Kyodo News Digest: Aug. 26, 2021
Written by tokyoclub on August 26, 2021
The following is the latest list of selected news summaries by Kyodo News.
TOKYO – Japan’s health ministry said Thursday it has received reports from several domestic mass vaccination centers that some portion of the unused doses of Moderna Inc.’s COVID-19 vaccine have been found to contain foreign materials.
Japanese drugmaker Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., which is in charge of sales and distribution of the Moderna vaccine in the country, said it is suspending the use of around 1.63 million doses manufactured in the same production line as a precaution.
TOKYO – The Japanese government decided Wednesday to place eight more prefectures under its COVID-19 state of emergency as the country battles to contain a surge of infections increasingly driven by younger people and prevent a stretched medical system from collapse.
The addition of Hokkaido, Miyagi, Gifu, Aichi, Mie, Shiga, Okayama and Hiroshima means that 21 of Japan’s 47 prefectures are now under the state of emergency that includes Tokyo and Osaka, affecting over 75 percent of the population. The measure will run from Friday to Sept. 12.
TOKYO – The first events of the Tokyo Paralympics were held on Wednesday, with the first medals awarded and one Japanese athlete making history as her country’s youngest to reach a podium.
At just 14 years old, swimmer Miyuki Yamada earned a silver in the women’s 100-meter backstroke S2 class, becoming the youngest Japanese Paralympic medalist ever.
TOKYO – Former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida is set to run in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s leadership race, sources close to him said Wednesday, pitting him against Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga who doubles as party chief.
Suga is considering dissolving the House of Representatives in early October for a snap election after winning the race, other sources said, as the terms of lower house members will expire later that month.
BEIJING – Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin agreed that the two countries will join hands to stabilize the situation in Afghanistan, during their telephone conversation on Wednesday.
Their talks came as China has been eager to bolster its influence in Afghanistan in the wake of the planned withdrawal of the U.S. military forces from the nation, with tensions between Beijing and Washington showing few signs of easing soon.
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, saying it runs counter to “common sense” amid an alarming rise in coronavirus infections.
“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.
Japan FY 2022 budget requests to top 110 tril. yen for 1st time
TOKYO – Budget requests by Japanese ministries and agencies for fiscal 2022 are expected to total over 110 trillion yen ($1 trillion) for the first time due to swelling debt-servicing costs amid the coronavirus pandemic, government sources said Thursday.
The requests for the year starting next April, to be filed by next Tuesday, would hit a record high for the fourth straight year.
HANOI – U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris said during her trip to Vietnam on Wednesday that the United States will provide an additional 1 million coronavirus vaccine doses to the country to help it fight the pandemic.
During her talks with Vietnamese officials, including President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, in the capital Hanoi, Harris also served notice to China over its claims in the South China Sea, where Vietnam has territorial disputes with its northern neighbor.