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.