Kyodo News Digest: Sept. 9, 2021
Written by tokyoclub on September 9, 2021
The following is the latest list of selected news summaries by Kyodo News.
TOKYO – The Japanese government is set to extend the COVID-19 state of emergency again for Tokyo and many other areas Thursday, as hospitals remain under strain despite a falling number of infections, while charting a road map for easing restrictions for when most of the population is vaccinated.
The state of emergency had been slated to end Sunday but will remain in place through Sept. 30 for 19 prefectures, including Hokkaido, Aichi, Osaka and Fukuoka.
SEOUL/BEIJING – North Korea appears to have staged a military parade in Pyongyang to celebrate the 73rd anniversary of its founding on Thursday, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported, citing a military source.
The development comes at a time when North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been struggling to cope with the nation’s worst food crisis in more than a decade.
TOKYO – Foreign ministers from Japan, the United States, Europe and elsewhere on Wednesday agreed to work together in dealing with the situation in Afghanistan, as they seek to ensure safe departures for those fleeing the Taliban-controlled country, the Japanese government said.
With concerns growing that uncertainty and insecurity could lead to a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi pledged during the online meeting to provide $65 million in fresh aid through international organizations to assist locals with shelter, food, water and other needs.
GENEVA – World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Wednesday urged some advanced countries to suspend their ongoing or planned administration of third shots against the novel coronavirus until at least the end of the year to ensure vaccine supplies for developing countries.
In early August, the WHO director general had called for the suspension of the COVID-19 booster shots until the end of this month. But now he is seeking to extend the timeline for offering third shots, as the disparity in vaccine access for poorer countries has yet to be overcome.
BEIJING – China on Wednesday welcomed the Taliban’s formation of an interim government in Afghanistan, saying it is a necessary step for the nation to restore order at home and pursue post-war reconstruction.
Beijing has said that the Taliban, an Islamist group that returned to power last month after being ousted by U.S.-led forces in 2001, should set up a political structure that lays the foundation for lasting peace in Afghanistan.
TOKYO – Former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida on Wednesday vowed to reduce wealth disparity in Japan as he unveiled his economic policies for the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s leadership race, which is shaping up to be a three-way contest as former communications minister Sanae Takaichi formally announced her bid.
Vaccine czar Taro Kono, who consistently ranks high in opinion polls asking who is most fit to succeed Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, is expected to announce his candidacy in the coming days.
TOKYO – Princess Mako, a niece of Japanese Emperor Naruhito, and her boyfriend Kei Komuro are looking to register their marriage in October, a government source said Wednesday, more than three years since their wedding was abruptly postponed following reports of a money dispute involving Komuro’s mother.
After submitting the legal papers, the 29-year-old princess is expected to leave her imperial residence and prepare for the start of a new life in the United States, where Komuro, also 29, currently resides and is expected to start working at a law firm, according to the source.
TOKYO – Executives of a Japanese company arrested last year on suspicion of illegally exporting items capable of producing biological weapons sued the Tokyo metropolitan government and state on Wednesday, seeking damages totaling 560 million yen ($5 million) after the case against them was dropped.
In the lawsuit filed with the Tokyo District Court, 72-year-old Masaaki Okawara, the president of Yokohama-based machinery maker Ohkawara Kakohki Co., and Junji Shimada, 68, one of its former directors, are seeking compensation for the alleged illegal investigation by Tokyo metropolitan police and prosecutors.