Kyodo News Digest: Oct. 7, 2021 – The Foreigners magazine In tokyo
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Kyodo News Digest: Oct. 7, 2021

Written by on October 7, 2021

Afghan beauticians in Nangarhar, Afghanistan, paint over large photos of women on the doors of beauty salons on Sept. 9, 2021, after Taliban gained control across the country. (Anadolu Agency/Getty/Kyodo)

The following is the latest list of selected news summaries by Kyodo News.


Biden, Xi to meet virtually by year-end amid tense relations

WASHINGTON – The United States said Wednesday it agreed with China to hold a virtual meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping by the end of the year, as Washington seeks to manage the growing rivalry between the nations.

The announcement was made following talks between U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi in Switzerland, which, according to a senior Biden administration official, lasted for six hours and touched on U.S. concerns over China’s possible human rights abuses as well as its pressure on Taiwan.


M5.9 quake hits southwestern Pakistan, kills at least 20

ISLAMABAD – A magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck southwestern Pakistan early Thursday, killing at least 20 people and leaving 300 others injured, according to local authorities.

The quake occurred 15 kilometers northeast of Harnai in Balochistan Province at 3:01 a.m. local time at a depth of 9 km, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It was followed by a magnitude 4.6 quake in the same area two hours later.


Top Japan, U.S. diplomats affirm ties under PM Kishida

TOKYO – The top diplomats of Japan and the United States agreed Thursday in phone talks to strengthen their bilateral alliance and continue making efforts toward a free and open Indo-Pacific region after Fumio Kishida became Japan’s new prime minister this week.

Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken “exchanged views on a wide range of issues, such as the regional situation, including North Korea and China, as well as cooperation on climate change” during the 15-minute call, according to the Japanese Foreign Ministry.


Britain officials meet with senior Taliban in Kabul

ISLAMABAD – Britain officials met in Kabul with the senior Taliban figures on Tuesday to discuss humanitarian aid and safe passage for those who wish to leave Afghanistan, in the first high-level contact since the Islamists came to power in Afghanistan in mid-August.

The delegation led by Simon Gass, high representative for Afghan transition of Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson, held talks with acting deputy prime ministers Abdul Ghani Baradar Akhund and Mawlawi Abdul-Salam Hanafi, as well as Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaqi, acting foreign minister, according to the British Foreign Office.


Japan’s largest labor body Rengo gets 1st female chief

TOKYO – Tomoko Yoshino became the first-ever female chief of Japan’s largest labor organization Rengo on Wednesday after her promotion from vice president was approved at a regular convention.

Yoshino, 55, from a labor union mainly representing small and medium-sized manufacturers in Japan, will serve a two-year term, succeeding Rikio Kozu, who led the Japanese Trade Union Confederation, as Rengo is formally known, for six years.


Gov’t to sell 1 tril. yen tranche of Japan Post shares

TOKYO – The Japanese government said Wednesday it will sell by early November a 1 trillion yen ($9.0 billion) tranche of shares in Japan Post Holdings Co., a postal and financial services group privatized 14 years ago.

The Finance Ministry said the proceeds from the share sale, which will lower the government’s stake from 60.6 percent to 33.3 percent, will finance reconstruction work in northeastern Japan areas devastated by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.


Hong Kong leader aims to enact laws on treason, state secrets theft

HONG KONG – Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said Wednesday that the government will try to enact new legislation to implement an article of the city’s miniconstitution on treason, theft of state secrets and other crimes, in a bid to strengthen security in the city.

In the fifth and final policy address of her term as the chief executive, Lam proposed enacting laws to give effect to Article 23 of the Basic Law that states prohibition of seven offenses including treason and theft of state secrets, which are not stipulated by the national security law imposed by the mainland in June last year.


List, MacMillan win Nobel chemistry prize for molecule-building tool

STOCKHOLM – German scientist Benjamin List and U.S.-based Scottish chemist David MacMillan on Wednesday won this year’s Nobel Prize in chemistry for developing a tool for molecular construction known as organocatalysis, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said.

List, director at the Max Planck Institute for Coal Research, and MacMillan, a professor at Princeton University, showed that organic catalysts can be used to drive multitudes of chemical reactions, a discovery that “has had a great impact on pharmaceutical research, and has made chemistry greener,” the academy said in a release.

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