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.