Kyodo News Digest: Aug. 25, 2021
Written by tokyoclub on August 25, 2021
The following is the latest list of selected news summaries by Kyodo News.
TOKYO – The Japanese government is set to decide Wednesday to bring eight more prefectures under its COVID-19 state of emergency as the country grapples with its largest wave of infections.
Hokkaido, Miyagi, Gifu, Aichi, Mie, Shiga, Okayama and Hiroshima will come under the measure from Friday until Sept. 12, joining 13 other prefectures, including Tokyo and Osaka, as approved by a panel of experts in infectious diseases and other fields.
TOKYO – Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Wednesday told Toshihiro Nikai, the No. 2 leader of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party, he has nothing against holding the party’s presidential election once its schedule is set, a source familiar with their meeting said.
Suga’s term as LDP president is set to expire on Sept. 30, and the party is slated to decide on the schedule for its leadership race on Thursday. The party plans to hold the election on Sept. 29, with campaigning starting on Sept. 17, party sources have said.
TOKYO/WASHINGTON – The Group of Seven industrialized nations on Tuesday vowed to work to safely evacuate their citizens from Afghanistan following the unexpectedly swift takeover by the Taliban, while urging the militant group to respect human rights in the country and prevent terrorism.
During a virtual meeting of the G-7 leaders to discuss Afghanistan, U.S. President Joe Biden conveyed his intention to stick to his self-imposed deadline of Aug. 31 for completing the withdrawal of American troops there as he seeks to end the war that started following the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 on the United States.
TOKYO – Japan’s top COVID-19 adviser on Wednesday criticized International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach for visiting Tokyo again to attend the opening ceremony of the Paralympics.
“I wonder why he bothered to come. He should be able to judge with common sense,” said Shigeru Omi, chairman of a government subcommittee on the coronavirus response, at a parliamentary committee session.
TOKYO – A man and a woman sustained burns on Tuesday night after a suspect threw what is believed to be sulfuric acid in a Tokyo subway station and fled the scene, police said, with the incident occurring amid tightened security as the Tokyo Paralympics opened the same day.
The 22-year-old man sustained injuries to his face and shoulder while the 34-year-old woman suffered burns on her legs in the attack that took place shortly after 9 p.m. at Tokyo Metro Co.’s Shirokane Takanawa Station in the capital’s Minato Ward.
Surging COVID cases delay emergence of pent-up demand: BOJ member
TOKYO – The Japanese economy remains in a “severe” situation amid the coronavirus pandemic, and the surging number of COVID-19 cases is causing a delay in the emergence of pent-up demand, a Bank of Japan board member said Wednesday.
Toyoaki Nakamura, who sits on the BOJ’s Policy Board, said the Japanese economy is picking up as a trend but cautioned against downside risks due to the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant during a virtual meeting with local business leaders in Miyazaki Prefecture, southwestern Japan.
U.N. council seeks respect for human rights in Afghanistan resolution
GENEVA – The U.N. Human Rights Council on Tuesday unanimously adopted a resolution on Afghanistan, calling for fully respecting the human rights of all Afghan people including ethnic minorities and women.
Although the non-binding resolution expressed “grave concerns over all violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law” in the country, it stopped short of naming the Taliban.
TOKYO – The Tokyo Paralympics opened Tuesday night following a one-year postponement, with questions unanswered over whether it is safe to hold the world’s largest event for athletes with disabilities during a public health crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Tokyo is the first city to host the Summer Paralympics twice, having staged the 1964 edition. But this time, the games will be held under conditions that nobody had imagined before the virus took hold, with safety measures preventing regular spectators from attending, as was the case during the Olympics.