December 6, Wednesday, 2023

1. Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio has instructed factions of the main governing Liberal Democratic Party to refrain from holding fundraising events until the party takes steps to regain the public’s trust. Five factions of the LDP allegedly underreported the revenues from sales of tickets for fundraising events.
2. A spokesperson for the Israeli military has stressed that a certain level of civilian deaths in the Gaza Strip cannot be helped. In an interview with CNN, the spokesperson was asked to confirm a report that senior Israeli military officials have said around two civilians have been killed for every Hamas fighter killed by Israel in Gaza.
3. China has showed a positive stance toward recognizing the Taliban’s interim government as the legitimate ruler of Afghanistan. The Taliban established control following the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan in the summer of 2021.

December 5, Tuesday, 2023

1. The United States responded with caution after France urged the United Nations Security Council to adopt a resolution calling for a truce between Israel and Hamas. French UN Ambassador Nicolas de Riviere told reporters before an emergency session that the Security Council should adopt a resolution calling for a longer-term truce.
2. A senior White House official has warned that US aid for Ukraine will run out by the end of the year unless Congress approves additional funding. US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said, “Congress has to decide whether to continue to support the fight for freedom in Ukraine as part of the 50-nation coalition that President Biden has built, or whether Congress will ignore the lessons we’ve learned from history and let Putin prevail.” 3. Japan’s Justice Ministry has started a trial of using artificial intelligence to translate Japanese laws into English. The ministry last Friday began the experimental introduction of AI aimed at reducing the time required for translation.

December 4, Monday, 2023

1. Japan’s Prime Minister Kishida Fumio said he has no knowledge of having met with the Japanese branch head of a group associated with a religious organization widely known as the Unification Church four years ago. The Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun reported on Monday that the branch head of the group was present at a meeting between Kishida and former US House Speaker Newt Gingrich in Japan in October 2019. 2.Divers searching for the US Osprey aircraft that crashed into the sea in southwestern Japan last week have reportedly located what appear to be part of the plane and multiple people. Sources say the number of people the divers found on Monday morning appears to be five. The tilt-rotor transport aircraft of the US Air Force crashed off Yakushima Island in Kagoshima Prefecture last Wednesday. 3. An international environmental NGO has given Japan a satirical “Fossil of the Day” award at the venue of the COP28 climate change conference in Dubai. The Climate Action Network presents the awards every day during the UN conference to countries it says are “doing the most to achieve the least” to curb global warming.

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.