Thought for the day

The Prime Minister of Japan says the country is in a precarious position as a society over its plummeting birth rate.

"Japan is standing on the verge of whether we can continue to function as a society," said Fumio Kishida, saying that the situation was a case of "now or never."

"Focusing attention on policies regarding children and child-rearing is an issue that cannot wait and cannot be postponed," he added.

Japan becomes first major country to officially recognize Covid poses same threat as flu in seminal pandemic moment MikeRivero Mon, 01/23/2023 - 09:19

Japan will start considering Covid as being equivalent to the seasonal flu — a sign of the attitude shift toward the pandemic.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced on Friday that Covid would be reclassified to disease category five from the current level two.

In practical terms, it ditches a recommendation to wear masks in indoor public spaces and ends the need for infected people and close contacts to self-isolate

Pacific Island nations have urged Japan to delay the release of wastewater from the Fukushima nuclear power plant over fears it could contaminate fishing grounds.

Prime Minister of Japan Fumio Kishida commenced 2023 with a tour of G7 countries, having visited France, Italy, the UK, the US and Canada. Holding the Presidency of the US-centric group for this year, Kishida will host its summit in Hiroshima in May.

While a lot of his trips focused on preparing ground for the summit, Kishida notably signed scores of defence deals along the way, showing how the visit ties in with Japan’s ultimate ambition right now: Rearmament.

China suspends visa issuance to Japanese, S. Korean travelers MikeRivero Sat, 01/14/2023 - 10:37

China has suspended issuing visas to Japanese and South Korean travelers, its embassies in Tokyo and Seoul said Tuesday, after it threatened to take countermeasures against countries that introduced tighter COVID-19 entry restrictions on visitors from China.

The Chinese Embassy in Tokyo, on its website, said the issuance of ordinary visas for Japanese citizens was being suspended from Tuesday and the timing of its resumption will be notified later.

North Korea raps Kishida's visit, warns against NATO influence in Asia MikeRivero Sat, 01/14/2023 - 10:37

North Korea has criticized Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's ongoing trip to NATO member countries for bringing "security instability" to the Asia-Pacific region, and warned the bloc against expanding its influence in the area, state-run media said Friday.

Japan serves as a guide "introducing NATO, a legacy of the Cold War, into the Asia-Pacific region" and such a behavior is "sowing the seeds of discord" in the region, the Korean Central News Agency said, quoting an article by Kim Tong Myong, an international politics researcher, released Thursday.

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Overnight the Japanese yen soared (if not quite as much as it did last month when the BOJ unexpectedly doubled the trading band of its Yield Curve Control to +/- 0.50% sparking the biggest surge in the Japanese currency since LTCM and the 1998 Asian Crisis), after Japan’s Yomiuri reported that the BoJ is to review the side effects of its massive monetary easing at its policy meeting next week and may take additional steps to correct distortions in the yiel

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The United States and Japan are advancing their alliance by sending anti-ship missiles, a logistics battalion, and an air defense battalion to Okinawa by 2025 in order to increase the preparedness of the marine forces stationed there.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and their Japanese counterparts, Yoshimasa Hayashi and Yasukazu Hamada, met on Wednesday to revise their joint defense posture, increasing the American troop presence on the island.

The US and Japan on Wednesday announced steps to strengthen military cooperation to better confront China after Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with their Japanese counterparts in Washington.

The meeting came after the government of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida rolled out a new national security strategy that names China its top “challenge,” reflecting similar language used by the Pentagon. His government also announced a plan to double military spending by 2027.