Kyodo News Digest: June 23, 2021
Written by tokyoclub on June 23, 2021
Photo taken from the Shibuya Sky observation deck in Tokyo on June 22, 2021, shows the National Stadium, the main venue of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics starting in about a month. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo
The following is the latest list of selected news summaries by Kyodo News.
TOKYO – Tokyo marked one month until the opening of the Olympics on Wednesday, with organizers entering the final phase of preparations to improve safety measures and perfect logistical operations after more than a year of difficulties posed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Athletes started to arrive in Japan this month to hold training camps, but the organizers of the Olympics and Paralympics continue to struggle to turn Japanese people in favor of staging the sporting extravaganza amid a global health crisis.
TOKYO – Negotiations began Tuesday for the United Kingdom to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact as the country is aiming to enhance its economic presence in the region following its departure from the European Union.
Yasutoshi Nishimura, Japan’s minister in charge of TPP negotiations, welcomed the U.K. commitment toward membership during an online meeting with his British counterpart Liz Truss.
NAHA, Japan – Okinawa on Wednesday marked the 76th anniversary of the end of a major World War II ground battle between Japanese and U.S. troops, with a memorial service downscaled for the second straight year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who was not invited to the event amid the pandemic, is scheduled to give a speech in a video message. The 1945 battle in the final phase of World War II claimed the lives of over 200,000 people, including civilians as well as Japanese and U.S. combatants.
TOKYO – Tokyo Olympic organizers have reversed an earlier plan to allow alcoholic beverages to be sold to spectators at competition venues during the global sports event, sources close to the matter said Tuesday, as voices grew against apparent consideration for sponsors such as Asahi Breweries.
Organizers earlier planned to allow alcoholic drinks at venues of the games starting in around a month with some restrictions including time limits for selling them.
WASHINGTON – The United States will continue to seek dialogue with Pyongyang over its nuclear program, a State Department spokesman said Tuesday, after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s sister tamped down U.S. expectations for an early resumption of talks.
“We remain prepared to engage in principal negotiations with the DPRK to deal with the challenge of its nuclear program,” Ned Price told a conference call, using the acronym of North Korea’s formal name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
OSAKA – A Myanmar national soccer goalkeeper applied for refugee status in Japan on Tuesday after expressing fear for his life for making a three-finger salute in protest at the military coup in his country during a recent World Cup qualifier near Tokyo, his lawyer said.
Pyae Lyan Aung, who refused to return home with his teammates last week after the soccer match, submitted an application with the Osaka Regional Immigration Services Bureau, according to the lawyer.
TOKYO – Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike was admitted to hospital in the capital Tuesday due to severe fatigue as her physical condition has not been good in the past week, a person familiar with the matter said, amid the coronavirus pandemic and a month before the Tokyo Olympics start.
The Tokyo metropolitan government said earlier in the day that she will take time off from work for the duration of the week because she needs to rest.
TOKYO – Japan is planning to approve the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Britain’s AstraZeneca Plc for inoculations of those aged 60 and over, government sources said Tuesday.
The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare granted fast-track approval for the vaccine in May, but indicated at the time it did not intend to use the vaccine immediately due to rare cases of blood clots reported overseas.