December 8, Friday, 2023

1. Japan reported a current account surplus for the ninth straight month in October, mainly due to a decline in energy prices. The current account is a measure of Japan’s trade and investment with the rest of the world.
2. Sources say Japan’s chief cabinet secretary’s office may have received more than 10 million yen, or 69,000 dollars, in kickbacks from selling tickets for political fundraising parties. Matsuno Hirokazu’s office allegedly failed to report the income over the five years to 2022 in its political funds report.
3. US President Joe Biden has stressed the necessity to protect civilians in the Gaza Strip during talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Biden expressed his deep concern for the hostages that remain in Gaza. The two leaders agreed to stay engaged to free the remaining hostages.