December 21, Saturday, 2019 (2:00 p.m.) Read by Ms. Fumiko Konoe and Ms. Risa Shimizu

1. The Japanese government is expected to decide as early as next Friday a plan to send Self-Defense Force personnel to the Middle East to gather information that will help protect ships at waters around the Strait of Hormuz.

2. In a summit between Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Abe said that Japan will contribute as much as possible to easing tensions and stabilizing the situation in the Middle East.

3. Syrian and Russian forces bombarded Syrian anti-government strongholds, leaving 11 civilians, including women and children, dead.