Kyodo News Digest: June 3, 2021
Written by tokyoclub on June 3, 2021
Photo taken June 2, 2021, shows the emblems of the Tokyo Olympics (L) and Paralympics printed on a driving school facility in Tokyo. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo
The following is the latest list of selected news summaries by Kyodo News.
TOKYO – Japan on Wednesday pledged an additional $800 million toward an international effort to ensure the fair distribution of COVID-19 vaccines amid a widening gap between nations in administering shots.
Along with commitments from other countries and the private sector, the COVAX Facility has surpassed its goal of $8.3 billion in funding to secure 1.8 billion doses, enough for 30 percent of the population of developing countries, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said.
TOKYO – Japan’s top coronavirus adviser said Wednesday it is “not normal” to host this summer’s Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Shigeru Omi, an infectious disease expert who heads a government subcommittee on the coronavirus, also said the Tokyo Games organizing committee is responsible for drawing up sufficient anti-virus measures to ensure the safety of the participants.
WASHINGTON – The United States said Wednesday it will impose tariffs on six countries such as Britain and India over their taxes on U.S. tech companies, but noted that the action will be put on hold amid ongoing negotiations on international taxation.
The announcement from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative followed an investigation it started in June last year into the digital services taxes being considered or adopted by U.S. trading partners — Austria, Brazil, Britain, the Czech Republic, the European Union, India, Indonesia, Italy, Spain and Turkey.
NAHA, Japan – A U.S. military helicopter landed off-base Wednesday night in a field on a small island of Okinawa Prefecture, southern Japan, with no immediate reports of injuries or property damage stemming from the incident, local authorities said.
Five crew members belonging to U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma were on board the UH-1 helicopter, which landed in the field due to engine trouble, according to an account provided by the U.S. military to the Okinawa prefectural police.
Japan to strengthen domestic chip production under growth strategy
TOKYO – Japan drafted on Wednesday a new economic growth strategy with a strong focus on enhancing domestic development and production of cutting-edge semiconductors, one of the country’s vulnerable sectors uncovered during the coronavirus pandemic.
Under the annual growth plan covering a range of areas including vaccine strategy and information security, the government aims to “build a system which ensures a steady semiconductor supply” and reduce the country’s dependence on foreign manufacturers by offering research funding and encouraging chipmakers to build factories in Japan.
TOKYO – Roughly 10,000 of the 80,000 volunteers originally scheduled to help at this summer’s Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics have quit, the Japanese organizing committee said Wednesday, reflecting the difficulty of staging a major sporting event amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“I think there is no doubt that one of the reasons is concern over coronavirus infections,” Toshiro Muto, CEO of the organizing committee, told reporters, but said it would not seriously affect operations because the games are expected to be scaled down from their original plans.
Brunei foreign minister, top ASEAN official eye visit to Myanmar
JAKARTA – Brunei’s second foreign minister and ASEAN’s secretary general are making final arrangements to visit junta-ruled Myanmar this week over the crisis following a coup there, ASEAN diplomatic sources said Wednesday.
The officials are scheduled to meet with junta leader Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, but a meeting with the country’s detained leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, is not expected to be realized, the sources said.
HONG KONG – Hong Kong police are expected to come out in force on Friday to clamp down on any public gatherings held to commemorate victims of a bloody military crackdown in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989.
The police, citing pandemic concerns, have previously banned hosting the annual candlelight vigil set for June 4 at Victoria Park, where hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong people had attended annually to mourn the victims killed in the student-led pro-democracy protest.