January 17, Wednesday, 2024

1. Japan marks the 29th anniversary of the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake on Wednesday that devastated the western Japanese city of Kobe and surrounding regions. The 1995 disaster left 6,434 people dead. At a park in Kobe’s Chuo Ward, residents arranged lanterns to form “1.17” to represent the date of the disaster, and “Tomoni,” the Japanese word meaning “together.”
2. The death toll from the New Year’s Day earthquake on the Noto Peninsula in central Japan has risen to 232. As survivors try to return to normal, some are finding it may be harder than they expected. Fishermen in Wajima City in Ishikawa Prefecture are finally seeing the scope of the damage. The quake caused 200 meters of coastline to lift.
3. Japan’s major shipping companies are suspending routes that pass through the Red Sea for all of their vessels. NYK Line, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines and Kawasaki Kisen cite safety concerns amid heightened tensions in the region. Houthi rebels in Yemen have been attacking vessels in the Red Sea. The US government announced last week that US and British forces had struck rebel bases in retaliation.