through December12. The conference in Dubai will provide the first opportunity for the delegates to assess the collective progress in the world’s response to the climate crisis. The assessment known as the “global stocktake” takes place every five years to find what each country or region needs to do to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. 3. Former senior Japanese diplomat Tanaka Hitoshi, who had known Kissinger for decades, spoke to NHK on Thursday about their relationship. Tanka is known to have led secret negotiations with North Korea in the early 2000s, which led to a historic bilateral summit and the return of five abducted Japanese nationals. “He mentioned that he and I had a common interest in preserving secrecy…”

November 29, Wednesday, 2023

1. The release of captives by Israel and Hamas continued on Tuesday, as a pause in the fighting in the Gaza Strip between the two sides was extended for two more days until Wednesday. Attention is now focused on whether the two sides can agree to a further extension of the truce, as the United States and other parties are working to achieve this.
2. An Osprey transport aircraft belonging to the US military has reportedly crashed into waters off Kagoshima Prefecture, southwestern Japan. Japanese coast guard officials say they received information that the aircraft crashed off Yakushima Island at around 2:47 p.m. on Wednesday. They deployed patrol ships and aircraft to the site. The Osprey was reportedly carrying eight people, but no information is available about their safety. 3. A municipality in Miyagi Prefecture, northeast Japan, aims to become the first in the country to certify that its oyster farming helps make the planet cleaner, by contributing to what is known as the blue carbon ecosystem. The concept is attracting attention as the world strives to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Blue carbon refers to carbon dioxides which are trapped and stored by coastal and marine ecosystems, including seaweeds such as wakame and kombu kelp. The town of Minamisanriku, in a major oyster producing region, is seeking blue carbon status for the seaweeds attached to rafts used in oyster farming. The town has teamed up with Tohoku University for the project.

November 28, Tuesday, 2023

1. Qatar says Israel and Hamas have agreed to extend the current pause in fighting between the two sides for two more days until Wednesday. Attention is now focused on whether the move will lead to more hostages being released and improvements in the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip. 2. The operator of the Line messaging app is reporting a massive breach of personal data. Line Yahoo, or LY Corporation, believes that about 440,000 items may have been leaked, apparently due to a cyberattack on an affiliate’s computer system.
3. The organizers of the 2025 World Exposition in Osaka, western Japan, have invited the media to the construction site of the Grand Roof, the symbol of the venue. The Grand Roof, also called the Ring, was unveiled to the media on Monday, showing the progress in its construction. Three consortiums have been commissioned to take part in the project.

November 27, Monday, 2023

1. North Korea has described its launch of a military spy satellite as an exercise of its right to self-defense. 2. Israel and Hamas have conducted their third hostage-prisoner exchange. US President Joe Biden has expressed hope that the two sides will extend their pause in fighting and release more captives. 3. Ozeki Kirishima says he feels great after winning his first grand sumo tournament title since assuming sumo’s second-highest rank.

November 24, Friday, 2023

1. Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno Hirokazu reiterated the government’s objections to a recent South Korean court ruling. The decision ordered Japan to pay damages to people referred to as wartime comfort women and their relatives. Matsuno also stressed the importance of cooperation between Japan and South Korea as tensions in the region rise. 2. A large-scale air show is underway in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong. A wide range of civilian aircraft are on display at Aero Asia 2023 in Zhuhai. More than 250 firms from China and around 20 other countries and regions are participating. Business jets that are seeing high demand among wealthy individuals and small propeller planes are among the exhibits. 3. Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio stayed overnight at a hotel after facilities malfunctioned at his official residence. Government sources say repair work was necessary at the prime minister’s residence. They declined to give details, citing security reasons.

November 23, Thursday, 2023

1. There has been no official announcement yet on the starting time of a temporary truce between Israel and the Palestinian Islamic group Hamas.
2. A high court in South Korea has ordered the Japanese government to pay damages after overturning a lower court’s dismissal of a lawsuit filed by a group of people referred to as wartime comfort women and their relatives.
3. A documentary film featuring Palestinian children detained by Israeli soldiers has won the top ranking Japan Prize for the year. The prizes are awarded to creators of outstanding educational materials. There were 391 entries from 55 countries and regions for the 50th round of the international contest sponsored by NHK. The awards ceremony was held on Thursday in Tokyo.

November 22, Wednesday, 2023

1. Hamas and Israel say they’ve agreed to a four-day pause in the fighting in exchange for hostages. Qatar, which mediated the deal, confirmed Wednesday the four-day pause was in exchange for 50 hostages. Hamas also said Israel will free around 150 jailed Palestinians. Both sides say they will release women and children.
2. US President Joe Biden has welcomed the agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Islamic group Hamas on a pause in the fighting and the release of some hostages. In a statement issued on Tuesday, Biden thanked Qatar Amir Sheikh Tamin Bin Hamad Al Thani and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi for “their critical leadership and partnership in reaching this deal.” 3. The US Geological Survey says a magnitude 6.7 earthquake has occurred off the Vanuatu Islands. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center says small tsunami waves have been observed in the area. No tsunami warning has been issued.

November 21, Tuesday, 2023

1. Japan delivered landmine detectors and vehicles to Ukraine during a handover ceremony held in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv on Monday. The Russian military placed landmines across Ukraine after it invaded the country.
2. Japanese beverage makers and retailers are looking to AI technology to help reduce food loss and waste. Under the new system, AI would check damaged cardboard boxes to determine if they need to be returned to manufacturers. Seven major firms are drawing up uniform criteria. They are using AI to analyze photos of boxes to determine the extent of any damage. Warehouse workers have been visually examining boxes to determine whether they should be returned. 3.Japanese government narcotics agents have inspected a factory in Osaka City, western Japan, over the production of gummy candies allegedly containing a substance with a toxicity similar to that of a designated drug like cannabis.

November 20, Monday, 2023

1. Argentina’s right-wing congressman and economist, Javier Milei, has won the country’s presidential runoff. The voting took place on Sunday amid economic turmoil in the country, including soaring inflation. The electoral authority says with 98 percent of the votes counted, Milei had 55.7 percent, while Economy Minister Sergio Massa from the ruling center-left part got 44.2 percent. 2. The operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says it finished the third round of the treated and diluted water discharge into the sea as planned.
3. The final large-scale work on Tokyo’s JR Shibuya Station is complete, amid the ongoing project to extensively redevelop the area. At dawn on Monday, workers for East Japan Railway finished lifting the Yamanote Line’s tracks by up to 20 centimeters. Train services returned to normal following a planned partial suspension of services over the weekend.

November 17, Friday, 2023

1. The leaders of Japan and China have reconfirmed their stance of promoting a mutually beneficial strategic relationship and maintaining communications for a new era of bilateral ties. Japan’s Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and Chinese President Xi Jinping met for about one hour in San Francisco on Thursday. They held face-to-face talks for the first time since November last year. 2. Japan’s Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and US President Joe Biden have agreed at their talks to work closely together in responding to China and other global issues. The two leaders held a summit for about 15 minutes on Thursday during Kishida’s visit to San Franciso for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.
3. Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol have confirmed that their countries and the US will work closely together against North Korea’s nuclear and missile development. The two leaders held talks for about 30 minutes on Thursday during their visit to San Francisco for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. It was the seventh summit between Kishida and Yoon this year.

November 16, Thursday, 2023

1. China’s foreign ministry is hailing the outcome of President Xi Jinping’s latest summit with US President Joe Biden. Speaking to reporters on Thursday, ministry spokesperson Mao Ning described the talks as comprehensive and constructive, with strategic significance and far-reaching influence. 2. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says Britain’s new Foreign Secretary David Cameron has visited Kyiv in his first overseas trip after taking up his new post. The former British prime minister became foreign secretary in a cabinet reshuffle on Monday. 3. Ukrainian troops have made some progress in their counteroffensive against Russia by securing a foothold in an occupied area of the Kherson region. The two sides are currently engaged in fierce fighting in Ukraine’s south and east.

November 15, Wednesday, 2023

1. The Israeli military has raided al-Shifa Hospital, the largest medical institution in the Gaza Strip. The military said on Wednesday that it is conducting what it calls a “precise and targeted operation” against the Islamic group Hamas in a specified area of the hospital. 2. Ministers from 21 members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum have gathered in San Francisco. Japan’s Foreign Minister Kamikawa Yoko and Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Nishimura Yasutoshi were among the attendees on Tuesday. Issues on the agenda included sustainable economic growth. Nishimura said it is important to seek a diverse and realistic path to achieve net zero emissions of greenhouse gases. 3. Families with young children gathered at Zenko-ji Temple in Nagano City, central Japan, on Wednesday to celebrate “Shichi-go-san,” the traditional rite of passage for kids. This custom involves boys aged 3 and 5 and girls aged 3 and 7 visiting a shrine or a Buddhist temple on November 15 to pray for their growth.

November 14, Tuesday, 2023

1. Doctors at hospitals in the Gaza Strip have been working for more than a month in perilous conditions. They have seen Israeli troops fighting Hamas militants right outside their windows. Health authorities say 25 of the 35 hospitals in the enclave have closed. 2. Japan is seeing a clear recovery in tax-free spending by Chinese visitors, which was the key driver of consumption among inbound tourists before the coronavirus pandemic. International tax-free service operator Global Blue says Chinese tourists visiting Japan spent 25 percent more on tax-free goods in October than in the same month in 2019. That’s on a same-store companion. 3. The organizer of the 2025 World Exposition in Osaka has begun a meeting with participating countries and organizations. The organizer aims to accelerate preparations by explaining support measures, as a number of countries are behind schedule in building their pavilions.

November 13, Monday, 2023

1. Japan’s government has approved the resignation of State Minister of Finance Kanda Kenji, who repeatedly failed to pay taxes for his company. The Cabinet gave the approval on Monday after Kanda handed in his resignation. Prime Minister Kishida Fumio has decided to replace him on the grounds that the issue should not stall Diet deliberations. 2. Companies listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange are releasing their midterm earnings for fiscal 2023. More than half the firms that posted their results for the April-September period say they saw net profit growth.
3. NHK has learned that Japan’s government is considering providing defense equipment to Vietnam and Djibouti under a new security assistance framework. Government officials say the two countries are candidates to receive Official Security Assistance, or OSA, during the fiscal year that begins next April.

November 10, Friday, 2023

1. US officials have pressed their Israeli counterparts repeatedly for a pause in the fighting in the Gaza Strip. They say the Israelis have agreed to stop military operations against Hamas militants for four hours every day.
2. Japan’s senior national security official and China’s foreign minister have exchanged opinions on holding a summit between the leaders of their countries. Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio is considering holding talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping in the US city of San Francisco on the sidelines of the summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum next week. 3. In Major League Baseball, Japanese two-way star Ohtani Shohei has won the Silver Slugger Award in the designated hitter category. He received the award in the American League for the second time since 2021.

November 9, Thursday, 2023

1. The foreign ministers of the United States and South Korea have agreed to take concerted actions against the military cooperation between Russia and North Korea. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his South Korean counterpart Park Jin shared “profound concerns” about North Korea’s “growing and dangerous military cooperation with Russia,” calling it a violation of UN Security Council resolutions and a serious threat to the world. 2. A joint coastal defense drill has begun in the Philippines with five countries participating, including the US and Japan. The drill is part of efforts by Manila to strengthen multilateral security cooperation at a time when China is growing aggressive in the disputed South China Sea. 3. Japan is experiencing an unprecedentedly warm fall. Weather officials say most of the snow on the summit of Mount Fuji has now melted away. The Meteorological Agency on Wednesday said most of the snow on the top of Mt. Fuji has melted due to unseasonably warm weather over the past few days.

November 8, Wednesday, 2023

1. Britain’s King Charles has delivered his first King’s Speech in Parliament, outlining the government’s policy priorities. In the British tradition, the monarch reads out a speech on the government’s legislative plans at the start of each parliamentary session.
2. A senior US government official has reiterated President Joe Biden’s position on post-conflict Gaza, saying that reoccupation of the Palestinian-controlled area by Israeli forces is “not the right thing to do.”
3. Japanese exports of seafood to China in September plunged sharply from a year earlier. This was after Beijing suspended imports of marine products to protest the release of treated and diluted water into the sea from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

November 7, Tuesday, 2023

1. US President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have discussed the idea of “tactical pauses” in the fighting in the Gaza Strip. In a statement on Monday, the White House said the two leaders discussed the possibility of tactical pauses for humanitarian reasons in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamic group Hamas. 2. Senior diplomats from the United States and China have met in Washington on nuclear arms control, ahead of an expected summit between US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping. 3. A US research institute says that China is taking steps to de-risk its Belt and Road Initiative, as the country is moving to outflank its competitors. AidData, a research lab at William & Mary’s Global Research Institute, released a report on Monday saying it describes China as “the world’s largest official debt collector.”

November 6, Monday, 2023

1. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has held its first drill using shelters designated for emergency evacuation in the event of a missile attack. About 60 people took part in the drill held on Monday at three places in Tokyo’s Nerima Ward, including Toei Subway Nerima Station and the Heisei Tsutsuji Park. At the subway station, participants began to evacuate when the central government’s J-Alert nationwide warning system issued an alarm for a missile launch. 2. People in Japan are getting bigger returns on their fixed bank deposits for the first time in years. The change follows a rise in long-term interest rates that accompanied tweaks in the country’s monetary policy. MUFG Bank previously offered returns of a uniform 0.002 percent for 5- to 10-year fixed term deposits. Starting Monday, it increased the 10-year rate by 100 times to 0.2 percent. It’s the first such increase in 12 years. 3. A senior UN official has urged the international community to hold dialogue with the Taliban and provide support for women and girls in Afghanistan. The UN Development Programme’s Director of the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, Kanni Wignaraja, spoke to NHK on Monday in Tokyo. The Taliban, which seized power two years ago, have been restricting women’s rights to education and work.

November 3, Friday, 2023

1. Israel is stepping up its ground and air offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli military says its troops have now completely encircled Gaza City. Following Thursday’s announcement, Israel carried out intense bombings of northern Gaza. Footage showed flares lighting up the night sky, while missiles rained down amid loud explosions. 2. A large float has toppled over at a festival in Shizuoka Prefecture in central Japan, killing one person and injuring at least 18. The incident took place on Friday morning during an annual festival held by Hirose Shrine in Izunokuni City. Police say one of the floats being paraded on the streets appears to have become uncontrollable and flipped on its side on a downward slope. 3. The Beatles have released what is billed as their “last” song which was produced with the help of artificial intelligence. The British rock group’s late member John Lennon composed the tune, “Now and Then,” in 1978, two years before he was killed.

November 2, Thursday, 2023

1. The Japanese government has decided on a package of economic measures worth over 17 trillion yen, or 113 billion dollars, including income tax cuts. The Cabinet on Thursday approved the package designed to address the impact of higher prices as well as facilitate sustained pay increases and growth potential.
2. The funeral for China’s former Premier Li Keqiang has been held in Beijing, attended by President Xi Jinping and other top Communist Party leaders. Many citizens gathered near the venue, but police turned them away. State-run China Central Television said President Xi expressed his condolences to the former premier’s family, and that flowers were offered under the name of former President Hu Jintao, who is said to have been close to Li. 3. Japan’s Foreign Minister Kamikawa Yoko left Tokyo on Thursday for her visit to Israel, the West Bank and Jordan. Her trip is the first by a Japanese cabinet minister to Israel or the West Bank since the conflict between Israel and Palestinian Islamic group Hamas began on October 7.

November 1, Wednesday, 2023

1. The government of Thailand has asked Qatar to help secure the release of Thai hostages being held by the Islamic group Hamas. Thailand Foreign Ministry said, “On this occasion, the Thai side requested Qatar’s support in finding ways to ensure the immediate release of the foreign hostages, including Thai nationals.”
2. A senior UN official has called on the UN Security Council not to lose focus on the dire humanitarian situation in Ukraine, while conflict continues in the Middle East. Ramesh Rajasingham, director of the Coordination division of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, or OCHA, said more than 9,900 civilians have so far been confirmed killed in Ukraine since the start of Russia’s invasion in February last year. 3. Japan’s two major airlines recorded sharp increases in net profit for Aril to September this year, clearly indicating a recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. The major factor behind the good results is tourism – a rise in both foreign tourists to Japan and Japanese travelers abroad.

October 31, Tuesday, 2023

1. A man has fired shots toward a hospital in Saitama Prefecture near Tokyo, possibly wounding two people. The suspected shooter fled the scene and reportedly holed himself up in a nearby post office. 2. Japan’s government is arranging another flight by a Self-Defense Force aircraft to bring Japanese nationals home from Israel as the military there steps up its attacks on the Gaza Strip. 3. Policymakers at the Bank of Japan have modified the yield curve control on the long-term rate again. The central bank redefined the 1 percent threshold as an upper limit with room for allowance, rather than a rigid cap.

October 30, Monday, 2023

1. China’s top uniformed officer has warned that the military “will not be soft-handed” if anyone attempts to “separate” Taiwan from China. The Central Military Commission’s vice chair, General Zhang Youxia, spoke on Monday at the opening ceremony of the Beijing Xiangshan Forum. 2. Images suggest that Israeli forces have entered northern Gaza and have advanced about 3 kilometers southward. Israel’s military conducted intense air raids and continued ground operations in the enclave on Sunday.
3. A new fact has come to light involving the retrial of Hakamada Iwao, who has been sentenced to death but has been pleading innocent for a murder case that occurred more than half a century ago.

October 27, Friday, 2023

1. China’s former premier Li Keqiang died early on Friday at the age of 68, according to state media. China Central Television says Li had a heart attack and died shortly after midnight in Shanghai after all rescue measures failed.
2. A US-drafted resolution calling for a “humanitarian pause” and a Russian resolution seeking a “humanitarian ceasefire” failed to pass in the UN Security Council on Wednesday due to a rift between the United States and Russia. Both resolutions condemned the October 7 terror attack by Islamic group Hamas in Israel. Gaza residents and the families of the hostages taken by Hamas are growing increasingly worried. 3. The total value of sales at Japan’s major supermarkets was up in September for the seventh straight month. The increase was driven by the rising cost of many items.

October 26, Thursday, 2023

1. Israeli media says that a large number of hostages may be released from Hamas captivity within a few days. The Israeli government on Wednesday said that more than half the estimated 220 hostages still held by Hamas have passports from 25 different countries. 2. The number of shops and staff at Japan’s Narita airport has taken a big hit since the start of the pandemic. The slump comes at a difficult time for the transport hub, which is facing a resurgence in tourists and other travelers.
3. The Japanese government has approved the resignation of parliamentary vice-minister of education and culture Yamada Taro over a scandal. Yamada submitted his resignation to the education minister on Wednesday following a media report about his extramarital affair with a woman.

October 25, Wednesday, 2023

1. US leaders are calling for humanitarian pauses in Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip to allow for international aid to reach civilians, but they say they oppose a general ceasefire. Palestinian authorities say the number of people killed in the bombardment has risen to nearly 5,800. So far 1,400 Israelis have been killed, most of them in the initial attack on October 7. Hamas is still holding 220 people hostage.
2. In a landmark ruling, Japan’s Supreme Court has decided that requiring people to undergo surgery to remove their reproductive functions when they wish to officially change gender is unconstitutional. A person who was recorded as male at birth but now identifies as a woman asked a family court to allow a gender change without surgery, claiming that enforcing it would violate their human rights and the Constitution.
3. The start of 2024 is still a couple of months away. But a traditional ceramics maker in southern Japan is hard at work producing figurines for the Year of the Dragon in the Chinese zodiac. Amakusa ceramics are designated as one of Japan’s traditional crafts. One porcelain maker in Reihoku, Kumamoto Prefecture, started turning out miniature dragons in early September, using locally procured stones as a base material.

October 24, Tuesday, 2023

1. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has called on Israel to ensure the safety of civilians amid the conflict between the country and Hamas. Wang said China is saddened by the large number of civilian casualties caused by the conflict. He also said that while states have the right to self-defense, they should abide by international humanitarian law and protect the safety of civilians. 2. The International Atomic Energy Agency has begun its first survey since the release of treated and diluted water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the ocean started earlier this year. IAEA Deputy Director General Lydie Evrard said the IAEA’s mission will continue until the release of the water is finished. She said the IAEA will continue its safety review with objectivity, based on the science and with an independent approach. 3. As the Christmas season approaches, Japanese people enjoy eating a typical cream sponge cake topped with large, fresh strawberries. But this year’s hot summer is raising concern about a sufficient quantity of the fruit.

October 23, Monday, 2023

1. An NHK staff member in the Gaza Strip has obtained footage taken at one of the main hospitals there. The video shows children apparently wounded by Israeli airstrikes being carried into the facility. An official of the International Committee of the Red Cross called the situation catastrophic. The official said the hospital lacks adequate fuel to remain operational and medical supplies to save lives.
2. Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio has announced his intention to study income tax cuts, stressing that increased tax revenue will be returned to the people as a temporary measure to help them deal with rising prices. The prime minister said in his policy speech that the economy should be given the highest priority as Japan shifts away from the cost-cutting that has continued for three decades.
3. The leaders of the United States and five other Western nations have reiterated their support for Israel amid its fighting with the Islamic group Hamas. They also urged Israel to adhere to international humanitarian law and protect civilians.

October 20, Friday, 2023

1. US President Joe Biden has called for support for Israel and Ukraine, saying it is vital for US national security. Biden said, “We’re facing an inflection point in history. One of those moments where the decisions we make today are going to determine the future for decades to come.” 2. The latest data out of China indicates that a slump in the housing market is spreading throughout the country. New home prices declined in more major cities in September than in the previous month. The Chinese government is trying to reverse the lingering real-estate slump. Its countermeasures include easing mortgage-related regulations. The question is whether the government will take additional action.
3. Japan’s Diet convened for an extraordinary session on Friday. Lawmakers are to discuss rising prices and a draft supplementary budget for the first time since Prime Minister Kishida Fumio reshuffled his Cabinet last month.

October 19, Thursday, 2023

1. Israel says it will allow Egypt conditional access to the Gaza Strip to deliver humanitarian aid. The Israeli government announced in a statement on Wednesday that “Israel will not prevent humanitarian assistance from Egypt as long as it is only food, water and medicine for the civilian population located in the southern Gaza Strip.”
2. The British government says Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will arrive in Israel on Thursday and meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Sunak plans to visit Israel and its neighbors through Friday to discuss ways to contain the fighting and provide humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip. 3. US vehicle maker Tesla has posted a nearly 45 percent decline in third quarter net profit. This comes as the company slashes prices to compete with rivals around the world. Tesla released its latest earnings report on Wednesday. It says revenues in the July-September period rose 9 percent from the same period last year to about 23.3 billion dollars. But net income plunged to about 1.8 billion dollars.

October 18, Wednesday, 2023

1. Chinese President Xi Jinping met on Wednesday in Beijing with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The two are attending an international forum on China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Xi and Putin sat down on the sidelines of the event to discuss their shared vision for the future. 2. The Chinese government released third-quarter GDP data on Wednesday showing the recovery of the world’s second-largest economy slowed down amid a prolonged slump in the real estate sector. 3.Prices of newly harvested Japanese rice have risen for the second consecutive year amid higher costs of fertilizers and fuel. The agriculture ministry conducted a survey during the September harvest season. It found that the average wholesale price of new rice was 15,291 yen, or about 102 dollars. For a 60-kilogram sack. That is up nearly 10 percent in yen terms from a year earlier.

October 17, Tuesday, 2023

1. Senior US officials say President Joe Biden will visit Israel on Wednesday to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Blinken said Biden will be visiting at a crucial moment for Israel, the region and the world. He said the president will reaffirm US solidarity with Israel and discuss strategies to minimize civilian casualties in the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas.
2. China is hosting an international forum on its Belt and Road Initiative beginning on Tuesday in Beijing. Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin are scheduled to talk on the sidelines. The Chinese government has said the two-day event is expected to draw delegates from more than 140 countries.
3. Asian pop music legend and Japanese singer-songwriter Tanimura Shinji died earlier this month. He was 74 years old. Tanimura was born in Osaka Prefecture, western Japan and made his musical album debut as a member of a three-man band, Alice, in 1972. Tanimura also enjoyed an active solo vocalist career. The song “Subaru”, or Star became synonymous with the singer-songwriter.

October 16, Monday, 2023

1. US President Joe Biden says it would be a mistake for Israel to occupy Gaza again. Asked if it is time for a ceasefire, Biden replied that Israel has to respond. He said, “They have to go after Hamas.” But he said, “I think it’d be a big mistake,” when he was asked if he would support an Israeli occupation of Gaza.
2. Growing worries about the Israel-Hamas conflict are creating waves in the markets, with traders in Tokyo sending crude oil prices higher over fears that further escalation could choke supply. Meanwhile, gold futures hit a record high in Osaka early on Saturday as investors piled in seeking safe haven from market uncertainty.
3. Fans of entertainers belonging to the Japanese talent agency Johnny & Associates have expressed mixed feelings over the closure of shops selling official merchandise. These so-called Johnny’s Shops, which sell photos and other goods featuring the agency’s talents, are scheduled to shut down on Monday. This follows the sexual abuse scandal involving the agency’s late founder, Johnny Kitagawa.

October 13, Friday, 2023

1. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says he will visit five Arab nations in an effort to prevent a further escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
2. The operator of Japanese clothing giant Uniqlo is expecting revenue to top 3 trillion yen in the current business year. Fast Retailing says it’s on track to meet that threshold for the first time with strong sales overseas.
3. Doctors have conducted a successful experiment using a robot system to perform remote surgery between Singapore and Japan.

October 12, Thursday, 2023

1. Japan’s education and culture ministry has announced it will seek a court order to disband the group formerly known as the Unification Church. Education and Culture Minister Moriyama Masahito said, “We have interviewed over 170 victims, gathered information and considered the details of this case. As a result, the ministry will request a dissolution order based on the Religious Corporation Act.”
2. A vice-ministerial-level meeting of three countries jointly chairing discussions between creditor nations working to resolve Sri Lanka’s debt problems has been held in Morocco. Japan, India and France say the talks have been making progress, but many challenges remain. Sri Lanka has been facing a rapid weakening of its currency and inflation due to failed financial policies.                              3. Shogi star Fujii Sota has become the first player to hold all eight major titles after winning the Oza championship. The 21-year-old Fujii faced Nagase Takuya, the 31-year-old defending champion of the Oza title, in the fourth match of the best-of-five series in Kyoto on Wednesday. The players spent a long time pondering their moves, and Nagase gradually got the upper hand. After they had both used up their allotted time, they had to make their moves within one minute. In that situation, Nagase failed to find moves that would lead him to victory. The balance then turned to Fujii, and Nagase conceded after the 138th move of the match. Fujii won the series with three wins and one loss.

October 11, Wednesday, 2023

1. The International Atomic Energy Agency says a team of experts from countries including China will visit Japan next week to collect samples of seawater, deposits and fish from the vicinity of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The plant’s operator began the second round of the release of treated and diluted water from the damaged plant last week. 2. At least 2,100 people have been killed in fighting between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas as violence escalates in and around the Gaza Strip. While Israel bombards Gaza with airstrikes, Hamas continues to launch rockets toward Israel.
3. China’s Foreign Ministry says the country will host the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing on Tuesday and Wednesday next week. Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to visit China for the first time since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year and hod a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines.

October 10, Tuesday, 2023

1. Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen called for peaceful coexistence with China in her address on Tuesday to mark Double Tenth Day, which Taiwan considers its national day. Speaking in front of the presidential office building in Taipei, Tsai said, “It is my duty as president to safeguard our national sovereignty and the democratic and free way of life of the 23 million people of Taiwan.” 2. The Japanese government is pushing for a shift to sea and rail freight as part of its strategy to address a truck driver shortage. One firm in central Japan has started loading its cargo on a specially designed type of ship as part of this transition. Shizuoka Prefecture-based Suzuyo is using vessels designed to carry wheeled cargo. This allows for the shipments to be easily rolled off and attached to trucks at their destinations. 3. The leaders of the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Italy have expressed support for Israel and its right to defend itself from attacks by the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas.

October 9, Monday, 2023

1. In the men’s Rugby World Cup, Japan has failed to advance to the knockout stage. The Brave Blossoms lost to Argentina in the last match in Pool D by 27-39. Argentina took an early lead shortly after the kickoff. Japan scored its first try in the 16th minute after Amato Fakatava collected his own kick forward. But Pieter Labuschagne was penalized with a yellow card and forced off the field for 10 minutes. His absence helped Argentina to score 8 points. The Japanese players struggled with their opponents’ power and physical strength and couldn’t reduce the gap.
2. Japanese police say four people have been hospitalized after touching what appeared to be a chemical on board a Tohoku Shinkansen bullet train linking northeastern regions with Tokyo. 3. A giant panda born in Japan has been put on public view in the Chinese province of Sichuan. Visitors to the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda have been able to view Xiang Xiang from Sunday.

October 6, Friday, 2023

1. One year after Japan fully reopened its borders to foreign visitors, inbound tourism is booming. Arrivals in August topped 2.15 million, about 85 percent of pre-pandemic levels. But the country’s hospitality sector has been struggling to keep up with the demand. One pressing concern is that there aren’t enough qualified tour guides. The shortage is so severe, it’s been forcing some companies to turn people away.
2. Sources say the northern Japanese city of Sapporo has decided to give up its bid for the 2030 Winter Olympics and Paralympics. They say instead, the city intends to aim to host the Games in 2034 or later. The city suspended efforts to build momentum for its bid in December last year, following corruption and bid-rigging scandals linked to the Tokyo Summer Games in 2021. 3. Prolific Norwegian author and playwright Jon Fosse has won the Nobel Prize in Literature. The Swedish Academy said on Thursday that Fosse is being awarded the prize “for his innovative plays and prose which give voice to the unsayable.” Fosse was born in 1959 and began his career in 1983. He chose to craft his works in Nynorsk, one of Norway’s two written languages. He has published numerous novels, poetry collections and children’s books.

October 5, Thursday, 2023

1. A low pressure system and a front are dumping heavy rain on Japan’s northern prefecture of Hokkaido. Atmospheric conditions, mainly in northern Japan, have been extremely unstable. 2. Japan’s highest peak, Mount Fuji, has been capped with snow for the first time this season. The snow was observed on Thursday morning.
3. US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has confirmed he will be leading a bipartisan Senate delegation on a visit to China, Japan and South Korea next week.

October 4, Wednesday, 2023

1. US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was ousted from the post on Tuesday with a vote of 216 in favor, 210 against and seven not present. All attending House Democrats and eight Republicans supported the move. One factor behind the motion is believed to be McCarthy’s failure to keep a promise he made when elected as speaker to work toward drastically cutting federal expenditures. Another is that McCarthy conceded to Democrats in order to pass temporary funding to avoid a partial government shutdown.
2. Japan’s education ministry says about 299,000 elementary and junior high school students missed school in the year that ended in March 2023. The figure, which has risen 10 years in a row, was the highest pm record.
3. Popular Japanese TV personality and actor Kuroyanagi Tetsuko has released a sequel to her 1981 autobiographical memoir “Totto-chan; The Little Girl at the Window.” The 90-year-old – whose childhood nickname was memorialized in her book’s title – says what prompted he to pick up her pen again was the ongoing war in Ukraine.

October 3, Tuesday, 2023       

1. Two scientists whose “groundbreaking findings” transformed the threat of the pandemic have been awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine. Katalin Kariko and Drew Weissman were recognized on Monday for laying the groundwork for COVID-19 vaccines. Members of the Nobel panel say the laureates contributed to the unprecedented rate of vaccine development during “one of the greatest threats to human health” in history. “They have saved millions of lives, prevented severe COVID-19, reduced the overall disease burden and enabled societies to open up again,” said Richard Sandberg, a member of the Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institute near Stockholm.
2. A bipartisan group of US Senators, including Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, are reportedly planning to visit China next week with hopes of meeting President Xi Jinping.
3. Japanese opposition lawmaker Suzuki Muneo has defied a government advisory against travel to Russia and has held talks with Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko. Russia’s Foreign Ministry says Suzuki, an Upper House lawmaker with Nippon Ishin Japan Innovation Party, met Rudenko on Monday.

October 2, Monday, 2023

1. The head of an animation firm in Kyoto City has denied in court that his studio stoke the idea for a novel, as a man accused of a deadly arson attack claims. Kyoto Animation President Hatta Hideaki testified as a witness in the trial of Aoba Shinji at the Kyoto District Court on Monday. Hatta said it is heart-wrenching that the incident happened due to Aoba’s mistaken belief. 2. Japanese talent agency Johnny & Associates says it is changing its name to focus on compensating the victims of its late founder. The agency has been at the center of a scandal over sex abuse involving Johnny Kitagawa. It also says it’s starting a new company to manage their roster of talent. The company says 478 people have come forward as of the end of last month with allegations of abuse involving Kitagawa. Of those, 325 are seeking compensation, which the company will begin distributing starting in November under a new name: “Smile-Up.”
3. Tokyo metropolitan police have arrested another ex-cram school teacher on suspicion of conspiring to shoot images of a girl’s underwear with a former colleague already under arrest. Police also referred the school to prosecutors for alleged violation of the personal information protection law.

September 29, Friday, 2023

1. The US State Department has announced that US and Chinese senior diplomatic officials held talks in Washington this week. The department said US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink met Chinese Vice Foreign Minister for Asia Sun Weidong on Wednesday. 2. Japanese Princess Kako, the second daughter of Crown Prince and Princess Akishino, will visit Peru in November to mark 150 years of diplomatic relations between the countries. Prince Kako will our the South American nation for 10 days starting on November 1. It will be her second official overseas trip. Japan and Peru signed a commerce and navigation treaty in 1873. 3. The US Defense Department says Ukrainian pilots have begun training in the United States to fly F-16 fighter jets. But the training program could be disrupted if the US government shuts down this weekend. Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh confirmed that English language training has started for several pilots from Ukraine. Such training is required for pilots to learn the technical terms needed to operate the fighter jets.

September 28, Thursday, 2023

1. Tokyo Electric Power Company says it will start the second round of the release of treated and diluted water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the ocean on October 5. TEPCO says it made the decision about the schedule after examining the facilities for the release and the results of the first round of discharge and found no problems or reasons to change the procedure. 2. Japanese automakers have reported slumping new car sales in China in August. The firms have been struggling with their lineups of largely gasoline-powered and hybrid models as the country shifts rapidly to electric vehicles.
3. The latest trade data show that the release of treated and diluted water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has hit Japan’s seafood industry. The value of exports to China fell more than 75 percent in August compared to the previous year.

September 27, Wednesday, 2023

1. Okinawa’s governor has indicated he will not approve by Wednesday’s deadline the Japanese government’s project for the relocation of a US military base within the southwestern prefecture. Tokyo plans to shift the US Marine Corps Futenma Air Station from the densely populated city of Ginowan to an offshore site at Henoko in Nago City.
2. Nursery school children in the northern Japan prefecture of Aomori were recently given the chance to harvest soybeans whose earlier generations had traveled to space. A local variety of soybeans were brought to and kept at the International Space Station for four months in 2010 for experimental purposes. The beans were planted at a local agricultural high school after their return from space. Students at the school have continued growing the beans since then. 3. Children have returned to a school in a town near the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv after a charity group there set up a bomb shelter as classes resume. Japan helped fund the facility. UNICEF says one-third of Ukraine’s school-age children, about 1.5 million, rely on online learning as their schools were destroyed or have no bomb shelters.

September 26, Tuesday, 2023

1. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has hinted at the possibility of President Xi Jinping’s attendance at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in the US in November. At the news conference in Beijing on Tuesday, Wang unveiled a white paper titled “A Global Community of Shared Future; China’s Proposals and Actions.” He emphasized China’s commitment to working with other nations to create a beautiful future for humanity.”
2. Trial runs of a bullet train of the Hokuriku Shinkansen line have begun in an extended part of the line set to open in March. The new section links Kanazawa Prefecture and Tsuruga Station in neighboring Fukui Prefecture, both along the Sea of Japan Coast. 3. Nissan Motor has ramped up its electric vehicle strategy in Europe with a bold new target. It plans to sell EVs there by 2030. Nissan says that of the over one million EVs it has sold globally, one-third have been in Europe. The carmaker apparently hopes to get ahead of the competition as the continent speeds up its shift to EVs.

September 25, Monday, 2023

1. Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio has mapped out a new economic stimulus package partly in response to the continued high cost of living. “We’ve come through the pandemic and everyone is now struggling with high prices,” Kishida said. “We want to implement economic measures to appropriately return to the public the increased tax revenues, which are the result of growth.” 2. This season’s first auction of blowfish has been held in the western Japanese city of Shimonoseki, heralding the arrival of the traditional winter delicacy on the market. The auction was held early Monsay morning at the Haedomari fish market, which handles largest amount of the wild torafugu variety in Japan.
3. Shipments of Chinese mitten crabs have started in the eastern province of Jiangsu in China. The seasonal delicacy is also known as Shanghai hairy crab. In China, it is popular to steam the crabs whole and dip the meat in vinegar flavored with ginger.

September 22, Friday, 2023

1. Japan’s Crown Prince and Princess Akishino have attended a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the country and Vietnam in its capital Hanoi. The two are now visiting Vietnam. In a speech at the ceremony on Thursday evening, the Crown Prince said the bilateral friendship has been nurtured over a long time through constant efforts by people of both countries. 2. Japan, Germany, Brazil and India have confirmed that they will work together to try to reform the United Nations Security Council. The foreign ministers of the four countries, known as the G4, met on Thursday in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session. The countries are seeking to secure permanent seats on the council. Japanese Foreign Minister Kamikawa Yoko and the other ministers agreed that it is becoming increasingly important to strengthen the functions of the United Nations, due to Russia’s ongoing aggression against Ukraine.
3. Policymakers at the Bank of Japan have decided to leave the central bank’s easing program unchanged as they wrapped up their two-day meeting on Friday. Investors are now focusing on whether BOJ Governor Ueda Kazuo will offer any fresh signals on the timing of a policy shift at his news conference scheduled after the meeting.

September 21, Thursday, 2023

1. British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly says Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is causing harm to people worldwide. He emphasized the need for the United Nations to undergo reform as the Security Council is not functioning as it should. Cleverly said Ukraine’s counteroffensive against Russia has been slower than some would like, but the country was being careful to minimize casualties. He noted that Ukraine has achieved success in that regard. He also stated that the UK will continue to provide support, assessing Ukraine’s weapons needs.
2. Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio has stressed the need for United Nations reform at a time when the rule of law is being challenged by Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. 3. Ukraine and Russia exchanged criticism at a special session of the UN Security Council, held to address the situation in Ukraine. The meeting took place at the UN headquarters in New York on Wednesday alongside the General Assembly. Attendees included Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskky, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

September 20, Wednesday, 2023

1. US President Joe Biden has hosted the first summit between his country and five Central Asian countries. The meeting, dubbed C5+1, was held in New York on Tuesday on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. Along with Biden, the leaders of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan attended the meeting. 2. Japan’s Prime Minister Kishida Fumio has called for international cooperation in tackling a range of complex problems the global community is facing in his speech at the UN General Assembly. He also urged reform of the United Nations.
3. Japanese transport officials are predicting that the country will be short of over 30,000 bus drivers by fiscal 2030.

September 19, Tuesday, 2023

1. The Group of Seven foreign ministers have issued a statement denouncing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and calling for the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Russian forces. The top diplomats met for about two hours on Monday on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York. 2. The Polish government is stepping up its border security as more people try to illegally enter Poland from Belarus. The two countries share a 400-kilometer border and Poland suspects Belarus is deliberately using migrants to destabilize the area. A spokesperson with the Polish Border Guard told NHK that not a single day passes without illegal border crossings. 3. An annual competition featuring dozens of giant pumpkins harvested from across Japan was held on Shodoshima Island, western Japan. The 37th giant pumpkin contest was held in the town of Tonosho in Kagawa Prefecture on Sunday.

September 18, Monday, 2023

1. North Korea says its leader Kim Jong Un’s latest visit to Russia has brought about a radical new turn in the history of the development of bilateral ties. Kim began his journey home after visiting Far Eastern Federal University and other places in Russia’s far eastern city of Vladivostok on Sunday. 2. Ukrainian forces say they have recaptured another village in the eastern region of Donetsk has they intensify counteroffensives in south and east of the country. The commander of Ukraine’s ground forces, Oleksandr Syrskyi, announced on social media on Sunday that his troops retook the village of Klischiivka about six kilometers southwest of the contested city of Bakhmut. 3. At the men’s Rugby World Cup in France, Japan lost to England in the Brave Blossoms’ second Pool D fixture. The game on Sunday night in Nice finished 34-12 to England.

September 15, Friday, 2023

1. Japanese police are searching the headquarters of used car dealer chain Bigmotor in relation to alleged used of weed killer leading to deaths of trees along sidewalks outside some of its shops. The firm is under scrutiny for allegedly filing fraudulent insurance claims after carrying out unnecessary repair work. Tree deaths by weed killer or other means near Bigmotor outlets have also drawn public attention.
2. Shipments of top-quality bigeye tuna have begun in the northeastern Japanese city of Shiogama, Miyagi Prefecture. The Sanriku Shiogama Higashimono brand name is given to premium bigeye tuna unloaded at the market from early autumn to winter. The selection criteria include freshness and fattiness.
3. Japanese musician Yoshiki has left prints of his hands and feet in cement in a ceremony at a Hollywood theater. He’s the first Japanese to leave his mark alongside those of legendary stars. The imprint ceremony for the member of the popular rock band X Japan took place at the TCL Chinese Theatre on Thursday.

September 14, Thursday, 2023

1. North Korea says the country’s leader Kim Jong Un sand Russian President Vladimir Putin reached a “satisfactory agreement” on important issues in their summit talks on Wednesday. Putin also reportedly accepted an invitation to visit North Korea at a convenient time. 2. Japan’s new Foreign Minister Kamikawa Yoko says she hopes to build trust with her global counterparts at the UN General Assembly next week. She wants to visit New York next week to attend the UN General Assembly session and the G7 Foreign Ministers’ meeting. 3. Japan Airlines is using a sustainable aviation fuel, or SAF, on one of its international flights during a week-long trial. SAF accounts for 11 percent of the fuel on flight JL6 from Tokyo’s Haneda Airport to New York City. The carrier’s goal is for SAF to make up 1 percent of the fuel burned on all its flights by 2025. The ratio is slated to rise to 10 percent by 2030.

September 13, Wednesday, 2023

1. Japan’s Prime Minister Kishida Fumio will reshuffle his Cabinet on Wednesday evening. He made Liberal Democratic Party executive appointments earlier in the day. Kishida plans to keep Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuo Hirokazu and Finance Minister Suzuki Shunichi in their current positions to maintain his administration framework.
2. Multiple Russian media have reported that President Vladimir Putin will meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Wednesday at a space center in Russia’s far eastern region of Amur. 3. Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un exchanged words in front of reporters on Wednesday at the start of their summit in the Russian Far East. Putin stressed the need to discuss economic cooperation, humanitarian issues and regional affairs. Kim said the two countries have much to cooperate on, such as in politics and culture, to meet the expectations of their people.

September 12, Tuesday, 2023

1. A special train carrying North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has entered the Russian Far East. Russian government sources say Kim and President Vladimir Putin are expected to hold talks on Wednesday. 2. The Russian and North Korean Ambassadors to the United Nations are showing support for each other as a summit meeting between their two leaders is likely to take place soon. North Korean Ambassador Kim Song backed Moscow’s veto of a resolution to renew sanctions against the West African country of Mali at the UN General Assembly meeting on Monday. 3. British scientist Ian Wilmut, who created the world’s first cloned sheep, Doly, has died. He was 79. Wilmut, who studied embryology and regenerative medicine, cloned Dolly in 1996 from the cell of an adult sheep. While the lamb’s creation raised hope that the technique could be applied to treatment of incurable diseases, it also sparked controversy over the ethics of possible human cloning.

September 11, Monday, 2023

1. The yield on Japan’s 10-year-government bond has risen to its highest level since January 2014. It hit 0.705 percent at one stage on Monday. A move by the Bank of Japan in July to slightly relax its grip on long-term yields has been putting upward pressure on the benchmark bond’s yield. 2. The operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says the first round of the release into the sea of treated and diluted water has been completed. It says there were no problems with the equipment or procedures.
3. In the men’s Rugby World Cup in France, Japan comfortably defeated Chile 42-12 in their opening group match. Chile scored the first try in the sixth minute of the first half. Then two minutes later, Japan immediately scored a try to tie the score. Chile temporarily lost two players one by one to penalties. Japan took advantage by scoring two tries, finishing the first half in the lead.

September 8, Friday, 2023

1. Tropical storm Yun-yeung is approaching central Japan and may make landfall as early as Friday evening. Atmospheric conditions are becoming extremely unstable in the Kanto-Koshin region. Radar analysis shows some parts of Chiba Prefecture received more than 100 millimeters of rain in one hour on Friday morning. 台風13号 
2.The Indian capital of New Delhi is under tight security ahead of the Group of 20 summit. The two-day meeting will kick off on Saturday. The G20 leaders are expected to start arriving in the city from around noon on Friday.
3. Voting has begun in gubernatorial and other local elections across Russia. Voters will elect new regional and local leaders, including the mayor of Moscow and the governors of 20 regions. The country is also staging what it calls elections in four eastern and southern Ukrainian regions—Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson. Russia unilaterally declared the annexation of the four regions in September last year.

September 7, Thursday, 2023

1. The head of Johnny & Associates talent agency has said its late founder, Johnny Kitagawa sexually abused young men, and she has stepped down from the president role to take responsibility. Julie K. Fujishima, Kitagawa’s niece, said at a press conference in Tokyo on Thursday that her uncle abused minors. Following her resignation, which she said took place on Tuesday, Johnny performer Higashiyama Noriyuki became the new president.
2. An internationally-acclaimed Japanese conductor will lead an opera performance in Odesa, southern Ukraine, in an effort to encourage people in the war-torn country. Yoshida Hirofumi will lead the production of Puccini’s “La Boheme” at the Odesa National Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre. 3. Japan has successfully launched an H2A rocket carrying an X-ray satellite, as well as a probe that will attempt to make the nation’s first lunar landing.

September 6, Wednesday, 2023

1. Public prosecutors have indicted a man suspected of throwing an explosive device that landed near Prime Minister Kishida Fumio in April. The Wakayama District Public Prosecutors Office indicted 24-year-old Kimura Ryuji on Wednesday.
2. Ukraine has reiterated its accusations that Russia caused the breach of the Kakhovka dam in the Ukrainian southern region of Kherson in June. Wednesday marks three months since the breach that flooded vast areas.
3. A health ministry survey of people in Japan who overdosed on over-the-counter drugs found they were overwhelmingly women and young. The researchers surveyed 122 people who were hospitalized after abusing painkillers and fever-reducing medication during the 18-month period through last December.

September 5, Tuesday, 2023

1. Japan’s government has decided to extend over 20 billion yen, or more than 140 million dollars, in emergency aid to domestic seafood producers. This is in response to China’s suspension of seafood imports following the release of treated and diluted water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
2. Leaders and top diplomats from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations kicked off a summit meeting on Tuesday in Jakarta. At the top of the agenda is the situation in Myanmar where battles are intensifying between the military that seized power two years ago and pro-democracy groups. 3. China’s foreign minister Wang Yi has demonstrated in talks with Italian counterpart Antonio Tajani that Beijing intends to strengthen bilateral ties. The move is apparently aimed at urging Italy to continue its participation in the Beijing-led Belt and Road Initiative.

September 4, Monday, 2023

1. People in Japan are turning to a tax-reduction plan to help the nation’s fishing industry after China imposed a ban on seafood imports last month. The program known as furusato nozei allows people to donate to municipalities of their choice in return for a tax reduction and gifts. China suspended all seafood imports from Japan in response to the release of treated and diluted water from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The move is a huge blow for people in the fishing industry.
2. Researchers in Japan say they have found that a type of intestinal bacteria may protect against the development of diabetes. They say these bacteria may activate insulin, a hormone that helps reduce blood sugar levels. The group of researchers from the Riken research institute, the University of Tokyo and others published their findings in the science journal Nature. They surveyed more than 300 adults who were found to be at risk of developing diabetes because of their weight and blood test results.
3. Japan’s men’s basketball team has finished 19th in the FIBA World Cup after winning three matches and losing two. In the previous World Cup, Japan was in 31st place. In the Classification Games 17-32, Japan topped its group after beating Venezuela and Cabo Verde. The victory over the West African nation put Japan at the top of the six Asian nations that took part in this year’s World Cup.

September 1, Friday, 2023

1. Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio has urged people to act to protect their lives in a mock news conference for a national disaster drill on the centenary of the Great Kanto Earthquake. 2.The latest data out of China indicates that factory activity remained weak for the fifth month in a row in August.
3. Fishing trawlers have set out from a port in Fukushima Prefecture for the first time since the government began releasing into the ocean treated and diluted water from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

August 31, Thursday, 2023

1. The labor union of the Sogo & Seibu department store chain has staged a one-day strike. The flagship store in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro district was shuttered on Thursday. The strike is in response to the planned sale of the struggling chain. Sogo & Seibu’s parent company, Seven & i Holdings, decided in November to sell it to a US investment firm. 2. East and West Japan Railway company officials say an extended Shinkansen line along the Sea of Japan coast will be up and running on March 16, a year later than planned. The new section of the Hokuriku Shinkansen runs between Kanazawa in Ishikawa Prefecture and Tsuruga in Fukui Prefecture. 3. Japan’s Prime Minister Kishida Fumio has visited a wholesale market in Tokyo and vowed to draw up support measures for those affected by China’s suspension of Japanese seafood imports. China has been the largest importer of Japanese seafood. Last year, Japan exported marine products worth 87.1 billion yen, or about 595 million dollars.

August 30, Wednesday, 2023

1. The United Nations has emphasized the need to quickly implement the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. However, during a UN General Assembly meeting, the United States and Russia, the world’s two largest nuclear weapons possessors, exchanged accusations against each other. UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Nakamitsu Izumi shared the General Assembly president’s warning that the world is closer to a global catastrophe than ever before due to Russia’s ongoing “war against Ukraine.” She stressed that the CTBT needs to be enforced without delay. 2. Members of Japan’s main ruling Liberal Democratic Party have asked the government to act internationally against China’s reaction to the release of treated and diluted water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. China suspended all imports of Japanese seafood after the discharge began last week. Some public and other facilities in Japan have received many harassing phone calls.
3. Prime Minister Kishida Fumio says Japan intends to lead international efforts to achieve nuclear disarmament. Kishida said Japan’s leadership will be based on the results of the Group of Seven summit in Hiroshima and that the country will work to maintain and strengthen the framework of the NPT, Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

August 29, Tuesday, 2023

1. Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio will visit Indonesia and India next month for a series of international summits. In Indonesia, he will attend a summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, and other meetings.
2. European Council President Charles Michel says both member countries and potential additions to the European Union should work to be ready for the bloc’s enlargement by 2030. Balkan states including Serbia, as well as Ukraine and Moldova, have applied for EU membership. But some in the bloc, are cautious about accepting new members, in particular countries that lack the economic power of current members, and also for other reasons.
3. Japan’s Prime Minister Kishida Fumio has stressed that his government will do its utmost to prevent damage to the country’s fisheries industry, in connection with the release of treated and diluted water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the sea.

August 28, Monday, 2023

1. The Japanese government has outlined a plan to build underground shelters where people can evacuate in the event of emergencies. The draft was compiled while keeping in mind a possible contingency in Taiwan. The plan says each shelter would be a robust underground facility with a door that can withstand blasts, a ventilation system and an emergency power source. 2. The organizers of the Paris Olympics and Paralympics are taking steps to ensure that next year’s events will be the most eco-friendly Games ever. Monday marks one year until the opening of the Paris Paralympics. One project involves using water from the Seine River to air condition some competition venues, including badminton and wheelchair basketball courts. 3. A group of Japanese companies is working on developing plastic drink bottles that are not made from any petroleum-based materials. They say the commercialization of these bottles produced only from bio-based substances would be a world-first. A substance called “para-xylene” accounts for about 70 percent of the bottles.

August 25, Friday, 2023

1. US media reports say the plane crash that is believed to have killed Wagner Group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin may have been caused by an intentional explosion. The private jet carrying 10 people crashed on Wednesday in northwestern Russia while flying from Moscow to St. Petersburg. Russian President Vladimir Putin sent his condolences to Prigozhin’s family on Thursday. 2. Members of the United Nations Security Council have called on Russia to pull out its troops out of Ukraine immediately at a meeting that marked 18 months since the start of the invasion. Japan’s Ambassador Ishikane Kimihiro said Japan will continue to support Ukraine. 3. US President Joe Biden has reiterated that Washington is committed to supporting Ukraine for as long as it takes to end Russia’s invasion.

August 24, Thursday, 2023

1. Tokyo Electric Power Company said it has started discharging treated and diluted water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The first round of the release will happen over 17 days. The full process could take at least 30 years to complete. 2. A US think tank says the leader of the Wagner mercenary group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, was likely assassinated at the order of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Institute for the Study of War noted that the Kremlin and the Russian defense ministry had been destroying the Wagner group and weakening Prigozhin’s authority since the armed rebellion in June. 3. Thailand’s new Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin took office on Wednesday, leading a coalition that includes pro-military parties with which his party had long been at odds. The Pheu Thai Party’s Srettha was endorsed by the king on Wednesday, one day after being chosen as prime minister in a parliamentary vote.

August 23, Wednesday, 2023

1. The release of treated and diluted water from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is scheduled to happen on Thursday. Ahead of the discharge, Japan’s industry minister called on people to enjoy marine products from the country’s northeastern region. He reassured the public that the items are safe. Nishimura Yasutoshi attended an event in Tokyo featuring seafood from across the country. 2. Scorching heat is continuing across Japan on Wednesday, with temperatures reaching extremely high levels from the morning in the eastern and northern parts of the country. Temperatures are projected to rise even further later in the day. Highs are expected to reach 39 degrees in Kitaakita City, Akita Prefecture, and 38 degrees in cities of Niigata, Toyama and Yamagata Prefecture’s Sakata. 3. Sake brewers in the western Japanese city of Kami have begun preparations for their first brew of the sake season using newly harvested rice. Sake brewing normally takes place during the winter months, but some brewers in Kochi Prefecture start preparing every August using rice harvested in the prefecture in summer.

August 22, Tuesday, 2023

1. Japan’s government has finalized when it will begin releasing treated and diluted water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the ocean. The plan sets into motion as soon as Thursday. Prime Minister Kishida Fumio said, “The release is expected on Thursday, as long as weather and sea conditions don’t cause any issues. We will take responsibility until the discharge of the treated water is completed, no matter how long it takes, for the next several decades.” 2. Thailand’s ousted former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has set foot in the country for the first time in 15 years amid rumors of a pardon. Thaksin arrived in Bangkok by private jet on Tuesday morning and was welcomed by family members and supporters. He knelt before a portrait of the Thai king and waved with a smile.
3. President Joe Biden is visiting the US state of Hawaii to inspect the massive damage caused by wildfires in Maui two weeks ago. He interrupted his summer vacation to go there. Biden walked through the scorched remains of Lahaina, a popular tourist destination that was devastated by the fires.

August 21, Monday, 2023

1. Scorching heat continues to grip Japan on Monday, pushing temperatures above 35 degrees Celsius in many places. Heatstroke alerts have been issued for many prefectures across Japan. Weather officials are asking people to check the Heat Stress Index, which is based on temperature, humidity and solar radiation, and take necessary precautions.
2. China’s central bank has lowered its key interest rate in what is seen as a bid to support the economy amid clear signs of a faltering recovery. Prolonged weakness in China’s real-estate market is prompting concern about the financial health of related businesses. Exports are also down sharply. 3. Former US President Donald Trump has confirmed that he will not take part in the first Republican presidential primary debate this week. Trump, who is seeking re-election in the 2024 presidential race, made the remark in a social media post on Sunday. The debate is scheduled to take place on Wednesday in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

August 18, Friday, 2023

1. A senior US official has stressed that the upcoming three-way summit involving the United States, Japan and South Korea will serve as an important opportunity to enhance their trilateral relationship. White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said President Joe Biden “has focused very, very keenly on the Indo-Pacific since Day One” of his administration.
2. Struggling Chinese property conglomerate Evergrande Group filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy protection with a New York federal court on Thursday. The major real estate developer was declared to be in default in 2021 after the Chinese government tightened restrictions on the property sector. In July, Evergrande reported an annual net loss of 14.8 billion dollars for 2022. It had posted a deficit of 65.3 billion dollars the previous year.
3. The mayor of Kaminoseki in Yamaguchi Prefecture, western Japan, says his town will allow Chugoku Electric Power Company to conduct a feasibility survey for building a facility to temporarily store spent nuclear fuel. Earlier this month, the utility announced its plan to conduct a joint survey of its site in the town with Kansai Electric Power Company.

August 17, Thursday, 2023

1. Hawaii Governor Josh Green says the death toll from the Maui wildfires has risen to 110. Green said search teams have so far scoured 38 percent of the affected areas. He said authorities have added more people and search dogs to the effort, and enlisted additional experts to help assess DNA in a bid to identify the dead.
2. The Japanese government and the United Nations Development Programme have agreed to build facilities to recycle rubble left by Turkey’s major earthquakes in February in a Japan-funded project. The disaster killed 50,783 people and destroyed more than 310,000 buildings in southern Turkey. Workers still continue to demolish and remove damaged buildings.
3. Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio is scheduled to leave for the United States on Thursday afternoon for a trilateral summit with US and South Korean leaders. Kishida will hold talks with US President Joe Biden and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol at the Camp David presidential retreat near Washington the next day.

August 16, Wednesday, 2023

1. A trail of destruction has been left by Tropical Storm Lan as it plows through central and western Japan. Weather officials say heavy rain is likely again on Wednesday in different parts of the country. They say rain clouds brought by the storm are hovering over the Tokai and Hokuriku regions. 2. The operator of the Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen line says services fully resumed ass of 2:10 p.m. on Wednesday. The Shinkansen bullet train had halted operations between Tokyo and Hakata due to heavy rain in Shizuoka Prefecture, central Japan.
3. Rescue crews in Hawaii have found the bodies of at least 101 victims of the wildfires on Maui over the past week. It is the deadliest natural disaster in state history. The crews fear that they will find many more bodies because they have managed to search only about one-quarter of the disaster zone. Flames and toxic fumes have prevented them from entering some buildings.

August 15, Tuesday, 2023

1. The fighting stopped long ago, but the millions killed continue to be remembered. Japan is marking 78 years since World War Two. It regards August 15, 1945, as the end of the conflict. That’s the day the public learned that Japan had surrendered.
2. South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol has called Japan “a partner sharing universal values,” and stressed his intention to step up the two countries’ cooperation in security and the economy. Yoon spoke Tuesday at a ceremony in Seoul marking the anniversary of the Korean Peninsula’s liberation from Japanese colonial rule.
3. Tens of thousands of homes are without power as Severe Tropical Storm Lan slams into Japan’s main island. Many residents have been forced to flee.

August 14, Monday, 2023

1. Churchgoers in Maui have been praying for the victims of the wildfires that devastated parts of the Hawaiian island. The death toll has reached 93 in the deadliest wildfires in the United States in more than a century.
2. Scorching heat continues across wide regions of Japan, with the mercury topping 38 degrees Celsius in Niigata Prefecture along the Sea of Japan coast on Monday morning. 3. Sources say Japanese police are planning to investigate two members of a suspected fraud group of Japanese nationals based in Cambodia after bringing them back to Japan.

August 11, Friday, 2023

1. Russia has launched its first lunar probe in nearly half a century, with the aim of becoming the first country to make a landing on the Moon’s south pole. Russia’s space agency Roscosmos said the Luna-25 lifted off on Friday from the Vostochny cosmodrome in the Far East. It said the unmanned spacecraft entered its scheduled flight path. 2. The number of people in Japan heading off to their hometowns, vacation spots and other destinations for the “Bon” holiday period appeared to have peaked on Friday. This is the first summer holiday in Japan since the government lifted all coronavirus pandemic restrictions. 3. The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has found leaks in a hose used to transfer treated water. Tokyo Electric Power Company conducted a probe after higher-than-usual levels of radioactive material were detected in rainwater in the dike around a storage tank.

August 10, Thursday, 2023

1. The Chinese government has allowed the resumption of group tours by its citizens to 78 more countries and regions. The destinations include Japan, South Korea, India, the United States, Australia, Britain and Germany. China announced the lifting of the ban on Thursday. It had been imposed from January 2020 to counter the COVID-19 pandemic. 2. A brother of a Japanese abductee to North Korea has called on junior high school students to gain a better understanding of the abduction issue and to support efforts to bring his sister home for a reunion with their elderly mother. Yokota Takuya, a younger brother of abductee Yokota Megumi, gave a speech at a gathering of junior high school students in Tokyo on Thursday. He heads a group of the abductees’ families.
3. Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio is considering a reshuffle of his Cabinet and executives of his main ruling Liberal Democratic Party as early as mid-September. The information comes from several government and party officials, who say Kishida, who is also LDP President, is looking to bolster his leadership amid flagging public support. Thursday marks exactly one year since Kishida last reshuffled his Cabinet and party executives.

August 9, Wednesday, 2023

1. US space agency NASA has unveiled the Orion spacecraft being developed for a manned flight around the moon, planned for next year.
2. The United Nations says it has secured approval from the Syrian government to continue using a Turkish border crossing to deliver aid to people in the country’s northwest, an area controlled by anti-government forces.
3. People in Japan have marked 78 years since the US military dropped an atomic bomb on Nagasaki. The city remains the last place to suffer a nuclear attack.

August 8, Tuesday, 2023

1. Weather officials in Japan are warning people to be on alert ahead of the arrival of Severe Tropical Storm Khanun. The storm is expected to approach the country’s southwestern region of Kyushu on Wednesday. Bands of active rain clouds are expected to develop in the Amami region and in southern and northern Kyushu through Wednesday night.
2. Former Japanese Prime Minister Aso Taro has said in a speech in Taiwan that “a readiness to fight” serves as a deterrence in the region. Referring to China’s growing military pressure on Taiwan, Aso said peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait are very important for the stability of Japan and the international community. He said countries around the world are starting to recognize this. 3. Japan’s current account surplus rose in the first half of 2023 from the same period last year, mainly due to a fall in the price of energy imports. The Finance Ministry said on Tuesday that the surplus for the six months through June stood at 8.1 trillion yen, or about 56 billion dollars. That’s up about 5.6 billion dollars from the same period last year.

August 7, Monday, 2023

1. Former Japanese Prime Minister Aso Taro has laid flowers at the grave of the former Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui, who fostered close ties with Japan. Lee died in 2020 at the age of 97. He had contributed to Taiwan’s democratization by allowing voters to directly cast ballots in a presidential race for the first time.
2. Severe Tropical Storm Khanun is on track to approach southwestern Japan by Wednesday. It is moving north with winds expected to reach 90 kilometers per hour. The Japan Meteorological Agency says Khanun is moving slowly over waters off the Amami region in Kagoshima Prefecture. Bands of active rain clouds could develop in the region and in southern Kyushu through Tuesday morning. Record-breaking precipitation could hit the Pacific side of western and eastern Japan through Thursday.
3. Tensions continue to rise in the West African nation of Niger, after military leaders who staged a coup rejected a regional bloc’s request to reinstate the president by a Sunday deadline. The coup leaders announced on Sunday that they closed the country’s airspace, citing the possibility of military intervention by the Economic Community of West African States, or ECOWAS.

August 4, Friday, 2023

1. Japan’s weather officials continue to urge people in Okinawa Prefecture to be on high alert as Typhoon Khanun nears the region’s Miyakojima Island. The typhoon has left two people dead and more than 60 others injured in the prefecture. Officials are calling for caution against high waves and storm surges.
2. The European Union, Norway and Iceland on Thursday lifted all import restrictions on Japanese food products that had been implemented following the 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries says it welcomes the removal of the restrictions as it will boost reconstruction efforts in the areas affected by the nuclear disaster. 3. A variety of colorful fireworks lit the night sky over Nagaoka City in central Japan as one of the country’s most popular fireworks festivals opened on Wednesday. The two-day Nagaoka Fireworks Festival started at 7:20 p.m. with the release of three white fireworks, carrying with them a wish for peace. The long-standing event honors those who died in an air raid in 1945 and prays for recovery from a major earthquake that struck the area in 2004.

August 3, Thursday, 2023    

1. Data from Japan’s Fire and Disaster Management Agency show 7, 235 heatstroke patients were taken to hospital nationwide in June. The figure is the second largest for the month of June since the statistics began in 2010, following 15,969 recorded in June of last year.  2. A Japanese government panel has proposed that the country’s average hourly minimum wage for this fiscal year be raised above 1,000 yen, or about seven dollars and 20 cents for the first time. The labor ministry panel members, including representatives from unions and corporate management, had been discussing a minimum wage hike to match the rising cost of living.
3. Policymakers at the Bank of Japan say they are introducing greater flexibility in their yield-curve control policy, or YCC. But they are otherwise leaving their ultra-loose program unchanged.

August 2, Wednesday, 2023

1. Donald Trump has been indicted in connection with his efforts to overturn the 2020 election. It’s the third time in four months that the former US president has been charged criminally. The four count indictment alleges Trump conspired to defraud the US by preventing Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s win. It says that deprived voters of their right to a fair election. 2. The organizers of the Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai have proposed a new plan to help countries and economies get their pavilions ready in time for the event. The world expo is scheduled to open in April 2025, but construction is running behind schedule.
3. Japan’s Toyota Motor has unveiled its new Land Cruiser models, including the series’ first hybrid type. The move reflects the global auto giant’s carbon neutrality strategy to avoid solely focusing on electric vehicles.

August 1. Tuesday, 2023

1. A large and very strong typhoon is approaching Japan’s southern prefecture of Okinawa. Officials are calling on people to be on the alert for violent winds, storm surges and high waves. Japan’s Meteorological Agency says that as of 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Typhoon Khanun was estimated to be at sea 130 kilometers south-southeast of the prefectural capital of Naha City. It was moving west-northwest at a speed of 15 kilometers per hour.
2. Myanmar’s military says it has pardoned ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi for some of the offenses she was convicted of. The announcement was made through state media on Tuesday. Aung San Suu Kyi was found guilty of 19 charges, including corruption, in unofficial trials, which in total resulted in a prison sentence of 33 years. The military says it has canceled the sentences for five of the offences. 3. Drones again flew into Russia’s capital of Moscow early Tuesday. The Russian defense ministry says Ukraine attempted to attack Moscow and its suburban areas with three drones on Tuesday. It says one of the unmanned aircraft crashed in a business district of high-rise office towers.

July 31, Monday, 2023

1. Japan has triumphed at the Fencing World Championships, clinching its first ever men’s team foil title with victory over China in the final. The win cam on the final day of the event, which took place in Milan from July 22 through 30, with qualifying points for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games on offer. 2. The Bank of Japan has released records from over a decade ago showing policymakers at the time hoped for early achievement of the BOJ’s 2-percent inflation target. The central bank’s ultra-loose policy has yet to meet the goal in a sustained way. 3. A record of more than 17 percent of male workers in Japan took child-care leave in the last fiscal year. More than 3,300 businesses and entities responded to the labor ministry’s annual survey in October. The results show 17.13 percent of eligible male workers took paternity leave in the year that ended in March, up 3.16 percentage points from a year earlier. But the figure is still far below the government’s target of 50 percent by 2025.

July 28, Friday, 2023

1. Data from Japan’s Fire and Disaster Management Agency show 7,235 heatstroke patients were taken to hospital nationwide in June. The figure is the second largest for the month of June since the statistics began in 2010, following 15, 969 recorded in June of last year. 2. A Japanese government panel has proposed that the country’s average hourly minimum wage for this fiscal year be raised above 1,000 yen, or about seven dollars and 20 cents, for the first time. The labor ministry panel members, including representatives from unions and corporate management, had been discussing a minimum wage hike to match the rising cost of living.
3.Policymakers at the Bank of Japan say they are introducing greater flexibility in their yield-curve control policy, or YCC. But they are otherwise leaving their ultra-loose program unchanged. The announcement came after the BOJ wrapped up its 2-day policy meeting on Friday. The officials said the yield on the 10-year Japanese government bond will be allowed to fluctuate in a range of around plus and minus half a percentage point as before. But now, they say they will conduct YCC with flexibility regarding the upper and lower bounds of the range, viewing them not as rigid limits. The BOJ will offer to purchase 10-year JGBs at 1 percent.

July 27, Thursday, 2023

1. Life-threatening high temperatures were forecast across Japan on Thursday, and officials are urging steps to avoid heatstroke.
2. Tourists at the Shuzenji hot-spring resort in Izu City, Shizuoka Prefecture, are taking a respite from the scorching heat by dipping their feet in a cold footbath.
3. NATO says it is strengthening surveillance and reconnaissance activities in the Black Sea region following Russia’s pullout from a deal to allow grain exports from Ukrainian ports.

July 26, Wednesday, 2023

1. Cambodia’s long-serving Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Wednesday that he will step down in the coming weeks. He has named his eldest son, Hun Manet, as his successor. 2. Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has arrived in North Korea, where he is due to attend events marking the 70th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice.
3. The whereabouts of China’s foreign minister, Qin Gang, has been a source of mystery both inside and outside Beijing. He has been out of the public eye for a month. Now, he has been ousted from his job without explanation from Chinese leaders.

July 25, Tuesday, 2023

1. Twenty-five years have passed since a fatal arsenic poisoning at a summer festival in western Japan. Four people, including an elementary school student, died and 63 others developed poisoning symptoms after eating curry served at a community festival in Wakayama City on July 25, 1998. 2. Climate activist Greta Thunberg has been fined by a Swedish court for disobeying police during a protest last month. Thunberg was charged after blocking the road for oil trucks in the southern Swedish city of Malmo and refusing police orders to disperse on June 19. 3. A maze created in a field with about 50,000 sunflowers in northern Japan’s Yamagata Prefecture has opened to the public. Local people use an idle field in Tendo City to make the labyrinth every summer. About 50,000 sunflowers have grown as tall as two meters high. The field is around 5,000 square meters in size. The path is roughly 500 meters long.

July 24, Monday, 2023

1. This year’s air-raid evacuation drills began in Taiwan on Monday. The annual exercises are aimed at preparing people for possibilities such as a missile attack by China. The drills are being held separately in four regions across Taiwan through Thursday. 2. Rising costs have forced the organizer of a fireworks festival in western Japan to drastically increase the number of paid seats to help finance the event. The Matsue Suigosai Fireworks display in Shimane Prefecture has been held nearly every summer for about 100 years. 3. A senior Japanese government official says China is spreading inaccurate information about Tokyo’s plan to release treated and diluted water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the ocean. Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Isozaki Yoshihiko told reporters on Monday that some of the information being released by China is false, and the Japanese government has made science-based objections on multiple occasions.

July 21, Friday, 2023

1. Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno Hirokazu says Japan will strongly demand at the United Nations Security Council that Russia returns to an international framework to allow Ukraine to resume its grain exports. The UN Security Council will convene an emergency meeting on Friday to discuss Russia’s withdrawal from the deal.
2. The suspected leader of a group believed to have committed a series of robberies across Japan may have given instructions from the Philippines in a robbery that took place in Chiba Prefecture earlier this year. Imamura Kiyoto has been arrested on suspicion of giving instructions to three assailants involved in the incident in Japan at a recycling shop in Oamishirasato City. The three beat and injured the owner of the shop.
3. Japanese weather officials say they have observed a new tropical storm over waters east of the Philippines. The Meteorological Agency said on Friday morning that Tropical Storm Doksuri is moving north-northwest at a speed of 15 kilometers per hour. Tropical Storm Doksuri=台風5号

July 20, Thursday, 2023

1. Workers at the Acropolis, Greece’s top tourist attraction, say they will go on strike from Thursday to protest being forced to work in scorching temperatures. Staff at the UNESCO World Heritage site in Athens will stop working at 4 p.m. each day. The Acropolis is normally open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The union of workers at the ancient site says that given the problems they have faced in recent days, they have unanimously decided on the measures to protect the health of staff and visitors. 2. The United States has warned that Russia may attack civilian ships in the Black Sea, in addition to the recent attacks on Ukrainian grain facilities.
3. The head of Britain’s MI6 intelligence service says Russian President Vladimir Putin is “clearly under pressure.” He also called on Russians to collaborate with MI6.

July 19, Wednesday, 2023

1. The Japanese consul general in Portland, a city in the western US state of Oregon, was attacked by an apparent homeless woman in the city’s downtown area last month. Japan’s Foreign Ministry says that on June 17, Consul General Yoshioka Yuzo suffered a cut to his head after being pushed to the ground by a stranger and hitting the pavement.
2. Britain is set to enact legislation that will prevent migrants from claiming asylum if they come across the English channel by boat or arrive through other unauthorized means. The Illegal Migration Bill was passed by parliament on Monday and will now go for royal assent. The bill places a duty on the government to refuse asylum applications from illegal arrivals in principle, and to detain and deport them.
3. Tokyo’s Haneda Airport reopened the International Flight Area in Terminal 2 on Wednesday. That section of the terminal was shut down, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Terminal 2 is one of Haneda Airport’s domestic terminals. The International Flight Area was opened in March of 2020 to increase the number of international flights at the airport.

July 18, Tuesday, 2023

1. Finance ministers and central bank chiefs from the Group of 20 major economies have begun their second day of talks in India. Japanese Finance Minister Suzuki Shunichi and Bank of Japan Governor Ueda Kazuo are taking part in the meeting in Gandhinagar, in the state of Gujarat. Tuesday’s discussions are expected to focus on developing countries’ debts. 2. Iran’s grain imports from Russia, which has friendly ties with Tehran, have been increasing sharply this year as Western sanctions against both countries continue. Iran’s customs authorities say the country imported about 740,000 tons of grain from Russia in the three-month period through June. That’s about 1.5 times more than in the same period last year, and 2.5 times that of 2021. 3. Japanese government officials are expressing deep concerns over Russia’s decision to halt a deal that allows Ukraine’s grain exports to continue from Black Sea ports.

July 17, Monday, 2023

1. A group of researchers says a higher basal body temperature made intestinal bacteria more active in mice and prevented them from becoming seriously ill with influenza. The group includes Associate Professor Ichinohe Takeshi of the University of Tokyo’s Institute of Medical Science. The researchers took note that mice with high basal body temperatures are less likely to develop serious symptoms if they are infected with flue.
2. Japanese tennis player Oda Tokito has won the men’s wheelchair singles title at Wimbledon for the first time. It is his second Grand Slam title following the French Open last month. 17-year-old Oda is ranked number one in the world. He faced second-ranked Alfie Hewett of Britain in the final on Sunday. 3. Japanese Actor Suzuki Ryohei has won the Screen International Rising Star award at the New York Asian Film Festival for his performance in the gay romance drama “Egoist.” Suzuki played the main character – a gay person navigating his relationship with his lover and the lover’s mother – in the film that was screened on Saturday.

July 14, Friday, 2023

1. News outlets say that US authorities have opened an investigation into the developer of Chat GPT, the Al-powered chatbot. The Federal Trade commission is reportedly probing whether California-based OpenAI has violated consumer protection laws. It says ChatGPT can generate responses hat make “false, misleading, disparaging or harmful” statements about people.
2. The operator of Japanese clothing giant Uniqlo has posted record sales and profit for the nine months through May. The numbers were driven by strong sales overseas. Fast Retailing said its consolidated revenue for the period rose 21.4 percent from a year earlier to about 2.14 trillion yen. That’s about 15.3 billion dollars. Net profit also increased 0.3 percent. 3. A Hollywood actors’ union has decided to go on strike for the first time in 43 years. It is calling for higher pay and for the use of artificial intelligence to be regulated. The actors are seeking an increase in pay and residuals from streaming services.

July 13, Thursday, 2023

1. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has welcomed the long-term security guarantees from the leaders of the Group of Seven nations. The G7 nations issued a joint declaration on the sidelines of the NATO summit held in Lithuania. They pledged long-term support for Ukraine, including ensuring a sustainable force capable of deterring Russian aggression in the future. 2. Thailand’s Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai says he had a meeting on Sunday with Myanmar’s de-facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who was ousted in a 2021 military coup and later jailed, and that she is in good health.
3. A survey by Japan’s central bank shows that a record of over 95 percent of people say prices have risen from a year ago, but a growing number also feel that economic conditions are improving.

July 12, Wednesday, 2023

1. Japan’s defense ministry says it believes the missile North Korea launched earlier Wednesday fell into the Sea of Japan outside of the exclusive economic zone. Officials also confirm it was an intercontinental ballistic missile-class. Tokyo says it has lodged a protest. 2. A major trans-Pacific trade deal has come into force in all 11 countries that originally signed it. This comes after the Southeast Asian nation of Brunei completed its ratification process. The deal, known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, creates a massive free trade bloc spanning the Pacific.
3. Japanese businesses are lending a hand to municipalities in the transition to electric vehicles, launching new services that help local governments replace their official-use cars with EVs. A group company of major trading firm Mitsubishi Corporation is leasing out nearly 200 EVs to Tokyo’s Setagaya Ward starting this month. This will help lower the cost of making the switch to eco-friendly transportation.

July 11, Tuesday, 2023

1. Japan’s Prime Minister Kishida Fumio, who is an route to Europe, is expected to visit Poland on Tuesday before heading to Lithuania. Kishida and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki are planning to exchange views on the effects that a prolonged military invasion by Russia may have on neighboring countries and on future ways of support.
2. Japan’s Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa is scheduled to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ meetings in Indonesia from Wednesday. Hayashi said he plans to exchange views about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the North Korean situation. He said he will also confirm that they will cooperate to realize a free and open Indo-Pacific. 3. Consumers conscious about food sustainability are increasingly switching to plant-based food instead of meat and dairy products. Seven-Eleven Japan says it will start selling rice balls and nuggets made with alternative forms of protein from this month.

July 10, Monday, 2023

1. A Kremlin spokesperson has revealed that Russian President Vladimir Putin met Yevgeny Prigozhin, leader of the Wagner Group mercenary force, just days after the group’s mutiny. 2. Russia’s top general, Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov, has been seen in public for the first time since a June mercenary mutiny.
3. Some NATO member nations have expressed opposition to the use or provision of cluster munitions after the United States’ recent decision to furnish them to Ukraine for its counteroffensive against Russian forces.

July 7, Friday, 2023

1. A Japanese group of dementia patients and their families is seeking the speedy approval in Japan of a drug for Alzheimer’s disease. The United States fully approve lecanemab on Thursday. It was jointly developed by Japanese pharmaceutical firm Eisai and its US partner Biogen. 2. A group of foreign residents of western Japan’s Tokushima Prefecture is preparing to join one of the country’s leading summer dance festivals in August. The Awa Odori features groups of dancers wearing summer kimonos or Japanese happi coats performing to the lively tune of chimes, drums, flutes and “shamisen” strings.
3. Japan’s independent committee tasked with protecting personal information says it will conduct an onsite inspection at the Digital Agency. This comes after errors were made when some My Number national ID cards were processed. The Digital Agency was created by the government to speed up digitalization in Japan. As of July 4th, 940 cases had been confirmed in which an individual’s national ID number was linked to a stranger’s bank account. Such bank accounts are used to receive pension payments and other benefits.

July 6, Thursday, 2023

1. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko says the leader of Russian private military firm Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, is back in Russia. The Belarusian president last month said the mercenary leader was in Belarus. He reportedly said Prigozhin is in St. Petersburg or may have moved to Moscow or somewhere else, but he is now not in Belarus.
2. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has arrived in Beijing for high-level talks, amid growing tensions over semiconductor exports. Yellen’s visit to China is her first as treasury secretary. She will remain there through Sunday.
3. One of Japan’s biggest travel agencies is tipping that domestic travel will return to pre-pandemic levels this summer. JTB forecasts that between July 15 and August 31, 72-and-a-half million people will take trips around the country with at least one overnight stay. That’s on par with the level in 2019.

July 5, Wednesday, 2023

1. International Atomic Energy Agency chief Rafael Grossi met residents of Fukushima Prefecture on Wednesday to alleviate concerns over Japan’s plan to release treated and diluted water from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant into the ocean. 2. Rice has been a staple of Japanese cuisine for centuries, but domestic consumption is on the decline. A producers’ association has launched a promotion to combat this trend. It urges restaurants to offer more “donburi” items, or dishes served in bowls of rice. 3. Britain’s defense ministry says Russia has used a massive amount of antitank mines to slow the advance of Ukraine’s forces in the country’s south. The ministry said on Tuesday that in recent weeks, Russia has prioritized and refined tactics aimed at slowing Ukrainian armored counteroffensive operations in the south. It also said Russia attempted to strike Ukrainian armored vehicles with drones, attack helicopters and artillery.

July 4, Tuesday, 2023

1.Children at an elementary school in a village in Kumamoto Prefecture, southwestern Japan, have marked the third anniversary of deadly flooding that hit the region. In July 2020, the Kuma River flooded after record rainfall, killing 25 people in Kuma Village.
2. Japanese weather officials are warning that southwestern Japan’s Kyushu region could be hit by mudslides and torrential downpours. Rain clouds have developed in southern Kyushu, due to the effects of a stationary active front in the area.
3. The speaker of Taiwan’s legislature has arrived by ship at Yonaguni Island in Japan’s Okinawa Prefecture. You Si-kun boarded a high-speed boat on Tuesday morning in Suao in his home country of Yilan. Yonaguni is Japan’s westernmost island, just over 100 kilometers from Suao.

July 3, Monday, 2023

1. Two astronauts chosen for the role by Japan’s space agency in February have spoken to reporters in Tokyo before they begin training together. Suwa Makoto and Yoneda Ayu were selected as astronauts in the first screening process in the country in 14 years. They gave their first in-person joint news conference on Monday at a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, location in Tokyo. 2. Sales of new vehicles in Japan surged in the first half of this year as a semiconductor shortage eased. Auto industry groups say that more than 2.4 million units were sold from January to June. 3. Thousands of people have rallied across Australia in support of a campaign to recognize Indigenous peoples in the Constitution. Activists are seeking to shore up the “yes” vote ahead of a referendum on whether to give the country’s original inhabitants a say in key policies affecting them.

June 30, Friday, 2023

1. The Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima and the Pearl Harbor National Memorial in the US state of Hawaii have established sister ties despite dissent by people including atomic survivors. A signing ceremony was held at the US Embassy in Tokyo on Thursday. 2. The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency will visit Japan next week to discuss the country’s plan to release treated and diluted water from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the ocean. IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi will meet with Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa and other officials. He also plans to inspect the Fukushima Daiichi plant. 3. China’s national security law for Hong Kong that has been in effect for three years is impacting people’s daily lives in the region. The owner of a small store there says she recently came under police surveillance. Debby Chan was elected to a district council for the first time in 2019 as a pro-democracy lawmaker. But she chose to resign when the security law took effect on June 30, 2020. She then opened a store selling food and other items. Police began to monitor her closely after she started handing out candles to her customers last month, ahead of the anniversary of the Chinese military’s crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. June 4 marked 34 years since the incident.

June 29, Thursday, 2023

1. A Russian newspaper says a senior general with the country’s military has been arrested in connection to the rebellion carried out by the Wagner Group. The Moscow Times said Surovikin, the deputy commander of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, reportedly chose to side with Wagner leader Yevgeny Prigozhin during the uprising. The two are said to have been close. 2. Western leaders say the recent armed rebellion led by Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner mercenary group, has undermined the leadership of Russian President Vladimir Putin. US President Joe Biden was asked by reporters at the White House on Wednesday if Putin had been weakened by the uprising. He said, “Absolutely.”
3. Japan and South Korea have agreed to resume a currency swap deal between the two countries, in another sign that bilateral relations are warming.

June 28, Wednesday, 2023

1. Japan’s COVID-19 cases are rising again, especially in the southern prefecture of Okinawa, as people enjoy normal summer activities for the first time in three years. Some doctors fear another wave is imminent, after the government downgraded the coronavirus to the same category as seasonal flue in May. Okinawa had 157 coronavirus patients admitted to hospitals in the week through Sunday, about 1.3 times more than in the previous week.
2. The North Korean Institute has criticized the Japanese government for hosting a UN symposium on Norea’s abduction of Japanese and other foreign nationals. According to the institute, the abduction issue has been completely, finally and irreversibly settled thanks to North Korea’s sincere efforts. 3. The founder of the Wagner mercenary group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, has kept people guessing as to his whereabouts since he led a march on Moscow on Saturday. He called off the uprising and agreed to go into exile. Now, he has ended days of speculation by showing up in Belarus.

June 27, Tuesday, 2023

1.An independent Belarusian group says a private jet apparently owned by Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of Russian private military firm Wagner Group, has landed at a military airfield near the Belarusian capital Minsk. The independent monitoring project Hajun reported the arrival of the business jet on Tuesday. It is not known whether Prigozhin was onboard the plane. 2. Tokyo police say Kabuki actor Ichikawa Ennosuke is admitting to allegations that he helped his mother kill herself. Ennosuke, whose real name is Kinoshi Takahiko, was arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of helping his mother kill herself by giving her sleeping drugs. 3. A Russian independent media outlet says new camps for members of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group are being constructed in Belarus, where the group’s founder, Yevgeny Prigozhin, is reportedly going into exile.

June 26, Monday, 2023

1. A US media outlet says Janet Yellen, the country’s treasury secretary, may visit Beijing early next month for high-level economic talks with her Chinese counterpart. Attention is focused on whether the visit, if it happens, will help improve the strained relations between the world’s No.1 and No. 2 economic powers.
2. Mercenaries have challenged Russian authorities by marching toward Moscow. But the leader of the Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, says he had not intention of seizing power. Officials in the Kremlin said Prigozhin called off his forces on Saturday in exchange for an offer to go into exile in Belarus. 3. Western leaders are denying accusations they knew Russian mercenaries were preparing to march on Moscow. US President Joe Biden said on Monday that his administration has made clear to Russian leaders that they had “nothing to do with it.”

June 23, Friday, 2023

1. All five people on board the missing Titan submersible are believed to be dead after searchers discovered debris thought to belong to the craft on the ocean floor.
2. People in Japan’s southern prefecture of Okinawa are observing the 78th anniversary of one of the deadliest battles of World War Two. The battle, which was between the now-defunct imperial Japanese military and US forces, claimed more than 200,000 lives. 3. US President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi have agreed to strengthen bilateral ties, including in co-production of fighter jet engines.

June 22, Thursday, 2023

1. Rescuers are racing against time to find a submersible carrying five people that went missing on a visit to the wreck of the Titanic at the bottom of the Atlantic. A search and rescue operation is underway for the submersible, which lost contact with the surface less than 2 hours after starting its dive on Sunday.
2. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has acknowledged that his nation’s counteroffensive against Russian forces is not proceeding as rapidly as he wants. Admitting that “not everything is easy,” Zelenskyy pointed out the presence of land mines poses difficulties. He said his country would “definitely like to make bigger steps – they are a bit smaller than we want.” 3. Ukraine faces a long and difficult road to recovery from all the damage caused by Russia’s invasion. That’s the focus of a London gathering of officials from more than 60 countries, organizations and companies. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the meeting online. He said, “At this conference, we must move from vision to agreements, and from agreements to real projects.”

June 21, Wednesday, 2023

1. Hunter Biden, the son of US President Joe Biden, has struck a deal with federal prosecutors that will likely keep him out of jail. He agreed to plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges while avoiding prosecution for possessing a firearm as a drug user. 2. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has revealed that one of the three Ukrainian ports covered by a UN-backed grain deal has been excluded. Under the Black Sea grain deal, Russia and Ukraine have agreed to allow grain shipments from the ports to secure global food supply after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
3. US media outlets say possible safety problems with a submersible that has gone missing on a tour of the Titanic shipwreck in the Atlantic had been pointed out five years ago. The Titan submersible was on an underwater tour to see the wreckage of the Titanic ocean liner resting on the seabed about 4,000 meters deep off the Canadian coasts. It lost contact with a parent ship on Sunday.

June 20, Tuesday, 2023

1. The meteorological agencies of the United Nations and the European Union say 2022 was the warmest year on record for many countries in Europe. On Monday, the World Meteorological Organization and the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service released a report on the state of the climate in Europe last year. The report says in 2022 Europe’s average temperature was about 2.3 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial average.
2. US and Canadian rescuers are searching for a missing submersible carrying five people on a tour of the Titanic shipwreck. In 1912, about 1,500 passengers and crew members perished when the British ocean liner hit an iceberg in the Atlantic and sank on its way to the United States. The tour to view the wreckage, located at a depth of about 4,000 meters off the Canadian coast, is operated by US company OceanGate and costs 250,000 dollars per person. The US Coast Guard said the craft lost contact with its support ship about an hour and 45 minutes after it began its dive on Sunday morning. 3. Japanese restaurant chains are accelerating moves to expand abroad. They are setting up branches and acquiring foreign businesses to tap rising post-COVID demand. The company that runs conveyor-belt sushi chain Kura Sushi earlier ditched plans to enter the Chinese market due to the pandemic. But it has revived its ambitions, opening an outlet in Shanghai this month. Kura Sushi is also quickening its pace of openings in the United States and elsewhere.

June 19, Monday, 2023

1. The leaders of Japan, the US and South Korea are expected to meet in the United States shortly to discuss their response to North Korea’s repeated missile launches.
2. Ukraine’s deputy defense minister says the country’s forces have liberated eight communities in the past two weeks of their counteroffensive operations. Hanna Maliar wrote on social media on Monday that the village of Piatykhatky in the southern region of Zaporizhzhia is among those recaptured. 3. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Chinese President Xi Jinping and other senior officials in Beijing. The two-day visit, which began on Sunday, is the first to the country by one of President Joe Biden’s Cabinet. It comes after a planned meeting in February was canceled amid allegations of China’s deploying spy balloons in the United States.

June 16, Friday, 2023

1. Policymakers at the Bank of Japan have wrapped up their two-day meeting. They say they are leaving the central bank’s easing program unchanged. The BOJ will keep its short-term benchmark interest rate in negative territory. And it will continue asset purchases to keep long-term rates around zero percent.
2. Ukrainian defense officials say the country’s troops are making progress in their counteroffensive against Russia despite fierce resistance. Speaking to reporters on Thursday in Kyiv, Ukraine’s deputy defense minister, Hanna Maliar, said Ukrainian troops have advanced more than three kilometers to the east. She also said they are advancing “gradually but surely” to the south. 3. Russia’s central election commission says it will hold elections in September in the four regions in eastern and southern Ukraine that Moscow claims to have annexed, along with the rest of Russia.

June 15, Thursday, 2023

1. The suspect in the shooting that left two Japan Ground Self-Defense Force members dead has told police that he targeted a 52-year-old instructor and “didn’t intend” to kill another victim. The 18-year-old male candidate allegedly opened fire at three GSDF personnel at the organization’s Hiro shooting range during live-fire training in Gifu City, central Japan, on Wednesday. 2. Tokyo’s board of education has issued a notice asking school officials to warn students against becoming dependent on generative AI when doing homework over the summer vacation. In the notice, the education board stressed the need in education to nurture students’ ability to think on their own. 3. Policymakers at the Bank of Japan have begun discussing the impact of massive monetary easing and the rising cost of living at their two-day meeting from Thursday. The central bank has been controlling short-and long-term interest rates to help achieve its goal of two-percent inflation.

June 14, Wednesday, 2023

1. Two Self-Defense Force members have died and another was injured in a shooting incident in Gifu city, central Japan. An SDF candidate in his teens have been arrested. The suspect reportedly started shooting with an automatic rifle shortly after training began at the Ground SDF’s Hino Basic Shooting Range around 9 a.m. on Wednesday.
2. Yakusho Koji won Best Actor Award at this year’s Canne International Film Festival for his role in the movie “Perfect Days.” Back home in Japan, he spoke to reporters about his part and said the film by German director Wim Wenders is a good example for Japanese productions to follow. “Perfect Days” is set in Shibuya, Tokyo. Yakusho plays the protagonist, a silent and meticulous cleaner of public restrooms. 3. The UN refugee agency estimates that an unprecedented number of around 110 million people have been forcibly displaced due to conflict, persecution and human rights violations as of the end of May. The office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees released its Global Trends in Forced Displacement 2022 report ahead of UN-designated World Refugee Day on June 20.

June 13, Tuesday, 2023

1. Japan’s government has approved measures to address the country’s declining birthrate by increasing financial support for people raising children. The measures include removing the limit on household income for receiving childrearing allowances from the government. 2. Ukraine’s defense ministry says its troops have liberated a total of seven villages in the eastern and southern parts of the country.
3. NHK has learned that the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency is making arrangements to visit Japan early next month, before treated and diluted water from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is released into the ocean.

June 12, Monday, 2023

1. NATO has begun its largest air deployment exercise since its establishment in 1949 in an apparent show of its deterrence capabilities. The military exercise began at a base in northern Germany and elsewhere on Monday, with 250 fighter and other aircraft and 10,000 personnel from 25 NATO and other countries participating. Senior officers of Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force are scheduled to take part as observers, making them the only participants from Asia.
2. The Ukrainian military has been pressing ahead with a major counteroffensive. Large-scaled military operations appeared to be under way on at least three fronts—around Bakhmut in eastern Donetsk, western Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia in the country’s south. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Saturday that a counteroffensive aimed at retaking Russian-occupied territory is in progress.
3. A new report estimates China’s nuclear arsenal has grown by 60 warheads – the largest year-on-year increase in the world. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute released its findings on Monday. The report says China’s inventory reached 410 that month as part of a significant expansion.

June 9, Friday, 2023

1. A bill to revise Japan’s immigration law has been enacted after passing the Upper House of the Diet by a majority vote. The ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito, as well as the Nippon Ishin Japan Innovation Party and the Democratic Party for the People voted in favor of the bill on Friday.
2. A bill to promote understanding of the LGBTQ community in Japan has been finalized after a revised version of legislation from the two ruling parties gained support from two opposition parties. The Diet’s Lower House Cabinet Committee voted on the bill on Friday. Three bills had been submitted. 3. Japan’s Cabinet has adopted a plan to drastically expand the fields for qualified foreign skilled workers. The move is aimed at attracting more skilled people from abroad amid the intense global competition for such workers.

June 8, Thursday, 2023

1. Torrential rain is expected to hit western Japan and Pacific coastal areas of eastern Japan on Thursday and Friday. Weather officials are calling on people to remain on the alert for landslides and other disasters. They say rain is expected to intensify again in areas that were hit by record rainfall last weekend. They warn that even small amounts of rain can heighten the risk of mudslides. 2. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau twice visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum during his stay in the city last month for the Group of Seven summit. The G7 leaders visited the museum, which details the 1945 atomic bombing of the city, on May 19, the opening day of the summit. They spent about 40 minutes there. The Canadian Embassy in Tokyo says Trudeau visited the museum again on May 21, his last day in Japan, because he wanted to see the displays more thoroughly.
3. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called for a comprehensive investigation into the destruction of a hydroelectric power-generating dam in southern Ukraine. Kyiv and Moscow are blaming each other for the incident.

June 7, Wednesday, 2023

1. Sweden’s defense minister has indicated that his country is ready to join NATO and expressed hope that its membership application will be approved prior to the organization’s summit in July. 2. Delegates to the United Nations Security Council gathered for an emergency session on Tuesday to discuss the dam breach on the Dnipro River in Ukraine. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths said the situation may represent the “most significant” damage to civilian infrastructure since the war began.
3. A senior member of a group of Russian volunteer fighters has stressed that its ultimate goal is to topple President Vladimir Putin’s government. The Liberty of Russia Legion has been carrying out attacks in western Russian regions near the border with Ukraine.

June 6, Tuesday, 2023

1. Ukraine has accused Russia of destroying a hydroelectric power-generating dam in the country’s south. It says residents downstream have been forced to evacuate. The Ukrainian military announced on Tuesday that Russia’s forces destroyed the Kakhovka Dam on the Dnipro River in the southern region of Kherson.
2. Hong Kong’s top court has overturned the conviction of a journalist in a ruling related to an investigative report about an attack on pro-democracy protesters. Choy Yuk-ling, better known as Bao Choy, worked for local broadcasters RTHK. She produced the documentary, which criticized the slow police response when assailants attacked the protesters in July 2019. 3. Workers at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have finished sending seawater into an underwater tunnel that has been built to release treated and diluted water from the facility into the ocean. Once filled with seawater, the tunnel will guide treated water from the plant to a point about 1 kilometer offshore.

June 5, Monday, 2023

1. Temperatures topped 30 degrees Celsius in many parts of Japan on Monday. People in areas affected by heavy rain late last week battled intense heat while working to repair damage. 2. The front-runner for Thailand’s next leader joined a pride parade on Sunday in Bangkok. Pita Limjaroenrat, head of the opposition Move Forward Party, promised to pass a law allowing same-sex marriage if he becomes prime minister.
3. Officials in Saga Prefecture, western Japan, have removed the covers of what is believed to be the grave of an ancient powerful figure to study what is inside. They hope to find hints to resolve the dispute over a continuing ancient mystery in Japan. Experts say the grave at the Yoshinogari Ruins appears to date from the late Yayoi period between the first and third centuries.

June 2, Friday, 2023

1. The US Senate has passed a bill to suspend the government’s debt ceiling, paving the way for President Joe Biden to sign it into law to avert a default. The bill is based on an agreement reached on Sunday between the Democratic president and Republican House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy. The Biden administration sought to raise the ceiling, while Republicans demanded spending cuts.
2. Japanese weather officials say bands of thunderclouds are causing heavy downpours in western Japan’s Kochi Prefecture. A front is also expected to bring heavy rain to more prefectures along the Pacific coast and other areas. The front is being fed by moist air around Severe Tropical Storm Mawar, and it is causing downpours.
3. US President Joe Biden tripped and fell on stage at the US Air Force Academy graduation ceremony on Thursday. The White House says he is fine. The 80-year-old president fell as he was about to return to his seat after shaking hands with graduates at the ceremony in the western state of Colorado.

June 1, Thursday, 2023

1. The US House of Representatives has passed a bill to suspend the government’s debt ceiling, paving the way to avert a US default. The bill is based on an agreement reached on Sunday between US President Joe Biden, who wants to raise the ceiling, and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who wants to cut spending.
2.The German government has told Moscow to shut down four Russian consulates in the country after Berlin was forced to restrict its own diplomatic missions in Russia. A German foreign ministry spokesperson said on Wednesday that it will close three of its four consulates in Russia because Moscow has imposed limits on the number of German officials who ae allowed to work in the country. 3. Toyota Motor announced Wednesday it will start producing family-friendly sports utility EVs featuring third-row seating in the US state of Kentucky in 2025. The SUVs will be powered by batteries made at a plant in the nearby state of North Carolina.

May 31, Wednesday, 2023

1. A large typhoon is moving toward the Okinawa region in southwestern Japan. Japan’s Meteorological Agency says that as of 9:00 a.m. Wednesday, Typhoon Mawar was moving slowly northward over the sea south of Okinawa.                 
2. The head of the United Nation’s nuclear watchdog has proposed five principles to ensure the safety of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which has been under Russian control since 2022. The Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Grossi, made the proposal at the UN Security Council in New York on Tuesday.                                          3. Russian leaders have ordered wave after wave of strikes on Kyiv and other communities across Ukraine. Now, they are seeing threats reach into the heart of their own capital, Moscow. President Vladimir Putin claims Ukrainians are attempting to “intimidate” his people.

May 30, Tuesday, 2023

1. A large and powerful typhoon is expected to approach the Okinawa region in southwestern Japan from Wednesday, unleashing strong gusts of wind, high waves and heavy rain. Japan’s Meteorological Agency says Typhoon Mawar has been showing sluggish movement over the sea south of Okinawa as of Tuesday afternoon.
2. Japan’s automakers have reported another sharp rise in global production, as supply chains continue to recover from the pandemic. Six of the country’s 8 major carmakers say they shipped more vehicles in April than the same month last year. Toyota Motor says it made about 787,800 new vehicles last month, up 13.8% from the same month last year. That’s a record high for April. Honda’s output grew by 44.5%, while Mazda 21.1% and Mitsubishi 20.6%. Nissan was up 15.8&, and Subaru up 12.8%. 3. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has suggested that his country will soon launch a full-scale counteroffensive against Russia to win back territory. Ukrainian Air Force officials said on Tuesday that Russian forces launched airstrikes with 31 drones from Monday night to early Tuesday morning. They said 29 were shot down and that most of the airstrikes targeted Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv.

May 29, Monday, 2023

1. Japanese government officials say North Korea has told the International Maritime Organization of plans to launch what it calls an “artificial satellite” between May 31 and June 11. Japan has condemned it as a provocation against its national security. Prime Minister Kishida Fumio told reporters the Self-Defense Forces have been ordered to shoot down any incoming missile expected to fall in Japanese territory.
2. The Philippine Coast Guard will hold a drill with its Japanese and US counterparts from Thursday in waters around Manila Bay. Officials from the three countries confirmed they will strengthen cooperation, apparently with China’s increasing activities in the South China Sea in mind. 3. Turkey’s election commission has announced that incumbent Recep Tayyip Erdogan is the winner in the presidential runoff election. Erdogan declared victory before his supporters on Sunday evening in Istanbul. Erdogan was running against Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the head of a six-party opposition alliance.

May 26, Friday, 2023

1. Police in central Japan have arrested a 31-year-old man in connection with the killing of four people, including two police officers, in a shooting and stabbing attack. Police have identified the suspect as Aoki Masanori, the son of Nakano City assembly speaker Aoki Masamichi. 2. Overall prices in the Japanese capital remain high as people continue to pay more for food and some services.
3. Investigators around the world are waiting for signs that the Bank of Japan is ready to adjust its ultra-easing policy and start raising interest rates. Central bank Governor Ueda Kazuo has reiterated that achieving sustainable inflation of 2 percent is still the main consideration.

May 25, Thursday, 2023

1. Newly released minutes of the last US Federal Reserve policy meeting show officials were divided over whether to halt rate increases in June. The minutes say several participants noted that further rate hikes may not be necessary if the economy evolves as they expect. But others said some additional policy tightening would likely be warranted at future meetings because they were concerned that inflation would take too long to slow down to their target of 2 percent.                  2. A senior South Korean official says Seoul will decide its stance on Japan’s plan to release treated and diluted water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the sea after the International Atomic Energy Agency issues its assessment. Japan plans to release the treated water after diluting it to reduce tritium levels to one-seventh of the World Health Organization’s safety standards for drinking water. 
3. Japan’s junior coalition partner Komeito has decided not to cooperate in Tokyo with the main ruling Liberal Democratic Party in the next Lower House election. The two ruling parties have been at odds over whether to file their own candidate in Tokyo’s 28th electoral district.

May 24, Wednesday, 2023

1. A senior Ukrainian military officer says the country’s forces are not joining pro-Ukrainian volunteer soldiers fighting inside Russian territory. Roman Kostenko said two armed groups that claim to have intruded into Russia’s Belgorod region have their own goals. He acknowledged that the military is in partnership with them, but said Kyiv does not want Russian land. 2. The European Union’s foreign policy chief says Ukrainian pilots have started training to operate F-16 fighter jets in “several countries,” including Poland. Josep Borrell said that the training “will take time, but the sooner the better.” He added that Western allies have opened the door for providing the aircraft.
3. Major US media outlets reported on Tuesday that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis will announce on Wednesday his bid to seek the Republican nomination for next year’s presidential election. He could be the biggest rival of former President Donald Trump in the Republican nomination race.

May 23, Tuesday, 2023

1. Japan’s Prime Minister Kishida Fumio says he does not plan to introduce new tax increases to fund government measures aimed at reversing the country’s declining birthrate. The government held a panel meeting on Monday to discuss its plan to strengthen childcare measures over the next three years. On the agenda was how to finance the package.
2. A team of South Korean experts is at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to assess the safety of Japan’s plan to release treated and diluted water into the ocean. The delegation of about 30 members includes senior officials of South Korea’s Nuclear Safety and Security Commission, as well as marine environment specialists.
3. The government of the western Russian region bordering Ukraine says members of a Ukrainian sabotage group had entered the Russian territory. Belgorod region governor Vyacheslav Vyacheslav Gladkov on Monday said counter-terrorism measures were taken to drive them away.

May 22, Monday, 2023

1. A team of South Korean experts has started a four-day survey in Japan to check on the safety of treated and diluted water from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant that is slated to be released into the sea. Under the government plan, the treated water from the plant will be diluted to reduce tritium levels to meet World Health Organization safety standards for drinking water before it is released into the ocean.
2. A survivor of the 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima says she shared her thoughts about nuclear weapons with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy when she told him her experiences on Sunday. Ogura Keiko met Zelenskyy at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and told him her experiences in English. 3. The G7 summit has concluded in Hiroshima with leaders welcoming Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and reaffirming their support for Ukraine. Japan’s Prime Minister Kishida Fumio, who chaired the summit, is hailing it as a success. In the summit’s closing speech on Sunday, Kishida said leaders demonstrated their determination to protect the international order.

May 19, Friday, 2023

1. The leaders of the Group of Seven nations have started talks in Japan’s western city of Hiroshima. Issues on the agenda include the global economy, the war in Ukraine, nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio, who is chairing the event, spoke at the beginning of the talks on Friday. “The major theme of this summit is not division and confrontation,” he said. “It is reaffirming the G7’s unity and strengthening our role to ensure a coordinated international community and to hammer out active and concrete contributions to that end.” 2. Multiple western media outlets are quoting sources as saying Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will attend the G7 Summit in Hiroshima, western Japan. It will be the first visit to Asia for the Ukrainian leader since the start of Russia’s invasion in February of last year. He is expected to ask G 7 leaders directly for more military aid. Reuters says Zelenskyy will arrive on Sunday. 3. Authorities in Hiroshima have put in place traffic restrictions on city center roads and expressways in Hiroshima Prefecture for the duration of the three-day talks of the G7 summit that started on Friday.

May 18, Thursday, 2023

1. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has told a Chinese envoy that his country will not accept a peace proposal that involves ceding territory to Russia.
2. Montana is set to become the first US state to impose a complete ban on Tik Tok, a popular video-sharing app owned by a Chinese firm.
3. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte agreed on Tuesday to build an international coalition to provide Ukraine with military support, including fighter jets.

May 17, Wednesday, 2023       

1. Japan and China began operating a defense hotline between the two nations on Tuesday. The hotline is designed to prevent accidental clashes between Japan’s Self-Defense Forces and the Chinese military. The hotline was launched on March 31. It is part of a broader communications mechanism between Tokyo and Beijing that was introduced earlier to prevent accidental clashes at sea or in the air.  2. The head of the artificial intelligence startup behind Chat GPT* is stressing the need for legislation to ensure the safe use of AI. Samuel Altman testified before US Congress on Tuesday. Altman was asked about how AI technology should be regulated as it rapidly expands across the globe. He is calling for the formation of a universal body to license the most powerful AI systems to guarantee compliance with safety standards. *GPT = Generative Pre-trained Transformation 3. The latest GDP figures for Japan show consumers spending again after a further easing of COVID regulations. The Cabinet Office says the economy grew by an annualized 1.6 percent in real terms in the January to March period. That is the first time in three quarters it has been in positive territory.

May 16, Tuesday, 2023

1. China’s latest key statistics indicate a mild economic rebound from last year’s COVID slump. The National Bureau of Statistics says industrial output rose 5.6 percent in Aril from the same month in 2022. The pace falls short of market expectations of around 10 percent. Strict coronavirus lockdowns were in place in Shanghai and elsewhere in the country a year earlier, crimping supply chains.       2. The procession of the Aoi Matsuri, one of Kyoto’s three traditional festivals, is being held for the first time in four years on Tuesday. Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress Emerita Michiko, who are now visiting Japan’s ancient capital, are among the grand procession’s many spectators.                             3. A saber presented by Britain’s Queen Victoria to a Japanese official, who saved the life of a British consul in Japan in the late days of the feudal era, has been discovered in Tokyo. In 1868, shortly after the fall of the Tokugawa shogunate and the launch of the Meiji government, British Consul Harry Parkes was heading to the Kyoto Imperial Palace for an audience with the Emperor. On the way, he was attacked by traditionalists who wanted to expel foreigners. Goto Shojiro and other samurai were escorting the consul.  They disarmed the assailants.  Parkes was not hurt in the attack. Queen Victoria later sent Goto a saber to show Britain’s appreciation.

May 15, Monday, 2023

1. The White House says President Joe Biden will meet Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio on Thursday ahead of the Group of Seven summit in Hiroshima. Biden is currently holding discussions with Congressional leaders, including Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, on raising the US government’s debt ceiling to avoid a default. 2. Thailand’s two major opposition parties are expected to win a combined majority in the lower house of parliament general election. The focus of the election was whether the military-backed government would be able to hold onto power after taking control in coup nine years ago. 3. The Turkish presidential election appears headed for a runoff, with both incumbent Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his main rival, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, so far unable to secure the majority needed to win. Sunday’s election was effectively a two-man race between Erdogan and Kilicdaroglu, who is the joint candidate of six opposition parties.

May 12, Friday, 2023

1. A Japanese expert says strong earthquakes and tsunami could strike the Noto Peninsula on the Sea of Japan coast due to migration of fluids trapped underground. As of 4 p.m. on Friday, swarm quakes registering one or higher on the Japanese scale had hit the region 95 times since about a week ago. 2. Research by a brokerage firm indicates that many of Japan’s listed companies enjoyed robust financial results during the last fiscal year. Fifty-seven percent of the firms saw an increase in net profit for the fiscal year that ended in March.
3. A meeting scheduled for Friday between US President Joe Biden and congressional leaders over the federal government’s debt ceiling has been postponed to next week.

May 11, Thursday, 2023

1. Beijing is looking to deepen ties with Paris amid growing pressure from the West. China’s foreign minister met his French counterpart on Wednesday. He stressed the need to build a more resilient Sino-French supply chain. Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang and his French counterpart Catherine Colonna discussed a number of issues. They said the two sides should work together to address global challenges, including the war in Ukraine.
2.Prime Minister Kishida Fumio says Japan, as this year’s Group of Seven chair, must take a leadership role in setting global rules for generative artificial intelligence. Kishida on Thursday attended the first meeting of a new government council on AI strategy. It is tasked with discussing the country’s policies on generative AI from the standpoint of promoting its effective use and addressing concerns. 3. US President Joe Biden has hinted that he may virtually attend next week’s Group of Seven Summit in Hiroshima. This comes as Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a Republican, remain divided on whether to raise the federal government’s debt limit to avoid the risk of a default.

May 10, Wednesday, 2023

1. South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol has marked his first year in office and pledged efforts to create a country that can contribute to global peace and stability. Yoon visited the National Cemetery in Seoul on Wednesday and wrote in a guest book that he will work together with the people to create a country that embraces freedom and innovation and contributes to global peace and stability in a responsible manner. 2. Major Japanese trading houses have posted record net profits for the fiscal year that ended March 31. Mitsubishi Corporation on Tuesday reported a 1.18 trillion-yen profit, or about 8.7 billion dollars, up 25.9 percent from the previous fiscal year. Mitsui & Co. reported 1.13 trillion yen, or about 8.3 billion dollars. Other companies also posted record-high profits thanks to higher resource and energy prices and the weak yen.
3. The leaders of members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, have gathered in Indonesia for a summit to discuss maters including how to deal with the security crisis in Myanmar. Indonesian President Joko Widodo, the chair of ASEAN this year, said the bloc can become the driver of peace or growth only if there is unity.

May 9, Tuesday, 2023

1. Russia’s president marked a key wartime anniversary by claiming his country is under attack again. Vladimir Putin spoke Tuesday at an event recognizing the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany during World War II. “Civilization is at a turning point. Real war is being waged against our motherland,” Putin said. Tensions are rising as Ukraine is poised to launch an attack with military support from Europe and the United States.
2. Tokyo police have arrested four teenagers, including a high-school student, in connection with a robbery at a luxury watch store in Ginza on Monday evening. Several masked assailants stormed the store. They threatened to kill the sales clerks with a knife, smashed a showcase and got away with merchandize.
3. South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol has stressed that his latest summit with the Japanese prime minister was fruitful, and expressed his intention to work further to improve bilateral ties.

May 8, Monday, 2023

1. Japan’s Prime Minister Kishida Fumio says he wants to further strengthen ties with South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol and open a new era together. Kishida spoke to reporters in Seoul on Monday morning after wrapping up his official schedule in South Korea. This is his first visit to the country as prime minister.
2. Japan’s industry ministry is encouraging domestic firms to actively seek foreign investments by showcasing successful example that led to corporate growth. Ministry officials have collated 20 cases involving firms both large and small, including startups. They all posted growth as a result of being acquired by a foreign company or through capital tie-ups. 3. Japan has officially downgraded COVID-19 to a low-level infectious disease, ranking it alongside the seasonal flu. The change means the government can no longer legally restrict public movement. The operators of the Lawson, Seven-Eleven and FamilyMart chains say they’re giving individual outlets the freedom to set their own policies on masks, hand sanitizers and partitions.

May 5, Friday, 2023

1. More details are coming in about an earthquake that struck Ishikawa Prefecture on the Sea of Japan coast. Authorities say that so far there have been no reports of damage from tsunami. The quake struck around 2:42 p.m. on Friday, local time. It registered an upper 6 on the Japanese seismic scale of zero to 7 in the city of Suzu. Long tremors that could rock high-rise buildings have been recorded in Ishikawa.
2. On a national holiday dedicated to children, the latest data shows Japan’s child population has dropped for the 42nd straight year. The internal affairs ministry estimates that the number of children aged 14 or younger was 14.35 million as of April 1, down 300,000 from the previous year. 3. Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and Mozambican President Filipe Nyushi have agreed to support the early resumption of natural gas development in the East African country. Kishida met with Myusi in the capital Maputo for about ninety minutes on Thursday. The prime minister was on the final leg of his tour of four African nations.

May 4, Thursday, 2023

1. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has accused Russia of shelling multiple locations in the southern region of Kherson, leaving at least 21 civilians dead and 48 others injured. Zelenskyy said in a social media post that a railway station, a house and a supermarket came under attack among other locations.
2. The United States says it will send a type of air-launched rocket for the first time to Ukraine. The shipments of Hydra-70s are part of additional security assistance valued at up to 300 million dollars. The US Department of Defense announced on Wednesday that the package will also include more ammunition for US-provided High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, and additional howitzers. 3. Japan and France have agreed to step up cooperation in the field of nuclear energy, including the development of next-generation advanced reactors. Japan’s industry minister Nishimura Yasutoshi and French energy transition minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher affirmed that the two countries will work for the maximum use of nuclear energy to ensure a stable energy supply and achieve carbon neutrality.

May 3, Wednesday, 2023

1. British police have arrested a man for throwing suspected shotgun cartridges onto the ground of Buckingham Palace. The incident happened just four days before the coronation of King Charles III. 2. A senior US official says the United States is on track to open an embassy in the Pacific island nation of Tonga this month. The move comes as the administration of President Joe Biden is seen as increasing its involvement in the region to counter China’s growing influence there. 3. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has pledged to continue to provide assistance to Afghanistan, despite the Taliban’s ban on UN Afghan female staff.

May 2, Tuesday, 2023

1. The Asian Development Bank has unveiled a new loan program to help emerging and developing economies fight climate change. ADB President Asakawa Masatsugu spoke to reporters in the South Korean city of Incheon on Tuesday, as the bank opened its four-day annual meeting. Asakawa said, “The global battle against climate change will be won or lost in Asia and the Pacific.”
2. US President Joe Biden and Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. have agreed to adopt new defense guidelines amid China’s increasing maritime activities. Biden and Marcos held a summit at the White House on Monday. The joint statement released after the talks said, “They affirm the importance of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait as an indispensable element of global security and prosperity.”
3. A crashed Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force helicopter was recovered from waters in the southern prefecture of Okinawa before noon on Tuesday. The helicopter disappeared from radar near Miyakojima Island on April 6. It was carrying a crew of 10. The debris of the helicopter, found at the depth of 106 meters, was raised onto the deck of one of the two private salvage ships involved in the work at about 11:45 a.m. A large net was used to lift the wreckage.

May 1, Monday, 2023

1. Final arrangements are being made for Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio to make a two-day visit to South Korea from Sunday, where he will meet President Yoon Suk-yeol following their summit in Japan earlier this year. It would be the first trip to South Korea by a Japanese prime minister since Abe Shinzo visited the country in 2018.
2. Japanese three-time Olympic table tennis medalist Ishikawa Kasumi says she has decided to retire. Ishikawa made the announcement on her official website and social media accounts on Monday. She wrote that the decision comes as she feels that she has given everything she has. 3. Japanese figure skating ice dance duo Takahashi Daisuke and Muramoto kana say they will retire after the current season. Takahashi said they decided to retire from completion after this season. Muramoto said they talked a lot before reaching the decision.

April 28, Friday, 2023

1. The Bank of Japan has wrapped up a two-day policy meeting—the first since Ueda Kazuo became its governor earlier this month. Policymakers say they are leaving the central bank’s easing program unchanged. They also announced that they will conduct a review of their measures. 2. Work to raise a sunken Ground Self-Defense Force helicopter is expected to begin shortly now that a salvage ship has arrived in the area where its apparent wreckage was found. The helicopter , carrying a crew of 10, dropped off radar near the island of Miyakojima, Okinawa Prefecture, on April 6. Five of the missing crewmembers have since been confirmed dead.
3. Japan will end its COVID-19 requirements for people arriving in the country starting on Saturday. The Japanese government currently requires people entering the nation to show proof that they have received three or more vaccinations, among other requirements. Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno Hirokazu said in a news conference on Friday that the requirements will be lifted for people arriving on Saturday onwards.

April 27, Thursday, 2023

1. Japan’s health ministry has officially decided to downgrade the legal status of the coronavirus on May 8. The ministry on Thursday endorsed the government’s plan to categorize the coronavirus in the same group as seasonal influenza. The ministry plans to have more medical institutions examine and treat coronavirus patients after the downgrading. 2. Prime Minister Kishida Fumio says he wants to see women in at least 30 percent of executive positions at Japan’s top listed companies by 2030. Kishida presented the goal at a meeting of the government’s Council for Gender Equality held on Thursday.
3. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government plans to establish a large-scale startup support center to actively promote the development of innovative businesses and overseas expansion. The metropolitan government aims to boost the numbers of entrepreneurs and so-called unicorn firms with valuations of 1billion dollars or more.

April 26, Wednesday, 2023

1. South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol and US President Joe Biden visited a memorial for the Korean War in Washington on Tuesday ahead of a bilateral summit. Yoon and his wife, Kim Keon-hee, went to the Korean War Veterans Memorial together with Biden and his wife, Jill. 2. Japan’s prime minister has reiterated his plan to raise taxes to help pay for defense. He stressed that this will remain within the scope of the increase the government decided in December. 3. A Japanese space company’s attempt to make lunar history appears to have failed. Its lander made what it calls a “hard landing,” and communication with it has been lost. The vehicle, developed by ispace, lifted off in December on a rocket from the US firm SpaceX. The craft had entered orbit about 100 kilometers above the moon’s surface on April 13. It was supposed to land near a crater in the moon’s northern hemisphere at around 1:40 a.m. Wednesday, Japan time.

April 25, Tuesday, 2023

1.Prime Minister Kishida Fumio says all Japanese nationals and their families who wanted to leave Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, have been evacuated. Kishida told reporters on Tuesday morning that eight more individuals have been evacuated from Sudan. This follows the evacuations of 45 people who arrived in nearby Djibouti on an Air Self-Defense Force aircraft on Monday. 2. A White House official says President Joe Biden and his South Korean counterpart Yoon Suk-yeol will reaffirm the United States’ extended deterrence against North Korea when they meet on Wednesday. Yoon arrived in Washington on Monday. He is the first South Korean president in 12 years to pay a state visit to the US.
3. Ministers from the Group of Seven nations plan to discuss how best to promote artificial intelligence when they meet in Japan this weekend. This comes as the popularity of programs like Chat GPT takes off, and the debate intensifies about the free exchange of data across borders. The G7 ministers for digitalization and technology will meet from Saturday in Takasaki City, north of Tokyo.

April 24, Monday, 2023

1. Japan’s Prime Minister Kishida Fumio says he sees the results of Sunday’s Diet by-elections as encouragement for his party to follow through on its key policies. Kishida spoke to reporters on Monday, a day after his main governing Liberal Democratic Party won four out of the five seats contested in the by-elections and increased its Diet presence. 2. Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio says the government is doing all it can to ensure the safety of its evacuation effort in Sudan. About 60 Japanese nationals are in the African country. Kishida said the government is carefully monitoring the situation in Sudan and closely cooperating with other concerned countries.
3. One year has passed since a sightseeing boat carrying 26 people sank off the coast of Japan’s northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido. Twenty people were confirmed dead, with six others still unaccounted for. A memorial ceremony took place in the town of Shari on the Shiretoko Peninsula on Sunday.

April 21, Friday, 2023

1. A paramilitary group clashing with Sudan’s armed forces says it has agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire on humanitarian grounds. It comes after almost a week of fighting that the United Nations says has killed at least 330 people and injured thousands.
2. Japan’s Environmental Ministry says the country’s greenhouse gas emissions in fiscal 2021 increased from the previous year for the first time since fiscal 2013.
3.The Tokyo District Court has handed down suspended sentences to three former officials of a business suit retailer for their involvement in a bribery scandal related to the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. This is the first ruling in connection with the scandal.

April 20, Thursday, 2023

1. Japan’s Ground Self-Defense Force has named a replacement for the head of its 8th Division who was on board a missing GSDF helicopter. The helicopter dropped off radar on April 6 near Miyakojima Island in Okinawa Prefecture. The 10 personnel onboard included Sakamoto Yuichi, who headed the 8th division. 2.A new ceasefire between rival factions fell apart Wednesday night in Sudan. Japanese government officials say they are getting ready to airlift around 60 nationals from the country as deadly clashes continue.
3. More than 1.8 million foreign visitors arrived in Japan in March, up 23 percent from the previous month. The Japan National Tourism Organization sys 466,800 were from South Korea, the most from any country or region. The second highest was Taiwan, with 278,900, followed by the United States with 203,000.

April 19, Wednesday, 2023

1. Japan’s government is preparing to send Self-Defense Force aircraft to transport Japanese nationals from Sudan, as fierce fighting continues there between military and paramilitary forces. Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuo Hirokazu said about 60 Japanese nationals were in Sudan as of Wednesday. 2. Ukraine and Poland have agreed to restart transit of grain and other farm products from Ukraine through Poland for export, on condition that they are sealed and monitored to ensure that they do not stay in Poland. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has forced the country to send its produce through neighboring Poland, Hungary and Slovakia for export to Africa and elsewhere. But the three countries recently announced a ban on such transfer, saying it harms domestic farmers as large quantities of the products are traded in the countries.
3. The man arrested on suspicion of throwing an explosive device at Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio had unsuccessfully sued the government over electoral eligibility. Police are investigating where the issue is related to the suspect’s motive.

April 18, Tuesday, 2023

1. News stats suggest China’s economy is turning the corner as the government’s ultra-strict coronavirus measures fade from view. GDP growth for the January-to-March period was 4.5 percent up on the same period last year. The National Bureau of Statistics made the announcement on Tuesday. The figure beats market expectations of about 4 percent, adjusted for inflation.
2. A research group in Japan says it has found that the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can infect the brain’s immune cells—a factor that could explain how neurological disorders, such as brain fog, occur in some people.
3. The wife of Japan’s Prime Minister Kishida Fumio visited the White House on Monday to meet with First Lady Jill Biden. Kishida Yuko became the first spouse of a Japanese prime minister to travel to the United States without her husband at the invitation of the First Lady. Japan’s Foreign Ministry said the two met over tea prepared by Kishida, who later greeted President Joe Biden in the Oval Office.

April 17, Monday, 2023

1. Foreign ministers of the Group of Seven nations agreed on Monday that Russia must immediately and unconditionally withdraw all forces from Ukraine. Japan’s Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa and his counterparts reached the agreement on their second day of talks at a hotel in the resort town of Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture in central Japan. 2. Past details are emerging about the man who allegedly threw an explosive device toward Prime Minister Kishida Fumio during an outdoor election rally on Saturday. The incident occurred when Kishida was about to give a speech at a fishing port in the western city of Wakayama. The 24-year-old suspect, Kimura Ryuji, was arrested on the spot and has been sent to prosecutors. When Kimura completed elementary school, he wrote a short graduation essay saying that his dream is to become “a pastry chef or an inventor.”
3. Officials of Sagamihara City, near Tokyo, have begun conducting emergency checks at local campsites, one day after a tree fell and killed a camper. Early on Sunday, a tree fell onto a tent at a campsite in the city, killing a 29-year-old woman from Tokyo and seriously injuring her husband, who were inside.

April 14, Friday, 2023      

1. Japan’s Self-Defense Forces have found part of a helicopter that disappeared last week with 10 people on board in waters in southwestern Japan. A search and rescue team believes they have found at least one body. Defense Ministry sources say an underwater camera has captured what appears to be part of the missing Ground Self-Defense Force helicopter and a body. 2. Ukraine’s economy plunged by almost one-third last year as the Russian invasion devastated agriculture, fishing, manufacturing and construction. The country’s statistics service said Wednesday that 2022 gross domestic product contracted 29.1 percent from the previous year. 3. Japan’s government has approved a plan by Osaka Prefecture and the city of Osaka to open the country’s first resort featuring a casino in 2029. It is the first time for the government to make such an approval.

April 13, Thursday

1. Japanese weather officials say yellow sand from China’s deserts has blown into wide regions from northern to western Japan, including Tokyo. This is the first time since May 2021 that yellow sand has been observed in central Tokyo.
2. Japan’s Self-Defense Forces and Coast Guard Continue to search for a Ground Self-Defense Force helicopter that disappeared in southwestern Japan a week ago with 10 people on board. The helicopter dropped off radar last Thursday soon after taking off from the island of Miyakojima in Okinawa Prefecture. The 10 people, including a division chief, remain missing. 3.An eyewitness of the Myanmar military’s airstrike on a village that reportedly killed at least 100 civilians, including children, says the attack is a war crime. Myanmar’s military said its airstrike targeted a ceremony to mark the opening of an office for the pro-democracy National Unity Government.

April 12, Wednesday

1. Yellow sand swept across Beijing and other parts of China, sending air pollution surging to hazardous levels on Monday and Tuesday. Chinese weather officials said strong winds carried yellow sand from inland regions and neighboring Mongolia to northern China and other parts of the country. 2. NHK has learned that a draft of a communique to be issued by the foreign ministers of the Group of Seven nations demands that Russia withdraw its forces from Ukraine immediately and unconditionally. The G7 foreign ministers are scheduled to meet from April 16 in the town of Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture, central Japan. A draft of the communique the ministers are aiming to adopt condemns Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine in the strongest possible terms.
3. US IT venture firm Open AI says it will pay people who report vulnerabilities, bugs or security flaws in its artificial intelligence systems up to 20,000 dollars. Open AI is the developer of Chat GPT. It made the announcement about its Bug Bounty Program on its official blog on Tuesday.

April 11, Tuesday

1. The United States and the Philippines have begun their largest-ever joint military drills, with 17,600 personnel from both countries taking part. The Philippines has been strengthening its alliance with the US in the face of a growing Chinese presence in the South China Sea. 2. South Korea says it has agreed with the United States that many of the allegedly leaked US documents are fake and untrue. The documents include those that suggest Washington spied on Seoul. South Korea’s presidential office on Tuesday said the US and South Korean defense chiefs agreed on the assessment in a phone conversation. It also said the two sides will further strengthen their relationship of trust and cooperation through their alliance.
3. More and more people around the world are using the artificial intelligence chatbot known as Chat GPT. The CEO of the apple’s developer Open AI visited Japan on Monday. Sam Altman suggests in an exclusive interview with NHK that Chat GPT will improve our lives in ways we may never have imagined. He said, “We wanted to come here first. Japan has been an extremely exciting country for this whole wave of AI. It’s also a country that has such geopolitical importance and a sort of strong democratic foundations.”

April 10, Monday

1. Japan’s Prime Minister Kishida Fumio agreed with the new Bank of Japan governor there is no need to immediately revise a 2013 joint statement that aims for a price stability target of 2 percent inflation. Ueda Kazuo, who assumed his post as BOJ governor on Sunday, visited the Prime Minister’s office on Monday evening to receive his letter of appointment. He was joined by his two new deputy governors.
2. An NHK opinion poll shows that the approval rate for Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio’s Cabinet rose one percentage point to 42 percent. The disapproval rate fell by five points to 35 percent. 3. Japan’s Ground Self-Defense Force says it has found a helmet belonging to one of the 10 personnel who were on board a helicopter that went missing last week. The GSDF says the helmet was retrieved on Sunday near the coast of the island of Irabujima in the southern prefecture of Okinawa.

April 7, Friday, 2023

1. Organizers of the 2025 World Exposition in Osaka have announced the event is going completely cashless. Visitors will be able to choose from about 60 payment methods, including smartphone app and credit card. The organizers say the event will be the first World Expo to be completely cashless. 2. The leaders of France and China have agreed that Russia and Ukraine should resume peace talks as soon as possible. They also agreed that no one should use nuclear weapons. Xi said China and France have a responsibility to promote multilateralism and protect the peace, stability, and prosperity of the world. Macron expressed hope that China will work for peace in Ukraine. He said he’s counting on Xi to bring Russia back to reason and everyone back to the negotiating table.
3. Japan’s Defense Ministry says a Ground Self-Defense Force helicopter has disappeared from radar in the country’s southwest. Ministry officials say the UH-60JA multipurpose chopper, with 10 people on board, was flying near the island of Miyakojima in Okinawa Prefecture when it vanished from radar at around 4:33 p.m. on Thursday.

April 6, Thursday, 2023

1. Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has met with the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, in California. She is stopping in the US on her way back to Taiwan after a tour of Central America. At a news conference, Tsai said, “The peace that we have maintained and the democracy that we have worked hard to build are facing unprecedented challenges.”
2. A United Nations report says North Korea stole a higher value of cryptocurrency assets in 2022 than in any previous year using increasingly sophisticated techniques. It recommends that the head of the country’s agency responsible be sanctioned.
3. Japan has outlined a new strategy to preserve biodiversity and start restoring nature by 2030. The government revised the strategy for the first time in 11 years in response to the UN’s COP 15 biodiversity convention in December. Delegates adopted a pledge to protect 30 percent of the Earth’s lands, coastal areas and inland waters.

April 5, Wednesday, 2023

1. Japan’s Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa says his country wants to secure its cooperation with NATO to strengthen international order based on the rule of law. Hayashi said the international community stands at a historical turning point, and that he wants to highlight the importance of Japan-NATO cooperation to uphold and strengthen a free and open international order and the rule of law. 2. Finland has officially joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. This makes the Nordic nation the 31st member of the world’s largest military alliance. The event marks the end of decades of military non-alignment for Finland. The country has a border with Russia that runs about 1,300 kilometers. Helsinki changed its policy in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 3. The operator of a sushi restaurant chain in Japan is set to offer its used cooking oil for the production of sustainable aviation fuel, or SAF. Food & Life Companies, the parent firm of sushi chain Sushiro, is teaming up with 3 businesses including engineering firm JGC Holdings for the project.

April 4, Tuesday, 2023

1. Former US President Donald Trump is now in New York, on the eve of his arraignment scheduled for Tuesday. A New York grand jury indicted Trump last week, making him the first former president to face criminal charges. He left his home in Florida and entered Trump Tower in Manhattan on Monday. Media outlets reported that he will spend the night there.
2. The second meeting of an international forum to discuss nuclear disarmament opened in Tokyo on Tuesday. The International Group of Eminent Persons for a World without Nuclear Weapons was launched by Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio. 3. The international organization governing taekwondo says it will allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to take part in next month’s world championships as neutral individuals. Athletes from Russia and Belarus have been barred from most international competitions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

April 3, Monday, 2023

1. A new Japanese agency in charge of implementing policies for children and families has begun full-scale operations. The Children and Families Agency was established with about 400 personnel on Saturday. An inauguration ceremony was held at its Tokyo office on Monday. 2. World-renowned Japanese musician and composer Sakamoto Ryuichi has died at the age of 71. He was a founding member of a trailblazing electronic music group and composed acclaimed film scores that won him an Oscar. Sakamoto co-founded the band Yellow Magic Orchestra, known as YMO, with Hosono Haruomi and Takahashi Yukihiro in 1978. The group pioneered the use of computers and electronic instruments such as synthesizers, establishing the genre called techno-pop.
3. Japanese health authorities have confirmed what appears to be Japan’s first death from an unexplained case of acute hepatitis that has reportedly been affecting children.

March 31, Friday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Mr. Yamaguchi Hiroaki

1. A New York grand jury has indicted former US President Donald Trump, making him the first former president to face criminal charges. The charges remained under seal on Thursday, but the investigation centered on Trump’s alleged hush-money payments to a porn star who claims she had an affair with him. 2. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has stressed the need to focus on “de-risking” relations with China, rather than decoupling from the Asian nation. In a speech in Brussels on Thursday, von der Leyen noted that China is strengthening its ties with Russia as Moscow continues its invasion of Ukraine.
3. Leaders in Finland and Sweden saw Russian troops roll into Ukraine and decided to end decades of neutrality. They promised the countries would join NATO together. Now, the Finns are set to join the alliance on their own. All 30 NATO nations have to approve any new members. However, leaders in Turkey raised objections. They argued both countries were soft on terrorism. They held months of talks, then cleared the way for Finland. On Thursday, Turkish lawmakers added their approval.

March 30, Thursday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Mr. Yamaguchi Hiroaki

1. Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen started a tour of two Central American countries on Wednesday. The trip includes two transit stops in the United States, where she will likely meet House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Tsai is due to visit Guatemala and Belize via New York. The two Central American nations have diplomatic ties with Taiwan. Before returning home on April 7, she will stop in Los Angeles. 2. Mount Fuji has not erupted in more than 300 years, but Japan has a new strategy in case an eruption is imminent. A major blowup could prove catastrophic for neighboring communities and also paralyze daily life in Tokyo and beyond. The evacuation plan was unveiled on Wednesday. It was developed by three prefectures along with the central government.
3. The 11 members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Tans-Pacific Partnership, or CPTPP, including Japan, are expected to reach broad agreement with the United Kingdom on its membership. The CPTTP took effect in 2018. The UK will be the first country to be approved other than the original 11 members, which include Australia, Canada and countries of the Asia-Pacific.

March 29, Wednesday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Mr. Koga Hajime

1. Myanmar’s military-appointed election commission has announced that the political party led by Aung San Suu Kyi will be dissolved as of Wednesday. The military, which seized power in a coup in 2021, enacted a new law on the registration of political parties in January. 2. A US senior official says Washington has decided to stop providing Russia with information on strategic nuclear weapons, citing Moscow’s failure to comply with the New START nuclear arms control treaty. White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby noted that the pact is important not only for the two countries but for the world. He said that the US would prefer to be able to share information again, but Russia must show the same willingness.
3. Japan and the United States have signed an agreement to support EVs that run on batteries produced in Japan. The deal aims to strengthen supply chains for key minerals used in EV batteries. The two countries announced the deal on Tuesday. The minerals covered in the pact include lithium, nickel and cobalt.

March 28, Tuesday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Mr. Koga Hajime

1. US investigators say a fatal school shooting in the southern state of Tennessee that claimed the lives of six people was premeditated. A 28-year-old local resident opened fire Monday morning at an elementary school in Nashville, killing three children and three adults before being shot dead by police.
2. North Korea has unveiled what appear to be tactical nuclear warheads as leader Kim Jong Un called for scaling up the production of weapons-grade nuclear material.
3. Ukraine is taking deliveries of battle tanks from its Western partners, as the country prepares to launch a counteroffensive against Russian forces. Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said on social media on Monday that the country’s armed forces have received Challenger 2 tanks from Britain and other armored vehicles from the US and Germany.

March 27, Monday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1. China’s Foreign Ministry says a Japanese man detained in the country is suspected of engaging in espionage activities. Major Japanese pharmaceutical company Astellas Pharma has confirmed that one of its employees in his 50s was detained in Beijing on suspicion of violating Chinese law.
2. Myanmar’s junta chief has overseen a massive military parade and stressed his soldiers will continue to confront pro-democracy forces head-on. Top general Min Aung Hlaing called the pro-democracy groups “terrorists.” He said their attacks are a conspiracy to devastate the country, and the military will resolutely oppose them.
3. Ukraine and Western nations are slamming Russia’s plan to deploy tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus. Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Saturday that a storage facility for such weapons is scheduled to be constructed in Belarus by July 1. The Ukrainian foreign ministry condemned Putin’s plan on Sunday, calling it another provocative step by his administration.

March 24, Friday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1. South Korea’s President Yoon Suk-yeol has vowed to further solidify the country’s three-way security cooperation with Japan and the United States in the face of North Korea’s repeated military provocations.
2. Several hundred thousand people have marched in Paris to protest pension system reforms by the administration of President Emmanuel Macron. The French government is promoting the reforms that include raising the pension age from the current 62 years to 64. Last week, the government forced a reform bill through parliament without a vote by taking advantage of a constitutional article.
3. Miura Riku and Kihara Ryuichi have claimed gold in the pairs figure skating at the World Championships in Japan. The pair, known as “Riku-Ryu,” performed last after topping the short program the day before. They started with a twist lift and three consecutive jumps. They earned the highest “level four” for the execution of the lift. They accurately performed their spins and lifts, and skated to the end with elegant and synchronized moves as the crowd cheered them on.

March 23, Thursday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1. Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio returned to Tokyo on Thursday morning after visiting Ukraine and other countries. Kishida said his visit made him painfully aware that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is an outrage threatening the international order. Kishida said seeing the places where people have suffered aggression with his own eyes,and listening to the personal accounts of their horrific experiences, made him keenly aware of the recklessness of Russia’s actions.
2. The new school year began this week in Afghanistan, but in most parts of the country girls can only attend elementary school. The Taliban Islamist group regained control of Afghanistan in August 202. The group has refused to allow girls to attend junior and senior high schools. Last December, the group suspended university classes for women. 3. Campaigning has begun for gubernatorial elections in nine prefectures across Japan, kicking off a series of nationwide local elections held every four years. The key campaign issues include policies to support children and child-raising amid the falling birthrate. Candidates are also expected to focus on the revitalization of regional economies.

March 22, Wednesday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1. Japan has won the World Baseball Classic for the third time, beating the defending champion United States 3 to 2 in the final. It’s their first title since 2009. Japan finished the tournament undefeated and Ohtani was named the Most Valuable Player.
2. Chinese President Xi Jinping has met with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin. The two leaders have framed their relationship as one with “no limits.” Putin and Xi discussed their shared goal of providing a counterbalance to the West. They hailed what they called a “new era.”
3. Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio has said Tokyo will make 30 million dollars available through NATO trust funds to help Ukraine acquire non-lethal equipment. Kishida said he definitely wanted to visit Ukraine meet Zelenskyy in person and deliver his country’s unwavering solidarity before Japan hosts the Group of Seven summit in Hiroshima in May.

March 21, Tuesday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Ms. Keiko Kitagawa

1. Japan advanced to the final of the World Baseball Classic by beating Mexico 6-5. “Samurai Japan” will face Team USA in the final on Tuesday in Miami.
2.Japanese officials say Prime Minister Kishida Fumio is heading to Ukraine after visiting India. It will mark the first visit to Ukraine by a Japanese leader since the start of the Russian invasion.
3. Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping held an informal meeting in Moscow on Monday. The Chinese president is on a three-day state visit to Russia. This is his first visit since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine in February last year.

March 20, Monday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1. Chinese President Xi Jinping has arrived in Moscow to hold summit talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Xi started his three-day state visit to Russia on Monday. This is his first visit since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine in February last year. A summit meeting is scheduled to be held on Tuesday.
2. Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio has invited his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi to the G7 summit in May and Modi accepted. The two leaders met in New Delhi, the capital of India on Monday. Both countries agreed to continue to commit to maintain a rules-based world order. 3. Six major central banks have announced a coordinated move to inject more dollars into the global financial system. The decision follows the collapse of two US banks and comes amid a deal for an emergency takeover of Credit Suisse.

March 17, Friday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1. Western analysts say Russia’s offensive in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk may be losing steam as Ukrainian troops continue all-out resistance. Russian private military firm Wagner Group and Ukrainian forces are locked in a fierce battle for full control of the Ukrainian stronghold of Bakhmut. 2. Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang has told his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba that Beijing intends to play a constructive role in bringing about a ceasefire between Ukraine and Russia. China’s Foreign Ministry said the two ministers held telephone talks on Thursday. The ministry quoted Qin as saying he had expressed concern about an escalation of the Ukraine-Russia crisis and the possibility of it getting out of control.
3.Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol have agreed to resume the so-called shuttle diplomacy between the leaders of the two countries. Such mutual visits have not taken place in more than a decade.

March 16, Thursday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1. The Japanese Prime Minister and South Korean President are holding talks in Tokyo. Kishida Fumio and Yoon Suk-yeol are hoping to improve strained relations between the countries, as North Korea speeds up its nuclear and missile development. Yoon is the first South Korean president to visit Japan in 12 years – excluding international gatherings.
2. Japan’s defense ministry says the suspected intercontinental ballistic missile fired by North Korea on Thursday likely had the capacity to travel as far as 15,000 kilometers. That is enough to reach the entire US mainland. There is a high possibility that it was what’s known as a lofted missile. 3. A senior White House official has spoken about the US drone that went down into the Black Sea, after it has a physical encounter with a Russian jet. He said the device might never be recovered.

March 15, Wednesday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1. Economic data released by China on Wednesday show the world’s second-largest economy picking up at the beginning of this year, following the end of the “zero-COVID” policy. The National Bureau of Statistics says retail sales in the first two months rose by 3.5 percent from the same period a year ago. It was the first increase after three straight months of declines going back to October of 2022. 2. Japan’s annual wage negotiations are set to peak on Wednesday, when many companies will respond to labor unions. Many unions are having their demands met, but the question is whether workers at not only big firms but also smaller ones will be given persistent pay raises. 3. Japan’s Upper House has stripped a member of the chamber of his status as a lawmaker for failing to attend a single Diet session. On Wednesday, the Upper House plenary session voted 235 to one to expel opposition Seijikajoshi 48 Party member GaaSyy. He will no longer be a lawmaker.

March 14, Tuesday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1. South Korea’s military says North Korea launched two short-range ballistic missiles on Tuesday morning. This comes one day after US and South Korean forces began joint military drills. 2. US President Joe Biden has pledged to do whatever it takes to contain the fallout from a pair of banking collapses. He is working to restore confidence after the failure of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank.
3. China’s President Xi Jinping is reportedly planning a visit to Russia next week for talks with his counterpart Vladimir Putin.

March 13, Monday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1. Nobel Prize-winning Japanese novelist Oe Kenzaburo died of old age on March 3. He was 88. Oe won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1994, becoming the second Japanese author to receive the honor after Kawabata Yasunari.
2. China’s President Xi Jinping has reiterated his determination to push for the reunification of Taiwan in a speech to the National People’s Congress. Xi said he will advance the process of the reunification of the motherland, stressing that China will firmly oppose pro-independence and secessionist activities and the interference of external forces. 3. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has expressed confidence that his forces will successfully defend the strategic city of Bakhmut from Russia. The city is a Ukrainian stronghold in the country’s eastern region of Donetsk.

March 10, Friday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Ms. Keiko Kitagawa

1. Policymakers at the Bank of Japan have wrapped up their two-day meeting on Friday, the last one for Governor Kuroda Haruhiko. Reflecting on the past 10 years, he called monetary easing a success, and said the potential of Japan’s economy had been fully demonstrated. 2.Twin panda cubs at Tokyo’s Ueno Zoo are being prepared for independence from their mother starting on Friday. Male Xiao Xiao and female Lei Lei will be 21 months old on March 23. Wild pandas become independent of their mothers around the age. 3. The latest polls in South Korea show that almost 60 percent of the respondents are against the government’s plan for settling the wartime labor issue with Japan. The plan announced on Monday says a government-backed fund supported by donations from domestic companies is to compensate people who say they or their relatives were forced to work for Japanese firms during World War Two. The survey shows that 35 percent of the respondents support the plan, saying it is good for the national interest and relations with Japan. But 59 percent said they are against the plan as it does not include apologies and compensation from Japan.

March 9, Thursday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Ms. Keiko Kitagawa

1. South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol will visit Japan for two days from next Thursday to hold summit talks with Prime Minister Kishida Fumio. It will be the first visit to Japan by a South Korean president in about four years.
2.Japan’s Lower House has endorsed the appointment of economist Ueda Kazuo as the new governor of the Bank of Japan. Ueda, a former BOJ policy board member, is to replace Kuroda Haruhiko, whose term ends on April 8.
3. International Women’s Day demonstrations have taken place in Turkey, Peru, Brazil and many other parts of the world, calling for advances in women’s rights.

March 8, Wednesday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline 

1. Japan’s Imperial Household Agency has resumed processions of horse-drawn carriages for newly appointed foreign ambassadors, after a three-year suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic. A procession is held when newly appointed envoys present their credentials to the Emperor. Office workers and foreign tourists were seen taking pictures and videos as the carriage passed through a tree-lined avenue in the business district.
2. Palestinian children in the Gaza Strip have flown kites to mark the 12th year since the massive earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan’s northeast. The kite flying event started in 2012 with the support of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, or UNRWA. The event has since been held annually except for 2020, when it had to be canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. 3. Japan’s tourist industry is struggling with a shortage of workers as demand for travel surges in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government organized job fair in a bid to help companies affected. More than 30 businesses, including bus companies and hotel operators, sent recruiters to the fair on Wednesday. Job-hunting university students and workers seeking to switch jobs visited corporate booths, where they were briefed on the work and wages.

March 7, Tuesday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Mr. Yamaguchi Hiroaki

1. The Japanese government has approved a draft of revisions to the immigration law and related legislation. The draft of revisions to the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act was approved at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.
2. Japan’s launch of its new flagship H3 rocket ended in failure after the second-stage engine didn’t ignite and the mission was aborted. According to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, about eight minutes after liftoff it was announced that ignition of the second-stage engine had not been confirmed.
3. Britain’s Financial Times newspaper is reporting that Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen is planning to meet with US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in the United States in April. The article published Monday says. “Several people familiar with the situation said that Tsai and McCarthy had agreed to meet in the US because of Taiwanese security concerns.”

March 6, Monday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1. South Korean officials have unveiled a plan to settle a longstanding issue with Japan. They say South Korean companies will compensate people who say they were forced to work during World War Two. Foreign Minister Park Jin said, “We are willing to develop the relationship between South Korea and Japan to a higher level, to a more future-oriented one.”
2. South Korea’s government has disclosed plans to halt the process of its complaint with the World Trade Organization against Japan while discussions proceed on Japan’s export restrictions. South Korea’s industry ministry announced on Monday tat Seoul and Tokyo agreed to conduct bilateral consultations on export control issues.
3.The head of Japan’s largest business group says the organization will consider new programs to step up cooperation with its South Korean counterpart, following Seoul’s announcement of a plan to settle the wartime labor issue between the two countries.

March 3, Friday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1. NHK has learned that preparations are underway to launch Japan’s new H3 flagship rocket on Monday. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) aborted a launch attempt on February 17 due to a system malfunction. Sources involved in the launch have told NHK that arrangements are being made for a second attempt on March 6.
2. A meeting of foreign ministers from the Quad nations of Japan, the United States, Australia and India is underway in New Delhi. The Quad foreign ministers are expected to oppose any attempts to change the status quo by force amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. They will likely confirm efforts to maintain and strengthen international order based on the rule of law. 3. The top diplomats from the US and Russia have attended some of the same meetings since the start of the war in Ukraine. However, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had never taken the opportunity to speak together. On Thursday, they met in person.

March 2, Thursday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1. Foreign ministers from the Group of 20 are meeting for a second day in New Delhi, where the war in Ukraine is expected to take center stage. Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said, “Let us remind ourselves that this grouping bears an exceptional responsibility. We first came together in the midst of a global crisis.” 2. Japan’s agriculture ministry says the number of chickens and other birds culled across the country due to avian flu is to top 15 million this winter – a new record high.
3. The board of education in Toda City, north of Tokyo, has instructed schools to take thorough security measures after an intruder slashed a teacher. Police on Wednesday arrested a 17-year-old senior high school student on suspicion of attempted murder. The student allegedly trespassed into a junior high school in the city and wounded a teacher with a knife.

March 1, Wednesday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1. At least 29 people are dead after two trains collided in Greece. Eighty-five others are injured. The crash took place near the city of Larissa, about 200 kilometers north of the capital, Athens. One of the trains was carrying passengers, while the other was transporting freight. 2. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a bill on Tuesday suspending the country’s last nuclear arms treaty with the US, known as the New START treaty. Putin declared in a national address last week that the would put the agreement on hold. The deal limits the number of nuclear warheads, missiles and bombers in each country’s arsenal.
3. Commanders on both sides of the war in Ukraine have expended soldiers and weapons in a standoff in the east. Month after month, those defending the city of Bakhmut have held their lines in the face of a Russian onslaught. But now, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has issued a warning about their fate. Zelenskyy said on late Monday that Russian troops are shattering anything the Ukrainians could use to shield themselves. He said they have been relentless. Still, his troops are refusing to give up.

February 28, Tuesday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1. US media says one of the federal agencies comprising the country’s intelligence community now concludes the COVID-19 pandemic was most likely caused by a leak from a laboratory in Wuhan, China. The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday that the Energy Department recently submitted to the White House a report concluding that the virus likely accidentally spread from the laboratory. 2. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen made a surprise visit to Ukraine on Monday to underscore Washington’s commitment to supporting the country. In a meeting with President Zelenskyy, Yellen stressed, “Ukraine’s fight is our fight. We will stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes.” 3. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko is visiting China on Tuesday for talks with President Xi Jinping. The meeting comes amid pressure by the United States on China to avoid providing military aid to Russia in its invasion of Ukraine.

February 27, Monday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Ms. Keiko Kitagawa

1. A boat crowded with migrants from Afghanistan, Iran and other countries has capsized off the coast of Italy, killing at least 59 people. Italian authorities and media say the wooden vessel crashed against rocks in bad weather and capsized off the coast of the southern Italian province of Calabria on Sunday. It had set sail from Turkey several days earlier. 2. A Japanese venture firm is providing evacuees from Ukraine with an opportunity to learn Japanese via their smartphones. Tokyo-based firm Monoxer is a provider of memorization tools and develops learning platforms mainly for educational institutions and businesses. Now it has created an application for Ukrainian evacuees in Japan who are having trouble finding work due to the language barrier. 3.Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has dismissed the commander of Ukrainian forces fighting Russian forces in the Donbas region in the country’s east. He has given no reason for the dismissal of Eduard Moskalyov announced on Sunday. He stressed his resolve to regain all occupied territories from Russia.

February 24, Friday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1. The government’s nominee for Bank of Japan governor has told a Lower House hearing that he intends to stick with the BOJ’s massive monetary-easing program. Economist Ueda Kazuo said, “If I am approved as governor, I would like to work closely with the government and implement appropriate policies in accordance with developments in ‘economic activity and prices’.” 2. The UN General Assembly has adopted a resolution demanding Russia immediately withdraw its forces from Ukraine and urging lasting peace. The resolution was put to a vote at a special session at UN headquarters in New York on Thursday, the eve of the anniversary of Russia’s invasion. In the vote, 141 countries voted in favor of the resolution, while Russia and other six countries voted against it. Another 32 countries, including China, abstained.
3. Finance chiefs and central bank governors from the Group of Seven nations have reaffirmed their “unwavering support” for Ukraine, and their unity in condemning Russia’s invasion. The officials released a statement after their meeting in the southern Indian city of Bengaluru on Thursday, the eve of the first anniversary of the start of the invasion. They were joined by Ukraine’s Finance Minister Sergii Marchenko.

February 23, Thursday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Ms. Keiko Kitagawa

1. Japan’s Emperor Naruhito has greeted the general public on his birthday at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. The Emperor turned 63 on Thursday. This is the first time he has delivered a public birthday greeting since he ascended the throne in 2019. To prevent the spread of the coronavirus, only 4,800 people, chosen by lottery, were allowed into the palace grounds. 2. Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared his intention to boost his country’s nuclear forces, just a day before the one-year anniversary of the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The president hailed Russian forces in Ukraine, saying, “Our troops are heroically fighting the neo-Nazism that has taken root in Ukraine, protecting our people in our historical lands, and are fighting courageously and heroically.”
3. A senior United States government official has expressed deep concerns over China’s possible support for the Russian military in its ongoing invasion of Ukraine and said if assistance is given, it will seriously impact US-China relations.

February 22, Wednesday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Ms. Yamamoto Miki

1. Japan and China have held their first security dialogue in about four years. Senior foreign affairs and defense officials from the two countries met Wednesday in Tokyo.
2. South Korea’s fertility rate in 2022 marked a record low for the seventh year in a row. Statistics Korea said on Wednesday that the average number of children born per woman stood at 0.78 last year, down 0.03 from the previous year. The agency says South Korea is the only country among members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development with a fertility rate below one. 3. Prices of new condominiums in Japan reached record highs for the sixth straight year in 2022. The increase were due to a combination of strong demand and soaring building-material costs.

February 21, Tuesday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1. US President Joe Biden’s visit to Ukraine was accomplished after careful planning and strict control of information. Accompanying reporters say Biden arrived in Kyiv at 8 a.m. Monday, local time, and shortly after 8:30 a.m., he arrived at the palace to meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and First Lady Olena Zelenska.
2. Eighty percent of the people who participated in a survey conducted in Ukraine said that they have physical and mental problems because of the war. Using mobile phones, NHK and the Kyiv-based research organization, Rating Group, surveyed people aged 18 and older across Ukraine. They did not question people living in the eastern region of Donbas or the southern region of Crimea. One thousand people responded.
3. The United Nations Security Council has held an emergency meeting about North Korea’s latest ballistic missile launches. Most of the member nations are standing united, but Russia and China continue to block any strong response.

February 20, Monday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Mr. Yamaguchi Hiroaki

1. Ukrainian leaders are bracing for major missile attacks as the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion approaches on Friday. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a video message on Sunday that the more losses Russia suffers in the eastern region of Donbas, the faster Ukraine will be able to end the invasion.
2. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s sister has criticized the United States and South Korea for conducting a joint air force drill involving US B-1 bombers on Sunday. Kim Yo Jong noted, “We are carefully examining the influence it would exert on the security of our state,” and added, “we will take corresponding counteraction if it is judged to be any direct or indirect threat.” 3.US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said he conveyed his concerns to China’s top diplomat about Beijing’s possible support for the Russian military in the ongoing Ukraine invasion. Washington is apparently warning that it will take measures should Beijing respond to Moscow’s request.

February 17, Friday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1. Experts are trying to figure out why Japan’s new H3 flagship rocket was not able to lift off from a site in southwestern Japan as scheduled. The rocket was set to launch from the Tanegashima Space Center on Friday morning.
2. Doctors say US President Joe Biden is “fit for duty” after a physical exam. At the age of 80, Biden is the oldest president in US history.
3. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has addressed a prestigious film festival, urging filmmakers and others to assist his country amid Russia’s invasion. The president said Russia has been killing people in Ukraine for almost a year. He stressed that art and culture should not help the “evil” by remaining silent.

February 16, Thursday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1. Candidates to become the next head and deputy heads of the Bank of Japan are set to explain their ideas on Japanese economic policy to Lower House members on February 24. The government on Tuesday presented the Diet with the nominations of Ueda Kazuo as the new central bank governor and Himino Ryozo and Uchida Shinichi as deputy governors. The term of incumbent Governor Kuroda Haruhiko ends in early April.
2. A winter festival featuring huts made from snow has welcomed back tourists for the first time in three years in Akita Prefecture, northern Japan. The event is held every year in the city of Yokote on February 15 and 16. About 40 of the “kamakura” huts were built for the festival. 3. The Financial Times reports Western intelligence shows Russia is amassing aircraft close to the border with Ukraine. It said the move indicates Moscow is preparing to bolster its faltering land offensive. The paper says intelligence shared among NATO allies shows Russia is assembling both fixed-wing and rotary aircraft. The article notes that Russia has used its air forces sparingly, relying instead on long-range missiles, artillery and land-based troops.

February 15, Wednesday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1. Providing aid to survivors has been especially hard in Northwest Syria as the civil war in the country continues. But officials are hoping to speed up deliveries with newly opened routes. 2. The government of Turkey and Syria, as well as the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, say the combined death toll from the recent devastating earthquakes that hit southern Turkey has exceeded 40,000.
3. Former Japanese Defense Minister Onodera Itsunori raised concern that objects believed to be Chinese spy balloons could suggest possible vulnerabilities in the nation’s defenses. The ministry on Tuesday said balloon-like objects were spotted over Japanese territory at least three times between 2019 and 2021.

February 14, Tuesday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Ms. Keiko Kitagawa

1. Russia is believed to be intensifying its offensive against Ukraine ahead of the first anniversary of its invasion, despite suffering heavy casualties. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told a media conference on Monday, “What Russia does now, what President Putin is doing now, is sending thousands of thousands more troops, accepting a very high rate of casualty, taking big losses, but putting pressure on the Ukrainians.”
2. Syria has reportedly agreed to open more land routes from Turkey to allow for the delivery of humanitarian aid by the United Nations to earthquake victims in the opposition-controlled northwestern part of the country. UN emergency relief coordinator Martin Griffiths informed the UN Security Council in an emergency online meeting that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad agreed to open two more border crossings for three months.
3. Search and rescue efforts continue in Turkey and Syria. A 12-year-old boy was reportedly pulled alive from the rubble of a collapsed apartment in southern Turkey, more than one week after the devastating earthquake hit. Turkey’s Anadolu news agency reported on Monday that the boy had been trapped in the debris for 182 hours in the province of Hatay.

February 13, Monday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Ms. Keiko Kitagawa

1. The death toll from a series of earthquakes that have rocked Turkey and neighboring Syria over the past week has exceeded 33,000. A magnitude 7.8 quake hit southern Turkey in the early hours of last Monday, followed by more tremors. Turkey has counted 29,605 deaths while Syria tallied at least 3,581 fatalities. Search-and-rescue efforts are underway in quake-stricken areas as many people are believed to be still trapped under collapsed buildings.
2.A government aircraft is delivering medical equipment and supplies to Turkey in the wake of last week’s massive earthquake. The Defense Ministry says the plane is heading to Turkey after stopping at Narita Airport to load about 15 tons of supplies for a Japanese emergency medical team, including tents, beds and operating tables.
3.The United States is calling on UN Security Council members to vote for increased access to quake-stricken Syria by opening more border crossings from Turkey. UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen stressed, “We are mobilizing funding and we are trying to tell everyone, put politics aside. This is the time to unite behind a common effort to support the Syrian people.

February 10, Friday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1. Japanese weather officials have issued heavy snow warnings for central Tokyo and Saitama Prefecture, located north of the capital. It’s the first warning of its kind for central Tokyo since January 6, 2022.
2. The Japanese government plans to allow people to make their own choices about wearing face masks to prevent coronavirus infections, beginning in March. The government currently recommends that masks be worn indoors. It is reviewing the recommendation because the coronavirus will be reclassified to the same category as seasonal influenza from May 8.
3. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says a UN convoy has entered quake-hit Syria to deliver relief supplies.

February 9, Thursday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has made pitches to allies around the world, but rarely in person. On Wednesday, he went on a surprise visit to London to repeat his demands for fighter jets to use in his country’s fight against Russian forces. Zelenskyy said, “I appeal to you, and the world, with the simple and yet most important words: Combat aircraft for Ukraine. Wings for freedom.” 2. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has sought additional military support from France and Germany in a meeting with the two countries’ leaders. French President Emmanuel Macron said Russia could not be allowed to win the war, and stressed the need to continue military support for Ukraine and its future as long as Russia keeps attacking.
3. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un presided over a huge military parade in Pyongyang on Wednesday night that showcased intercontinental ballistic missiles. The event marked the 75th founding anniversary of the country’s armed forces and was the first large-scale parade since April last year.

February 8, Wednesday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1. The death toll from Monday’s earthquake and aftershocks that hit Turkey and Syria has surpassed 8,300, as desperate efforts continue to rescue people trapped under rubble. A powerful quake with a magnitude of 7.8 hit southern Turkey near the Syrian border early on Monday, followed by another major quake and a series of aftershocks.
2. US President Joe Biden stressed his achievements, including the creation of record employment levels, in a State of the Union address that also outlined policies for the coming year. Biden delivered his second State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, as attention is focused on whether he will soon announce his candidacy for reelection. 3. A Tokyo Olympics executive has been arrested on suspicion of violating Japan’s Anti-Monopoly Act. Sources say former deputy director of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics Organizing Committee’s operations bureau Mori Yasuo has admitted to involvement in rigging bids for test events. Prosecutors and Japan Fair Trade Commission officials suspect that the organizing committee colluded with Dentsu, the country’s largest ad agency, to steer contracts to specific companies.

February 7, Tuesday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Mr. Yamaguchi Hiroaki

1. Two men suspected of orchestrating a series of robberies across Japan have arrived in the country to face separate fraud charges. They were deported from the Philippines. They allegedly coordinated the crimes with another pair of Japanese nationals. Who may also soon face deportation. 2. A senior White House official says the US military has recovered parts of a suspected Chinese spy balloon that was shot down off the US Atlantic Coast on Saturday. A US Air Force fighter jet downed the balloon after it traveled across US territory last week. 3. Crews in southeastern Turkey near the border with Syria are searching in near-freezing temperatures to find survivors of earthquakes. At least 3700 people were killed. A magnitude 7.8 quake struck early Monday while many residents were still asleep. In the hours that followed, they felt dozens of aftershocks including one of magnitude 7.5. Thousands of buildings collapsed.

February 6, Monday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Mr. Yamaguchi Hiroaki

1. A powerful earthquake struck south-east Turkey on Monday morning, reportedly leaving at least 100 people dead in the country and neighboring Syria. Turkish disaster management officials say the quake with an estimated magnitude of 7.4 hit the south-eastern Turkish province of Kahramanmaras, near Syria, at 01:17 UTC on Monday.
2. Visitors to the port city of Nagasaki in southwestern Japan have enjoyed watching a reenactment of a parade featuring a Chinese goddess of maritime safety. The procession on Sunday was the climax of the two-week Nagasaki Lantern Festival. The event recreates a Chinese sailors’ procession from the Tokugawa period between the 17th and 19th centuries.
3.A Japanese exporter of bonsai trees is preparing to welcome foreign buyers for the first time since the start of the pandemic. The Bonsai Network Japan ships potted ornamental trees and shrubs abroad from its facilities north of Tokyo. Europe is its major export market.

February 3, Friday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1. US television network ABC has aired images of a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon that has been observed flying over the continental United States. They show what appears to be black equipment underneath the white balloon.
2.Japan’s two biggest airlines logged improved results for the April-to-December period last year as demand for travel rebounded. Japan Airlines says group sales for the 9 months roughly doubled from a year earlier in yen terms, to over 1 trillion yen, or over 7.8 billion dollars. Japan Airlines’ main competitor, ANA Holdings, saw group sales for the April-to-December period rise about 70 percent. The figure was just over 1.25 trillion yen, or over 9.7 billion dollars.
3. The value of Japan’s exports of agricultural, forestry and fishery products last year reached a record high owing to the weak yen and recovering demand in the global restaurant industry. The value of exports has increased for 10 consecutive years. The figure in 2022 was about 3.1 times that in 2012.

February 2, Thursday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1.Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa says his country is seriously concerned about the further extension of the state of emergency in Myanmar. He said the country’s military has been failing to work for political progress, such as the release of all of detained people, including Aung San Suu Kyi.
2.A former commander in Russian private military company Wagner who fled to Norway has spoken about the brutality of the fighting in Ukraine. Andrei Medvedev was interviewed by Norwegian public broadcaster NRK. Asked why he signed the contract with Wagner, he said he grew up as an orphan and had believed Russian propaganda. Medvedev said he decided to desert after he saw what was happening on the frontline. He added that he wanted to apologize to the Ukrainian people,and expressed a willingness to cooperate with an investigation into war crimes.
3.The transportation authority of the western Japanese city of Kyoto says it will do away with one-day bus passes at the end of March,2024. The aim of the move is to ease passenger congestion by reducing the number of tourists on buses.

February 1, Wednesday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1.A UN human rights expert on Myanmar has called for a coordinated response by the international community ahead of Wednesday’s two-year anniversary of the military coup that overturned the democratically elected government.
2.The Philippines is taking steps to repatriate four Japanese nationals who are believed to be linked to a series of robberies in Japan. Attention has been focused on how soon the suspects will be sent. Philippine officials are expected to discuss the matter as early Wednesday afternoon.
3.Police in Pakistan say they suspect a security lapse may have been to blame for a deadly blast that occurred at a crowded mosque on Monday. The massive explosion took place in Pakistan’s northwestern city of Peshawar. Local authorities say it left at least 95 people dead and more than 200 others injured.

January 31, Tuesday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1.The members of the UN Security Council discussed North Korea for the first time this year during a meeting on Monday. The conference was chaired by Japan. Last year, North Korea repeatedly launched ballistic missiles. It fired at least 73 missiles, including cruise missiles, toward the Sea of Japan and other destinations.
2.US media outlets are reporting that former world champion skier Kyle Smaine was killed in an avalanche in central Japan on Sunday. Many messages have been posted on social media. The US Freeski Team wrote, “Today we lost an incredible person friend, skier and teammate to the mountains.” It added, “Smaine loved exploring the mountains, was a fierce competitor but an even better person and friend.”
3.Russian commanders have been trying for months to break through defensive positions in eastern Ukraine. Now, they may have some momentum. The troops had already captured Soledar, a town they see as a foothold in the Donetsk region. Now, authorities claim soldiers have secured a place that has been a Ukrainian bastion since the outset of the war.

January 30, Monday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1.The head of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization will arrive in Japan on Monday. He is expected to discuss strengthening bilateral ties amid growing collaboration between Russia and China. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will meet Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and other officials during his three-day visit to Japan.
2.Four Chinese government ships have entered Japan’s territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. The vessels are reportedly navigating in waters a few kilometers away from Japanese fishing and survey ships.
3.Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has asked the international community to supply new weapons quickly to his country as Russian attacks there continue to kill civilians.

January 27, Friday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Mr. Yamaguchi Hiroaki

1.An expert panel of Japan’s health ministry agreed on Friday that COVID-19 should be downgraded to the same category of infectious diseases as seasonal influenza in about three months. The government is expected to decide at a meeting of its coronavirus task force later in the day that the disease’s classification will be downgraded on May 8.
2.Japan’s government has decided on additional sanctions on Russia in response to the ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Exports will be banned to 49 more entities, including Russian aircraft repair factories. More items will be added to the list of banned exports to Russia.
3.Canada has joined Germany and the United States in sending battle tanks to Ukraine. Canada’s defense minister Anita Anand announced on Thursday that her country will supply Ukraine with four of its German-made Leopard 2 tanks.

January 26, Thursday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Mr. Yamaguchi Hiroaki

1.Germany has announced that it will supply its highly capable Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. The German government said on Wednesday that it will send its first batch of 14 and also train Ukrainian soldiers in Germany. It also said it will allow countries that possess Leopard 2 tanks to provide them to Ukraine.
2.The United Nations’ cultural agency UNESCO decided to add the historic center of Odesa in Ukraine to its World Heritage List on Wednesday. Called the Pearl of the Black Sea, Odesa developed as a port city during the age of Russian Empire. It flourished as a strategic hub of maritime trade, where a variety of cultures and nationalities mingled.
3.Ukraine’s ambassador to Japan says victory is on the way, but not without help. NHK sat down with Sergiy Korsunsky to talk about Russia’s invasion, now 11 months in. The ambassador says Japan can play a crucial role in setting up and running the financial platform that will be created for the reconstruction and modernization of Ukraine.

January 25, Wednesday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Mr. Yamaguchi Hiroaki

1.Weather officials forecast heavy snow will continue to fall in areas along the Sea of Japan coast in northern and eastern Japan. They are calling on people to stay on the alert for possible traffic disruptions.
2.Heavy snow in central and western Japan has left vehicles stranded over a 10-kilometer stretch of expressway between Nagoya and Kyoto. The Central Nippon Expressway Company says vehicles have become trapped on the Shin-Meishin Expressway between the Komono Interchange in Mie Prefecture and the Koka-Tsuchiyama Interchange in Shiga Prefecture.
3.Investigative sources say police suspect that a person using the name “Luffy” was the mastermind behind a spate of robberies in Japan. Police suspect that the robberies were carried out by groups of people who had been recruited through social media. They allegedly broke into homes and shops in accordance with Luffy’s instructions.

January 24, Tuesday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Mr. Yamaguchi Hiroaki

1.Many areas across Japan are expected to be affected by the coldest air mass of the season from Tuesday. Weather officials are advising people to prepare for heavy snow and low temperatures and refrain from going out in the worst of the weather.
2.Businesses across Japan are preparing to respond to a bout of severe winter weather in the coming days. Demand for some goods has been unexpectedly high at some shops. A home improvement store in Fukuoka City in southwestern Japan says it has sold all of its merchandise for coping with heavy snow and icy weather. Among the items sold out were snow shovels and covers for water pipes to keep them from freezing up.
3.Japanese insurers are planning to hike premiums for coverage of war damage to ships in waters around Russia and Ukraine. The move comes as Russia’s drawn-out invasion of Ukraine prompts reinsurance companies to increase their rates.

January 23, Monday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1.Police in the United States say the suspect in a deadly shooting outside Los Angeles has been found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. It ends a manhunt that began after a gunman killed 10 people and injured 10 others during Lunar New Year’s celebrations. The male suspect’s body was found inside a van in a parking lot about 30 kilometers from the crime scene.
2.Japan’s Prime Minister Kishida Fumio says addressing the country’s falling birthrate will be a top priority for the government. Kishida said births in Japan last year are estimated to be under 800,000. He said the government will try to implement unprecedented countermeasures to boost the number of births. He said he intends to devise steps and seek stable financial sources to achieve the goal.
3.Japanese weather officials are urging people to prepare for heavy snow and cold temperatures as soon as possible. They warn that the coldest air mass of this winter is expected to bring heavy snow to much of the country from Tuesday.

January 20, Friday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1.Japan’s Prime Minister Kishida Fumio has instructed ministers to consider steps toward recategorizing COVID-19 into the same class of infectious diseases as seasonal flu this spring.
2.South Korea plans to ease its indoor mask mandate at the end of this month, after the Lunar New Year holidays. Prime Minister Han Duck-soo told a task force meeting on Friday that the daily number of new infections of the coronavirus has been declining for three weeks.
3.Japan has submitted a revised recommendation letter for a group of gold and silver mines on Sado Island on the Sea of Japan to be registered as a World Cultural Heritage site.

January 19, Thursday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1.Eyes around the world will soon turn to Germany where defense chiefs with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization are set to meet. The Friday talks will once again focus on help for Ukraine. And this time the main topic is tanks.
2.Japan has posted its biggest annual trade deficit on record. The weaker yen and soaring energy prices were mostly to blame.
3.New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced she is stepping down. She says her time in office has been her greatest honor, but says she is no longer the right person for the job.

January 18, Wednesday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1.Politicians, business leaders, academics and activists are weighing in on global issues from a resort town in the Swiss Alps. They have descended on Davos for the world Economic Forum. Ukraine’s first lady says some leaders have failed to use their influence to help stop the fighting. Olena Zelenska says, if her country loses, the war could ignite wider crises.
2.A US Defense Department spokesperson says the US military has begun training Ukrainians to use and maintain the Patriot missile defense system. The US-produced Patriot is a mobile surface-to-air missile system designed to intercept ballistic and cruise missiles, as well as aircraft. The Dutch defense ministry on Tuesday said it was also ready to provide Ukraine with the Patriot system.
3.A former commander with Russia’s private military contractor Wagner has reportedly fled to Norway and is seeking asylum there. Norwegian human rights group released an interview with Medvedev in which he explained his reasons for defecting.

January 17, Tuesday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1.China says its population dropped by around 850,000 people last year, marking the first decline in 61 years. The National Bureau of Statistics announced on Tuesday that the total on the mainland stood at an estimated one billion, 411 million, 750 thousand as of the end of 2022. China ended its one-child policy in 2016 after struggling with labor shortages and a rapidly aging demographic.
2.Japan is marking the 28th anniversary on Tuesday of the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, which left 6,434 people dead. The powerful quake jolted the western prefecture of Hyogo and nearby areas on January 17, 1995, causing scores of buildings to collapse and fires to break out across affected areas.
3.The Japanese government says it has decided to offer debt relief of 7.8 billion yen to Ukraine to help ease the economic burden imposed on the country since it was invaded by Russia. Ukraine was supposed to pay back the amount, which is equivalent to over 60 million dollars at current rates, to Japan by the end of this year. It was to have been part of repayment of financial assistance. Japan’s Foreign Ministry says it has agreed with Kyiv that the money will be repaid in 10 installments over a six-month period, starting June 2027.

January 16, Monday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1.The world Economic Forum will open its annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, on Monday with the slogan “Cooperation in a fragmented world.” Participants are expected to discuss the impact on the world economy of the US-China standoff and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. They are also expected to exchange views on what can be done to put the economy back on the globalization track.
2.Japanese pharmaceutical firm Eisai on Monday said it has applied to Japan’s health ministry for approval of its Alzheimer’s drug. The drug is designed to slow the progression of the neurodegenerative disease by reducing the accumulation of amyloid beta in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. The abnormal protein is believed to induce neuronal cell death.
3.Bankruptcies of nursing care providers across Japan hit their highest level last year since 2000. Credit research firm Tokyo Shoko Research says 143 care providers went bankrupt in 2022. Businesses with fewer than 10 employees accounted for more than 80 percent of the bankruptcies.

January 13, Friday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1.Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio has found some common ground with his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau as part of his efforts toward a free and open Indo-Pacific. The two met in Ottawa on Thursday. Kishida is touring five Group of Seven countries and meeting with their leaders ahead of the G7 summit in Hiroshima in May.
2.Japan and the United States are to start discussions for effective operation of Japan’s counterattack capabilities under its new defense policy. Japan’s Defense Minister Hamada Yasukazu and US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin met at the Pentagon on Thursday.
3.Ukraine’s deputy defense minister says a fierce battle is continuing near the Ukrainian stronghold of Bakhmut in the eastern region of Donetsk. Hanna Maliar briefed reporters on the status of fighting over the town of Soledar on Thursday. She said Ukrainian soldiers are fighting desperately despite the difficult situation.

January 12, Thursday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1.Japan’s Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and his British counterpart, Rishi Sunak, have affirmed unity ahead of the Group of Seven summit in Hiroshima in May. Kishida flew into London on the third leg of a weeklong tour. He previously visited France and Italy, and will travel next to Canada and the United States.
2.Japan and the United States say they are reorganizing their defense cooperation to be more effective. This comes as Tokyo is strengthening its capability to respond to attacks, and as both countries say they want to counter China’s attempts to change the status quo.
3.Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio has arrived in Ottawa to hold talks with his Canadian counterpart, Justin Trudeau. Kishida is currently on a tour of France, Italy, Britain, Canada and the United States, ahead of the Group of Seven summit in Hiroshima slated for May. Canada is the fourth designation of the tour.

January 11, Wednesday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1.Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and his Italian counterpart Giorgia Meloni have agreed to upgrade the two countries’ relationship to a strategi partnership. Italy is the second stop of Kishida’s trip to five of the Group of Seven nations. His trip comes ahead of May’s G7 summit, which Japan will host in Hiroshima.
2.The coronavirus is rapidly spreading in China. And, travelers from there are facing restrictions imposed by multiple countries. Those include Japan and South Korea. Beijing is now hitting back with its own. It has suspended issuing certain visas to people from both countries.
3.Japanese Defense officials say a Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer that is stranded in western Japan may have struck rocks, noting shallow waters were spotted nearby.

January 10, Tuesday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1.Japan’s Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and French President Emmanuel Macron have agreed the two nations will work closely to ensure the success of the upcoming Group of Seven summit in Hiroshima. Kishida told Macron that he wants the summit, scheduled for May, to be a forum where G7 nations can express their resolve to uphold a free and open international order based on the rule of law. He also said the meeting will give the G7 countries a chance to show their commitment to strengthening strict sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, as well as their strong support for Kyiv.
2.Researchers in Osaka Prefecture, western Japan, have confirmed for the first time that endangered Japanese eels inhabit Dotonbori River in the middle of Osaka City.
3.A Japanese saury fishing cooperative says the country’s catch of the fish hit a record low in 2022 for the fourth year in a row.

January 9, Monday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Ms. Keiko Kitagawa

1.Brazilian media outlets say security authorities have removed supporters of the country’s former President Jair Bolsonaro from the Congress and other buildings in the capital, Brasilia. But they say clashes between Bolsonaro loyalists and police are continuing in some parts of the city. The mob breached security barricades and entered the Congress building on Sunday. They also stormed into the nearby presidential palace and the Supreme Court.
2.US President Joe Biden has visited the US-Mexico border for the first time since he took office two years ago. Biden visited El Paso on Sunday to inspect immigration control. He exchanged opinions with border security officials and local lawmakers.
3.Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio has left for France on the first leg of his tour of five Group of Seven nations. Kishida plans to visit France, Italy, Britain, Canada and the United States from Monday through Sunday to hold talks with their leaders in the run-up to the G7 summit in Hiroshima in May. Japan holds the presidency this year.

January 6, Friday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1.Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered his troops to observe a ceasefire starting Friday to mark Orthodox Christmas. He said soldiers “along the entire line of contact” with Ukraine will hold their fire for 36 hours. He called on Ukrainian forces to follow suit. However, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy rejected the idea.
2.Firefighters in Tokyo have held their annual New Year’s drill. They conducted the drill to prepare for a possible major quake, as this year marks the centennial of the magnitude-7.9 Great Kanto Earthquake.
3.A government survey shows that 27.9 percent of Japanese companies allow their employees to stay on the job until age 70. The figure is up 2.3 percentage points from a year earlier. A law that took effect in April 2021 requires companies to do what they can to keep their employees on the payroll until age 70 if they wish to continue working, as Japan’s population is rapidly aging.

January 5, Thursday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1.Fishers based at a port with the largest annual catch in Japan have marked their first day at sea in 2023. The fishers poured sake rice wine into the sea in a ritual to pray for the safety of their operations and good catches in the year ahead.
2.US President Joe Biden has revealed that his country is considering sending armored fighting vehicles to Ukraine to help Ukrainians take back territory from the Russians. Biden is considering Bradley Fighting Vehicles, which run on caterpillar tracks and are equipped with an autocannon and other weapons. They can attack while transporting soldiers.
3.A senior White House official says the United States is considering enhancing defense cooperation with Japan and South Korea amid North Korea’s growing threats.

January 4, Wednesday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1. Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio is set to meet with US President Joe Biden at the White House on January 13. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre announced the meeting Tuesday in a statement that said the leaders will aim “to further deepen ties between our governments, economies, and our people.”
2. Japan’s ambassador to the United Nations has vowed to make efforts to maintain the peace and security of the international community as the country serves as a non-permanent member of the Security Council.
3. The US House of Representatives has failed to elect a speaker on the first ballot for the first time in 100 years. The Republicans won a majority in the chamber following the elections in November and the new session adjourned on Tuesday. Top House Republican Kevin McCarthy was seen as a favorite within the Republican Party to become speaker. But he fell short of a majority in the first ballot after failing to gain support from hardliners and other Republican representatives. He also failed to win a majority in the subsequent two rounds of voting.

January 3, Tuesday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Ms. Keiko Kitagawa

1. Japan’s airports, railway stations and expressways are crowded on Tuesday as people return from their year-end and New Year holidays. This holiday season saw more travelers as it was the first time in three years that there were no coronavirus restrictions in place.
2. Japanese businesses are increasingly finding practical applications for quantum technology from worker shift-scheduling to railway operations. Electronics and other firms have been engaged in research into quantum computers, which would vastly surpass the calculating power of supercomputers.
3. Russia’s defense ministry said on Monday 63 of its soldiers were killed in a Ukrainian rocket strike in the eastern region of Donbas. It also said Ukraine used a HIMARS rocket launcher supplied by the US.

January 2, Monday, 2023 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Ms. Keiko Kitagawa

1. Worshippers flocked to a shrine in central Tokyo in the early hours of New Year’s Day to pray for good luck in 2023. Crowds of people gathered at Meiji Jingu before midnight on New Year’s Eve. They waited in line to hear the sound of a drum that signaled the arrival of the New Year.
2. Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has been sworn in as Brazil’s president. He now faces the difficult task of reuniting the country following an intense campaign. Lula, who led Brazil’s leftist government from 2003 through 2010 during two previous terms as the country’s leader, beat former right-wring president Jair Bolsonaro in an October runoff. Lula’s inauguration ceremony took place on Sunday in the capital Brasilia.
3. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has spoken with China’s new Foreign Minister Qin Gang by telephone. The talks took place on Sunday, as Qin was leaving Washington for his new role. China appointed the ambassador to the United States to head the foreign ministry on Friday.

December 30, Friday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Ms. Keiko Kitagawa

1. Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has returned to power with a hardline coalition government after winning November’s national election.
2. Brazilian soccer legend Pele, a three-time World Cup winner, has died. He was 82. Pele, whose real name was Edson Arantes do Nascimento, was born in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais in 1940. He joined the national squad at the age of 17 and helped it win the World Cup for the first time in 1958. 3. Russian forces have unleashed another large-scale missile barrage at energy infrastructure and other targets across Ukraine, causing casualties and severely disrupting daily life amid the bitter winter cold.

December 29, Thursday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Mr. Yamaguchi Hiroaki

1. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has stressed his resolve to retake territory from Russia and help Ukrainians who have evacuated the country to return. Zelenskyy said Ukrainian forces have already managed to liberate more than 1,800 cities and villages from Russian occupation, and pledged to continue efforts to restore the country’s territorial integrity. The president said millions of Ukrainians have been displaced and found shelter abroad since Russia’s invasion began. He expressed gratitude to all the countries that have accepted and helped those people. Zelenskyy went on, “But we must reserve them as a part of Ukrainian society. We have to ensure their return.” 2. Battles for control of the Russian stronghold of Luhansk in Ukraine’s eastern region appear to be intensifying as Ukrainian forces try to take it back. Ukrainian forces are continuing counteroffensives to seize territories Russia is occupying. In the Luhansk region, Ukrainian troops appear to be stepping up their offensive to recapture Kreminna. 3. Railways, airports and expressways in Japan are packed with people heading off to hometowns and vacations during the year-end and New Year holidays.

December 28, Wednesday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Mr. Yamaguchi Hiroaki

1. Many people in Japan are heading overseas to enjoy their first year-end and New Year holidays since the country significantly eased border controls against the COVID-19 pandemic. 2. Sources say the Japan Football Association has decided to let men’s national team coach Moriyasu Hajime stay in his post. Moriyasu, 54, led the Samurai Blue in the FIFA World Cup in Qatar earlier this year. The team advanced to the last 16 after beating powerhouses Germany and Spain in the group stage, but failed to reach the quarterfinals as the team had hoped. 3. A government survey has revealed that airports across Japan are facing a severe shortage of security staff amid a recovery in air travel. A transport ministry survey shows that the number of security staff fell from 7,400 in April 2020 to 5,600 in September 2022. That’s reduction of 1,800 staff, or about 25 percent.

December 27, Tuesday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Mr. Yamaguchi Hiroaki

1. Indonesians have commemorated the 18th anniversary of the deadly Indian Ocean tsunami that struck on December 26, 2004. The disaster left more than 220,000 people dead or missing in a vast area spanning from Southeast Asia to East Africa. The tsunami was triggered by a massive earthquake that struck off the coast of Indonesia’s Sumatra Island. More than 160,000 people were killed in Aceh province, located on the northwest tip of the island. 2. Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba says his country wants an international conference on ending the war to be held at the end of February. Kuleba also suggested that Ukrainian soldiers will be trained outside the country to learn how to use the US Patriot air defense system. He said that the Patriot missile battery will be operational in less than six months and that Ukraine will do whatever it can to win the war next year. 3. Japan’s reconstruction minister Akiba Kenya has submitted his resignation over political funding irregularities and other issues.

December 26, Monday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Mr. Yamaguchi Hiroaki

1. Britain’s King Charles has delivered his first Christmas message to the nation as monarch. He remembered his mother, the late Queen Elizabeth II, who died in September, and expressed gratitude to public workers.
2. Some of Ukraine’s Orthodox churches held Christmas services on December 25 in a break with the Russian Orthodox tradition that observes Christmas on January 7.
3. China’s Zhejiang Province reported more than one million new coronavirus cases on Sunday as the number of the infections surge nationwide. Provincial health authorities say the number of new COVID cases is expected to peak before the New Year holidays. They say the daily tally could reach up to 2 million. But the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention says new COVID cases nationwide reached only 2,940 on Saturday.

December 22, Thursday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made a direct appeal to Americans for more support during a surprise visit Wednesday to Washington. In a speech delivered before Congress, he thanked the US for continuing to provide military aid, which he called an investment in democracy. 2. The Japanese government has released a report on experts’ opinions about its handling of former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s state funeral in September. The government heard from 21 experts in various fields, including scholars of the Constitution and administrative law, between October and December. 3. Newly released tax records for former US president Donald Trump show that he paid no income tax in 2020, his final full year in office. The Ways and Means Committee of the US House of Representatives has released a summary report on Trump’s tax filings from 2015 to 2020.

December 21, Wednesday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1. The White House says Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is visiting Washington and holding a summit with US President Joe Biden on Wednesday. A source close to the Ukrainian government said it will be the first time for Zelenskyy to visit a foreign country since Russia began its attacks in February.
2. NHK has learned that police in Japan have raided a number of seafood traders who are suspected of selling clams illegally imported from North Korea.
3. US billionaire Elon Musk says he is stepping down as CEO of social-media giant Twitter. His resignation would follow a poll in which a majority of Twitter users voted in favor of him quitting the CEO job.

December 20, Tuesday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1. Kyiv authorities illuminated a Christmas tree in the Ukrainian capital on Monday evening amid continued power outages caused by Russian attacks. Standing in a city center square, the tree is 12 meters tall, less than half the usual height, and the daily hours of illumination have been shortened.
2. Japan’s central bank has surprised markets by adjusting its monetary policy, allowing long-term interest rates to fluctuate in wider band. The Bank of Japan believes the new range will improve market functions. The yield for the 10-year Japanese Government Bond will now be allowed to move in a range of around plus and minus 0.5 percent. The earlier range was plus and minus 0.25 percent.
3. A food maker in northern Japan is rushing to meet demand for “datemaki” rolled omelets. They are part of the colorful “osechi” delicacies traditionally served over the New Year holiday. The company in Hokkaido plans to make more than 3,000 of the distinctive cog-shaped rolls in time for New Year.

December 19, Monday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1. Argentina has won the men’s soccer World Cup in Qatar by defeating France in the white-knuckle penalty shootout of the final. It was the South American team’s first title in 36 years, and its third overall. The two powerhouses clashed at Lusail stadium on Sunday. Argentina is third in the FIFA rankings while defending champion France is fourth. 2. Britain and the United States are stepping up their military aid to Ukraine as Russia continues missile attacks on Ukraine’s cities and infrastructure.
3. Record snowfalls for a 24-hour period have been observed in Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, and Niigata Prefecture, on the Sea of Japan coast. Weather officials are urging caution for the possible impacts of accumulated snow and icy roads on public transport as well as blackouts and avalanches.

December 16, Friday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Mr. Yamaguchi Hiroaki

1.The UN General Assembly has adopted for the 18th straight year a resolution urging North Korea to immediately return all foreign nationals it has abducted. The assembly adopted the resolution without a vote on Thursday. It has been submitted by the European Union every year. More than 60 countries, including Japan and South Korea, co-sponsored the resolution this year. 2. In a major milestone in efforts to revamp Japan’s defense strategy – the Cabinet is set to approve three key documents which reimagine how the nation should be able to defend itself and provide a plan to pay for some big changes. The National Security Strategy and the National Defense Strategy outline a new policy that would give Japan the ability to launch counterstrikes – only under specific circumstances. They would be limited to self-defense and would never be preemptive.
3. Experts tasked with assessing the coronavirus situation in Tokyo are calling on residents to be on the alert for a resurgence of infections. They say the number of new daily cases may double from the current figure to reach nearly 30,000 in mid-January.

December 15, Thursday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Mr. Yamaguchi Hiroaki

1. Defending champions France are through to the World Cup final in Qatar after a 2-nil win over tournament surprise package Morocco. The match was billed as a battle between French superstar Kylian Mbappe and Moroccan goalkeeper Yassine Bounou who had conceded just once in five games that included a penalty shootout. But it took France just 5 minutes to beat him. A goalmouth scramble saw the ball fall to defender Theo Hernandez who angled a shot home. 2. Participants of a UN Security meeting have called for urgent reform of the body. Observers say the council is failing to take united action over the situation in Ukraine and other matters due to disagreements between member states with veto power.
3. Post offices across Japan started accepting New Year’s greeting cards on Thursday. In this age of social media, the postal service is encouraging people to give their greetings in the traditional way by sending “nengajo.”

December 14, Wednesday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Mr. Yamaguchi Hiroaki

1. The Bank of Japan said on Wednesday that its Tankan survey shows that business sentiment among major manufacturers worsened for the fourth straight quarter. The BOJ polled over 9,000 companies from early November to early December.
2.Dozens of countries have pledged over 1 billion euros, or about 1.1 billion dollars, in additional aid to Ukraine to help the people there survive the freezing winter weather. France initiated an aid conference for Ukraine, as Russian missile attacks have left Ukrainian citizens desperately short of power, heat and water across the country. 3. Superstar Lionel Messi led Argentina into the final of the FIFA World Cup with a 3-0 win over 2018 runner-up Croatia. Argentina is seeking its first World Cup championship since 1986.

December 13, Tuesday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Mr. Yamaguchi Hiroaki

1. Japan’s Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa says the government is considering supporting the African Union’s admission to the Group of 20 economies. The African Union comprises of 55 members and is one of the largest regional blocs in the world. US President Joe Biden has indicated that he will announce support for its membership. 2.The United States has announced that it plans to give Africa 55 billion dollars in aid over the next three years. US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan made the announcement on Monday, as President Joe Biden was preparing to host the US-Africa summit in Washington. 3.Ukraine is once again pressing its Western allies for help to battle back Russia’s invasion. The Group of Seven responded with a pledge to bolster Ukrainian air defenses and push Moscow to work for peace. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the leaders online Monday. He asked for more air defense systems, howitzers and long-range rockets.

December 12, Monday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Mr. Yamaguchi Hiroaki

1.China’s official coronavirus case count has dropped, but the actual number is believed to be much higher after the government eased its zero-COVID policy. The Chinese government says more than 8,000 new cases were confirmed on Sunday. The daily tally dropped to about one-fifth of the figure when the infection peaked in late November. But the case count is believed to have fallen partly because fewer people are taking PCR tests, after authorities stopped requesting people to present negative test results at may public places. 2. The US government says it has taken custody of a Libyan man accused of being involved in making the bomb that destroyed Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988. 3. Japanese venture firm has successfully launched what could become the first privately-funded spacecraft to land on the moon.

December 9, Friday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Ms. Keiko Kitagawa

1. Japan’s Empress Masako marked her 59th birthday on Friday. In a statement released by the Imperial Household Agency, the Empress said she feels deep sorrow over the fact that the lives of many people, including children, have been lost due to wars and conflicts around the world. 2. Japan’s Finance Minister Suzuki Shunichi says the government must sincerely explain to the public its plan to raise taxes to finance the country’s growing defense budget. Prime Minister Kishida Fumio instructed ministers and the ruling coalition parties to raise Japan’s defense budget amid the increasingly severe security environment surrounding the country. 3.Chinese President Xi Jinping is exploring new territory during what he has called a “pioneering” trip to Saudi Arabia. He has signed dozens of deals to “usher in a new era” in relations with the Arab world.

December 8, Thursday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1. Russian President Vladimir Putin says the risk of nuclear war is on the rise, but he insists his country sees its arsenals as purely defensive deterrent. At Russia’s Human Rights Council on Wednesday, Putin said he understands “what nuclear weapons are.”
2. Japan’s Lower House has passed a bill that would regulate donations to religious entities. They include the controversial group formerly known as the Unification Church. The bill has been sent to the Upper House and is expected to be enacted on Saturday. 3. Peru’s Congress voted on Wednesday to oust President Pedro Castillo during an impeachment trial that was prompted by allegations of corruption. Vice President Dina Boluarte was sworn in to replace Castillo.

December 7, Wednesday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1. In the United States, the Democratic incumbent has won Tuesday’s Senate runoff in the state of Georgia. The result is a setback for former President Donald Trump, who had backed the Republican candidate. The race in Georgia came to a runoff after none of the candidates won the required majority of votes in last month’s midterm elections. 2. Japan faces a rising tide of aging infrastructure that cannot be repaired due to tight budgets and worker shortages. Local authorities are required to inspect bridges and tunnels every five years, following a fatal tunnel collapse a decade ago. The accident in the Chuo Expressway’s Sasago Tunnel in Yamanashi Prefecture killed nine people. 3. Business leaders across the US saw a shortage of semiconductors put a wrench in global supply chains already disrupted by the pandemic. They and President Joe Biden are hoping the world’s largest contract chipmaker can help. On Tuesday, Biden visited a plant in Arizona being built by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. Executives have spent 12 billion dollars on the facility and hope to have it running in 2024. They have also announced they will build another factor nearby. Their investment of 40 billion dollars is one of the largest outlays by a foreign company in US history.

December 6, Tuesday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1. Chinese President Xi Jinping and other members of the country’s leadership have paid tribute to former President Jiang Zemin, who died last Wednesday. He was 96. Jiang was appointed General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party by then-supreme leader Deng Xiaoping after the Tiananmen Square incident in June of 1989. Pro-democracy demonstrators were militarily cracked down in the incident. He promoted economic reforms that involved the introduction of a market economy under socialism.
2. Japan has missed its chance to advance to the quarterfinals at the men’s soccer World Cup in Qatar. The Samurai Blue lost to Croatia on penalties. This was the third World Cup to pit Japan against Croatia which was the runner-ip in 2018. Japan’s Maeda Daizen opened scoring just before half time. Croatia equalized the score in the 55th minute. 3. Hundreds of soccer fans witnessed Japan’s heartbreaking World Cup defeat to Croatia at a public viewing spot in Tokyo. Their reaction to the loss, however, was largely positive. The crowd roared when Maeda Daizen netted the opener in the first half. But the fans turned jittery again after Croatia got the equalizer to take the game into extra time. There was a sigh of disappointment after Japan lost in the penalty shootout. But it was soon followed by a round of applause.

December 5, Monday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1. Authorities in China have begun loosening some measures against coronavirus infections across the country. The move comes as the government indicated its intention to “optimize” anti-infection measures last week. Beijing’s strict “zero-COVID” policy has recently sparked protests in various cities.
2. Japan’s ruling and opposition parties are closer to an agreement on a bill that would regulate religious group’s questionable solicitation practices. The government submitted the bill to help people who have suffered financially from the actions of the former Unification Church.
3. A fierce battle continues in eastern Ukraine as Ukraine and Russia fight for gains in areas they will control during the winter months. Russian forces are mounting incessant attacks on Ukrainian-controlled Bakhmut in the eastern region of Donetsk.

December 2, Friday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Mr. Yamaguchi Hiroaki

1.In the men’s soccer World Cup, Japan again came from behind to seize victory. Japan defeated former champion Spain 2-1 in a Group E match, advancing to the knockout stage. Spain took the control of the game at the beginning, with Alvaro Morata scoring in the 11th minute. The tide turned when Japan sent in two attackers at the start of the second half. Japan took the ball with aggressive defense, and Doan Ritsu scored a game-tying goal in the 48th minute. Just three minutes later, Mitoma Kaoru turned a cross ball, and Tanaka Ao pushed it in.
2.History was made on Thursday when a female referee took charge of a men’s World Cup match for the first time. Frenchwoman Stephanie Frappart oversaw the game between Germany and Costa Rica.
3.British defense analysts said on Thursday that Russian forces are striking Ukrainian energy infrastructure to “demoralize” the populace and force their leaders to “capitulate.” However, they say the strategy has likely been “blunted.”

December 1, Thursday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Mr. Yamaguchi Hiroaki

1.Kyiv is calling for all-out resistance against Russian attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure and Washington has announced new aid to help Ukraine restore its energy facilities. Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk on Tuesday posted on social media that the country would not succumb to cold and darkness. She called on citizens to hold tight for 100 days until spring arrives.
2.The death of former Chinese President Jiang Zemin is expected to help President Xi Jinping to further consolidate his power base. China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency reported that Jiang died of leukemia in Shanghai on Wednesday. He had been seen as an influential counterweight to Xi’s power.
3.NATO leaders are concerned about the risks around depending too much on China. That’s one of the big takeaways from a two-day meeting of foreign ministers.

November 30, Wednesday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Mr. Yamaguchi Hiroaki

1.Factory activity in China shrank for the second-straight month in November. Lockdowns amid a new wave of coronavirus infections weighed on the economy.
2.Tokyo police say the suspect who stabbed a university professor on Tuesday may have known the victim’s work scheduled in advance. The attacker is still at large.
Sociologist and Tokyo Metropolitan University Professor Miyadai Shinji was stabbed by a man at the university’s Minami-Osawa campus in the city of Hachioji.
3.China has announced that three astronauts have successfully docked with the country’s orbiting space station to finish the facility’s assembly.

November 29, Tuesday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Mr. Yamaguchi Hiroaki

1.Protests against China’s tough COVID restrictions have spread to Hong Kong. Many people gathered near a station in central Hong Kong Island on Monday night with flowers in a response to an online call to hold a vigil for the victims of an apartment fire in China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Dozens of them held up blank sheets of paper in a silent show of protest for the victims in the city of Urumqi.
2.US government officials have backed the right of people to “peacefully protest” in China as protesters in multiple Chinese cities have demonstrated against the government’s “zero-COVID” policy.
3.British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said “the golden era” with China is over in his response to Beijing’s crack-down on massive protests against its zero-COVID policy. Sunak said on Monday that Britain needs to evolve its approach to China, saying “the so-called golden era is over, along with the naïve idea that trade would lead to social and political reform.”

November 28, Monday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Mr. Yamaguchi Hiroaki

1.Japan’s Emperor Naruhito has left a Tokyo hospital after undergoing a prostate biopsy, or examination of tissue samples. Earlier this month, the Emperor had an MRI prostate scan at the same hospital after a blood test showed a level of protein, called PSA, was a little higher than normal.
2.Japan’s top government spokesperson says the government will promote comprehensive measures to help increase the number of childbirths. The health ministry released a preliminary report last week which said the number of babies born with Japanese nationality in the whole of the year could be fewer than 800,000 for the first time since record-keeping began.
3.Female leaders from African countries attending an international conference in Tokyo have stressed the need to take measures to ensure a stable food supply. The first Asia Pacific and Africa Women’s Economic Exchange Summit opened on Monday. In the summit, Fatoumatta Bah-Barrow, the wife of the Gambian president, expressed concern about the current food situation.

November 25, Friday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Ms. Keiko Kitagawa

1.The United Nations Human Rights Council has decided to establish an independent mission to probe Iran’s alleged suppression of ongoing mass protests. The public anger in Iran was sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was arrested for allegedly improperly wearing her hijab headscarf. Her death has led to protests across Iran for more than two months. The UN and human rights groups say Iranian security authorities have been cracking down on demonstrators, killing more than 300 people.
2.Authorities have raided Dentsu, one of Japan’s major ad agencies, over alleged bid-rigging involving test events for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. Tokyo prosecutors and the Japan Fair Trade Commission searched Dentsu’s head office and an event-organizing firm, both in the capital, on Friday. Authorities suspect the two violated Japan’s anti-monopoly law.
3.Artisans in a city north of Tokyo are busy producing traditional daruma dolls in a bid to root for the Japan squad in the FIFA World Cup soccer tournament in Qatar. Takasaki City in Gunma Prefecture is the top producer of the dolls, which are a symbol of good luck. They are modeled after the legendary Buddhist monk Dharma. A local workshop has been producing the dolls to support Japan’s national team since the 2006 World Cup tournament in Germany.

November 24, Thursday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1.In the World Cup, Japan pulled off its biggest upset since first appearing in the tournament back in 1998. The Samurai Blue came from behind in Wednesday’s Group E clash to defeat four-time champion Germany 2-1.
2.Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has condemned Russian attacks on his country’s energy-related infrastructure as “energy terror.” The president said Ukraine was hit by almost 70 missiles on Wednesday alone, affecting hospitals, schools, transport, and residential areas.
3.Russian President Vladimir Putin has stressed the unity of former Soviet republics as an alliance sharing a common history. The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) is a Russian-led military alliance of former Soviet states.

November 23, Wednesday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Ms. Keiko Kitagawa

1.People in Ukraine are bracing for the toughest winter ever, following Russian missile attacks that have knocked power supplies down to half their original level. Residents are trying to save energy and stocking up on clothes and blankets. They have been told to expect power outages through the end of March.
2.In the soccer World Cup in Qatar, Saudi Arabia has pulled off what is being called one of the biggest upsets in tournament history. On Tuesday, Saudi Arabia took on Argentina, ranked third in the world and one of the pre-tournament favorites. Argentina took control early with superstar Lionel Messi scoring on a penalty kick. But early in the second half, Saudi Arabia tied the game. Then just five minutes later, Salem Al-Dawsari scored from distance to complete the stunning comeback.
3.Japan’s soccer squad faces a crucial World Cup opener against four-time champions Germany. The Group E match is set for Wednesday in Qatar. The Samurai Blue has a history of relying on first match results in the tournament.

November 22, Tuesday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1.The death toll from a powerful earthquake that struck the Indonesian island of Java on Monday has risen to 62. The magnitude 5.6 quake hit western Java in the afternoon. The National Disaster Management Agency said 62 people had been confirmed dead in the Cianjur district of West Java province.
2.The World Health Organization says this winter “will be life-threatening” for millions of people in Ukraine. It cites as reasons Russia’s attacks against energy infrastructure and over 700 medical facilities.
3.Japan’s education and culture minister, Nagaoka Keiko, says she will exercise the government’s legal authority on Tuesday to question the religious group formerly known as the Unification Church. The group is accused of soliciting large donations from followers and conducting dubious marketing practices known as spiritual sales.

November 21, Monday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1.The FIFA men’s soccer World Cup finals got underway on Sunday in Qatar amid some controversial changes. It’s the first time the tournament has been awarded to a Middle Eastern country, and also the first held outside the traditional European summer window. The opening ceremony featured a taste of the local culture alongside a lineup of international artists.
2.A member of Iran’s national soccer team is speaking out on the eve of the country’s opening game at the World Cup. The player voiced concern about deadly anti-government protests at home. Iranian captain and defender Ehsan Hajsafi told a news conference that players support Iranians who are suffering. He said they have to accept that conditions in Iran are not right and that people are not happy.
3.Japan’s Prime Minister Kishida Fumio on Monday appointed former Foreign Minister Matsumoto Takeaki as the new internal affairs minister. Matsumoto is replacing Terada Minoru, who had come under fire over a series of problems linked to political funds.

November 18, Friday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Mr. Yamaguchi Hiroaki

1.Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and Chinese President Xi Jinping have met in Bangkok. It marks the first bilateral in person summit for their countries in three years. Kishida said, “It is important for both sides to accelerate efforts to build constructive and stable Japan-China relations.” Xi said, “We want to grasp the direction of bilateral ties from a strategic point of view and build relations that meet the demands of the new era.”
2.Russia’s economy shrank for the second consecutive quarter as it continued to feel the impact of Western sanctions imposed in response to its invasion of Ukraine. The Russian federal statistics service said gross domestic product shrank 4 percent year-on-year in the July-September period.
3.Japan’s top government spokesperson says what appeared to be an intercontinental ballistic missile was fired from near the west coast of the Korean Peninsula at around 10:14 a.m. on Friday. Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno Hirokazu added that the missile likely landed at around 11:23 a.m. inside Japan’s exclusive economic zone, in waters about 200 kilometers west of Oshima-oshima in Hokkaido.

November 17, Thursday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1.The United States and Britain have criticized Russia over the recent deadly missile explosion in Poland in the UN Security Council. Russia has argued that Ukraine’s air defense fired the missile. Britain’s UN Ambassador Barbara Woodward called the incident “a tragedy that indisputably stems from Russia’s illegal and unjustified invasion.”
2.A spokesperson for Myanmar’s military has told NHK that Japanese journalist Kubota Toru will be released from detention on Thursday under amnesty. The Japanese Embassy in Myanmar said on Thursday it had been notified by Myanmar authorities that Kubota would be released later in the day and it is confirming the details.
3.South Korea’s military says Pyongyang has fired a ballistic missile toward its eastern waters. The launch comes four days after the leaders of the United States, Japan and South Korea held a bilateral summit.

November 16, Wednesday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Ms. Keiko Kitagawa

1.The summit of the Group of 20 economies in Bali, Indonesia, came to a close on Wednesday with the leaders adopting a declaration. The declaration said, “Most members strongly condemned the war in Ukraine.” But it also acknowledged, “There were other views and different assessments of the situation and sanctions.”
2.Former US President Donald Trump has announced his bid for the 2024 presidential race, stressing that he will “make America great and glorious again.” Trump spoke to supporters on Tuesday at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
3.US space agency NASA says its new unmanned Orion spacecraft is on its way to the moon, after separating from a rocket. NASA’s new moon rocket, the Space Launch System, blasted off from the US state of Florida early on Wednesday.

November 15, Tuesday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Mr. Yamaguchi Hiroaki

1.Leaders of the Group of 20 major economies opened a two-day summit in Indonesia on Tuesday. The meeting is the group’s first since Russia invaded Ukraine. Indonesian President Joko Widodo welcomed world leaders including Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio, US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
2.Japan’s health ministry says 11,196 new coronavirus cases were confirmed in Tokyo on Tuesday. It is the first time that the figure has exceeded 10,000 since September 14.
3.The 2024 Paris Olympics and Paralympics organizing committee on Monday unveiled the official mascots for the events. The mascots are named after Phrygian caps, which during the French revolution symbolized freedom. The committee says the two mascots named Phryges are almost identical, to reflect its policy of not differentiating between the Olympics and the Paralympics.

November 14, Monday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Mr. Yamaguchi Hiroaki

1.A team of experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency has arrived in Japan to inspect the project to release treated water from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the sea.
2.Ukrainian officials say they are uncovering more details of life under Russian occupation in the liberated areas o the southern Kherson region. In a video address on Sunday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said, “Investigators have already documented more than 400 Russian war crimes, and the bodies of both civilians and military personnel are being found” in the Kherson region.
3.The Turkish government says it detained a female member of a Kurdish military group in connection with an explosion that killed six people and wounded 81 others in Istanbul. The blast occurred Sunday on Istiklal Avenue, a popular tourist spot, in the country’s largest city.

November 11, Friday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Ms. Keiko Kitagawa

1.Japan’s Prime Minister Kishida Fumio has decided to dismiss Justice Minister Hanashi Yasuhiro, who has been under fire for controversial remarks. Kishida conveyed his decision to senior officials of the Liberal Democratic Party. Hanashi said on Wednesday that he has a low-profile job that makes headlines only when he authorizes executions. He made the remark at a gathering of LDP lawmakers of the Kishida faction.
2.Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has stressed that his country’s military is trying to retake territory from Russia in the southern region of Kherson and elsewhere. Zelenskyy said in his latest video message on Thursday, “The number of Ukrainian flags returning to their rightful place in the framework of the ongoing defense operation is already dozens.” He added, “41 settlements were liberated.”
3.NHK has learned that a Japanese national, who is believed to have been a “volunteer fighter” with the Ukrainian forces, has died in Ukraine. Sources close to the Japanese government say that a man in his 20s died in Ukraine on Wednesday. Details, such as where he died, are unclear. The sources say this is the first time a Japanese national involved in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has died.

November 10, Thursday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1.Russia on Wednesday ordered its troops to withdraw from the Ukrainian city of Kherson. In an online interview with NHK, Ukrainian military expert Oleg Zhdanov said the decision is “catastrophic” for Russian President Vladimir Putin. But Zhdanov told NHK that he has yet to see a large-scale withdrawal of Russian forces from the front.
2.Control of both chambers of US Congress still hangs in the balance a day after the midterm elections as vote counting continues. Voters cast their ballots on Tuesday to decide 35 of the 100 seats in the Senate and all 435 seats in the House of Representatives.
3.US President Joe Biden has described Tuesday’s midterm elections as a “good day for democracy.” Biden told reporters at the White House on Wednesday. “Our democracy has been tested in recent years, but with their votes, the American people have spoken and proven once again that democracy is who we are.”

November 9, Wednesday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1.Midterm election results in the United States are still coming in. The Republicans had hoped frustration over record-high inflation would fuel a red wave that decimates Democratic support in Congress. But the race is closer than they had expected.
2.Leaders of developing countries at a UN climate conference have drawn attention to severe damage from extreme weather events caused by climate change.
3.Sky watchers across much of Japan have enjoyed an enormously rare celestial spectacle—Uranus hidden by a totally eclipsed moon.

November 8, Tuesday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1.Voters in the United States are going to the polls on Tuesday to vote in the midterm elections. President Joe Biden, a Democrat, and Donald Trump, his Republican predecessor, have made last-minute campaign efforts to help their parties win control of Congress.
2.Former US President Donald Trump says he will make a big announcement next Tuesday. His remark is widely seen as a hint that Trump will announce he’s running for another term in the 2024 presidential election.
3.Russia’s independent media say a battalion of Russian conscripts has been nearly wiped out in the eastern Ukrainian region of Luhansk. The reports on Saturday cited a surviving soldier and others as saying that the death toll may exceed 500.

November 7, Monday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1.The annual United Nations climate conference COP27 kicked off in Egypt on Sunday. But as delegates try to find unity on ways to address climate change, there are worries the gathering will be clouded by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The conference is being attended by representatives from more than 190 countries and territories. The gathering comes amid a deepening rift between the West and Russia over the invasion.
2.Researchers at two major Japanese firms have launched tests of a promising new fuel source that could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Japanese machinery maker IHI and electricity producer Jera have started trials at a thermal power plant in central Japan that mixes ammonia with coal. Ammonia does not emit carbon dioxide. Researchers hope the mixture can be readily adopted at existing plants.
3.Japanese convenience-store chains have been introducing energy-saving measures to do their part for decarbonization. With around 14,000 stores nationwide, Lawson plans to upgrade its refrigerated displays. This includes adding glass doors in front of shelves for sandwiches and salads to keep in the chill. Heaters that prevent dew condensation in beverage showcases will be shrunk in size.

November 4, Friday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Mr. Yamaguchi Hiroaki

1.Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa has urged China to fulfill its responsibility as a major power at a Group of Seven meeting in Germany. The G7 foreign ministers exchanged views on China and the Indo-Pacific region on Thursday.
2.The International Atomic Energy Agency says its inspections of three Ukrainian locations have found no indications of undeclared nuclear activity or materials. Earlier, Russia accused Ukraine of planning to use a so-called dirty bomb designed to disperse radioactive material. Moscow alleged that nuclear-industry-related institutions in Ukraine have been involved in preparing such a device.
3.Japanese pianist Igarashi Kaoruko has won third prize in the Geneva International Music Competition. The contest is widely viewed as a gateway to success for young musicians. The final round of the piano division in the prestigious competition took place on Thursday. Four pianists advanced to the final out of 182 contestants.

November 3, Thursday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Ms. Keiko Kitagawa

1.Russian leaders rejoined an agreement on Wednesday to export Ukrainian grain. They had pulled out of the deal on Saturday, citing an alleged drone attack on their Black Sea fleet.
2.North Korea launched several ballistic missiles on Thursday morning. Officials from Japan’s Defense Ministry say one may have been an intercontinental ballistic missile. They are trying to determine the latest details.
3.Parts of Brazil remain in chaos as protesting supporters of outgoing President Jair Bolsonaro continue to refuse to accept his defeat in Sunday’s presidential runoff.

November 2, Wednesday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Mr. Yamaguchi Hiroaki

1.Supporters of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro are calling it “the biggest fraud in their electoral history.” The have taken to the streets to protest an election they feel was stolen. The president himself said he will comply with the results—but has yet to concede defeat.
2.Exit polls suggest former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is on course for victory and could return to power after the election on Tuesday. Natanyahu is currently on trial over allegations of corruption. He denies the charges against him.
3.South Korea’s military says North Korea fired three short-range ballistic missiles from the country’s east coast on Wednesday morning. It says that one of the three missiles crossed the de facto maritime border set up by the United Nations and fell near South Korea’s territorial waters for the first time.

November 1, Tuesday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Mr. Yamaguchi Hiroaki

1.Democratic and Republican candidates were still trying to win over undecided Americans on Monday, with a week to go before the midterm elections. Both sides know these votes are typically approached as referendums on the party in power.
2.The 22nd soccer World Cup, to be held in Qatar, will be the first in the event’s history to take place in the Middle East. Thirty-two teams will compete for the top spot at eight venues in the capital Doha and four other cities from November 20 to December 18.
3.A theme park featuring the world of Studio Ghibli’s animated films opened in central Japan on Tuesday. Three areas of Ghibli Park, “Ghibli’s Grand Warehouse,” “Hill of Youth” and “Dondoko Forest,” opened to fans at 10 a.m. on the site of the 2005 Expo in Nagakute City, Aichi Prefecture.

October 31, Monday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Mr. Yamaguchi Hiroaki

1.Ukraine is rushing to repair central heating infrastructure damaged or destroyed by Russian attacks to prepare for the full-fledged start of winter. Russian shelling hit the roof of a boiler house in the city of Irpin near the capital Kyiv during fierce fighting in the early stages of the invasion. Most of its windows were shattered. The damage has largely been mended, with workers now engaged in a finishing painting process.
2.Brazil’s election board says leftist Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has won Sunday’s presidential runoff election. The 77-year-old former president beat right-wing incumbent Jair Bolsonaro in a close race. The board says that with 99.1 percent of the ballots counted, Lula garnered 50.84 percent, compared with Bolsonaro’s 49.16 percent. The election focused on how to rebuild the Brazilian economy, which has been battered by the coronavirus pandemic.
3.The South Korean media are questioning whether authorities could have anticipated that more than 100,000 people would gather in Seoul’s Itaewon district for Halloween. At least 154 people, many of them youths, died on Saturday night in a massive crowd surge in the popular entertainment district. Two Japanese women are among the victims.

October 28, Friday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Ms. Keiko Kitagawa

1.The Bank of Japan is sticking with its massive monetary easing, despite growing pressure to raise interest rates as the yen weakens. BOJ board members decided to keep the short-term interest rate in negative territory and will also continue buying government bonds to hold long-term rates around zero percent.
2.US media have reported that billionaire Elon Musk has completed his 44 billion-dollar acquisition of Twitter. Washington Post and other news outlets reported that Musk has acquired all shares of the social media platform.
3.Investigators probing the 2013 killing of the head of a popular restaurant chain say he was shote shortly after getting out of his car at a parking lot in front of the headquarters of the firm, Ohsho Food Service, in Kyoto City.

October 27, Thursday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1.The Washington Post has reported that, according to US officials, the head of a Russian private military company told President Vladimir Putin his military chiefs are mismanaging the war in Ukraine. The US newspaper published the report about the remarks by Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of Wagner Group, on Tuesday.
2.Researchers from the World Health Organization and other institutions are urging action to prevent climate change from further impacting people’s health. The researchers published a report of their analysis in the British medical journal The Lancet on Tuesday.
3.US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has expressed wariness about China’s third-term leadership under President Xi Jinping, warning that China is seeking to
speed up reunification with Taiwan.

October 26, Wednesday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1.Britain has a new leader. Rishi Sunak has officially been appointed prime minister. He is pledging to restore public trust in politics. Rishi Sunak went to Buckingham Palace on Tuesday to meet King Charles, who invited him to form the next government. It is the first time the new king has appointed a leader.
2.Ukraine’s state nuclear power company—Energoatom–says Russian troops occupying the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in the country’s south have been doing unauthorized construction work.
3.New British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak spoke with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy by phone on Tuesday, and informed him of London’s continued support for Kyiv.

October 25, Tuesday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1.Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has stressed that Taiwan will not bow to pressure from China, which has made clear it will not renounce the use of force to achieve reunification.
2.A eulogy for former Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo was read at a plenary session of the Lower House of the country’s Diet on Tuesday. Abe was fatally shot in July while making a campaign speech in western Japan. Former Prime Minister Nod Yoshihiko of the Constitutional Democratic Party delivered the address as Abe’s wife and others looked on.
3.Britons are set for their third leader in less than two months. Rishi Sunak will become the youngest prime minister in centuries and the first British Asian to lead the country. Sunak lost out to Liz Truss in September in the last race for the leadership. He became a favorite when she announced on Thursday that she would resign. Then, he saw other contenders withdraw in an effort to end the chaos in the Conservative Party.

October 24, Monday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline

1.Chinese President Xi Jinping begins a third term in office with the country facing economic challenges. The Communist Party selected seven members of its top leadership on Sunday. The new lineup is dominated by Xi’s close aides, including subordinates who worked under him in the past.
2.British media reports suggest former Treasury chief Rishi Sunak appears set to become the country’s new prime minister. The speculation comes after Boris Johnson pulled out of the Conservative leadership race. A statement from the former prime minister said his return wouldn’t be “right,” suggesting his party would not unite behind him.
3.Japanese Economic Revitalization Minister Yamagiwa Daishiro has handed in his resignation to Prime Minister Kishida Fumio after a series of revelations about his links with the religious group previously known as the Unification Church.

October 21, Friday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Mr. Yamaguchi Hiroaki

1.British Prime Minister Liz Truss told lawmakers on Wednesday that she is “a fighter, not a quitter.” Less than a day later, she announced her resignation. She has spent six weeks in office – the shortest tenure for any British prime minister. Truss set out a vision for growing the economy, by cutting taxes. However, her plans alarmed investors and drove the British pound to a record low. She was forced to reverse the policies and, now, to resign.
2.Japan’s latest consumer price index released on Friday shows a rise of 3 percent, an increase not seen in 31 years, excluding the effect of consumption tax hikes.
3.The United States says the sanctions and export controls it and its allies have imposed on Russia for its aggression in Ukraine have had “significant and long-lasting consequences” on Russia’s defense industry. The US State Department said on Thursday that Russia is struggling to import semiconductors and other key components, and has had to “cannibalize” existing aircraft parts.

October 20, Thursday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Mr. Yamaguchi Hiroaki

1.Japanese companies which source products from overseas have been hit hard by the yen’s depreciation. Funasho Shoji is one of them. The company is based in central Tokyo and imports oranges, grapes and other fruit from the United States and South America.
2.The Japanese yen weakened to the 150 level against the US dollar at one point during Tokyo trading on Thursday. It is the first time the currency has dropped to this level in 32 years. The yen has now depreciated about 30 percent against the dollar this year.
3.The latest data shows Japan’s trade deficit rose to a record level in the first six months of the fiscal year, underscoring the extent to which a weakening yen is undermining the country’s purchasing power.

October 19, Wednesday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Mr. Yamaguchi Hiroaki

1.An organization of about 8,000 municipalities around the world lobbying for the abolition of nuclear weapons gathered in Hiroshima, Japan, to discuss what each of them can do toward their cause. Representatives from 93 municipalities of nine countries attended the general conference of Mayors for Peace on Wednesday. Many others took part online.
2.The pro-Russian head of the Ukrainian region of Kherson says residents as well as administrative bodies there are being evacuated to a safer area. The announcement comes amid major counteroffensives by Ukraine’s forces to retake the region annexed by Moscow. Ukrainian forces are believed to be preparing to advance to the region’s main city of Kherson as part of their counteroffensives.
3.The number of foreign visitors to Japan is on the rise thanks to eased border controls. Foreign arrivals in September topped 200,000 for the first time since February 2020, before the coronavirus pandemic had a major impact. The Japan National Tourism Organization estimates that 206,500 people visited the country last month. That’s up 21.6 percent from August.

October 18, Tuesday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Mr. Yamaguchi Hiroaki

1.A Russian warplane crashed into an apartment building in the southern Russian region of Krasnodar on Monday, killing 13 people. Local officials say the nine-story residential building in the city of Yeysk was engulfed in flames. They say 13 residents, including children, were killed and about 19 others were injured.
2.Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio says he will instruct the government to submit bills aimed at providing relief to the victims of the shady practices of the former Unification Church, possibly during the current session of the Diet. The religious group is under close scrutiny for alleged shady marketing practices, including the solicitation of large donations from followers.
3.The Ukrainian foreign ministry has urged Iran to immediately stop supplying Russia with suicide drones. Demonstrations against Iran have taken place in Kyiv. The foreign ministry stated on Monday that in the last week alone, Russia used more than 100 Iranian drones to strike residential buildings, power stations and other facilities in a number of cities.

October 17, Monday, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) Newsline read by Mr. Yamaguchi Hiroaki

1.An online petition has been launched to call on Japanese authorities for a court order to “disband” the former Unification Church under the Religious Corporations Act. The campaign, which started on Monday, is organized by 39 individuals and groups, including supporters of former followers and their families, children of the members of the religious group, scholars and journalists.
2.The Ukrainian government says the country’s capital of Kyiv has come under attack by so-called suicide drones. Multiple explosions were heard on Monday morning. The chief of Ukraine’s presidential office, Andriy Yermak, said Russia carried out attacks using unmanned aerial vehicles.
3.Chinese President Xi Jinping has expressed his commitment to achieving the goal of building China into what he calls a “great modern socialist country” by mid-century. Referring to Taiwan, Xi said that China “will continue to strive for peaceful reunification with the greatest sincerity and the utmost effort.” But he added that China “will never promise to renounce the use of force.”