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.