Kyodo News Digest: Sept. 14, 2021
Written by tokyoclub on September 14, 2021
Afghan people wait at Kabul’s airport on Aug. 27, 2021, to evacuate from the country following the Taliban’s recent return to power. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo
The following is the latest list of selected news summaries by Kyodo News.
GENEVA – More than $1.2 billion has been pledged internationally for people in Afghanistan in need of humanitarian assistance, the U.N. relief chief said Monday.
Martin Griffiths, head of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, disclosed the total at the closing of a ministerial meeting on Afghanistan in Geneva.
WASHINGTON – U.S. President Joe Biden will host the first-ever in-person “Quad” meeting with leaders from Japan, Australia and India on Sept. 24 to deepen ties among the four democracies, the White House said Monday, indicating Washington’s continuing focus on the region facing China’s clout.
During the upcoming meeting at the White House, the leaders, including outgoing Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, will seek to advance cooperation in such areas as combating the coronavirus pandemic, while also aiming to partner on emerging technologies and cyberspace as well as promote a free and open Indo-Pacific, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement.
WASHINGTON – The United States remains ready to engage with North Korea toward ridding the country of its nuclear weapons, a White House spokeswoman said Monday, after Pyongyang announced it has successfully test-fired new long-range cruise missiles.
“Our position has not changed when it comes to North Korea,” Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters, adding that Washington will explore diplomacy with Pyongyang to make “practical progress” that would increase the security of the United States and its allies.
TOKYO – More than 50 percent of Japan’s population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, government data showed Monday, with the inoculation rate finally catching up with countries such as the United States after a slow start marred by vaccine supply shortages.
Of the nation’s population of 125 million, about 64 million people, or 50.9 percent, had received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine as of Monday, after the inoculation program was launched in February initially for health care workers and expanded to the elderly and later to other members of the public.
TOKYO – Ten Afghan evacuees have arrived in Japan from Afghanistan to take refuge following the Taliban’s return to power, with the Japanese government arranging for more evacuees to enter the country, the Foreign Ministry said Monday.
The government is also considering long-term support measures for such evacuees to settle in Japan, including helping them find jobs, sources close to the matter said.
ISLAMABAD – Excavated Buddha heads and other items have been looted from the storage facility of a French archaeological team involved in conserving and restoring the famous Bamiyan site in central Afghanistan, a UNESCO World Heritage site, it was learned Monday.
It is believed that miscreants took advantage of the confusion that followed the Taliban’s takeover of area in the first half of August to loot the artifacts, according to local residents and Japanese archaeologists whose warehouse was also targeted.
Pakistan airline operates charter flight to Kabul
ISLAMABAD – Pakistan International Airlines on Monday operated a chartered flight to Kabul for ferrying out World Bank staff and their families.
PIA, Pakistan’s state-owned airline, became the second foreign commercial carrier to operate a flight to Kabul following the rehabilitation of the airport, which was damaged during the chaotic evacuation after Taliban took over the Afghan capital.
China chides U.S. following report on Taiwan’s office renaming
BEIJING – China said Monday that it has lodged a protest against the United States, which reportedly is “seriously considering” allowing the Taiwanese government to change the name of its representative office in Washington to include the word “Taiwan.”
Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters that U.S. President Joe Biden told Chinese President Xi Jinping during their telephone talks last week that his country has “never intended to change the one-China policy.”