Kyodo News Digest: Aug. 23, 2021 – The Foreigners magazine In tokyo
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Kyodo News Digest: Aug. 23, 2021

Written by on August 23, 2021

Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi meets the press at his ministry in Tokyo on Aug. 23, 2021. Three Self-Defense Forces planes are set to be dispatched to Afghanistan to evacuate Japanese nationals and local staff who have worked for the Japanese Embassy and other Japanese organizations amid the worsening security situation in the country. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

The following is the latest list of selected news summaries by Kyodo News.


Japan to send SDF planes to Afghanistan for evacuations

TOKYO – Japan will dispatch a total of three Self-Defense Forces planes to Afghanistan to evacuate Japanese nationals and local staff who worked for the Japanese Embassy there and other organizations amid the worsening security situation in the country, the top government spokesman said Monday.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said the government will send one C-2 transport aircraft on Monday and two C-130s on Tuesday.


Tokyo opens oxygen station for COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms

TOKYO – A facility to provide oxygen support to COVID-19 patients with relatively mild symptoms started operating Monday in Tokyo to relieve the strain on the capital’s medical system as infections surge.

The oxygen station set up by the metropolitan government in the capital’s Shibuya Ward will run around the clock. It has 130 beds and is staffed by three doctors and 25 nurses.


U.S., S. Korea nuclear envoys vow work to resume talks with N. Korea

SEOUL – The top nuclear envoys of South Korea and the United States pledged Monday to work toward an early resumption of dialogue with North Korea amid tensions with Pyongyang over ongoing military exercises between the allies.

During their meeting in Seoul, Sung Kim, the U.S. special representative for North Korea, and his South Korean counterpart Noh Kyu Duk also discussed possible humanitarian assistance to Pyongyang, including measures against infectious diseases, Noh told reporters afterward.


Japan PM Suga regrets opposition win in Yokohama mayor election

TOKYO – Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Monday he regrets the defeat of his close aide Hachiro Okonogi in the previous day’s Yokohama mayoral election.

Suga backed the former public safety chief, who got support from some members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, in the Sunday election but opposition-backed Takeharu Yamanaka won the race to take charge of the port city near Tokyo.


Japan to oblige businesses to reduce 12 disposable plastic items

TOKYO – Japan will oblige business operators to reduce the provision of 12 disposable plastic items such as spoons and straws from next April to promote recycling and tackle marine pollution, the government said Monday.

The move is based on legislation that was enacted in June to cut down on plastic waste at restaurants and retail stores. Business operators can choose from among measures including charging for the items and switching to recyclable products.


Taiwan leader gets local COVID-19 vaccine as rollout begins

TAIPEI – Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen received a locally developed coronavirus vaccine at a hospital in Taipei on Monday as the self-governed island began rolling out the Medigen vaccine the same day.

By becoming the first to receive the jab, Tsai hopes to demonstrate that the new vaccine, developed by local vaccine maker Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp., is effective and safe, in a bid to improve inoculation rates.


Japan urges new Iran president to return to nuclear deal

TOKYO – Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi on Sunday urged Iran’s new President Ebrahim Raisi to return to a multilateral deal over Tehran’s nuclear program, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said.

Motegi filed the request in a meeting with Raisi, an anti-U.S. hard-liner who took office earlier this month, in the Iranian capital.


Australia’s PM concedes return to zero COVID “highly unlikely”

SYDNEY – Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Sunday that it is time to shift focus from case numbers to hospitalizations, as widespread outbreaks of the highly infectious Delta variant make it “highly unlikely” Australia will return to zero cases of community transmission.

The admission marks a big shift in Australia’s until now largely successful elimination strategy that has seen strict border restrictions and snap lockdowns as the central features of the country’s pandemic response.

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