Kyodo News Digest: Sept. 15, 2021
Written by tokyoclub on September 15, 2021
A high school student sits in a waiting area while being monitored for possible acute side effects after receiving COVID-19 vaccinations in Ichinomiya, Aichi Prefecture, on Sept. 12, 2021. (Kyodo)
The following is the latest list of selected news summaries by Kyodo News.
TOKYO – Japan saw a sharp increase in the deaths of people aged 59 or younger due to COVID-19 amid the latest round of the coronavirus pandemic with the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant, the health ministry said Tuesday.
In the fifth wave of the pandemic from mid-July to early September, those aged 59 or younger accounted for 20.6 percent of the total COVID-19 deaths of 860, with the rate jumping more than fivefold from 3.8 percent of the death toll reported before early February, according to the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry.
WASHINGTON – The top U.S. military officer secretly contacted his Chinese counterpart twice last year over concerns then President Donald Trump could spark a war with China, an upcoming book by prominent journalist Bob Woodward and a colleague reportedly reveals.
In a pair of calls during the final months of the Trump administration, Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, assured his Chinese counterpart, Gen. Li Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army, that the United States would not attack, The Washington Post reported Tuesday, citing the book authored by Woodward and Robert Costa.
TOKYO – Japan’s Shinsei Bank is considering proposing at an extraordinary shareholders meeting to be held as early as October measures to reject an unsolicited offer by online financial service firm SBI Holdings Inc. to take over the Tokyo-based bank, people close to the matter said Tuesday.
Shinsei Bank’s board may meet this week and decide to seek shareholders’ approval for an issuance of share warrants to resist SBI’s plan to raise its stake in the bank to as high as 48 percent from the current 20 percent through a tender offer, they said.
TOKYO – Former Japanese Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba has given up on running in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s upcoming leadership race and is leaning toward backing vaccination minister Taro Kono instead, people familiar with his decision said Tuesday.
Ishiba, the No. 2 pick to succeed outgoing Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga in opinion polls after Kono, had been considering putting his name forward for the Sept. 29 vote that will effectively determine the country’s new leader, but some allies saw his chances of winning as slim and urged him to sit it out.
China urges Japan’s PM candidates not to meddle in internal affairs
BEIJING – China on Tuesday urged candidates for Japan’s next prime minister not to interfere in the country’s internal affairs, a day after one of them pledged to create a new key post to tackle its alleged human rights violations.
“China’s internal affairs cannot allow any foreign interference. Japanese politicians should stop making an issue out of China,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters.
TOKYO – Foreign matter has been found in five unused vials of Pfizer Inc.’s COVID-19 vaccine in two cities near Tokyo and one in Osaka Prefecture, the local governments said Tuesday.
The vials containing the white floating matter belong to the same lot, FF5357, according to the cities of Sagamihara and Kamakura, both in Kanagawa Prefecture, and Sakai in western Japan.
YANGON – Hearings of Myanmar’s ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been charged with flouting coronavirus restrictions and several other offenses, restarted at a court in the capital Naypyitaw on Tuesday, two months after the last hearing held, her lawyers said.
The hearings had been suspended as courts and other government offices had been closed since mid-July due to a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in Myanmar.
S. Korea fines Google $177 mil. for anti-competition moves
SEOUL – South Korea’s antitrust regulator said Tuesday it has decided to impose a 207.4 billion won ($177 million) fine on global tech giant Google for forcing smartphone manufacturers such as Samsung Electronics Co. to only install its Android mobile operating system.
The Korea Fair Trade Commission found Alphabet Inc.’s Google to have negatively influenced the mobile market since 2011 by banning smartphone manufacturers from installing modified versions of Android OS, known as “Android forks,” while also not allowing them to develop their own types of Android forks.