Piles of flowers left in honor of people killed in a tour boat accident off Hokkaido’s Shiretoko Peninsula are seen at a flower stand in the town of Shari, northern Japan, on May 10, 2022. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo
The following is the latest list of selected news summaries by Kyodo News.
Japan planning to allow 20,000 daily international arrivals in June
TOKYO – Japan’s government is arranging to double the cap on arrivals from overseas to 20,000 people per day in June, government sources said Wednesday.
The relaxation is expected to go ahead following an examination of airport quarantine infrastructure and the state of domestic infections after Japan’s Golden Week holidays that ended last Sunday.
Japan gov’t says masks not needed outdoors if distancing maintained
TOKYO – Wearing masks outdoors to protect against the coronavirus is not necessary providing social distancing is practiced, Japan’s top government spokesman said Wednesday, with the approach of summer increasing the risk of heatstroke.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said the government will continue to review anti-virus measures while monitoring the country’s coronavirus situation and consulting with medical experts.
Japanese, South Korean lawmakers vow to turn bilateral ties positive
SEOUL – Lawmakers from Japan and South Korea pledged Wednesday to turn the two nation’s frayed ties positive, after South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol took office.
At a meeting held in Seoul, members of a cross-party group of Japanese lawmakers dedicated to promoting exchanges between the two neighbors, and their South Korean counterparts shared their hopes that the launch of the new administration will be “a starting point” toward a better bilateral relationship.
Toyota’s FY 2021 operating profit soars 36% to record 3 tril. yen
TOKYO – Toyota Motor Corp. said Wednesday its operating profit rose 36.3 percent to 3 trillion yen ($23 billion) in the last fiscal year as solid demand in Japan, North America and China offset the impact of production disruptions caused by a global chip crunch and supply chain constraints.
The world’s biggest automaker by volume posted a net profit of 2.85 trillion yen in the year ended March 31, up 26.9 percent from the previous year, as sales climbed 15.3 percent to 31.38 trillion yen.
Japan Diet passes economic security bill amid Russia, China worries
TOKYO – Japan’s House of Councillors on Wednesday enacted into law a bill for enhancing the country’s economic security amid increasing geopolitical risks associated with Russia and China.
The four pillars of the new law include strengthening supply chains to stably procure semiconductors and other vital products as well as facilitating the development of artificial intelligence and other cutting-edge technologies through public-private cooperation.
U.S. believes Ukraine war has not emboldened China to move on Taiwan
WASHINGTON – Russia’s war in Ukraine has not emboldened China to attack Taiwan, the top U.S. intelligence chief indicated Tuesday, given Moscow’s limited progress in the invasion and the unity shown by the West in imposing sanctions.
The U.S. intelligence community has so far “not assessed that the Russia-Ukraine crisis is likely to accelerate their plan vis-a-vis Taiwan,” Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines told a Senate committee, while adding China is likely to be still evaluating and taking lessons from events in Ukraine.
Xi tells Macron “bloc confrontation” should be avoided over Ukraine
BEIJING – Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday told his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron that “bloc confrontation” over Ukraine should be avoided, state-run media reported, as Russia’s military operations in its neighboring country have been escalating.
Xi’s remarks came as Western democratic countries, including the United States and European nations, work to bolster the sanctions they have imposed on Russia since its invasion of Ukraine started on Feb. 24.
Toyota to halt 8 plants in Japan due to Shanghai COVID-19 lockdowns
NAGOYA – Toyota Motor Corp. said Tuesday it will suspend operations on 14 lines at eight factories in Japan for up to six days this month as it is difficult to procure parts due to the prolonged COVID-19 lockdown in Shanghai.
With the plan, Toyota said its global production for May will be reduced to about 700,000 vehicles from its previous target of 750,000.